Saturday, May 14, 2011

Worlds 2011 Dance Recap: Fractured Fairytales, Pt. 3

Apologies for taking longer with these “tales” than planned… my daughter was in a play this week, which galvanized a lot of our time around here!

Here are three more Fractured Fairytales straight out of Moscow’s World Championships…

The Bridesmaid Who Wore Black to Her Wedding

In the far-off land of Michigan, there once lived a fine young ice dancer named Davis who was often said to resemble a Disney princess. Quite the compliment, it would seem… and yet, Davis longed to resemble something else: the best ice dancer in the whole world. It wasn’t that she and her dance partner hadn’t been presented with countless trophies, ribbons and medals through the years… they were very appreciative of all their hardware. But in recent memory, time and time again, the medals for the biggest events were for SECOND place… SECOND best. And to complicate matters, Davis and her partner White always lost to the same couple… also living in the far-off land of Michigan. They (Virtue and Moir) were known as “friendly rivals,” for everyone reportedly got along famously, but Davis couldn’t help but feel like a bridesmaid to Virtue’s “bride”… over and over again. There was nothing to do but work hard… at the most challenging dance she and White could muster… and keep going. Maybe Disney princesses would wither under the strain, but this Davis girl was nobody’s princess. She and White persevered, and eventually skated away with at least one World title to call their own… all while tango-ing in dramatic black. And THAT’s how the bridesmaid became a bride… at last!

The Curse of the Slippery Dance Floor

In the spirit of certain old adages such as a stitch in time saves nine and actions speak louder than words, every now and again the skating world is reminded of a very special adage of sorts: ice is slippery. Sure, it seems more like a cold hard fact (no pun intended) than a wisdom-laden saying, but when the ice dancing world is at its best—as it often is by World Championships time—it soars with blissful ease over that ice, and we start to forget the repercussions of One False Step. But this year we were reminded of it at least twice…

+ A Czech Republic pair known as Mysliveckova/Novak suffered a fall in the Short Dance (OK, it was just Novak’s fall) which contributed greatly to their failure to qualify for the free dance. Despite finishing 16th at their Worlds debut last year, the young Czech team had to settle for 22nd this time.

+ And as you might have heard and/or seen a million times by now, a much better known team from France known as Pechalat/Bourzat suffered a similar fate… the would-be heirs to the podium tumbled to the ice during their otherwise enchanting free dance, thereby tumbling out of 3rd place as well… wherein yet another of our Fractured Fairy Tales lies.

An Odd Sort of Homecoming

Once upon a time there were two Moscow-born Russian—a man and a woman—who left Russia (individually) in the early 1990s with North America in their sights. Approximately 10 years later, the man (named Spilband) and the woman (named Zoueva) joined their coaching and choreographic forces… nearly a decade after that, they found themselves coaching two teams to Olympic gold and silver medals. As if this wasn’t crazy enough… the following year saw a complete sweep of the podium by Zoueva/Spilband dance teams. Ironically, not one of their podium teams represented Russia…and even more ironically, their podium sweep on non-Russian dance teams took place in Moscow—their hometown! An odd sort of homecoming indeed.

The final installment of Fractured Fairytales to come in the next few days!

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