Fantasy Programs for Pyeongchang 2018

The Olympic season is the time when you want to show off your strengths and skate programs that suit your style. Of course, we all have different ideas of what that is but it’s always interest to fantasize about programs for a bunch of different competitors, which I’ll be doing today. Let me know if you agree with any of my picks!

Yuzuru Hanyu – Ghost in the Shell Opening

Yes, screw the whitewashed adaptation of this –  this interview with Japanese American actresses really hits a lot of important points that many non-POC (and maybe even Japanese people) might not understand about the controversy. Anyways, soapbox aside – the opening to the original Ghost in the Shell movie is spectacular. It’s quite a haunting piece that reminds me somewhat of Seimei, which is why I thought it would be a good fit for Yuzu. There’s intensity, intricacy and drama that I know he can express.

Shoma Uno – Violin Concerto in E minor op.64 by Felix Mendelssonn

There’s passion, angst and drama in this piece, complete with a plaintive violin. The perfect piece of music for Shoma’s inner artiste.

Nathan Chen – In the Hall of the Mountain King

Unless Nathan Chen gets crazy skating skills between now and the next season, I would say his best bet would be to go with another one of those fast and furious programs that showcases his jumps and nothing else. What’s a piece of music that people would recognize easily to connect with the audience and is loud, furious and varied? This.

Misha Ge – Money 

Yes, I know he might be retiring but hey, this will probably be a show program anyways. A bunch of girls who were sitting beside me at Skate Canada were raving about Misha Ge and I was confused as to why. Before then, I didn’t remember too much about Misha, mostly that he’s inconsistent and is good with social media. However, it seems that Misha’s magic comes out in exhibitions (something I don’t tend to watch). Without the pressure of competition, he has a fun and quirky personality that really rouses the crowd. As a result, I think he’d make something fun and hilarious out of this stupidly catchy song by ThatPoppy.

Satoko Miyahara – Beethoven’s Spring Sonata

Light, airy and delicate – this music seems like a good fit with the intricacy of skating that Satoko is able to achieve.

Evgenia Medvedeva – Ni no Kuni, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

A few pieces of music from games or anime (some of them actually have fantastic soundtracks) with heavy subjects that she might enjoy (skating to or watching) and doesn’t wander into the territory of offensive and/or insensitive.

Xiaoyu Yu & Hao Zhang – The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams

I think there’s a freshness and an elegance to this piece fit for a team or skater that’s very mature and has a very ethereal style. Despite their young partnership, Yu & Zhang definitely has the quality to express this music.

Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford – Summertime Sadness (Remix)

For anyone who has read my previous posts or my tweets on the most recent pairs competitions, you’ll know that stylistically, I’m not terribly fond of Duhamel & Radford despite admiring how they push the sport. Reading over my tweets, I realize that half the problem is that I absolutely abhor most of their music choices (except for Adele) – either they’re badly sung or cheesy or it lacks the coherent crescendos and dips to tell a narrative that is compelling.

So, I offer a compromise: the cheese, I can live with, as long as it’s catchy. This is why I offer my suggestion of this super catchy remix of Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness. I think Duhamel & Radford can make this work.

Lubov Iliushechkina & Dylan Moscovitch

Please just use this program again. I’d like to see it clean.

Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte –  The Magic Flute

Anna & Luca tend to do very well skating to joyous, lively music and during the Olympic season, one way to get the crowd on your side is to have music that is familiar. There seem to be a lot of programs with lyrics this season but come next season and the warhorses and classical music will be back for the most part. Combining these together, I would say that the music from Mozart’s The Magic Flute would suit this team very well. Although I’m not a huge fan of the story and some of lyrics (i.e. women are irrational creatures etc; etc; etc;), it is still a popular opera – one that you usually break newbies in with – and the Queen of the Night Aria sounds like something that could become a fun piece that Cappellini & Lanotte can emote very well.

Maia & Alex Shibutani – Air and Simple Gifts

I’ll admit that this pick is a bit gut wrenching to me. My regular readers can probably guess my feelings about the results of the American elections. In any case, I fell in love with this piece of music when it came on the radio and eventually, I realized that the first time I heard this was during the Obama inauguration in 2008. I remember watching the coverage with a large gathering. There was so much hope in the room, and as a person of colour, I felt so inspired by historic moment I was witnessing. Recently, this song came up on my iPod and it felt like a terrible punch in the gut given the context and the events that had transpired.

I want this music to be that happy, lively tune again that inspires hope again and after seeing “Fix You”, I think the Shibutanis have what it takes to express the hope and light that is at the core of this piece.

What are your fantasy programs for the Olympic season? I’d love to hear them in the comments! (Exposure to new music is always appreciated as well!)

~The Rinkside Cafe

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