Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 79

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

  1. #16
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    Unless one goes by the most esoteric of definitions, this question is not even worth asking. The answer is glaringly, blindingly yes. If figure skating isn't campy, nothing is.

    And it is very esoteric to try to insist that camp must be intentional and witty. Since the concept existed, it has been a label that's assigned, often derogatorily, by a viewer/critic to something that someone else is doing. Do some performers/creators, once aware of the concept, aim for camp? Sure. But most of the time, things are deemed camp.

    Figure skating is inherently campy at the competitive level. The athletes wear heavy makeup and elaborate costumes during competition. Most competitors use dramatic music that they emote to. Ice dancing alone provides enough campiness for the entire sport. As fans and participants who are inured to the everyday excesses of the sport, it may be tough to see how ridiculous it is. But to the uninitiated, figure skating is thoroughly, ballistically campy.

    As for who may be the campiest skaters competing today, that's not really a fair question to ask across the disciplines (ice dancers would win in a landslide). Instead, let's first compare the disciplines:

    Ice dancing, of course, is the undisputed champ. Looking at the current World standings, I'd have to say among the top skaters, men's singles is campier than women's. This might be owed to the fact that the top women skew younger, and those younger skaters have had less time to bother with any kind of theatricality in their performances (Gracie Gold epitomizes this). And the least campy discipline these days is pairs. With how difficult, dangerous and complicated high level pair skating is now, pair skaters just don't seem to have any time to perform. Even the top pairs teams barely have any breathers in their competitive programs to vamp. Spin, lift and death spiral positions, which in past eras would lend themselves to plenty of campiness, now seem like yoga done at gunpoint.

    So who's campy, who's not within the top echelon of each discipline?

    Among the top ice dancers, Meryl Davis stands out as one of the campiest, while her partner Charlie White is the least. Maybe that's why they make such a good team. Madison Chock, the woman in my avatar picture, is another camp winner. Really, aside from the aforementioned Mr. White, ice dancing has so much camp I don't see how I can sort them.

    Among the top men's singles, Daisuke Takahashi takes the tiara. Florent Amodio has a pretty good case for snatching it from him, though. Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez are also two shiny hams. It might be easier to list who is not campy. And among the current top 20 men in the world, it'd have to be Han Yan. Who, while slightly more emotive than the rest of the poker-faced (and not in the Lady Gaga/Johnny Weir way) Chinese single skaters, still falls far short of displaying any kind of emotion during a skate.

    Among the top women, Alena Leonova would win Faye Dunaway's Wire Hanger of camp, but she's not really a top skater any more except by the lagging indicator of the ISU rankings. Akiko Suzuki, who always goes all out during her movie/musical inspired footwork sequences, may have a claim. Mao Asada can occasionally turn up the camp, like she did with her "I Got Rhythm" short program. Carolina Kostner stakes out her ground in camp with all that hip-shaking in her Bolero piece. Overall, though, the women just don't go over the top enough. Yuna Kim is the greatest disappointment in this area. In her recent short program, she skated to music from a b-list horror movie. And yet there was very little kissing and very little vamping in her The Kiss of the Vampire program. And like I said before, Gracie Gold stands out as devoid of camp, as she doesn't bother to perform at all.

    In pairs, Savchenko and Szolkowy used to have plenty of camp (they did programs to Pink Panther and Lost in Space, after all). But now, like most other pair teams, they seem way too focused on executing difficult elements to bother much with anything else. Overall, pairs gets a big fat fail for campiness.
    Yes!!! Leonova is totally Faye Dunaway from Mommie Dearest. Camp heaven!!!

  2. #17
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    555
    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....

  3. #18
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    10,656
    To answer the question, no!

  4. #19
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,052
    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.

  5. #20
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,852
    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.

  6. #21
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    28,102
    ^ 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. )

  7. #22
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    4,490
    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.

  8. #23
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,052
    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. )

  9. #24
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,799
    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
    Thanks for the link, and to WeakAnkles for citing the essay.

    I think we could approach the question either from the creator's (skater's and choreographer's) point of view or from the audience's.

    Are there examples of skating programs in which the skater's and choreographer's intention was to showcase artifice, to put metaphorical quotation marks around the performance?
    If so, then I think we could say that those programs are examples of intentional camp.

    I can think of some examples of show programs that would meet that criterion, not so much competitive programs. But of course I can't really read the skaters' minds. Maybe some are more attuned to irony than I would expect.


