Cappellini/Lanotte’s new Carmen FD

The very dedicated fans of Tessa and Scott on facebook have posted this video of Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte’s new FD to Carmen for this season. Did I mention that this team is now being trained by Igor Shpilband? Somehow, I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence that these two are styled in a very similar war to Tessa and Scott – the high bun, the lack of ostentatious costuming often seen in a lot of European teams. The first half of the program had movements I would usually associate with Tessa and Scott, the way Anna holds out her arm, that lift that involved her wrapping her leg around Luca’s neck. However, one clear difference between this team and the Olympic gold champions is their lack of speed, most evident in their step sequences. There’s also a lack of polish but it is early in the season. That and the second half seems to branch out a little bit and is quite different from Tessa and Scott’s usual style.

I’ll also take this time to mention this: I am partly annoyed with the abundance of Carmen programs because they never manage to show the complexity that is Carmen, the character. Carmen is an old warhorse because it is the most performed and most popular opera in the world Opera companies often stage Carmen once every 4 or 5 seasons to ensure revenue because they will get sold out shows every night. In figure skating, the skaters get a classical piece of music (which is seen to be more difficult to skate to than contemporary or instrumental versions of pop songs) that the audience knows (so they can get into it easily) and all the skater has to do to pull off a program set to the music is to be sexy because it riles up a crowd and people know Carmen is a sexy biatch.

However, in the opera, Carmen isn’t just a seductress. That is, admittedly, a part of her personality that drives the plot but there is much, much more to her. Essential to the character is a fatalist attitude backed with an unwavering courage and a firm belief in her ideals. Defiant and bound only to her need for freedom, she is a powerful character in that she refuses to belong to any man – hence her infidelity –  and submit to him.  Even in her last moment, she chooses death and freedom over life and a lifetime as a slave to Don Jose’s passions. In life, she was an economically self-sufficient woman (she works in a cigarette factory and is also a smuggler), she uses the men and not the other way around. Anyone who wants her have to play on her terms. You don’t break up with Carmen, she breaks up with you. She would rather die than be forced to be with you. A free spirit until the very end.

Carmen does not die with a look of agony on her face or with any grief that she will lose her life. She had already accepted death a long time ago and she faced it with her chin up and head held high. (Take note of that, Anna and Luca.)

Anyways, that is my rant and sort of ode to Carmen.

Thoughts on the FD or anything else?

~The Rinkside Cafe