Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paul Wylie's "Schindler's List" program. Opening selection by by Itzhak Perlman

There is only one word to describe this program: Masterful.

Paul Wylie is another skater that shows that number of titles does not define you as a skater. Paul never won a U.S. title or any medals at the world championships, but he had the competition of his life at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, winning the silver medal behind Victor Petrenko of the USSR. Many felt that Paul deserved gold.

After his retirement, Paul, always known for his musicality and beautiful choreography, continued to dazzle audiences for years throughout this professional career with his spectacular interpretive programs. Someone posted on You Tube that "his art pours into souls."

Paul's programs always tell a story. They are always dramatic and lyrical,passionate, and dynamic. In the future, I will devote a week to showcasing incredible Paul Wylie performances.

Paul skated this "Schindler's List" program from roughly 1993-95, and it remains one of his signature pieces. The words "Never Again" are written in Hebrew on the back of his vest.

Paul is also a graduate of Harvard, and now coaches and commentates. He's a wonderfully articulate and insightful commentator. I actually ran into him, almost literally, at the Liberty Summer Competition in Aston, PA, in July. My sister and I had just arrived to watch the skating. We walked into the arena and to our surprise, Paul was the first person we saw. He quickly walked past us on his way to the lobby. I am not sure what he was doing there, perhaps one of his students was competing, but in any case, we were awestruck to be less than a foot away from who I consider, a living skating legend!

I had a little trouble finding a good, quality recording of this video, and even this one contains some foreign commentary toward the end, that I hope doesn't disrupt the reverie for you. I find that commentary can "break the spell" sometimes, but since this is the only copy I could find, I hope you enjoy!

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