dirac

2012 Summer Olympics, London

145 posts in this topic

I think it's very telling that, in the Turischeva clip, despite its many examples of extended dancing, it is the more sport-oriented tumbling runs that gets the big response from the crowds.

I think the same thing is true in ballet: it's the big jumps, multiple turns, especially fouettes and those that change position and speed, hops on pointe, and big balances that get people clapping in the middle of the music. In ballet competitions, it's the big extensions as well that gets the teen crowd shrieking.

The shift from piano to recorded instrumental happened sometime between the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. Here are two examples of the same gymnast, the great Nellie Kim, in those two Olympics, the first with piano and the second with instrumental:

Aside from the stylistic change in the type of movement -- a lot of the 1980 vocabulary would not have fit piano arrangements -- I think there's a lot more continuous movement that reflected the rhythm of the music in the 1976 clip with the piano. (She was also at her peak in this event in 1976, I think scoring a perfect 10 to win individual gold.) I'm reminded of how Balanchine would ask the pianist, especially in his special Monday class, to play chords, not music, because if the pianist was working, then the dancers would think they were, too.

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I had a musician friend who used to maintain that there was no relationship between music and the sport. I watch anyway, though. smile.png

I could say the same about a lot of dance I've seen smile.png

I think we could all make that statement.

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The shift from piano to recorded instrumental happened sometime between the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. Here are two examples of the same gymnast, the great Nellie Kim, in those two Olympics, the first with piano and the second with instrumental:

(edited out the clips so we don't take even longer to load)

Aside from the stylistic change in the type of movement -- a lot of the 1980 vocabulary would not have fit piano arrangements -- I think there's a lot more continuous movement that reflected the rhythm of the music in the 1976 clip with the piano. (She was also at her peak in this event in 1976, I think scoring a perfect 10 to win individual gold.) ...

What a great compare and contrast -- I don't know her and so am seeing this fresh, but I'm very struck with the changes between these two examples.

The first selection is indeed more lyrical, longer phrases that connect through some kind of momentum or gesture, more structural development in the choreography and more musical altogether. The second example is more conventionally powerful, and probably made a big impression on the observers because of that strength, but the phrases are shorter and more discrete -- there's just not as much connectivity involved.

Interestingly, she spent considerably more time on the floor in the first example, and there were several examples of working in between standing and sitting, which is notoriously hard to do, but doesn't really look hard...

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The cycling has been poetry in motion. I just wish I understood the rules.

Congratulations to the British Men's sprint team and Victoria Pendleton for their gold medals.

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If I've been following their tweets correctly, there's an Olympic museum or exhibit at Covent Garden.

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The cycling has been poetry in motion. I just wish I understood the rules.

Congratulations to the British Men's sprint team and Victoria Pendleton for their gold medals.

I can't follow cycling at all. Most likely I haven't tried hard enough. I don't find it great television viewing in truth, although the sight of the cyclists massed together at top speed can be pretty amazing, not to mention scary.

Props to Komova for bringing it to the floor exercise after a difficult time. Douglas was remarkable. Talk about peaking at the right time.....

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The diving competition continues to be impressive, with the Chinses dominating as expected. How wonderful for Troy Dumais to finally win a medal in his 4th Olympics!

Gabby was great. Congratulations to her. Felt so sorry for Aly, who has become a favorite for me during these games.

Apparently the English National Ballet performed an excerpt from Swan Lake before the Women's All-Around at the O2. Found this very low quality video:

http://youtu.be/IdCndyygmME

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Kazakhstani women weightlifters continue their roll!

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I'm very far behind in watching what I've recorded on the PVR, but this evening I finally saw part of the Canada/Russia Women's Beach Volleyball game, and the Canadian women were wearing ankle-length tights. That's got to be a lot more comfortable than having a bikini bottom wedgie, and easier on the legs when sliding across the sand. Their bare mid-driffs must get cut up, though.

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The British women won Team Pursuit today in World and Olympic record time. Congratulations to Dani King, Laura Trott, and Joanna Rowsell flowers.gif

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WHAT A DAY!! An unprecedented 3 golds for Team GB in the athletics stadium as well as two golds in the rowing regattah and one in the cycling. The pressure on the athletes to win has been unbelievable and they have stepped up to the plate! Congratulations to Gregg Rutherford, Jess Ennis and Mo Farrah.

And, as so many tweets have pointed out, what a celebration of multi-cultural Britain.

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Dance Tabs retweeted this:

A ginger, a Muslim immigrant and a mixed race woman walked into a bar. Everyone bought them a drink

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Another golden day so far for Team GB with a 4th consecutive gold for sailor Ben Ainslie in the Finn class and a wonderful win for Andy Murray in the tennis singles.

The BBC has published a lovely clip of their anchors reactions at the end of last night's 10000 metres won by the wonderful Mo Farrah:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19134764

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I heartily dislike pros in the Olympics, but if they're going to be there, I couldn't be happier for Murray for winning decisively over Federer at his home Olympics and at Wimbledon. Now he's on again for doubles.

