February 24, 2014

Dance Into Sorrow - Julia Lipnitskaia's Free Skate Program "Schindler's List"

I knew nothing about Julia Linpnitskaia and her European Championship program Schindler's List, but when I watched this program during Olympics team competition, I was completely mesmerized.

Probably this program is by far my personal favorite figure skating program. Not only because it's beautifully choreographed and performed, but also because it expresses a deep and complicate feeling I personally hold for life, that life is a co-existence of sorrow and joy. The music is a "gentle" reminder a the greatest tragedy of human race, and a 15 year-old girl, so beautiful and innocent, danced so effortlessly, yet so expressively, making such a strong contrast with the mood of the music. Perhaps, this contrast alone, is already mesmerizing.

The choreograph of this program is extremely unique. I usually see free skating programs begin with slow motion, and at certain point they would changed into fast speed, but this program is quite different. From the beginning to the end, movements are all in a fluent and medium speed, seamlessly match the music's melancholy tone. The design of movements are not at all routine or "cliche", rather, they are creative and expressive, even symbolic, embody the deepest emotions of human kind: struggle, sorrow, hope, wonder, strength, passion and grace.
I think it's worth to mention the choreographer of this program Illia Averbukh, a Russian ice dancer. Without his genius work, this masterpiece would not be in existence.

Julia Lipnitskaia's performance was almost perfect. How could a 15 year-old so meticulously convey such complicated emotion? I have no clue. I am simply amazed.

 

P.S. I was "struggling" to find "right" words to describe how I feel about this program, however, all the words I found seem to paled comparing with a comment I found in youtube: "I need to punch the wall to be manly again"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8dvRTftmwk

10 comments:

  1. Breathtaking, sensational and achingly beautiful. Thanks for sharing the story and the unforgettable video, Yun.

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    1. thanks Uma! It is achingly beautiful!

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  2. yunyi, I like so much what you said in your second paragraph. How you were moved by the contrast between the young girl's grace and innocence and the tragic story behind the music. What a marvelous insight into the dual nature of our human reality. Art and brutality!

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    1. Thanks Marty! I am humbled by your words.

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  3. Mesmerizing is the right word. She was absolutely amazing in the team skate competition. I'll definitely be watching her develop over the next few years. Watch out 2018 Olympics!

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  4. Yun, I was mesmerized when I watched Julia dancing at the Olympics too. Such remarkable talent and grace beyond her young years. Every ice dancing step flowed so artistically and seamlessly with the melancholy yet beautiful mood of the music (and she has the best spins I've ever seen!). Even her face held the expression of both joy and sorrow. The program was beautifully choreographed. I heard the announcers say that she chose the “Schindler’s List” music herself, and her red outfit reflecting the child in the movie wearing red among all the black and white in the film was wonderful.

    Completely agree with you on the co-existence of joy and sorrow. Yes, Julia’s expressive dance was a reminder of that duality in our lives. Wonderful post, and you have all the right words to express what you wanted to convey!

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    1. Thanks Madilyn! And thanks for encouraging my choices of words. English has such a gigantic ocean of vocabulary, I just feel my brain is not sharp enough to contain all of it.
      Yes, she is so talented and premature. Let's watch her growing!

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  5. Beautiful skating and choreography. Your observation regarding the sorrow and joy captured by Julia and the music is spot on.

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