I heard the overture to Die Fledermaus performed in a concert last night and all I could think of was Jenny Kirk. The music was her signature music. Hearing it, made me sad that she decided to quit skating two seasons ago.
I also recently saw the movie, "Chicago" for the first time and all I could think of was Jenny because she chose music from "Chicago" as her signature music for her short program that she used for several seasons.
Hearing the music just reminded me what a special skater Jenny was. She had a lightness and sparkle to her performances. Her years of ballet training and performance helped her bring characters to life on the ice in a way that none of the current stars understand (how to do). I love the way Jenny always looked up and smiled and presented to the audience as she skated. She was aware of the audience and aware that she was performing rather than just checking off a laundry list of jumps. That's a skill that comes from the ballet stage and it's sadly missing in skating today.
Jenny had such a beautiful lightness to her skating. Her jumps were rather small (like Caroline Zhang's) but they were always neat (neat feet, neat positions throughout the jumps, tight, clean rotations).
Jenny had such a lovely way of expressing to music. She really connected with her music and understood how to perform to music. That's why when I hear Jenny's music, I can always see her skating in my mind. Jenny had this special quality where she just lit up an arena with her charm, elan and charisma. I just don't see this quality in any of the current crop of skaters. I miss these qualities greatly.
Whoever convinced Jenny to retire precipitously prior to the 2006 season, has deprived the skating world of one of it's shining lights. I truly miss her skating. I think she had something special that no one else currently has.