standing o

I think the meaning of the standing ovation has been lost somewhere along the way, or it might just be that in Ottawa people don’t get it. That sounds pretty pretentious, but I can’t remember the last performance of any kind in Ottawa where people didn’t stand and applaud at the end. I like the tradition of the standing ovation, but think it should be used sparingly. Otherwise, it’s just another form of clapping and a way to stretch your legs 3 minutes earlier than you would normally.

I went with the Wed night crowd to see Cirqe du Soleil’s Quidam show here in Ottawa. It was fun: colorful and creative with a good variety of acts that blended together well. The technical production values were excellent, and the live music and lighting which accompanied the performers was really well done.

So well done that the choreography seemed to trump the performance itself, as the show seemed a little too routine for me. It is, however, close to the end of the run here, so familiarity and routine is understandable. The parts I enjoyed the most were the parts that introduced a little randomness: the “clown” scenes with audience participation. Exceptionally funny, and all of the members of the audience who went up on stage got right into it.

Where I’m going with this is that the performance was very enjoyable, but it wasn’t exceptional. The show was certainly worth the price of admission, but I wasn’t blown away.

When the performers came out to take their bow, everyone stayed in their seats. After 10 seconds or so, a couple small groups stood up, and the cascade effect took over. You could see a number of folks looking left and right to see how many other people were standing, quickly followed by that “Oh, all right.” or “Oh, I guess I should stand, too.” look. I ended up standing after realising everyone else was going to, because I wanted to see the performers without the costumes and lighting that obscured them.

It was more lemmings at play than anything else. It wasn’t a “Standing O” calibre performance, and I’m kind of sorry to see how that particular form of compliment has become part of the applause instead of the special tip of the hat to an extraorindary performance. Still, I was entertained, and I really shouldn’t complain.

2 thoughts on “standing o

  1. Ha, my dad would really agree with your standing ovation comments above. It drives him crazy. And not because he wants to be stingy in his appreciation; more because he feels it keeps nothing back to give when there truly is an outstanding performance.

  2. Your dad and I would be on exactly the same page then. 🙂 There was incredible talent on stage, but it definitely wasn’t used to its full potential, and that showed. Yet everyone showered them with applause. I don’t think I’m stingy or jaded either, but maybe it’s because I’ve been lucky enough to see a wide variety of shows that I have a different idea of “good” and “great”. There I go sounding all pretentious again, but that’s not the intent.

    Ah well. It was worth the $90, if that’s really possible, so I should leave it at that. 🙂

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