Moment in History: The Definitive Carmen

I’ve been reading a book on George Bizet’s “Carmen” and it’s been interesting so far. Spain is currently considered to be part of Europe so we forget that it was once considered to be part of the “exotic Orient” and that Bizet’s opera(s) was/were a product of the prevalent Orientalist attitudes of his time. All of that interesting scholarly analysis aside, I wonder if Bizet ever knew that his opera would end up as the most overused piece of figure skating music of all time. Almost everyone who skates has skated to “Carmen” at some point in their career. It’s classical but everyone knows it, so it’s a way to get the crowd while showing that you can skate to a classical piece.

In any case, of all the Carmens out there, it seems to be general consensus that Katarina Witt skated the definitive “Carmen” in her short (thanks Ay-sa) long program – complete with her dying on the ice – for the 1988 season, where she won Olympic gold against her main competitor, Debi Thomas, who also skated to Carmen in the battle of the Carmens.

Here is Debi Thomas’ Carmen if anyone was wondering:

I also just wanted to post this because it’s so rare. Sasha Cohen skating a long program to Carmen… but she doesn’t fall! There were 2-footed jumps, unsteady landings and a hand down but *gasp* no falling!?

Another interesting tidbit – Carmen on Ice starring Katarina Witt (Carmen), Brian Boitano (Don Jose), Brian Orser (Escamillo):

(Prelude + Parle-Moi de Ma Mere)

Part II
Part III

Part IV

Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part IX
Part X

All in all though, this woman is THE definitive Carmen.

And that, is today’s moment in history.


~The Rinkside Cafe


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ay-sa
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 01:36:58

    Actually, Witt’s Carmen was actually her LP.

    This is my favourite Carmen:


  2. ay-sa
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 03:32:56

    Nooooo K/O are divine and IMO, superior to D/W. Just look at their free legs! I think that you see a resemblance b/c the lady of the team is dark-haired while the man is blond 🙂

    K/O could’ve eventually been Olympic champions if not for Krylova’s back injury.


  3. jecava
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 02:52:39

    Oooh thanks for bringing up K/O’s Carmen, I totally thought of them as I was reading this post. I made a comment on the Evan Lysacek post about how skaters should be able to bring their own personality and interpretation to an overused piece of music (and to me “Carmen” is synonymous with “overused” in skating) and the K/O program perfectly highlights what I mean. It has original and interesting choreography and to me is one of the definitive ice dancing programs. Even Sasha’s had personality and was fun to watch. And talking about ~dramatic~ Carmen, you guys should check this out, Tarasova is written all over this one:


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