    I think there are plenty of examples of skating programs, choreography, costumes, kiss-and-cry drama, etc., which are intended completely earnestly, but which viewers with a more sophisticated sensibility can't help seeing as kitsch. And yet, if the viewers also enjoy the skating on its own merits and enjoy it even more because of the disconnect between appealing athleticism and tacky packaging, then their enjoyment of skating may be rooted in appreciation of it as camp.

    But in many cases the skaters would be offended that these viewers see (and enjoy) tackiness where they were aiming for and hoped they achieved beauty.

  10. #25
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    653
    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Are there examples of skating programs in which the skater's and choreographer's intention was to showcase artifice, to put metaphorical quotation marks around the performance?
    If so, then I think we could say that those programs are examples of intentional camp.

    I can think of some examples of show programs that would meet that criterion, not so much competitive programs. But of course I can't really read the skaters' minds. Maybe some are more attuned to irony than I would expect.
    A great illustration of "camp" is Yuna's Bond Girl. Which would make it second-generation camp, since the Bond movies themselves were deliberately and iconically camp. Which also goes to show that campiness may be a recessive trait, as the books by Ian Fleming were decidedly not camp (having read quite a few of them when I was younger and less discriminating, I would say the novels were one's humorless great-uncle's fantasy of being a "hep cat").

  11. #26
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,852
    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    A great illustration of "camp" is Yuna's Bond Girl. Which would make it second-generation camp, since the Bond movies themselves were deliberately and iconically camp. Which also goes to show that campiness may be a recessive trait, as the books by Ian Fleming were decidedly not camp (having read quite a few of them when I was younger and less discriminating, I would say the novels were one's humorless great-uncle's fantasy of being a "hep cat").
    That's an interesting distinction to make. Here's another example: Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls as a novel isn't camp--it's kitsch. But the movie may be the high watermark of Hollywood Camp. It's funny how moving something from one type of art/performance to another can change its camp/kitsch quality.

    I was just thinking one might consider "tacky" as kitsch without the affection.

    By the way, Serious Business, I love your post. You're right--Charlie White doesn't have a camp bone in his body (he may be the most Heterosexual Man In America). Barbara Fusar-Poli may be the all-time Ice Dance Camp Empress. You would think "Pasha" Grishuk would easily win that title, but she represents a strange case in ice dance, where her "real life" is far far more High Camp than her ice dancing performances...

  12. #27
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    28,102
    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Are there examples of skating programs in which the skater's and choreographer's intention was to showcase artifice, to put metaphorical quotation marks around the performance?

    If so, then I think we could say that those programs are examples of intentional camp.

    I can think of some examples of show programs that would meet that criterion, not so much competitive programs.
    Ryan Bradley's Mozart LP?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYTc-f_ZxeQ

  13. #28
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,852
    Javier Fernandez's Let's Get Physical exhibition program.

  14. #29
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    409
    I see very little humor or lightness in figure skating in the last few years, whether it's the new judging criteria or just the way the trend is going. Some of the funnier touches (unintentional or not) are gone. You don't see men dressed like pianos playing themselves (Alexei Y), or wearing swan puppets or bride/groom outfits (Johnny) or dying on the ice (ice dancers of the late 80s). I can't see a drag queen pretending to be any of the current crop of skaters. What's there to make fun of, the bun? The simple, sparkly, outfit?

  15. #30
    Tripping on the Podium
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    61
    As far as we follow the definition of Susan Sontag, I think it involves very subjective points of view. All kinds of shows that include emotional expression like musical or movies exaggerate at a certain point but when it exaggerates it too much and fails to make people feel deeply into it but is still so hilarious and adorable at the same time, it becomes camp. It's something that is sooooo serious that you cannot take it seriously. However people have different boundaries between artistic expression and campy or crappy work of art. For example, Ando Miki's 2010 Olympics LP is a little bit camp to me but it is not for some people. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate it as much as the others do but it only means that I appreciate it in a different way. For me, to be camp, the work has to be too much and ridiculous at some point but I may fill it adorable, lovely, humorous, or even cool mainly because I have affections to it.

    I usually don't take competitive skating as camp because although they are exaggerated, they are still serious enough for me but some people might feel it that way. Costumes? probably camp. Lambiel's Four seasons' costume is definitely camp. When it comes to exhibition, there's much more to consider as camp.

    By the way, I loooooove the Susan Sontag's essay. I even wrote a paper on camp in the last semester. Camp is such a fascinating view of art.

    ETA. As I think about it more and more, I find a lot of them campy but I haven't realized it ! Oh gosh, it is a campy sports.

Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •