Dawn of new era with Disturbed dance moves
GANGNEUNG: Roll over Beethoven and prepare to be Disturbed.
Pairs figures skaters, once confined to classical tunes and rigid technical elements, are embracing dance moves and heavy metal music to see how far they can both push the boundaries while keeping the discipline up to date.
A cover of “The Sound of Silence” by heavy metal group Disturbed was the haunting soundtrack for a free skate by French pair Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres last year, a dynamic and ambitious performance that proved a huge hit on social media.
Vanessa said the popularity of that routine prompted imitation... and she loves it.
“I think it’s good because we’re actually evolving as a pair event, a discipline,” she said after a practice at Gangneung’s Ice Arena, the venue for figure skating at the Winter Olympics.
“Our goal is to skate like ice dancers, which is not always easy because of all the technical stuff we have to do, but it is the goal,” she added.
Traditional pairs skating, meanwhile, focuses more on technical, acrobatic moves such as throws, jumps and spirals, with a set allocation included in each routine.
Germany’s Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, strongly favoured for gold in Pyeongchang, are also among those leading the revolution.
Their spunky short programme to jazz singer Caro Emerald’s “That Man” is full of dance moves and glides, while their free skate is a hauntingly graceful routine that is also packed with punishing technical elements.
Pyeongchang is the first Olympics where music with lyrics has been allowed and this is one of the biggest changes, moving the discipline forward from the rigidity of classical instrumentals used extensively in the past.
Songs used in this year’s short programme include: “Paint it Black” by Hidden Citizen, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, “Big Spender” and an inevitable smattering of classics.