Ice dancing has become my favorite type of figure skating to watch for two reasons. First, I don’t have to watch skaters attempting jumps and falling on their butts as they do in singles and pairs competitions. Second, ice dancing seems to involve more artistic creativity than some of the other disciplines. The skaters go to great effort not only to pick appropriate music but also to create a story. In this year’s Olympic competition, I was struck by three ice dancing couples’ daring choice of music – Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and Sinead and John Kerr.
Before I go any further, I want to take a moment to say how much NBC sucks. I would very much have liked to embed video of each of these ice dance routines on my website, but NBC doesn’t allow it. Thanks, guys! So if you want to see the videos, you’ll have to click on the links that I’ll include below. In addition, unlike the other networks, NBC does not show the title of the music on the screen during the broadcast. It would be nice to know the names of the pieces without having to dig all over NBC’s website to find the info.
Canadian gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir skated their free program to the Adagio movement from Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler. This symphony has a special place in my heart because I got to play it in high school, in my youth orchestra. I’ve always loved the beautiful Adagio movement, which Mahler wrote as a love poem to his wife. I thought it was daring of Virtue and Moir to choose this piece because the movement is slow and lyrical, and they had to maintain one consistent emotion throughout their entire routine.
American silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White did a wonderful original dance program to three Indian folk dances -“Kajra Re” by Shankar-Ehseen-Loy, “Slislla Ye Chaahat Ka” by Sameer, and “Nusret Badr, Dola Re Dola” by Sameer. Here’s a little background info from NBC’s website about the music:
Davis and White’s original dance depicts an Indian wedding ceremony and is set to a selection of Indian songs, chosen with the input of a traditional Indian dancer. The idea came from one of their coaches, Marina Zoueva, who spotted a scarf in a Hermes cataglog with an Indian-themed design and immediately thought of Davis. In order to maintain the authenticity of the dance, Davis and White took Indian dance lessons. Davis’ costume is crafted out of authentic Indian fabric, chosen by Davis and her mother. When she saw the finished product, Zoueva said to herself, “I am genius!” She was correct. A video of the dance has gone viral on YouTube, with just one version garnering almost 250,000 page views – many from India.
This was my favorite ice dancing routine of all. Their movements were beautiful and intricate.
The tenth place British team, Sinead and John Kerr , made the riskiest music choice of the entire competition, by skating to a remix of hard rock band Linkin Park’s “Crawling”, entitled “Krwling”. While watching some of the other skating competitions, Contrapuntist and I had thought it would be cool if one of the skaters would perform to a heavy metal song. This is the closest any skater has come so far (during an Olympic event, anyway), and I think it was fantastic. The routine perfectly fit the music, and I was blown away when Sinead lifted John. That’s one strong lady!