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

  1. #31
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    Serious Business [...] You're right--Charlie White doesn't have a camp bone in his body (he may be the most Heterosexual Man In America).
    Camp did start out in (and still remains part of) gay culture. But the concept has long since generalized beyond that. So while Charlie White is allegedly heterosexual, I would not attribute his lack of affectations (if one is feeling charitable) or his inability to perform (if one is not) to his sexuality. Scott Hamilton sure lived up to the first three letters of his last name, but he's straight. Matt Savoie, whose style was extremely subtle and subdued, married a guy last year.

    There is an element of camp that involves tweaking gender stereotypes. After all, drag queens are the very definition of camp. But well, there are plenty of straight drag queens (really). Even in skating, we have Evgeni Plushenko, who did skate as a woman quite a few times, who is quite heterosexual. Plushenko, in fact, may be the campiest men's single skater in the last decade.

    Which brings me to Johnny Weir. Now some have cited him as a study in camp. And he has skated to some very, very flamboyant programs. But at the same time, he did just as many, if not more programs that are downright introverted. This was especially true earlier on in his career. I would even say that Weir is more comfortable doing those lyrical, navel-gazing pieces competitively than when he has to vamp it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by sather View Post
    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.

    [...]

    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.
    At least you're coming around! It seems like it's incredibly difficult for most people who are very vested in this sport, who know exactly how much one wrong edge will cost, and how much blood and sweat went into each performance, to see figure skating as camp. After all, camp is ridiculous. And to them, figure skating is, well, serious business. However, from the perspective of the mainstream and most people, figure skating is undeniably camp. And I think, even for skaters and fans, the sport is campy as all get out if they take a step back.

    Many things that are considered camp are only camp from the outside. There's the camp that the creators took very seriously, but no one else can (like the movie Showgirls). And there's the misunderstood camp. A sport that's in a similar boat to figure skating, synchronized swimming, is the butt of many jokes, and frequently brought up as the one sport people want to see cut from the Olympics. But synchronized swimming is actually one of the most difficult and strenuous aquatic sports.

    The problem is that camp still carries negative connotations. Camp is frivolous. Surely, if we love something, it can't be camp. But it can! Drag queens spend hours practicing their act, undergo painful stuffing, tucking and eyebrow-plucking, but none of them will deny that what they're doing is pure camp.

    Figure skating cannot take itself too seriously. It needs camp. In some ways, it has gone a bit overboard with deemphasizing it. Due to guidelines and instructions current judges are getting from the ISU, it seems pretty darn clear to me that the theatrical, emotive and performance aspects of the program component scoring guidelines are mostly ignored. Skating skills dictate the rest of the PCS. And many, many performances that are truly and magnificently performances get a shoddy PCS. As a result of this pruning, competitive skating is evolving into a less and less campy sport. This makes it a more boring sport for not just the hardcore skate fans, but casual audiences. Sure, when figure skating is campy, casual audiences may not appreciate how difficult it is because it looks fun. But at least then it's fun.

  2. #32
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    Javier Fernandez's Let's Get Physical exhibition program.
    Agree that this Fernandez exhibition is intentional camp.

    And BTW, Charlie White has shown at least once (also in an exhibition) that he is not immune to camp. Sorry, my memory of the program is is very fuzzy, but he was wearing big eyeglasses with thick black rims and an intentionally geeky outfit. Again, I don't remember for sure, but the basic idea seemed to be that White's character appeared at first to be an awkward, self-conscious dork, but then transformed into a graceful, confident dancer.
    Have not re-watched the program, but these vids show his over-the-top costuming:

  3. #33
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I don't feel qualified to comment on what is camp or not:

    I seek advice. Which of the following are camp:

    Fusarl-Poli & Margaglio's 2001 World ice dance FD (they won. I detest this dance. Does that mean for me, it's not camp, despite Barbara being the Queen of Camp?)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTiw6gYluY0

    Krylova & Ovsiannakov's Carmen 1998 FD (they won. I love this dance, and I think it is probably camp. Dick Button emphatically did not love it, though.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oFAnymw0YU

    Virtue & Moir's 2013 FD Carmen (V&M intend this to be high art, and are dressed as unspangly as possible to show that)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oFAnymw0YU

    Zhiganshina & Gaszi's Zombies FD 2013 (I don't care what this is; I love it anyway, but I'd be curious whether it is kitsch or camp.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yvoCVYNMDU

    And here's the Charlie White exhibition with the suspenders & glasses
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxHPbMvhBI0

  4. #34
    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post

    Even in skating, we have Evgeni Plushenko, who did skate as a woman quite a few times, who is quite heterosexual. Plushenko, in fact, may be the campiest men's single skater in the last decade.
    In this forum I read a lot of strange and false things on Plushy but , this is the most ridiculous. Some people say he isn't an artistry skater, after you say, he is a campy skater..I have never seen inartistic gay skater. OMG! For me he is one of the most masculine skater today. Can you tell me wich programs were campy? The Godfather? Tango de Roxanne in last year??, Or I don't know what is the campy? What does that mean? campy=poofy? or is there another meaning?

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    Quote Originally Posted by plushyfan View Post
    I have never seen inartistic gay skater.
    You probably have, but you didn't know they were gay.

