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Everything posted by NakedEye

  1. Possibly the biggest surprise in Cadets' announcement is that the Artistic Director is unchanged. Undoubtedly there will be a lot of technical/arrangement improvement from the returning "greatest hits" staff, but let's just hope the ideas that the whole program will be based around turn out to be more sound than what was on display in 'Behold!' 😬
  2. Did you even watch BD's show? They have TONS of individualized movement where each member does their own thing. Even the removing of the jackets/shakos was choreographed with them each doing it differently as their own unique characters.
  3. I couldn't disagree with this more. To me, this was their strongest overall package since 2014. It was an extremely lean and purposeful show, with no extra fat in it. Everything had a reason and it all moved - quickly - from scene to scene. What they did visually will move the needle and others will be trying to emulate it. Prop usage was impeccable. It was interesting, had great transitions, humor, and the dance fluidity and upper body expressiveness/shaping/energy transitions demonstrated by the hornline outdid half of the color guards in the top 12. For all its strengths, 2017 was a rather clunky design overall, with pieces shoved together, and even the mighty 2014 production starts to look like the Stone Age compared to '19. A fun, engaging, modern show and a way forward that used elements of the compressed arena style brought by SCV last year, but didn't throw away the big visuals and high velocity that outdoor audiences love.
  4. Ah looks like they got Ford Field in Detroit instead for their customary NFL stadium rehearsal day on the way to Indy.
  5. In addition to what you listed, I think their method of essentially writing the visual show as they go along must contribute as well. That approach has grown exponentially the past few years and it probably takes until a certain point in the season for it to be nailed down enough to free up more time in the blocks to laser focus on performance issues. You can see it with the guard too. They used to be stronger out of the gate, but in recent seasons they have been more ragged until about the last third, when their precision suddenly improves dramatically.
  6. They don't usually do it until their rehearsal time in Buffalo ( I assume they do that again this year?) Yeah they have to turn out the light and right now the horns/drums all rush to the left and the guard moves to the right, and there is that whole runway for something magical to happen..
  7. Despite the misinterpretation by some, you raised valid questions that I have been wondering about as well. Bluecoats' achievement HAS been outscoring their content with some frequency in a few captions, at least since Texas, and that is a bit unusual a few weeks out, so what are the judges saying? I never understand the Analysis captions, in either visual or music (and frankly didn't even when I was teaching). They always seem to be "a little bit of this and maybe some of that," So since MA has been a consistent anchor on BD's scores, what is that targeting? They don't like the music? They think the performance of brass and drums both is not cutting it? The individual brass scores have been up and down, but the drums are consistently good, so how does that factor into Analysis? I'm lost on what they are looking to be improved/edited. It seems like Finals Week will be the Wild West with the kingmakers being the 3rd-5th placing corps. Everything depends on how many fractions of a point in blood they siphon off from the top 2 in various areas, with the one least damaged by the vampires getting the prize.
  8. I know dance classes of some sort are now strongly recommended and they specifically look for musicians with stellar movement abilities. The stuff they are doing this year is a huge step up from the body work they (or anyone) has done in the past. It really is legitimate dance stuff.
  9. Well someone did a really creepy version of The Shining last year (Oregon Crusaders?) and then promptly folded after, so careful what you wish for....πŸ˜‚
  10. There is a huge opportunity right now for someone to reinvent how music is depicted visually. Most are doing a bunch of over-layered mess that occasionally lines up with musical points of emphasis. That goes for color guard as well as drill staging, as it's evolved into a technique spectacle that on rare occasions reflects musical moods and phrasing. The Zingali drills really DID look like the music, and enhanced what you were hearing by the way their flow was so well matched to the phrasing, tempos and changes of feel. Don't go back to that, but come up with a new approach that cuts through the clutter.
  11. Mary Poppins was GREAT, and that's coming from someone who looks for an insulin shot every time I am subjected to anything Poppins. It was a charming and refreshing show with tons of personality, as was Drum Corpse Bride. Since then, they've blandifed everything and are getting lost in the shuffle again.
