(1) Violin Muse Oh boy, I could write a dissertation on this program but I’ll keep it short: Violin Muse was the first pairs program I had ever seen- and it was the very thing that brought me right into pairs figure skating. Tatiana and Maxim’s acting skills shine through in this program the most in my opinion, with every element being interjected with beautiful subtleties of expression. The artistry, technical quality, synchronicity, and interpretation of the music these two displayed makes this program one of the most beautiful pieces of performance art I have ever seen and will probably always be my favourite V/T program.
(2) Romeo and Juliet You could easily see the potential Yuzuru had back then, and I believe this program is one of his best displays of sheer power he can display through his dance. As a true performer, he brings his audience along for the ride, takes you in and feel what he is feeling in that moment. He interprets the music so perfectly to the point you wouldn’t think this was a men’s free program that has to nail X amount of elements: it’s an adventure. I believe Hanyu works with expression differently from other skaters, he is subtle as he matches the timings to create that sense of immersion, and you don’t realise it: you are simply mesmerised by his movements. Thus, as the music roars in the finale you want to be next to him, you want to dance alongside him and cheer as you see the power flowing out of his every movement.
(3) Fix You This beautiful program is as fluid and seamless as it is emotional. I don’t really watch ice dance but I had to include this program because I was nearly weeping at the end of it. I didn’t know where the elements were or the step sequence was as I watched it, it just felt like an experience the entire way through. I am usually far more emotionally involved in narrative driven programs, but what I love about this dance is that they showed me you don’t have do to that to achieve that effect; they showed that you can do an emotional piece simply by interpreting the music and conveying the mood so well. I believe this commentator put it best: “I think we all connect with the music, and they leave that breath, that space for you to do so, and it makes it easier to connect with their program. That is something that takes a lot of emotional maturity and this is a big step for Maia and Alex.“
These three are my most favourite FS/FDs, but I know you have to do five so I will give honourable mention to: Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy’s Pina: a beautiful, purely dance driven program that takes you through a rollercoaster of tones and moods to reflect perfectly the film it was based off of.
Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov’s
Lady and the Hooligan: Yep, that program. The one with the cheesy dancing and terrible costumes. I haven’t really got an explanation other than: it’s so bonkers and overactedI actually ended up enjoying it. I also think it showed off Maxim’s potential quite a lot especially in the step sequences and little details he did such as flicking the cigarette.