Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison, The Way We Were

I have been mesmerized by figure skating for as long as I can remember.  What little girl can watch those spins, jumps, and lifts without feeling complete envy? I suppose some of us grow out of it, but I never have. There's just no point in watching the Olympics if I can't watch the figure skating competitions.

Today, everyone is talking about Yu-Na Kim's record breaking score in the Ladies Short Program. The day before, it was about the competition between Canada and the US for Ice Dancing gold. The Russian Ice Dancers had, not one, but two controversial outfits. China took gold and silver in Pairs. But for me, the most memorable part of these Olympic Games so far has been the Free Skate by Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison for Canada.

Dube and Davison finished in 6th place, their skates having less "oomph" and difficulty than the top pairs. But it's not always about power and footwork for me - I like to watch the emotions. Jessica Dube blew me away with a touch of her hand to her partner's face. (No one on the internet seems to have captured this on film...)

You see, they were dancing to the title music from the movie "The Way We Were." Hearing the music brought back so many memories. The mood of the film was captured perfectly by the expressions and movements of the skaters. About half way through their performance, an unexpected duplication of detail: she touched the side of his face in yearning, as if to brush back his hair.

In the film, Barbara Streisand's character has a habit of reaching out to brush the hair out of Robert Redford's eyes. In the final scene, a chance meeting years after their breakup, she once again reaches out. And stops short. The love and regret is palpable in that moment. It is truly an unforgettable moment in film.

So cheers to Jessica and Bryce, for recreating such an exquisite scene of old lovers wishing they could recapture their past, if only for a moment.