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Thread: Do you think figure skating is a campy sport?

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    Do you think figure skating is a campy sport?

    So yes, figure skating is obviously a real sport...it takes a heckuvalot of work to be good at it and requires both athletic endurance and lots of talent. But relative to other sports do you think it has a certain camp factor? It doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing...but would you agree that something about figure skating lends itself to a bit of camp humor? And on that note, who do you think, aside from Johnny Weir, are the campiest skaters skating today? I would say Alena Leonova, Savchenko and Szolowsky, Duhamel and Radford, Scott Moir, and Kevin Reynolds definitely fit the bill.

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    I don't understand how Moir is campy, I do agree about the others though.

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    I don't think it is.

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    Hah, it's totally a campy sport sometimes. Amodio, Leonova, Plushenko, Mao's SP, Domnina/Shabalin, Volosozhar/Trankov's SP, so many examples. I mean, you just need to look at some of the costumes! I agree that it makes it more entertaining and glitzy, but there's a fine line between a program having character, and skaters pandering to the crowd. For competition, projecting to the crowd is good (and if it's a humorous or cheeky program, like Javier's FS, it makes sense to have that charm), but movements should reflect the character of the music and there's plenty of programs where skaters shimmy their arms or thrust their hips and it pushes the camp factor to over-the-top territory.

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    I don't think it's campy.

    Campy implies humor, intelligence, good fun, and giving tradition a wink and a nod.

    Not much of that in skating any more. We have trashy programs. We have in-poor-taste programs. We have many, many programs without solid choreography.

    But campy? no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by centerpt1 View Post
    I don't think it's campy.

    Campy implies humor, intelligence, good fun, and giving tradition a wink and a nod.

    Not much of that in skating any more. We have trashy programs. We have in-poor-taste programs. We have many, many programs without solid choreography.

    But campy? no.
    YMMV, but since when does campiness imply intelligence? Never heard of that association.
    One dictionary definition of "camp": used of art and entertainment when qualities that are normally considered bad (such as excessive emotion and bad acting) are exaggerated so much that they become interesting and funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by bump View Post
    So yes, figure skating is obviously a real sport...it takes a heckuvalot of work to be good at it and requires both athletic endurance and lots of talent. But relative to other sports do you think it has a certain camp factor? It doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing...but would you agree that something about figure skating lends itself to a bit of camp humor? And on that note, who do you think, aside from Johnny Weir, are the campiest skaters skating today? I would say Alena Leonova, Savchenko and Szolowsky, Duhamel and Radford, Scott Moir, and Kevin Reynolds definitely fit the bill.
    Relative to other sports? I wonder why you framed your question that way. Few other sports use music, costumes, and choreography.

    IMHO, it would be hyperbole and a disservice to figure skating to call the entire sport campy. I do not like the idea of extrapolating from a limited number of campy programs to characterize the entire sport.

    (And I do not think of Savchenko/Szolkowy, Duhamel/Radford, or Moir as campy. Don't know enough about the others to have an opinion.)

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    Well, yes...on second thought, I did get a laugh out of Evan L's "manly" costumes last Olympic season. Bird feathers, snakes...and earlier, the sparkly penguin. A bit campy.

    You are so right.There can be unintentional camp.

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    Campy: definition... amusing because it is obviously intended to be strange or shocking and seems to be ridiculing itself:
    No, I see nothing in serious competition like that. Shows, yes...Mr. Weir and Plushy ( doing a program as a baby) are campy....
    Someone who's parents spent $100,000 and more on them so they can practice late at night or early in the morning, and compete till they climb the ladder or injure themselves....campy? No. The Old Batman TV series was campy.....figure skating is blood, sweat and tears.....and hopefully some joy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I don't think it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    Campy: definition... amusing because it is obviously intended to be strange or shocking and seems to be ridiculing itself:
    No, I see nothing in serious competition like that. Shows, yes...Mr. Weir and Plushy ( doing a program as a baby) are campy....
    Someone who's parents spent $100,000 and more on them so they can practice late at night or early in the morning, and compete till they climb the ladder or injure themselves....campy? No. The Old Batman TV series was campy.....figure skating is blood, sweat and tears.....and hopefully some joy.


