Dec 19, 2010
One of the problems of always taking figure skating seriously is that one can completely miss the point sometimes. Snobbery is de rigueur across the figure skating fandom and thus for a program to publically acknowledged as "good," it must be a work of Art, preferably set to a suitably obscure piece of music.
Yet....though some programs do little to further the Art of figure skating, they nonetheless are extremely effective when one remembers the point of watching figure skating in the first place--that is, to be entertained.
Florent Amodio's long program is a good example of such this season. To many a discerning figure skating fan--complete with a furrowed brow and upturned nose--Mr. Amodio's program is a mashup of banal pop songs with rather clichéd choreography directly yanked from the typical pop video that fails to disguise some very transparent rest-points. Also, those crotch-grabs--how terribly vulgar, especially when the raciest bit of choreography the rest of the competition is doing consists of stroking their faces to classical music. Surely only a hormonal prepubescent who only watches figure skating once every four years could enjoy such populist dreck...
But sit back and watch Mr. Amodio dance, clearly enjoying himself and putting on a good show for the audience. Then watch the rest of the competition, many of whom appear to be completely oblivious of the fact that there is a paying audience watching them and that there is music playing as they concentrate on racking up the points with their perfectly CoP-friendly programs. You then realize that some programs, as crowd-pandering and vulgar as many a discerning figure skating fan may find them, are truly gems for sheer entertainment value alone in the wasteland of monotony that more often than not characterizes the typical figure skating competition.