Monday, October 25, 2010

Debriefing on Ice Dancing


(Pictured: 2006 Olympic silver medalists, USA's Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto)

My previous posts were kind of introductory posts for my blog under no category in particular, except that both skaters, and both routines, are brilliant!!! This week I'm going to have all the posts fall under a theme. I already have lots of ideas for themed content in the future, but sometimes I will take a break from that format and just post random videos that are worth watching.

This week's theme is the wonderful world of ice dancing. For those not familiar with ice dance, it is a discipline that some say, is a completely "different animal" than the other 3 disciplines of figure skating (men's and women's singles, and pairs skating). Ice dancing, as its name indicates, draws from the world of ballroom dance, however, it has come a long way from its traditional ballroom roots. Its styles can range from classical to contemporary to futuristic to avante garde and to just plain weird!

Ice dancing draws inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. Anyone who watched the most recent Olympic ice dance competition on TV in February may have an idea of what I mean. The musical selections ranged from Phantom of the Opera, to religious music, to Lincoln Park, to Aboriginal music.

The costumes are always...interesting. At the Olympics we saw costumes range from simple, flowing dresses, to feathered headpieces, to weeds covering the body and "growing out of the skates" (from the Aboriginal routine), to ropes/cords wrapped around the waistline to controversially assist with rotational lifts. Some illustrations are necessary:

Throughout the Olympics competition, 2009 World Champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin from Russia, wore a variety of controversial costumes, except for their Compulsory Dance costumes (where Domnina wears the red dress), which were classy and sophisticated. Incidentally, the portion of the competition in which they dressed the best was also the portion they won. It really had less to do with their costumes than it did their stellar compulsory skating, but still, maybe if they had looked the part in the other portions of the competition...Anyway, in the last set of photos, note the cords/ropes around Oksana's waist that Max used to assist lifts.

I think that's enough preface about ice dancing for now. More on that later.

Most of the routines that I'm highlighting this week are going to be dramatic, passionate, and always entertaining and spectacular. There are so many routines to choose from, but I'm going to post the ones that have been favorites of mine over the years and have left lasting impressions. Let me know what you think of my selections!

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