Can we all just take a moment and thank the skate gods that these two decided to skate together? Long after their Olympic win in 1984, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean reinvented themselves with new concepts and ideas. Debuting this piece in 1990, it is one of their lesser-known works but one of their most demanding and intricate. As Sandra Bezic said in the commentary, the program is based on action and reaction. Here are a few take-aways from the performance:
Push and shove, all done in love
Chris certainly whipped and finagled Jayne around like she was his chew toy. But this only showcased the incredible control Jayne obtained and her ability to twist and maneuver herself in concocted positions. During their pushes and pulls, the contrast in energy especially shined through. The quick swings and releases in opposition to suspensions and long pulls created a dynamic that kept your eyes glued to the performance.
Repetition can be the spice of life
Chris Dean is known for repetition in his work — especially his own with Torvill. Pretty much he is saying, “In case you missed it the first time, check it out again because it’s so freakin’ amazing.” And we love him for it. Whenever he repeats motifs, the visceral reaction grows greater and the piece gets more and more mind-boggling. He’s a genius I tell you!
Two very different pieces of music, in one cohesive program!?
The 1990s were known for odd music cuts and changes, but this one was effective. Since both pieces were performed by The Beatles, using these two contrasting songs was less of a stretch. Even still, the transition between the pieces of music can be very tricky and difficult to do well. The long pause in between was essential; it allowed the audience to digest the first half and recover in time to feel an entirely new emotion.
The second half of the program captivated us so much because of the dynamic difference from the first piece. What I especially loved about “Imagine” was their use of the same motifs from the first half, but done in an entirely different energy quality. This time the movements flowed together instead of being chopped and abrupt.
Altogether this piece is a whopping six-and-a-half minutes (that’s a senior long program and a half, mind you). It had to be this long to portray the story they wanted to tell — and we thank them for it (and for sacrificing their oxygen supply).