Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Care and Feeding of "War Horses"

Shh… hear that? That’s a lull.

The Olympics are over, the Fall TV season is still about a month away, and the 2008-9 figure skating season is still about TWO months away. Ugh! Even my son being back in school right now feels weird—because, at least where I live, we’re still deep in the dog days of summer. All the fireworks, literal and otherwise, from China simply distracted us for 17 days. But now the smoke is clearing, and…

OK, so there are 2 weeks of political conventions going on, right now, here in the States. I didn’t forget; it’s just that for the most part they’ll surely pale in the shadow of the Beijing sun. And forgive me, but when a convention hall drags out warhorses like “I’m So Excited” and expects them to actually still GET us excited… well, no. Just… no.

But in the meantime, did somebody mention warhorses?

It’s time to play some games to pass the time between interesting Google figure skating alerts, revealing interviews, and surprising off-season coaching changes. My first offering: Pin the Warhorse on the Elite Skater… a chance to take some fun stabs (pun intended) at guessing who might be skating to what this coming year, because let’s face it, SOMEONE we watch is likely to be skating to ‘em.

Take West Side Story, for instance. Who might—oh, wait, that one’s been claimed by Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker this time.

Well, what about Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue? No one’s laid their mitts on that one in—whoops, sorry Evan Lysacek. OK, maybe Bolero—er, sorry again Evan. (The two numbers are his FS and SP, respectively, according to icenetwork.com.)

Stravinsky’s Firebird? Stephen Carriere's testing his wings with it.

Um… Spartacus? Ashley Wagner, take one step forward.

So we know some of them already, at least as far as U.S. skaters go. What about the rest of the world, though? Who’s going on a Mission this year? Who will act out Romeo and Juliet? Whose turn is it to inhabit Carmen? If you already know, please share. If you don’t, come along and speculate with me. Or simply add your favorite classic to the list; the warhorses are numerous and fill a pretty big barn. Particularly in the off-season.

See you next time, and don’t forget to bring your hay and apples :-)

For the
Clip of the Day I’m going with one of my favorite “horses” (the aforementioned Gershwin) and showing Ilia Kulik’s OGM-winning take on it from 10 years back. And yes, his costume still makes me want to re-name the piece Rhapsody in Giraffe.


Anonymous said...

Dube & Davison are skating to Carmen! But thanks god no R&J...so far

Sharon said...

I was going to mention D&D doing Carmen, too! For some reason, I love the "warhorses", for the most part. Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" just thrills me, I loved Mc/B's program to it from last season. And "Firebird" just asks to be skated to. I am bored with "Rhapsody in Blue" and totally tired of "Carmen" but sometimes I think it's easier for a skater to emote to familiar pieces rather than take on the challenge of music fans don't know. It's a tough decision each year, I'm sure, and even though I love the familiar, I also appreciate when skaters stretch their boundries. Pink Floyd, anyone? Yes, there is.