The Beautiful Project – Issue No. 31 – Sublimity, By Todd Eldredge.

The Beautiful Project – Issue No. 31 – Sublimity, By Todd Eldredge.

Video – http://goo.gl/RWFxox

I have been an avid figure skating fan my entire life, and have spent a lot of hours on the ice.  The work that figure skaters have done in the medium of ice skating has usually been beautiful, and often had an artistic quality; however, it has always been a sport, in part or in whole, and so, there are few programs that have been done that entered into the category of art qua art.

The performance done here by Todd Eldredge is one that is in that category.

It utilizes the piece of music Il Mare Calm Della Sera, sung by Andrea Bocelli (Issue No. 21 was about Andrea Bocelli’s performance of Con Te Partirò).

The music is itself a masterpiece; Andrea Bocelli’s performance, with Con Te Partirò, is certainly one of the two most beautiful tracks on the album ‘Romanza’.  And being of the exact maximum time length of the men’s long program in skating, 4 minutes and 40 seconds, this song provided the unedited material for a coincidence that could produce perfection.

This program – done by Todd Eldredge, a person one can see is of unusually high character – done to this music, in the midnight blue costume he is wearing – with his intensely sensual, superlatively skilled skating – including the rarest of skating devices – a deliberate fall to the ice as a dramatic gesture, like in Rodin’s statue Daphne Overcome – is of the highest caliber of Romanticism.  It is the kind of work one almost never sees today in the performing arts, because of the unusual combination of superlative music, a good man, superlative skill, and a superlative media, ice skating – a work that is sublime – and the sublimity including being of the highest technical art form.

And that is centrally why – among all the hundreds of programs I have ever seen – while I can only remember excerpts of a few – this is the only one that stands out in my mind as one I remember and want to remember, as something I am glad I got to witness.  A real work of art in ice skating.  Great work done by a good man.

Speaking about the man himself, on a lighter note, the girls can adore him (And some do call out exactly that right before the program starts.  Such a handsome boy!  But, wait.  He’s 41 now.  That made no sense.  But I swear, he looks like a cross between Tom Cruise and David Tennant, doesn’t he?), the men can admire his masculinity and skill, while still being graceful.  That’s the way man should be.  Good, elegant, graceful, nice, kind, but strong, masterful and masculine.  Very gentlemanly, very cultured.  Now – that’s civilization.  ( :

A man doing the most sophisticated things on two blades on synthetic ice – more than the smartphone or the skyscraper this shows how far our species has come from caves and cave drawings.

In this way, this performance is a type of climax of civilization, and a thing that can make a person proud to be a homo sapien.

When he jumps, he flies.  Given his resemblance to Christopher Reeve’s Superman, that would make him the Superman of Skating.

{As a Doctor Who fan, I would like to again emphatically point out his uncanny similarity to David Tennant/David Tennant’s Doctor Who.  Observe the TARDIS blue costume, ha ha ha.}

The various remarkable – and unusually – aesthetic and articulate comments by the commentator actually enhances what is seen.

What an intense and rare romantic art and romantic world experience seeing this video is!  And that is one of the reasons it is so special and beautiful.

The superlativity of this work brings to memory another masculine, yet graceful performer and performance – Mikhail Baryshnikov and his sublime performance in his production of The Nutcracker with American Ballet Theatre.

Truly this is one of the great masterpieces in ice skating ever done, and as the commentator says, “The whole package works. . . . I don’t know if he was inspired by the voice that we heard, but it certainly inspired the rest of us.”, and thank goodness the cameras were rolling!  The prefacing story of Todd Eldredge’s heroic efforts to overcome injury and perform well further add a sublime intensity edge of heroism to this video.

For those of us who look for the sight of an individual achievement of the highest kind, there one is.  Have a look at that.  And be inspired to live your own life well.

As the people call out, before the performance starts: “WE LOVE YOU, TODD!”

The whole atmosphere of radiant benevolence really adds to the video too.

Todd Eldredge is also a person whose long, thin, elegant lines go so well with an elegant thing like ice skating, and so, his elegant physical form combined with his superlative form and technique in his skating work further adds to the exaltedness of what is seen here, and the sublime, euphoric response one feels to this video.  The general resultant feeling is of ecstasy.

The commentator, incidentally, I believe, is the two time Olympic gold medalist, skating veteran and legend Dick Button.  Who also aptly comments on how amazing Andrea Bocelli’s performance is, as an aside, not just Todd Eldredge’s, the actual subject of his commentary.  Good man!

The choreography was, I believe, done by Richard Callaghan, Todd Eldredge’s coach. 

I am happy that – funny coincidence – actually I was watching this broadcast over 15 years ago on Channel 7, ABC, here in New York City, when it originally aired.  And someone recorded it and put it on the web.

Maybe you remember where you were when you first saw it.  Or will remember seeing it here for the first time.

Everything is superlative here!  Even the lighting and the camera work.  Look at the speed, the nimbleness of Todd’s movements across the ice, the exquisiteness and perfection of all the jumps and splits, the litheness of his figure, the adroitness of his skatesmanship!  The passionate and euphoric motions, the exalted, sensual fall, the seemingly effortlessness of his motion transitions, the hard, powerful, sharply defined, extremely difficult spins, the perfection of the perpendicularity in the camel spin, the immense strength of his control.

He doesn’t create the illusion of making it look easy; he honestly makes it look as what it is, the magnificent execution of something extremely difficult.  Skating is as hard as the ice you skate on.  His strength makes it look it.  That honesty is part of the man and his performance.  He makes his honesty and artistic integrity look as strong as the ice he is skating on.

Most of all – this is one of the few skaters who has ever done what ought to be done in a movement media to music – his movement is the expression in motion of the music he is skating to.  It is the expression in motion of his emotional response to the music he is skating to.  That is extremely rare among skaters.  Both the capacity to feel as much as this man does, and the capacity to give expression to it in motion.

It makes for what is rarely seen, the authenticity of the emotions he is expressing in his movements, his sincerity.

This program by Todd Eldredge is exquisite.

And Thank Goodness we get to see this again!

Enjoy!

I have not verified it, but I believe this is Todd Eldredge’s official website.

http://www.toddeldredge.net/

According to it, this program was done on April 17, 1998 at the Hershey’s FS Challenge in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA.

They list that copies of the DVD of his performance seen here can be purchased from them in Todd Eldredge: 1998 Vol. 4 (See 7th on list).

http://goo.gl/xSUlqK

The music can be purchased here (the same CD contains the Andrea Bocelli music from Issue No. 21.)  2 BP Issues’ music for the price of one.  Ha!

http://tiny.cc/AMAZINGSONGCD

http://tiny.cc/AMAZINGSONGViaiTunes

And do let me know exactly what you think of this performance by Todd Eldredge.

PS – It’s a hot August in America and Europe right now, so this is a cool thing to watch now.  Lol!

All my best, with Tender, Loving Care,

Paul Daniel

Can you think of a reason for not sharing this?  Neither could I.

The blog for The Beautiful Project is The Blog About Beautiful Things at: 

https://theblogaboutbeautifulthings.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/ProBeautiful

<|> The gold crystal background to the blog and attachment to the emails is the logo of The Beautiful Project.  It is a pure gold crystal that occurs very rarely in nature. <|>

Advertisements

One thought on “The Beautiful Project – Issue No. 31 – Sublimity, By Todd Eldredge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s