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Chris Cartwright

Controversy in WGI and DCI

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I just received my March/April issue of Halftime magazine, and the cover article was about WGI's most memorable stunts in both percussion and guard. It reminded me instantly of Northmont High School's 1997 guard show, "Dante's Inferno" which included dark themes, a girl being hanged, etc. I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on past WGI or even DCI shows/parts of shows that could be considered controversial. Just kind of an interesting topic that came to my mind.

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I just received my March/April issue of Halftime magazine, and the cover article was about WGI's most memorable stunts in both percussion and guard. It reminded me instantly of Northmont High School's 1997 guard show, "Dante's Inferno" which included dark themes, a girl being hanged, etc. I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on past WGI or even DCI shows/parts of shows that could be considered controversial. Just kind of an interesting topic that came to my mind.

Blue Devils seemingly put out the most " controversial shows " lately. Its a lightening rod for the activity. Some really like their shows a lot. Some are just meh with it. Others really don't like their shows at all lately. Is this what you are getting at regarding shows that bring us " controversy " ? Or do you mean something else ?

Edited by BRASSO

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I perceive not controversial as in esoteric, but as in mature content.

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I perceive not controversial as in esoteric, but as in mature content.

I 'd say then that the Crossmen's show from last season that dealt with a mature content of " Protest " fits your definition of "controversy.". Blue Stars 2013 show revolving around the theme of Voodoo probably fits the bill of "mature content" too, I would believe..

Edited by BRASSO

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I think controversy needs to be defined. For pushing the boundaries, Bridgemen were rather controversial. I can distinctly remember "boos" in 1976. Their appearance at finals in 1977 can still rile the historic threads. Star of Indiana's arrival and departure caused a stir. SCV's 1980 asymmetrical drill caused a stir. BD would have caused a riot if they won in 2013 and 2012's show was controversial, but in a boundary pushing sense.

As far as themes are concerned, DCI has not been all that controversial. In 2013 Crossmen's show was pretty tame. I'm also not sure I'd see Blue Stars 2013 as controversial either. I just did not see in either show things that would get political or religious sensibilities all riled up.

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I think controversy needs to be defined. For pushing the boundaries, Bridgemen were rather controversial. I can distinctly remember "boos" in 1976. Their appearance at finals in 1977 can still rile the historic threads. Star of Indiana's arrival and departure caused a stir. SCV's 1980 asymmetrical drill caused a stir. BD would have caused a riot if they won in 2013 and 2012's show was controversial, but in a boundary pushing sense.

As far as themes are concerned, DCI has not been all that controversial. In 2013 Crossmen's show was pretty tame. I'm also not sure I'd see Blue Stars 2013 as controversial either. I just did not see in either show things that would get political or religious sensibilities all riled up.

I think however that he utilized his definition of "controversy" the primary attribute of " mature content " for the show theme. While I agree with you that there was not much " controversy " regarding either the Crossmen or the Blue Stars show themes from last season... however, using the OP's personal defintion of controversy as one that primarily has a theme with " mature content ", I'd say a theme revolving a subject matter of voodoo certainly seems to fall into the " mature content " realm... at least to me, anyway. I agree to with you however that its unclear as to what he's driving at here for consideration for our consideration for discussion.

Edited by BRASSO

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The original narration in 2008 Cadets' Pursuit of Happiness centered around breast cancer, which I believe was eventually changed because of controversy surrounding the theme. I also recall some folks having issues with one of the Blue Stars' guard soloist's uniforms in 2011.

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I think there's been more controversy in WGI than DCI. Fantasia's 2012 show "A Good German" comes to mind. It had one particularly jolting part rewritten before finals and if I remember correctly, they asked that their show not be part of the online Championship broadcast.

I don't think a drum corps would ever touch material like that.

2012 Pride of Cincinnati's "Preaching to the Choir" also had subject matter I don't think a corps would do. It was a beautiful show built around the question regarding the existence of God. If a corps were to do something similar, this forum would light up like a Christmas tree.

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I don't know if Phantom's 2008 show was controversial to anyone but me. Regardless, I found the explicit and even gleeful depictions of violence, torture and killing gratuitous, and far in excess of what was needed to convey the spirit of the music.

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I think there's been more controversy in WGI than DCI. Fantasia's 2012 show "A Good German" comes to mind. It had one particularly jolting part rewritten before finals and if I remember correctly, they asked that their show not be part of the online Championship broadcast.

I don't remember if they rewrote it, but I do remember the controversy involving the online broadcast. I think WGI asked them to rewrite their show, but they chose not to, and just weren't shown. Amazingly powerful show, but yes, extremely jarring and really hits the soul hard.

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