Did you watch the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics last night? I have been a rabid Olympics viewer for the past two+ weeks, so I knew I wouldn't miss it. And just like the Opening Ceremonies, the visuals of the event were spectacular. Like the aquatic scene (above) where thousands of performers wearing shimmering silver suits undulated through the computer animated water like a school of fish.
Or this section of the ceremony where performers took on the role of elegant, soaring cranes—a direct nod to the next winter games host: South Korea.
Where the Opening Ceremonies dealt with Russian history in general, this event was more a look at Russia's contribution to culture. There was therefore a beautiful, dream-like section devoted to Marc Chagall with tiny nods to Malevich; weirdly, there no real references to other important Russian visual artists like the Constructivists (Rodchenko anyone?). Maybe that's just the art history nerd in me wanting more!
There was also a very cool section honoring Russian literature, which uses the computerized stage to project 3D renderings of swirling, page-turning books. Very cool!
Later, during the handover to the Korean Olympic officials, the cranes returned and 'flew' below beautiful illuminated tapestries of light in the shape of large, time-honored trees.
Finally, the Olympic mascots (a weird trend to be sure!) said a weird animatronic goodbye—the bear (harkening back to the 1980 Olympics) shed a tear of sadness at the end of the Games. Still the dancing children around the bear and the odd flying boat/hot air balloon was cool.But you know what I discovered when I went to put together this post this morning! A bit of an NBC scandal . . . (click through to find out what it was) . . .
NBC cut out huge sections of the Ceremony! The Washington Post covered some of the acts that made the chopping block, including what looked like an incredible circus performance and a dramatic piano concert. What the heck, NBC? You spend the first hour of primetime doing a silly documentary (which ESPN did just a month ago) and not showing the full ceremony? Lame!
Check out more photos of the full event at the Washington Post here (weirdly the NYTimes doesn't include photos of scenes that NBC cut). Or check out a full (NBC-version) replay here.
Still in Olympics withdrawal? Check out the fabulous interactive features created by the Times here; my favorite is this surprisingly positive take on the "fourthers".
p.s. So happy to see Julie Chu—a friend of my hubby's from college and a fellow CT native!—carrying the American flag last night! Sweet!