John Chidley A blog about reading, writing, pop culture and sports.


Three ice dancing performances I’d like to see

Like many Canadians, I was thrilled by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s gold medal ice dance performance on Monday night.

I would never call myself a figure skating or ice dancing fan – I find that too often the judge’s decisions are political – but I was impressed with the athleticism and technique of all the dancers in the competition.

What did not impress me was their lack of creativity or originality. Most of the performances bled together. Virtue and Moir stood above the rest of the competition because they didn’t rely on clichéd music like the themes from the Phantom of the Opera or Requiem for a Dream. They weren’t covered with sequins and feathers. Their performance truly distinguished them from the rest of the pack.

As I was watching all the performances roll off the assembly line, I couldn’t help but come up with ideas of my own. Not necessarily for me to perform since I’m a terrible skater, but ideas that talented ice dancers could use to blow away the judges and competition. Here are my top three:

Super Mario Brothers -Mario and Princess Peach.
The pinnacle of video game romance, Super Mario’s quest to save his true love, Princess Peach, is timeless and crosses all cultures. Their tale of love denied has ties to Japan, Italy and North America and would undoubtedly hold appeal to judges from many nations.

The music is all there too. Obviously, the symphonic version of the Mario theme is a good starting place, but if the performers want to make things a little more contemporary theys can break it down and use a medley that incorporates DJ Clue’s remix of the classic 8-bit song.

The costumes are easy too – the male dancer would wear red overalls, a red newsie cap, white gloves and a giant fake moustache. Princess Peach’s costume is even easier, since most figure skaters already wear giant pink dresses and crowns. The one adjustment is that for safety reasons the ice dancer’s costume would need a shorter skirt then the Princess’ traditional ball gown.

After all that preparation the performance will write itself. Trust me.

Back to the Future – Marty McFly and Doc Brown.
Not a love story necessarily, but Marty McFly and Doc Brown have one of the best bromances in movie history. 

The strength of the Back to the Future pairing is that the music would blow the competition away. Nothing could top Huey Lewis’ "Power of Love" for the short program (complete with air guitar) followed by Alan Silvestri’s Back to the Future theme for the long performance.

The biggest problem with this program, of course, is that both characters are male. However, a petite brunette with short cropped hair could easily play Marty McFly. Tight jeans, a denim shirt and McFly’s trademark red vest would complete the ensemble. A big white wig and flowing lab coat would transform the male dancer into Doc Brown, and your theme is complete.

Liberal use of a fog machine, and perhaps a Delorian door for the ice pad’s entrance would complete the performance and a much needed sense of adventure to the proceedings. I have it on good authority that you don’t need money, you don’t need fame, you don’t need no credit card to ride the Olympics train.

Star Wars – C3PO and R2D2
Yes, there are more traditional romantic pairings like Han Solo and Leia Organa, while Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia could appeal to those icky brother-sister ice pairs like Russians Roman and Alexandra Zaretsky or Brits Sinead and John Kerr.  However, for my money, the best couple in the Star Wars movies are C3PO and R2D2. They stick together no matter what and have exceptional teamwork. Aren’t those ideal traits for an Olympic-calibre performance?

Also, the music is a slam dunk. John Williams’ score from the Star Wars movies is one of the most recognizable pieces of classical work and is suitably epic for an ice dancing performance.

I would make my performance an interpretation of the Droid’s journey, beginning with their escape from the Blockade Runner in A New Hope. A bold coach might even incorporate Leia’s desperate holographic message to the Rebel Alliance. As the dancers flee from corner to corner of the ice, extras in Stormtrooper outfits could emerge from the audience to wildly fire blasters at them. It’d be exciting and allow the dancers to display all their most graceful tricks.

The one drawback of this piece would be the construction of R2D2’s outfit. However, I’m sure a talented costume designer could tackle the project and the result would be more dignified then dressing as a tree or performing to Linkin Park’s "Crawling".