Monday, February 22, 2010

In Kerr of Linkin Park

Probably like many Americans, I never really got why ice dancing existed.  It wasn't quite dance and it wasn't quite figure skating, and there was already a pairs category.  That all changed when I watched, as an adult, a rerun of the Bolero dance in Sarajevo that won gold. It was utterly mesmerising.  I remember stopping what I was doing, pulled into the routine, and just staring stunned. I have since bought Bolero on CD (it was after napster, pre iTunes) but it was the ice dance that made it for me. I'm good with the existence of ice dance for all time, just because that dance occurred.

Because of that, I didn't immediately turn away from the ice dancing and damned if it isn't really entertaining this year.  I particularly appreciated the couples who made the compulsory Tango look like I hadn't already watched it 5 times.  The commentators have been mostly pretty good at explaining what is going on and how they're being judged, although there's still some fair haze there,  I can see differences between ok and excellent.  But I got tweaked when the female commentator made a clearly negative comment about brother sister pair Sinead and John Kerr when pointing out that her height matching his made the scale seem off or odd or summat along those lines just when I was thinking how interesting it was to watch a woman who wasn't a micro-mini deal with the intricacies of pairs.  Way to discourage half a generation of taller than ever girls from wanting to embrace their height and still do something athletic but still feminine...  But that was the worst misstep in reporting that I saw through the compulsory, the "pick a national/regional inspiration" short skate, and the free skate up to now.

The height aside, the Kerrs are also excellent at dancing with enthusiasm and art but without displaying sexual attraction.  There's all kinds of opportunities for including sexuality in dance, even accidentally, but I think it can also be the easy, the obvious way to go in man/woman pairing where people skate close togogether and in unison.  Their brother/sister paring would make it freakish to watch that so they don't go there, in fact going to lengths to exclude it from their routines. I think it means they need to be more creative in how they relate to each other, having fewer examples to work from. Having the same height also means they have opportunities for her to lift him, and they took advantage - doing interesting and entertaining lifts.  I really enjoyed watching all their routines.  The hoe-down was fun and and their costuming looked authentic, unlike the other non-american couple doing the country thing. I admit to being impressed that they were able to "olympicize" some Linkin Park for their free dance music without destroying it. Even with the twizzle bauble, Well played.

The other couple I particularly like are the french couple, Delobel and Schoenfelder.  They're just beautiful on the ice. I do wish they hadn't gone with unrelieved black for the free dance.  Wait!  Silver sparkle is relieving the black but it's their least compelling routine and costume set of the three.  Still, I liked their Tango and she had a baby in October, FCOL.

And I haven't seen Meryl Davis (usa skater with White) without makeup but she is one odd looking duck. Stunning but odd.  Kind of asian, kind of indian, kind of porcelain.(I peeked at the scores and they've won silver.  Whee!) Oh, hey, they're showing pictures of them as kids and she looks less bizarre.  But I think it's a little "toddlers in tiaras" freaky to see them doing ice dance as 6 or 8 year olds or what have you.  That mock-adult makeup and the whole 6 year olds pair dancing seriously creeps me out.  I guess I figured that figure skating all started the same and differentiated a little later than that very young age, and despite my admiration for the Kerr's ability to keep sex out of the dance, I find the whole concept of premie ice dancing inappropriate.  Still and all, they've succeeded well at it.  And I think she's right to exaggerate her features for theatrical effect.

So I'm still not sure why ice dancing is an olympic sport, but I think it's more of one than sledding, which has multiple categories, so it's all good.  It certainly demands years of expertise in that specific practice unlike sledding which demands being physically fit and access to and ice track, a need for speed, and a coupla years of specific study.

Nothing earth shattering to say. Now that my two favorites have skated, I'm going to go back to installing hooks and whatnot inside my corner cabinet to hang up pot lids and strainers for easy access. Let me know when they start running some F/F or M/M dancers.

1 comment:

Junior and Orion said...

Meowm says "Ha! M/M F/F dancers/skaters in the Olympics? Doubt this will happen....well anytime soon anyway."