Cyclorama

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Cyclorama

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:53 pm

• cyclorama •


Pronunciation: sai-klê-rah-mê • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A 360° panorama on a large cylindrical surface such that spectators can move about to view it. 2. A large piece of material forming an arc on a stage set forming the background of a scene.

Notes: A panorama is any wide, unbroken view of an area. A cyclorama is a breathtaking panorama that extends completely around visitors standing inside a cylindrical room. The adjective is cycloramic and the adverb, cycloramically.

In Play: The Gettysburg Cyclorama oil painting, along with light and sound effects, immerses visitors in the fury of Pickett's Charge during the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Battle of Borodino between French and Russian forces is the scene depicted on a 360° canvas painted by Franz Roubaud, completed in 1912.

Word History: Today's Good Word consists of two constituents: cycl(e) + orama. Cycle was borrowed from Greek kyklos "circle, wheel" which came from PIE kwel-/kwol- "to revolve, circle around". This root came to English as wheel, via Old English hweol. English collar, something that encircles the neck, was borrowed from Old French colier, inherited from Latin collare "a band worn around the neck, collar". This word was derived from collum "neck", based on the O-grade of kwel-/kwol-. Bulgarian, Serbian and Romanian created kolo "round dance" from it. Orama was borrowed from Greek horama "spectacle, vision", the noun from horan "to look, see". It comes from PIE wer- "to perceive, watch out for", which also made its way to English wary.
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Re: Cyclorama

Postby bnjtokyo » Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:14 pm

The only cyclorama of this sort that I have had the pleasure of visiting is the Raclawice Panorama in Wroclaw, Poland
The Racławice Panorama is a monumental cycloramic painting depicting the Battle of Racławice, during the Kościuszko Uprising. It is located in Wrocław, Poland. The painting is one of only a few preserved relics of a genre of 19th-century mass culture, and the oldest in Poland. The panorama stands in a circular fashion and, with the viewer in the center, presents different scenes at various viewing angles. A special kind of perspective used in the painting and additional effects create a feeling of reality. --from Wikipedia

I have done cycloramas of a different sort as well, such as the circumcyclation of Hokkaido, Japan. That took a month.

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Re: Cyclorama

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:47 pm

So, what is a circumcyclation? No dictionary contains this word and it occurs on only one page of a Google search. The author assumes his readers will know it.
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Re: Cyclorama

Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:05 am

Circumcyclation is a neologism coined by me based on circumnavigation and circumambulation. It constructed from "circum-" around, "cycle" travel by bicycle, and "-ation" a suffix denoting an action or process. So a "circumcyclation of Hokkaido" would denote the action or process (in this comprising a month) of riding a bicycle around the approximate circumference of Hokkaido.

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Re: Cyclorama

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:52 am

Love it! It works and is consistent with all other words of this type. I think I'll run it as a Good Word.
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Re: Cyclorama

Postby George Kovac » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:07 am

One of the most creative extensions of the concept of a cyclorama is Monet's water lily installation in Musee de l'Orangerie. It consists of two oval galleries on which large scale paintings surround the viewer. The effect is both spectacular and peaceful at the same time, even if you are jaded to the overexposure of Monet's water lilies in popular culture.

When I visited the installation, I spent a long time quietly sitting on a bench in the center of the ellipse, letting the oversize images wash over me, which, no doubt was the artist's intent.

Not every museum visitor is the same. My reverie was interrupted by another visitor--apparently a tourist with a checklist--who took out her cell phone, set its camera to "video," aimed the go stick at the wall, walked briskly around the oval, and then left in 90 seconds. Presumably on the plane ride home, or while chatting with friends on her return, she watched the video on her tiny phone screen.

That visitor's experience was quite different than mine. Presumably we each got the enjoyment we sought. But, IMHO (in my hauter opinion--this incident happened in a Paris museum after all), I think the goal of a cyclorama, whether its subject matter is history, art or the majesty of nature, is to immerse the viewer in the subject without distraction.
"The messy layers of human experience get pulled together, and sometimes ordered, by words." Colum McCann, But Always Meeting Ourselves, NYT 6/15/09

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Re: Cyclorama

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:22 pm

The one in Gettysburg, PA is really neat too.
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Re: Cyclorama

Postby George Kovac » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:44 pm

Luke, I agree, the Gettysburg cyclorama is terrific. When I lived in Washington DC long ago, my young sons and I visited several Civil War sites. The Gettysburg cyclorama made the dynamics of that battle comprehensible.

I think the appeal of a cyclorama is that it is a 19th—early 20th century precursor to large format movies (cinerama, CinemaScope, I-max) and today’s VR devices. In all examples, the viewer is totally immersed in the experience.
"The messy layers of human experience get pulled together, and sometimes ordered, by words." Colum McCann, But Always Meeting Ourselves, NYT 6/15/09

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Re: Cyclorama

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:10 pm

How I remember Cinerama.
Your thoughts appreciated, and memories
revived. thanks.
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Re: Cyclorama

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:09 am

I saw the Cyclorama in Atlanta, Georgia many years ago. It depicts the Civil War Battle of Atlanta. I think it is being refurbished and moved now. When it opens again, I recommend it. Wait until the pandemic is over.
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Re: Cyclorama

Postby David Myer » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:59 am

George,

To your hauteur opinion, I offer my deep respect. Would not the world be a sweeter place if it were without some people? Then again, I expect there are many who would find it sweeter without me. Let's celebrate diversity of taste as well as people.

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Re: Cyclorama

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:59 pm

I'm making more of these mistakes than I used to--a sign of old age, I guess. My abject apologies, Brian; you, too, George. I misread the discussion. I am making the correction right now. Thanks to all of you who caught this.
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Re: Cyclorama

Postby David Myer » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:45 am

Relax, Dr Goodword! Pedants such as we are always delighted to find the odd mistake in other people's work. Apart from anything else, it sort of vindicates our own mistakes.


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