Now that the party's over: our top 10 picks from the Cultural Olympiad

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      Six hundred shows in six weeks: it's hard to believe it's over. But now that the spotlights have dimmed and life is getting back to normal, let's look back at some of the shows we won't forget.

      Kronos Quartet with Tanya Tagaq: Tundra Songs lifted the sounds of the polar ice into a musical masterpiece.

      LunarFest: who didn't stop to marvel at the artful installations and 2,000 lanterns hung on a normally dismal cement block of downtown Granville Street?

      Michael Lin's A Modest Veil: The artist's huge, hand-painted pink-flowery mural on the exterior of the VAG became one of the iconic landmarks of the Games.

      Hive 3: innovative, grassroots, indie theatre served up-close-and-personal.

      Joni Mitchell's The Fiddle and the Drum, by the Alberta Ballet: simply thrilling, world-class ballet with deeper messages about our planet.

      Phoenix with You Say Party! We Say Die! at the Orpheum: the crowd stormed the stage.

      Nixon in China: the Vancouver Opera puts a bold new stamp on a 20th Century opera, and Tricky Dick cuts a rug.

      Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan: Mesmerizing dance on a watery stage.

      White Cabin (at the PuSh festival): a surreal, macabre clown show where bubble gum, candles, and baguettes make stage magic.

      The Candahar Bar: what's not to like about an art installation that allows you to walk right into a Belfast bar and order up a pint?

      And let's not forget some of the better art from the city's Olympic and Paralympic public art program:

      Bright Light: umbrellas over alleyways, SAD-fighting light bars, and Downtown Eastside galleries animated by videos and tea parties.

      Vectoral Elevation: a chance for Vancouverites to design their own patterns in the night sky.



      Trish McGrath

      Mar 23, 2010 at 5:16pm

      Having feasted on as much arts and culture as I could possibly manage during the AMAZING Cultural Olympiad, I wholeheartedly agree with many of the inclusions on your list, especially Kronos and Tanya Tagaq, Cloud Gate, Michael Lin's wrapping of the VAG, and of course The Candahar Bar (!!) - but I simply must advocate for one more.

      Hometown hero (until we lost her to the more supportive Frankfurt) Crystal Pite/Kidd Pivot's Dark Matter. My friend and I were left gasping in exhileration and surprise at the intermission; utterly transfixed and moved beyond words by the end. Sitting behind us, the older gentleman got it exactly right when he wide-eyed remarked to his companions, "Looks like the kids really ARE all right." Stunning.

      Janet Smith

      Mar 23, 2010 at 6:46pm

      Definitely: let's make this a top 11 list. The cataclysmic surprise of Dark Matter's first half ranked as one of the Cultural Olympiad's single most exhilarating moments.

      Dance House Fan

      Mar 23, 2010 at 9:49pm

      I whole heartedly agree with Janet and Trish, Dark Matter was absolutely enthralling... (Not even just the first half but the second half as well!) As a 17 year old teenager interested in dance, stage production and artistic direction. It was extremely inspiring and my mouth was dropped in awe and by intermission I had shivers and couldn't move from my seat for 5 minutes haha. Thank you Dance House for bringing us Kidd Pivot (and Batsheva too!)

      stock boy

      Mar 24, 2010 at 3:00am

      glad its over dont send me the bill i only make 8 dollars a hr