    Quote Originally Posted by centerpt1 View Post
    CAMP something that provides sophisticated, knowing amusement, as by virtue of its being artlessly mannered or stylized, self-consciously artificial and extravagant, or teasingly ingenuous and sentimental.
    Sincere (not snarky or sarcastic) comment on the continual evolution of the English language: seems that "camp" and "campy" are good examples of words whose definitions are not written in stone. I'm not surprised to see "knowing" above. But never would have expected "sophisticated" to show up in a definition of "camp"; they seem incongruous to me, so going forward, I will be keeping my eyes and ears open for the mash-up of the two in current usage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    Well you would have to separate camp from kitsch. And you could go one step further and separate kistch from, as a friend of mine would call it, too-tacky-for-words. Probably the definitive essay on camp is Susan Sontag's "Notes on Camp." Her first note (they are numbered in the essay) states, "To start very generally: Camp is a certain mode of aestheticism. It is one way of seeing the world as an aesthetic phenomenon. That way, the way of Camp, is not in terms of beauty, but in terms of the degree of artifice, of stylization." She elaborates this throughout the essay (such as in note 10: "Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It's not a lamp, but a "lamp"; not a woman, but a "woman." To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater.").

    Kitsch though, is not necessarily about artifice as art (or should I say "art"?). Kitsch deals more with matters of taste, of quality. Bad art can be camp--but then again so can good art (Sontag lists the ballet "Swan Lake" in the canon of Camp). Kitsch is always bad art. But kitsch also tends to have an emotional component as well: you know something is bad, of inferior quality, but there is something about it that pleases you anyway (hmmm, I can think of a number of FS programs that fall under that definition).

    Tackiness on the other hand, is something that not only lacks a certain quality, but fails the good taste test.

    Carmen on ice is camp.
    Some consider Evan Lysacek's Carmen program to be kitsch.
    Some Carmen costumes are just tacky.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ Thank you for that great post! Here is the essay.

    http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/i...camp-1964.html

    To me, camp has a certain "it's so bad it's good" implication. I never feel that way about a competitive skating performance. (If it's bad, it's bad. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by bump View Post
    So yes, figure skating is obviously a real sport...it takes a heckuvalot of work to be good at it and requires both athletic endurance and lots of talent. But relative to other sports do you think it has a certain camp factor? It doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing...but would you agree that something about figure skating lends itself to a bit of camp humor? And on that note, who do you think, aside from Johnny Weir, are the campiest skaters skating today? I would say Alena Leonova, Savchenko and Szolowsky, Duhamel and Radford, Scott Moir, and Kevin Reynolds definitely fit the bill.
    Obviously you have no intelligence, or otherwise you would not have started this thread,this thread should be closed......

    I take it you like to hold a can of beer and watch a macho sport....

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    To answer the question, no!

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    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    I take it we are talking about competitive skating and not show skating.

    Certain skaters show a lot of theater in their competitive programs and that is a good thing for me as it draws me into
    the performance aspect much more that some one skating by the numbers and I tend to find those performances much more enjoyable,
    whether it is a winning performance or not it does not matter to me.

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    Well you would have to separate camp from kitsch. And you could go one step further and separate kistch from, as a friend of mine would call it, too-tacky-for-words. Probably the definitive essay on camp is Susan Sontag's "Notes on Camp." Her first note (they are numbered in the essay) states, "To start very generally: Camp is a certain mode of aestheticism. It is one way of seeing the world as an aesthetic phenomenon. That way, the way of Camp, is not in terms of beauty, but in terms of the degree of artifice, of stylization." She elaborates this throughout the essay (such as in note 10: "Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It's not a lamp, but a "lamp"; not a woman, but a "woman." To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater.").

    Kitsch though, is not necessarily about artifice as art (or should I say "art"?). Kitsch deals more with matters of taste, of quality. Bad art can be camp--but then again so can good art (Sontag lists the ballet "Swan Lake" in the canon of Camp). Kitsch is always bad art. But kitsch also tends to have an emotional component as well: you know something is bad, of inferior quality, but there is something about it that pleases you anyway (hmmm, I can think of a number of FS programs that fall under that definition).

    Tackiness on the other hand, is something that not only lacks a certain quality, but fails the good taste test.

    Carmen on ice is camp.
    Some consider Evan Lysacek's Carmen program to be kitsch.
    Some Carmen costumes are just tacky.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ Thank you for that great post! Here is the essay.

    http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/i...camp-1964.html

    To me, camp has a certain "it's so bad it's good" implication. I never feel that way about a competitive skating performance. (If it's bad, it's bad. )

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