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It’s OK to admit your favorite corps isn’t perfect

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Let’s normalize having critical thoughts of our favorite corps. I want people to see that while I love BD and think that they were clearly the best last night, I can admit their (relative) design flaws.


The drill on side 1 during the brass introduction feels a lot like filler to me. The flags on side 1 stay still and motionless before the first big impact, which felt unnecessary and a little stale. 


During the first big impact, the placement of the flags on side 1 are great, but the random flags throughout the rest of the field feel out of place. They try to balance the weight in a symmetrical form by placing the battery on side 2, but it just feels a bit wonky. I like the unwinding of the hornline at the bottom of the forms, but the two that meet briefly are integrated back into the form so strangely. It was a cool idea, but I don’t think it worked out how they’d hoped. 


The winding follow the leader after the high brass moment could be stronger. It’s a good idea to display these skills, but it didn’t feel organic and appeared to be missing something. The hold during those difficult brass runs had little to watch on the field, other than stationary guard doing work in a ripple. It wasn’t terrible, just felt a little basic for such a strong visual program.


Well, as I watch through the ballad and Tank, I don’t have much to say. I think these are their two strongest moments and someone smarter than me would have to critique.


Moving into the final movement, the “I spread my wings” voiceover just feels a little bit unearned, as if they’ve taken us through some huge transition through the show. I love this show, but it didn’t carry that emotional weight that the voiceover needed, IMO.


As they turn and face front, I start by loving the music and being ok with the drill. About halfway through, as the drill begins condensing, I begin to love the visual, but the music doesn’t match the visual weight they’ve written.


Some other general comments… their color guard approach needs some change if they’re going to remain competitive, specifically with rifle and flag. I think BD has the best dancers and sabers out there, but the rifle tossing by BAC and Crown is a huge difference for these groups. They’ll need to be as ambitious with the rifle writing is as their sabers. As for flag, BD ballads showcase flag better than any other corps year in and out. Spectacular writing that flows so well with the music! However, they miss out on mass flag moments that BAC and Crown have during intense moments. It would be a great addition to their vocabulary. Additionally, having a show about a color is hard, as the visual palate becomes a bit monotone. They did as good of a job as they could’ve giving visual variety and using different shades of blue, but it still held back the production a little.


I didn’t touch much on the music. Some argue that their music is disjointed. I see what they mean, but I feel like they use a great variety of repertoire and transition well throughout the show. Crown will play great rep for 1/4 of the show, pause, then transition to the next 1/4. BD transitions throughout movements, which might not be your style, but I love it. And the argument I will always make for BD…. If you took each corps to a concert hall and had them perform their production, who would be most successful? I truly believe BD is the most musical group out there. Other corps play spectacularly, but their shows are much more loud moment synched up to a doctor beat kinda thing. Enjoying other corps music more is always ok, but I don’t think another corps plays as musically as BD.


All of this being said, I could write novels more on all of the greatness in this BD production. The kids and designers were incredible, as are all corps. There’s no point in me doing a write up for every corps, because the point isn’t to be negative. I just want other forum members to know I see some things that they see and it’s ok to acknowledge some faults. Every corps has them. Where it becomes not okay is when you begin to weaponize your comments to hurt others.


Anywho, I hope you enjoy reading this! It was a fantastic year for all!

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Amen. No corps is perfect, no staff is perfect, no MM is perfect. 

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