Saturday 2 August 2008

All Choirs Standing

The bane of reality television

The genre of reality television has had me reaching for the sick bag many a time as intrigue, spontaneity and imagination which comes from professional craft is lost to the dregs and rawness of the everyday person with warts and all.

What would normally be spared us for the reason of it happening behind closed doors no matter how disgusting is revealed for public viewing that one is praying before watching two minutes of the show that certain representations of the human race become extinct post haste.

The one that really has you wishing the cast belong to the long extinct dinosaurs can only be the Big Brother [1] genre that takes voyeurism to another level well beneath contempt.

The cry of the banshee

The caterwauls that portend to determine good musical talent in the various transmogrifications of musical performance are as subjective as they come – where a whole range of has-beens are given new limelight to shine as judges.

The idle public who need more excitement in their lives get fleeced of millions as they phone in to premium lines thinking they are in some participatory exercise of community think to the end that something gets crowned as the best of barely talented lot that has percolated to the top.

One can sympathise because the compelling television viewing allows from nastiness to be expressed as a form of mentoring and encouragement, if you did not have thicker skin than a hippopotamus after running the gauntlet of a reality show, you have no hope in this world – nada.

Come dance with me

Out of this morass of nonentity seeking adulation has come some rather inspiring work in this reality genre as Strictly Come Dancing [2] where left-legged and flat-footed celebrities are paired up with professional dancers to create really good entertainment.

Through the weeks you see the celebrities become so fancy-footed, watching their performance has you doing either a Fred Astaire [3] or Ginger Rogers [4] in your day-dreaming before your are jolted out of the mesmerism but a rather unkind comment by a judge.

So recently on television there has been this new entertainment thing called Last Choir Standing [5], obviously a pun on last man standing – here, choirs gather to sing impressing a number of judges who seem to be contemporary, knowing their trade and giving a bit of insight into what tone deaf people like me would never pick up.

Singing their hearts out

Having watched two episodes, I have been drawn into the humanity and human expression that comes out of singing together with all sorts of conservative to daring arrangements.

By now, I know that I should have to hand a box of tissues as sometimes, a tear or two roll down my cheeks in empathy – I have found each personal story and consequent performance a realisation of what makes us amazing human beings and gives one hope about the creativity of man that makes them the most unique being that has ever inhabited the universe, as we know it.

The Open Arts Community Choir [6] stole my heart and made me cry as I saw beyond the frailty and disability to people who could do whatever they were determined to do regardless of what others might think about them and excel.

Imagine a choir where the tenors were ladies and that does not begin to express the raw emotion of their rendition of Something inside so strong [7].

In all, even out of deprecating expression masquerading entertainment, there are gems, I commend with all fullness of encouragement and admiration – All Choirs Standing.

[1] Big Brother (TV series) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[2] BBC - Strictly Come Dancing – Homepage

[3] Fred Astaire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[4] Ginger Rogers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[5] BBC - Last Choir Standing – Homepage

[6] BBC - Last Choir Standing - The Choirs - Open Arts Community Choir Profile

[7] Labi Siffre - Something Inside So Strong [Nelson Mandela/Racism theme] - YouTube

Open Arts homepage

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