Friday, April 18, 2014

Freeskate Friday

Torvill and Dean's 1984 Bolero.

I've been doing a lot of reading as to why Figure Skating is in such decline. There's been much said about the constant drive for points and the loss of artistry. An essay I read this morning had not much flattering to say about Davis and White, and instead lamented for the days of performances like these.

I listen a lot, and at one point I overheard and Theatre Patron say that she didn't go to the theatre to "feel bad things." Well, feeling bad things is a part of being a person. We all have bad days, deaths in the family, a personal crisis, emotional upheavals, complete breakdowns. Theatre is an insight and exploration of these things, an inroad to our shared humanity. The best of comedies will strike a chord somewhere in the soul. (Ghostbusters, for example.) I wanted to turn and ask her, "Why are you even here?"

I had to agree with the author of the skating essay. Davis and White, while striking in their ability, perform much like a circus act. Go in, do the motions, smile, wave, win. Again, I'm left feeling not much more than awe at their ability, and nothing deeper. Their smiles and longing looks feel like an applique slapped onto a utlitarian piece to try and give it some humanity. I have similar experiences when I get tickets to the "big shows" that tour through town. At the end of "Shrek the Musical" I was thinking about kneepads rather than whatever message I was supposed to have taken home. The movie had been more, well, moving. (I consistently cry at the end of Shrek.)

So, don't throw things at me because I am just kinda "meh" on Davis and White. Something just seemed kinda "off" with me when I was listening to everyone rave about them, and all this reading has helped clarify for me why I was feeling that way. Sure, they're great skaters. But I wouldn't cast them.



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