Thursday, 24 July 2014

Five things better than the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

Another blast of click-baiting negativity from the VileArts this morning. Please put it down to the fact that I wet myself laughing three times at the Opening Ceremony and have been forced to go commando this morning.

While the world of twitter kicked up a storm of hilarity during the games, I was watching Butoh at the CCA  - a reminder that performance can have the intensity of a short LSD trip, taking my mind for a wander through questions of spirituality and suffering, gender identity, aspirations and despair. And so, here are five things that would have given the Opening Ceremony a edge.

Franz Ferdinand
Admittedly, The Ferds have spent the latter part of their career being more experimental, shaking off the cheerful dynamism of their first album for more brooding and challenging tunes. But at their commercial heights, they could do a chorus like a boy band, while retaining a rough, rocking edge. Certainly, they would have trumped Susan Boyle singing a sentimental dirge written by a man from Liverpool (not that Paul 'Thumbs Up' McCartney ought to be excluded on grounds of nationality, just taste).

Claire Cunningham
Again, Claire's recent work has been less spectacular than intimate - Guide Gods grappled with her relationship to religion - but her grandstanding Mobile/Evolution wowed the Fringe as she swung through the air with the greatest of ease. Intelligent, technically impressive and based on Claire's personal responses to great art, balance and identity: it would have had more depth than a dancing tea-cake, anyway.

Glasgow Girls
Cora Bissett and David Greig rocked the house with this smart musical. A condemnation of the attitudes of the state towards refugees, GG had a swagger and wit that suggested musical theatre was about more than stringing together a bunch of chart hits with an excuse for a story. The tunes were sharply multicultural, too, fusing melodies and beats from the various communities found in Glasgow, from Bollywood to traditional folk.

Iona Kewney
Kewney's dance on massive screens, and Quimby's guitar through a huge sound system?

Scottish Ballet
I hear that they are adapting some of Dylan Thomas' poems for their next production. I would take one of these over Barrowman shouting the names of random locations in Glasgow, thank you.

(It has been pointed out that SB did have a bit in the Ceremony... could we have had a bit more?)

Bonus comment: I'll admit, Barrowman's cheeky kiss was a nice touch.

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