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I hate to sound cynical but who are the amateurs these days?

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Spoilers for those dependent on NBC--(I know we aren't really worried about that in this thread, but sometimes people aren't expecting to see results so I will insert some space):

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Thrilled w. Usain Bolt's victory in 100 meters...What a charismatic champion for track and field. Great too how he has pushed all the top sprinters so we see fantastically fast times across the boards. Sad for Tyson Gay though (who ran very well and just needed to thrust his chest forward at end and might have been on the podium). Bronze a terrific vindication for Justin Gatlin. (Obviously silver medalist Johan Blake was great too: I'm thinking he will have other opportunities to take down Bolt...if he can.). I will definitely be rooting for the Americans in the relay, but even w. Bailey running so well it won't be easy.

(I always watched these races in the Olympics but only started vaguely following at least some track and field beyond Olympics--plus boxing--a few years back and largely because of my onetime track and field athlete partner.)

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The distinction hasn't quite vanished, but almost. I'm pleased to see it go. I have nothing against pros competing but I think the Olympics are not really the place for LeBron James, et al., or even the tennis stars. I like to see the less popular sports get their day in the sun.

Bolt is a delightfully outgoing personality and I don't know why his sport hasn't made more of him to raise track and field's profile, which could use some raising.

Helene writes:

I heartily dislike pros in the Olympics, but if they're going to be there, I couldn't be happier for Murray for winning decisively over Federer at his home Olympics and at Wimbledon. Now he's on again for doubles.

Federer handed Murray his hat at Wimbledon. It was pretty embarrassing. I was not pulling for Murray here but it was indeed nice for him to beat Federer in London. It's not Wimbledon but Roger certainly did want that gold medal. Federer has always been a good Olympian and it would have been nice for him to have it as well even if it means little in the context of his career.

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The other thread about ballet and the Olympics reminded me that at one point there was talk of competition ballroom dancing becoming an Olympic sport. Are there any demonstration sports this time around?

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For me, the distinction is not between amateur and pro, but between multi-million dollar earners through full-time sports in premier leagues and those who make a decent living, like women's prossional basketball players.

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I've just watched an interview with Dave Brailsford who is the performance director of British Cycling. Apparently the French want to know how the British cycling team has been so successful over the past 4 years. To paraphrase - the British use round wheels on their cycles! Absolutely priceless....

Seriously though, he explained that they worked out the target and worked back to where they are now and then planned to bridge the gaps to reach the target. He also said that they broke down performance into all aspects and aimed for tiny improvements in each aspect so that overall there was a big improvement. He even mentioned things like washing your hands properly to ensure that there was a reduced chance of illness. He also stressed the importance of everyone in the team, whether riding or backroom.

One example he gave was that one aim had been to have a British winner of the Tour de France within 5 years and that had been achieved within 2 and a half years.

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A magnificent afternoon in the velodrome for Team GB with two golds and a silver. The final gold was won by Sir Chris Hoy in the Keirin - an incredibly emotional moment. I doubt there was a dry eye in the UK when he was presented with his gold medal. At the age of 36, this is his final Olympics but he is carrying on competitively until the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Our Royal family have been enthusiastic supporters of these games turning up all over the show. The Princess Royal was at the dressage to see our wonderful gold medal there before attending the final events at the velodrome with Princes William and Harry.

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I watched the women's floor exercises this evening, have to say I preferred the Roumanian Ponar over the American Raisman.

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As an ex-gymnast, I have always loathed Ponor--she is a classic example of what we used to call a 'tit-shaker', lubricious enough to be doing a pole dance instead of an Olympic floor routine. I'll admit she has FINALLY upgraded her tumbling (the fact that she won an OGM in an event final with a full-in her hardest pass is beyond embarrassing--it is mortifying and unconscionable; Daniela Silivas and Elena Shoushounova, to name only two examples, did tumbling TWICE as hard sixteen years earlier) but the awful hootchy-kootchy is worse than ever. This is what has come to be called 'choreography' in gymnastics, unfortunately...

Raisman, by contrast, is forthright, strong, graceful if not Kristina Ballerina, and dazzling in every gymnastics move, with a large edge in difficulty and amplitude (particularly in the sky-high split after her last tumbling pass) to die for. No one now begins to approach Caslavska, Tourischeva, Comaneci, Kathy Johnson, Laschenova, Omeliantchik, Silivas, etc. ad infinitum, in terms of grace, coordination, and fluidity on floor, but if it must be this sort of routine I vastly prefer brilliant tumbling to sex-kitten behavior.

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I think the greatest athletes in the Olympics are the horses. The sheer number of different skills and level of difficulty for eventing is amazing. Compare them to track and field. Humans practice for years jumping the exact same hurdles the exact same distance apart. Equestrian jumping courses are different every time. The numerous jumps are different hights, different widths, and made of varied materials. They add all kinds of visuals to distract them, and....the horses see the course for the first time in the competion! Not to mention they also do dressage, very complicated "dancing" which has no relation to what a horse does naturally. I am in awe.

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