  12. I think most people had the same reaction when reading that, and the first word that came to mind was not "behold."
  13. Less to do with him personally than the consistency and routine that he represented. All the winter work was done with the routine in place that had existed for decades. Even when he was removed and some parts of the show had to be reworked, the inertia of the way of doing things kept things moving forward. This year, rather than start with the consistent approach and begin tweaking it, the choice was made to throw out bathwater and baby and attempt to reinvent everything at once. The result: an epic mess and both design and performance confusion. If you attempt to turn an ocean liner that sharply, you are bound to capsize. At least the pain is going to be so severe that all concerned may be shocked into planning better in the future.
  14. I don't think black would work because of the black pants on the corps, and they are on them later in the show a lot, but I agree there needs to be more contrast between the walls and the guard. Even a stronger choice of silk colors would help, as the silks are mostly light or with prominent light areas, or contain similar colors to the walls. This tends to be Chandler's achilles's heel. Something similar happened in 2016 where the guard went to all that trouble to spin flags with their hands stuck through the props, but the busy silks on top of the busy prop covers made it all hard to see. One thing Bluecoats have been flawless on the past few years is color design. Their choices are ON POINT. Great contrasts/impacts/mood.
  15. Its a #### good apple and a #### good orange, so I'm fine having delicious fruit salad for the next three weeks.
  16. The only way to fix it is to cover your eyes and pretend it isn't happening...
  17. They just took those out last night because of the high winds. It's a really dangerous blind toss where they throw them over the flats without being able to see them until the doors open. There was a major issue at a previous windy show where the rifles were all blown backwards and went careening off the open doors in all directions. Fortunately no one was injured and it seems they have cooked up a "soft" opening to use when conditions don't allow for the real thing.
  18. Was it ever really her in the first place? She has some rather distinctive pronunciations (especially woooo-rrrrld) and from the beginning of the season I couldn't quite pick that out and thought it might have been a cover version. In the BD360 snip, the actual voice is perhaps just easier to hear clearly than it has been in show videos up to this point.
  19. This is not why they are both struggling. They are both struggling because its virtually impossible to clearly communicate whatever "message" is trying to be sent within the context of a drum corps show. That's why most steer clear of the attempt. The format just doesn't support it. It's great for getting across musical excitement and emotion, and visual fireworks, but deep meaning? Almost never works. There is too much going on on the field and with a stadium-sized audience it is extremely difficult to create a clearly realized focal point. Cadets were actually one of the few to ever pull it off with the Copland "Letter from Home" section in 1991. They painted that so simply and brilliantly that the vast majority understood the brief story of the short kid bullied and left out of the baseball game who just wants to be part of the group. He's about to give up when the girl runs over and boosts his confidence. A universal moment that was a master class in communication. So that was one success nearly 30 years ago... SCV and BAC? Miss Saigon and Les Miserables were both widely-recognized stage shows that a lot already knew about. Spartacus? Someone got stabbed and people cheered. Audiences like stabbing. πŸ˜‚
  20. Ah, the infamous Denton wind. I had many an eventful day attempting to navigate the campus while carrying an art portfolio when it was in full force. πŸ˜‚
  21. What I love about those props is they are so "form follows function." They are completely USED, as flats, doors, slides/slopes and platforms, and then multiple different ways while in each of those positions. Just minimal decoration and complete flexibility and practicality. The simplicity provides a great staging tool, but keeps all the focus on the performers. It reminds me of the musical, "Come From Away," which I saw recently: all they use is an assortment of mismatched chairs and tables to create multiple different locations and environments from airplanes, to living rooms, to busses, but you knew exactly what they were supposed to be, thanks to the strength of the presentation.
  22. Incorrect. Blue Stars' construction tarps were all but invisible in Lucas last year and whatever big one Crossmen used in a previous year was a blinding mess of white glare. Until the vendors develop a matte coating of some sort, these things are never going to work as intended.
  23. I'm continuously baffled by why the massive reflective glare on these (and all) tarps doesn't ever seem to bother the designers. No matter what color or design is printed on them, at least a third of it always gets wiped out by a blinding white flash. How is that effective design? You have to pretend like it isn't happening? They can work in smaller indoor environments with different lighting and viewing angle conditions, but outdoors (or in a domed stadium)? Yeeesh.