Athletic and Balletic: Olympic Figure Skating Never Fails to Inspire
Posted on December 23 2016
As the Winter Olympics draws to a close and I look back over the past two weeks, it is the figure skating that I have enjoyed the most. I love the interplay of human figure, music, choreography and costume. Although there are mandatory elements that all the skaters must perform, there is still a lot of room for individuality and creativity.
I guess the choice of music lays the foundation on which to build the rest of the performance. That choice alone is an opportunity to showcase personality, technicality and purpose. The many compilations ranged from classical or joyous to dark and risky. One pair skated to a piece played by the Russian orchestra. Another pair boldly displayed their competency and intimacy when they skated to a song written by one of them. Think about that; all the time, effort and energy expended to be capable of making it to the Olympics and somehow, in addition to all that practice, still managing along the way, to compose a fabulous piece of music as part of the program! Incredible!
After the music is chosen, planning the choreography must be the fun part…synching all the movements, big and small, in a way that makes sense and tells the same story. I love interesting choreography. I find it beautiful and intriguing….in another life I would be a dancer…a joyous, dedicated dancer.
Finally, costume comes into play. What fabric? What color? What embellishments? How does it enhance the overall presentation? How to construct it so that it is fluid as well as functional? Oh yes! More fun to be had designing the costumes!
Ultimately, it is the skaters themselves that create the drama, the beauty and the poignant statement. It is the hard work of mastering their bodies and endowing them with control, strength and grace that raises the interplay of human figure, music, choreography and costume to the sublime.
-Leslie Grant, Store Manager, Clad in Providence