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Feb 12, 2015

In the Mood for Love

Valentine's Day is drawing near, and so too, does the swarm of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, cutesy social media status updates, and pink- and red-festooned cards, all of which signals ROMANCE! LOVE! PASSION! in our current milieu. Indeed, nothing says "I love you" more than commemorating the martyrdom of a Roman saint prone to bouts of illegal proselytizing.

However, if musing on the martyrdom of St. Valentine isn't enough to get you properly in the mood for Valentine's Day this year, watch the following figure skating programs:

Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg FD
For those who like their romance swoony, sweet and seen through a soft-focus filter. Oh, to be young, free, and reveling in the bliss of first love--the light is most golden just before the shadows fall.

Jamie Sale/David Pelletier, La Vie en Rose LP
It is easy to chortle now in retrospect, knowing the eventual demise of Sale/Pelletier's relationship. But their chemistry on the ice back in the day was palpable. Screw Love Story and those asinine snowballs! Their La Vie en Rose interpretative free blows that shit out of the water; just look how they move, look at each other, the way their hands touch. Also, there's some pretty cool pairs elements thrown in the mix as well.

Marina Klimova/Sergei Ponomarenko - Bach medley FD
Man, woman, and Bach.

Maia Usova/Alexander Zhulin, Love Story EX
If you're single this Valentine's Day and want a reminder of how love sucks and how your significant other is likely to be an asshole who cheats on you with multiple women (including a teenager and a competitive rival who publicly wears his wedding ring around her neck), revel in positively metallic levels of irony in Maia Usova/Alexander Zhulin's Love Story exhibition after their tumultuous, soap opera-worthy divorce: the schmaltzy Love Story music. That mylar heart balloon. The cringeworthy lack of chemistry (all the while Sandra Bezic is praising their romantic chemistry in her typical tone deaf manner). Conclusion: as noted sage Kanye West would say, I don't need your p****, b**** I'm on my own d***!

Ekaterina Gordeeva - Mahler's Symphony No. 5 - Adagietto
If you find love more compelling in the thwarting than in its realization, look no further than Ekaterina Gordeeva's first performance after Sergei Grinkov's tragic death, her first performance alone.

Stephane Lambiel - Un Giorno Per Noi EX
Imagine yourself as the white rose, and then imagine Stephane Lambiel dancing with you. That is all.

Natalia Bestemianova/Andrei Bukin - Rasputin EX
Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard, Constance Chatterley and Oliver Mellors--it's no surprise that so many of literature's most famous romantic couples are of the forbidden variety. There's a profound adrenaline rush in love societally (and perhaps cosmically) rebuked: yearning glances, missed chances, the thrill of hormonal conviction triumphing over common sense. Here, Natalia Bestemianova/Andrei Bukin offer their own paean to forbidden love in the form of their Rasputin program, which depicts the forbidden, ill-fated love affair between Grigori Rasputin and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna.

Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron, Mozart Piano Concerto FD
And finally, what self-respecting "romantic programs" list done in this year of 2015 would be complete without the inclusion of Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron's dreamy, sensual rendition of the physical and emotional surrender implicit in romance? Well, certainly not this one.

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