honestly all of my childhood hero kristi yamaguchi’s (as scott hamilton would say: “fall down, get up, and smile like kristi yamaguchi), but i’m gonna list her 1992 winning olympic freeskate because it’s a fandango and who doesn’t love that??
i’m gonna be honest with you: i actually tend to find women’s singles boring. there’s too much of the same thing, too much influence from the likes of michelle kwan and sasha cohen: the judges like tiny bendy girls, instead of girls who may actually be the better skaters. that’s why i’m really excited about elizaveta tuktamysheva, who is just super weird and spunky, and this free program of hers in particular, “sandstorm”
they may not jump, but these days, ice dancers are the best skaters in the world. that wasn’t always the case - they used to be really good at posing and not much else. the team who did the most to see that changed that is shae-lynn bourne and victor kraatz, who were often too ahead of their time to ever get the medal recognition they deserved. they did, however, give us one of the most famous figure skating programs of all time: their iconic riverdance free dance
torvill & dean are probably the team that started the change, and their “bolero” is still famous
johnny weir: “poker face” (OBVIOUSLY… what an ICON), “creep” (this is new, and so beautiful), “i put a spell on you” (NERD; also like basically every us figure skater of the last 20 years is in this program?)
brian orser and josee chouinard: “brian’s hat” (honestly just so charming… also, somewhere in my stepmother’s house there is a newspaper clipping with a picture of me sitting on brian orser’s lap, taken the same night i first saw this performed)
and i will leave you with this, the most important program of all time, performed by evgeni plushenko:
In early-twentieth-century urban Peru, few cultural traditions remained that were considered Afro-Peruvian. Race was perceived as changeable, whiteness was equated with social mobility, and, as Raúl Romero explains (1994), Peruvians of African descent typically were not viewed as a separate ethnic group because they identified culturally, along with the descendants of Europeans, as criollos, a term that originally described the children of Africans born into slavery and later included European descendants born in Peru. After independence, the word criollo came to describe a set of cultural practices that were believed to be of European origin, including música criolla, or Creole music. At Lima’s jaranas (multi-day, invitation-only social gatherings involving the communal affirmation of shared criollo culture through food, drink, humor, music, and dance), ethnically diverse criollos performed música criolla, especially the marinera, on the guitar, cajón (box drum), and other instruments. Those who did not play an instrument sang, danced, or performed the special rhythmic handclap patterns unique to each musical genre, affirming the participatory character of creating and maintaining a shared culture. Although the performers were of mixed ethnic backgrounds, by the middle of the century this music was considered to be of strictly European origin (Romero 1994).
Before the Afro-Peruvian revival, many blacks in Peru identified with criollo culture, yet they were denied the social benefits afforded white criollos. In the 1960s, while African independence movements and the U.S. civil rights movement sought to overturn colonialism and racism, respectively, in Peru, music and dance were the first successful arenas for the politics of black resistance. Whereas for some critics, staged music and dance might seem an unlikely format for collective protest, the first step for Afro-descendants in the isolated black Pacific was to make themselves visible as a group by organizing around a newly embraced collective, ethnic, and diasporic identity before they could unite in a political struggle for civil rights. In the Afro-Peruvian revival, black Peruvians began by mounting staged performances that reinscribed forgotten and ignored black culture in Peruvian official history, starting with times of slavery (plantation settings, slave dances, and so on). The leaders of the Afro-Peruvian revival reconstructed lost black Peruvian music and dances for theatrical performances and recordings, musically promoting racial difference to challenge the prevailing ideology of criollo unity without racial equality.
Many Peruvian musicians date the beginning of the revival to 1956, when Peruvian scholar José Durand (a white criollo) founded the Pancho Fierro company, which presented the first major staged performance of reconstructed Afro-Peruvian music and dance at Lima’s Municipal Theater. Several black Peruvians who participated in Durand’s company formed their own groups in the 1960s, including the charismatic siblings Nicomedes and Victoria Santa Cruz. Perú Negro, the only group from the revival still existing in the twenty-first century, was founded in 1969 by former protégés of Victoria Santa Cruz…
Like her brother, Victoria Santa Cruz looked toward the black Atlantic to forge a transnational diasporic identity for black Peruvians, transplanting musical instruments and cultural expressions in revival productions. But Victoria Santa Cruz’s most celebrated legacy in Peru is her idiosyncratic deployment of “ancestral memory” as the cornerstone of a choreographic technique that enabled her to “return” to Africa by looking deep within her own body for the residue of organic ancestral rhythms…
Explaining what she means by “ancestral memory,” Victoria Santa Cruz writes: “What is ancestry? Is it a memory? And if so, what is it trying to make us remember? … The popular and cultural manifestations, rooted in Africa, which I inherited and later accepted as ancestral vocation, created a certain disposition toward rhythm, which over the years has turned itself into a new technique, ‘the discovery and development of rhythmic sense’ … I reached my climax … when I went deep into that magical world that bears the name of rhythm” (Santa Cruz 1978, 18). Elsewhere, she said: “Having discovered, first ancestrally and later through study and practice, that every gesture, word, and movement is a consequence of a state of being, and that this state of being is tied to connections and disconnections of fixed centers or plexus … allowed me to rediscover profound messages in dance and traditional music that could be recovered and communicated. … The black man knows through ancestry, even when he is not conscious of it, that what is outwardly elaborated has its origin or foundation in the interior of those who generate it” (V. Santa Cruz 1988, 85).
Heidi Carolyn Feldman,
“Strategies of the Black Pacific: Music and Diasporic Identity in Peru,”
Comparative Perspectives on Afro-Latin America (2012)
Before the 1970s, most black activism was manifested primarily in peasant and worker struggles for land, respect, jobs, and justice. The discourse and the organizations of such activists centered on the rights of blacks as farmers, rural laborers, and urban workers. Scholar Jhon Antón Sánchez highlights how four individuals played key roles in laying the foundation for explicitly black and Afro-Ecuadorian identification and organization. Saloman Chala Acosta and Alonso Tadeo from the Chota Valley and Nelson Estupiñán Bass and Juan Garcia from Esmeraldas worked as intellectuals, teachers, and activists to emphasize the ethnic and racial dimensions of the discrimination, marginalization, and oppression suffered by Afro-Ecuadorians. These grassroots leaders had more formal education than most blacks but were deeply rooted in the rural struggles of their communities. As blacks migrated in increasingly large numbers to the urban centers of Guayaquil and Quito, the influence of these leaders spread through their children, family members, friends, students, and fellow activists (Antón Sánchez 2009: 60–69, 125–143; Saloman Acosta interview; Juan Carlos interview; Oswaldo Espinoza interview; Jacqueline Pavon interview).
One of the most important examples of black activism in recent Ecuadorian history occurred in Quito in 1979. The Afro-Ecuadorian Studies Center (Centro de Estudios Afroecuatorianos; CEA) was started by black university students frustrated by their isolation at the Universidad Central; the lack of information on black history, culture, society; and the subordinate socioeconomic and political situation of blacks. These students came from various parts of the country and realized that they knew relatively little about other blacks in their own country. Some of the participants at the center later became well-known black activists, including its first president, historian Andrés Jurado; popular scholar Juan Garcia; anthropologist Oscar Chalá; economist Renán Tadeo; cultural worker Luzmilla Bolanos; and politician Victor Junior Leon (Tadeo 1999; Bolanos interview; Antón Sánchez 2007, 237).
The main objectives of the center were to organize blacks, research Afro-Ecuadorian history, and raise consciousness about the unjust circumstances of overwhelming black poverty. The group met every two weeks at their headquarters in Quito. At these meetings, the participants discussed the situation of their home communities, the situation of blacks in Quito, and the situations of the places where they studied. By the early 1980s, the center was a legally recognized group with officers and special work committees. Tadeo argues that the center had the positive effect of improving understanding between blacks from the highlands and the coast. Because they had shared their life, work, and study experiences with each other, members were better able to confront racial discrimination (Tadeo 1999; Bolanos interview).
Founders of the CEA explored the city of Quito, interviewed Afro-Ecuadorian elders, and began to document the experiences and traditions of black people. The group created an archive of interviews and materials and wrote short, accessible essays and pamphlets on Afro-Ecuadorian history and culture. CEA members reached out to black youth, especially high school students, and encouraged them to work to improve their communities and to take their education seriously. Juan Garcia was one of the leaders in recognizing the beauty and originality of Afro-Ecuadorian culture. He later became a respected advocate, scholar, and defender of black cultural manifestations and traditions, including the poetic storytelling art form of la décima (Bolanos interview; Garcia 1988; Sánchez 2002).
Passionate about what they were doing, many CEA members were influenced by socialist and leftist views popular in Ecuador and Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s. These were decades when students, workers, activists, and some armed insurgents were fighting against military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes in South and Central America. But by the mid-1980s, the center began to decline as members returned to their provinces and communities after their university studies. At home, they often formed new organizations that continued the work of the center in new settings (Tadeo 1999; Bolanos interview). Tadeo suggests that the CEA was a seminal experience in the history of black activism in Ecuador. It confirmed the importance of organizing around and affirming black identity and culture.
Ollie Johnson, “Black Activism in Ecuador, 1979–2009,“
Comparative Perspectives on Afro-Latin America (2012)
Meryl and Charlie’s Latin short dance in 2012 featuring lots of sassy! Meryl. They skated to a “party” medley: “Batucadas," "Life is a Carnival,” and the Spanish version of "On The Floor.“ And there’s bonus Meryl doing Charlie’s makeup in the beginning.
(Uploaded it myself as unlisted, since it looks like the HD version isn’t on Youtube anymore).
I think alexismroark got me in the mood of rewatching old programs, so thanks ;)