The only good thing about the Winter Olympics is the ice performances! The Olympic Committee seems not uncorrupt, the regime hosting is not unrepressive, and every sport is an opportunity for people to go too fast, fall down and hurt themselves. Not for me the people hurling themselves into the air at unprecedented speeds and whirling themselves about. This, however, is fine in moderation — say on the ice, accompanied by music!
The only problem with the sundry couples’ ice performances, as writer Lucy Huber pointed out on Twitter, is that they seem to keep telling one dance story over and over. Few people on the ice seem to understand that there is more to ice dance performance than simply sizzling sexual chemistry (long may the remembered fire of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir burn!). We have seen a handful of these stories: Harley Quinn and the Joker; alien first contact set to the music of Daft Punk; a one-man “Jesus Christ Superstar” reenactment, complete with lashing, which will live in my mind forever in a rent-controlled manner.
But more people need to push the boundaries like this and discover new relationships Olympic ice dance can illustrate! For instance:
The Origin of the Moon: First, we only see one skater. He is draped in a shapeless lava-colored blob of fabric. He begins whirling at a rapid rate and — whoosh! The fabric flies off, and the second dancer — the moon — is there circling him! Now the Earth (in an extremely on-the-nose blue-and-green costume with a melting white hat) and the moon (gray sequins!) orbit one another, never touching, except at the conclusion of the routine, when both of them explode.
Man and Doughnut: The male partner wears a bowling shirt; the female is dressed as a doughnut. On the one hand, it is an unwieldy costume without great aerodynamics, but on the other hand, the doughnut shape offers intriguing possibilities for holds. He pursues her; she eludes him. During the required twizzles, a form of glitter designed to simulate powdered sugar gets everywhere.
In Search of Lost Time: Marcel, the narrator, would have a nice time skating around the rink with his beloved Albertine, but he is paralyzed by jealousy and makes her stay in one corner of the rink the entire time until she skates off and dies in a bicycle accident.
The Cold War: Russia and the United States circle one another warily, gaining temporary geopolitical advantages at intervals, except during the twizzles, when a stalemate is restored.
Man vs. Nature: One of the dancers is a new homeowner, and the other one is a raccoon that has been discovered unexpectedly indoors. They perform the dance of advance and retreat customary on these occasions. Midway through the routine, the raccoon begins foaming at the mouth.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: George and Martha perform this entire routine while holding full cocktail glasses, which they smash during climactic intervals in the music. There are no jumps, but their son does carry them.
The Giving Tree: One of the skaters is a tree and the other is the boy who takes and takes and gives nothing back. At the conclusion, she gives all her points to him, but it’s still not enough.
Sea Captain and White Whale Who Has Eluded Him Lo These Many Years: A tender pas de deux that culminates in a harpooning.
Man and Cat: One of the skaters is Garfield, who hates Mondays and loves lasagna. The other is Garfield’s owner Jon, a hapless cartoonist. Jon must drag Garfield around the rink, and Garfield spends the whole routine trying to nap, even during the triple axel.
Trying to Get Waiter’s Attention Without Being a Jerk About It: The entire routine consists of one skater trying to catch the other skater’s eye to put in another order of garlic knots but without coming across as confrontational. A variety of waves, snaps and eye contacts lead nowhere.
Chinese Authority Performing an Act of Brutal Repression: This exquisite commentary won’t be allowed, but it will be exciting to see what it gets replaced with! Probably two people in love!