free page hit counter

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Stand up and praise them

I shouldn't be posting because I don't have much to say, but the Vietnamese coffee I had an hour ago is preventing me from falling asleep. So, I may as well ask you all about something that's been bothering me since Wednesday night: what's the deal with standing ovations?

Two nights ago, I went a TSO concert at the Roy Thompson. The music was great, the seats were amazing, and the conductor was possibly one of the most engaging I've ever seen. In all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. So what's the problem, you ask? Well, at the end of the concert I noticed that many people in the audience stood up to give a standing ovation to the performers. Now, here's what I don't get: does giving a standing ovation to someone imply that you have just witnessed the best performance ever? Because at the age of 22, having seen no more than 20 concerts, I am frankly not ready to dish out that kind of compliment to anyone.

In the end, I had to get up and clap with the rest of the standing, praising audience because I noticed that only those who were infirm or nonambulatory remained seated. Personally, I felt I was forced to pay the greatest compliment to what was possibly not the greatest performance. What are your thoughts on the standing ovation? Let me hear it.

Your Favorite Jerk


At Saturday, March 05, 2005 10:56:00 AM, Blogger eviljelly said...

A standing ovation no longer means that the performance was the best you've ever witnessed, but, rather, that a few people in the crowd have elected to give a standing ovation, thereby forcing those around them to join in.

I wonder where we can go now that standing ovations are almost worthless. Maybe backflips down the aisles or something.

At Saturday, March 05, 2005 12:27:00 PM, Blogger arts_guy said...

I'm going to agree with Mr. Jelly (Mr. Evil? Mr. Eviljelly?). Also add that the reason why people give standing O's now is because they want to feel like they're getting their money's worth when they go see a show.

Interestingly classical music has really become something reserved for middle and upper class audiences with all the normative behaviours implied in being a member of these classes. Also classical music is considered high art now, again more normative behaviours.

So gone are the days when audiences would jeer, ask for parts to be played again and rioted when something pissed them off.

At Saturday, March 05, 2005 11:27:00 PM, Blogger Reformed Jerk said...

To eviljelly: now that the tyranny of the few has robbed me of my ultimate praise mechanism, I see no alternative except to adopt self-immolation as the new standing ovation. The benefit of self-immolation is that, if done right, your small personal demonstration of appreciation can spread like wild fire, if you will, among the audience.

To arts_guy: since when did the middleclass give up its right to jeer, demand, and riot? Have you ever seen people fight for the comfy seats at Starbucks? Nothing says middleclass normative behaviour like getting a face full of soy latte, extra hot in the morning.

At Sunday, March 13, 2005 3:31:00 AM, Blogger Flami said...

After seeing your post, I was curious. So I asked these people.


Post a Comment

<< Home