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    I actually have never seen any skater who is totally inartistic, gay or not gay. Some skaters are just less artistic than others. Someone who is inartistic will not go into figure skating in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plushyfan View Post
    Can you tell me wich programs were campy? The Godfather? Tango de Roxanne in last year??, Or I don't know what is the campy? What does that mean? campy=poofy? or is there another meaning?

    Perhaps it's Assisai...

    I don't know what "campy" means, either, at least from this thread. It seems that different people are using the word in completely different ways. Not conforming to (stereotypical) gender roles on ice? Sequins and feathers? Not to be taken seriously? Not "lyrical"? Not "subtle"? Dramatic? Ironic? Tasteless? "So bad it's good"?

    With Plushy, I for myself don't agree that he is a "campy" skater in general (using whatever definition of "campy" listed above), because to me, he's not so easily categorized. I also suspect there is quite a strong cultural component when it comes to what each viewer may or may not consider "campy". Plushenko is capable of programs that fit certain definitions of (intentionally and humorously) "campy", if one must use that word--as he said once, an artist "should not always be in the image of a prince". Maybe Sex Bomb fits. Maybe Assisai. Or another example, I suspect many North American would see Prisoner as campy, but to me, it isn't at all.

    (BTW, since I can never prevent myself from going on and on about his Tango Roxanne, actually I've personally always seen quite a bit that's somewhat gender-bending, or more precisely fluid, in it (which is not to say that it isn't "masculine" in a different sense), yet it was certainly not "drag", and to my own mind, it was absolutely not campy...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    I actually have never seen any skater who is totally inartistic, gay or not gay. Some skaters are just less artistic than others. Someone who is inartistic will not go into figure skating in the first place.
    That's not really true. Some skaters get into it because they like the gliding or the jumping and don't care about what it looks like.

    In the days of school figures, some very shy skaters did well at that part but not so well in freeskating.

    However, if they want to compete successfully they will need to start caring. So by the time you see them in high-level competition, you will see some presentation skills.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    That's not really true. Some skaters get into it because they like the gliding or the jumping and don't care about what it looks like.

    In the days of school figures, some very shy skaters did well at that part but not so well in freeskating.

    However, if they want to compete successfully they will need to start caring. So by the time you see them in high-level competition, you will see some presentation skills.
    Actually, I think, gliding itself in figure skating level is artistic already, unlike the gliding in ice hockey and speed skating.

  10. #40
    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    You probably have, but you didn't know they were gay.
    Yes, probably...But generally that skater, who is unquestionable artistry skaters in every FS fan's eyes, are gays. Johnny, Jeremy, John Curry etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plushyfan View Post
    Yes, probably...But generally that skater, who is unquestionable artistry skaters in every FS fan's eyes, are gay. Johnny, Jeremy, John Curry etc.
    You don't know about Jeremy. He has never said anything about it. Your stereotypical approach is irritating. The skater who has been crowned as the most artistic skater in the current competitive skating field is Daisuke Takahashi. And I'm sure his fans will defend him to death.

  12. #42
    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitebamboo View Post
    Perhaps it's Assisai...
    (BTW, since I can never prevent myself from going on and on about his Tango Roxanne, actually I've personally always seen quite a bit that's somewhat gender-bending, or more precisely fluid, in it (which is not to say that it isn't "masculine" in a different sense), yet it was certainly not "drag", and to my own mind, it was absolutely not campy...)
    Asissai?? That is really funny is not campy!!! He acts girl and boy in one program..fantastic! Tango de Roxanne: I agree with Morozov:" The skating, which Plushenko shows, is a real man’s skating. He has a charisma.. I was simply shocked from his performance. How much masculine power he has!"

  13. #43
    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    You don't know about Jeremy. He has never said anything about it.
    Yes, he didn't tell me, so I don't know. But I read something like this. And I also don't know about Lambiel. Don't get me wrong, it isn't problem for me, so I finish this theme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plushyfan View Post
    In this forum I read a lot of strange and false things on Plushy but , this is the most ridiculous. Some people say he isn't an artistry skater, after you say, he is a campy skater..I have never seen inartistic gay skater. OMG! For me he is one of the most masculine skater today. Can you tell me wich programs were campy? The Godfather? Tango de Roxanne in last year??, Or I don't know what is the campy? What does that mean? campy=poofy? or is there another meaning?
    Plushyfan, I'm never sure what people mean by "camp," but it seems to me that there's a slightly different connotation of the word in England and the U.S. In England, I think it does always connote a gay subtext, whereas in America, it refers to general flamboyance and artificiality. But I could be wrong about that.

    It's always "over the top," as we say here. Liberace, for example, would be considered camp by any definition.

    I think that skating has a lot of glitz, as ballroom dancing has, but there are certainly aspects of skating that have nothing to do with camp or glitz or anything artificial. For example, "Missing," skated by the Duchesnays and choreographed by Christopher Dean. Simply being theatrical or intensely emotional doesn't mean that something is campy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    Actually, I think, gliding itself in figure skating level is artistic already, unlike the gliding in ice hockey and speed skating.
    Depends what you mean by "artistic."

    I try to glide with good form, and I try to put interesting, appropriate moves connected to the music and theme into my programs.

    But I think if you were watching me, as an adult bronze skater, stroke around the rink, compared to a high-level speedskater or hockey player without all the pads, the latter would be more aesthetically appealing.

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