Dec 14, 2014
Moments from around the world of figure skating this season, captured in the words of millennials unearthed from that repository of millennial musings known as "Tumblr".
Dec 13, 2014
The Grand Prix Final, though not a competition with quite the prestige factor or importance of the World Championships, features the top skaters going head-to-head for the first time in the season and thus can provide viewers with a rough idea of the present pecking order so far.
Having an idea of the current pecking order had been especially important in ice dance, given that the retirements of Davis/White and Virtue/Moir as well as the dissolution of Ilinykh/Katsalapov created a conspicuous vacuum at the discipline's apex which quite a few teams have scrambled to fill during the Grand Prix season. Similarly, even though the men have not be roiled by retirements to the same extent as their counterparts in ice dance, injuries and implosions have created a sense of turmoil among the rank and file.
Dec 12, 2014
Dec 7, 2014
We need to talk about Yuko Kavaguti and Sasha Smirnov.
Specifically, their long program set to Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony this season. Where do I begin in describing this long program? If if were a painting, it would be Théodore Géricault's The Raft of the Medusa. If it were an opera, it would be the equivalent of the final act of a Wagner opera with the libretto written by Nietzsche. If it were an item of clothing, it would be a Badass Cape. You get the picture. In short, Kavaguti/Smirnov's Manfred Symphony is brooding, scary-beautiful, bombastic, terrifying, and absolutely incredible.
Dec 4, 2014
Man, this is getting embarrassing.
My feelings towards Yuzuru Hanyu's skating is increasingly starting to resemble a love life far more exciting than my own. In 2011, I waxed lyrical about Mr. Hanyu through various infatuated paeans dedicated to his utter perfection. Of course, all that came crashing down by the fall of 2012 through to the summer of 2014, when I disavowed any preferences for Mr. Hanyu's skating and even likened the whole shebang to a divorce. As the various hyperlinks posted above demonstrate, the trajectory of this roller-coaster state of affairs is all messily documented online on this very blog. Ah, Internet, my outlet for catharsis.
But enter fall 2014. It is announced that Mr. Hanyu is going to skate to Chopin's Ballade No. 1 for his short program. Of course, I turn up my nose in disdain, brace myself for the butchery of my second-favorite piece of music ever and watch Mao Asada's Ballade exhibition instead for comfort. Then I hear the choreographer will be Jeffrey Buttle, whom I adore and obviously "gets" Mr. Hanyu's style far more than David Wilson. My nose lowers by approximately 15 degrees but remains not quite level.
Then I actually watch the program, and am stunned to silence.