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Should Music Be ‘Retired’?

katarinawitt.jpgCall me old fashioned, nostalgic or a fuddy-duddy, but I think pieces of music associated with historic and extraordinary skating performances should be ‘retired’, just as a jersey is retired in hockey clubs. This weekend’s competition brings two examples to mind–Evan Lysacek’s short program skated to Ravel’s Bolero and Dube and Davison’s long program set to Carmen. Similarly, Michelle Kwan took on Bolero in 2005 and Joannie Rochette tried her hand at Carmen last season.

All these programs were skated beautifully, but here’s the problem:

Even high-caliber performances from Lysacek and Kwan, and Dube and Davison and Rochette just don’t compare with Torvill and Dean’s historic Bolero at the 1984 Olympics or Katarina Witt’s 1988 Olympic Carmen. And how could they? Torvill and Dean and Witt’s performances go down in history as two of the very best moments in figure skating, ever. So, why do skaters choose music that pits them against today’s competitors as well as exceptional skaters from the past? I find it impossible to enjoy these programs without comparing them to the ‘originals’.

Am I over reacting? Should every skater have the right to interpret their own Boleros and Carmens?

2 Responses to “Should Music Be ‘Retired’?”

  1. Samantha Says:

    I agree, the music should be retired. Good on the skaters for trying, but really all I can think about is the previous performances and I end up comparing them. That’s not fair, but I think each skater needs to make their own mark with their own song.

  2. Stemulite Says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. Here’s why…what if Lysacek and Kwan, and Dube and Davison and Rochette had blown Torvill and Dean’s historic Bolero at the 1984 Olympics or Katarina Witt’s 1988 Olympic Carmen out of the water (or off the ice)? Then what?

    You shouldn’t assume that a great performance will never be eclipsed. I understand your desire to honor amazing performances from the past, but in athletics, we always need to look to the future.

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