Like subtlety in ice dancing
Urgh, did you not read the rest of my post? One of my belabored points is that camp has long since ceased to be tied to gay culture. And camp doesn't always imply gender performance. Although Plushenko certainly has played around with gender with his 2004 exhibition, or of course, the infamous Sex Bomb.
Originally Posted by plushyfan
Camp is that which is theatrical, over the top, full of performance and artifice. Plushenko's Godfather program certainly was camp, unless you take him to be an actual mafioso threatening the judges.
Camp is not synonymous with artistry, although they are related. Camp is being theatrical and over the top. Great artistry is forethought and inspiration in constructing a narrative, and then having the ability to impress it fully on an audience. In figure skating, you can be quite campy without being artistic. Nowadays, Misha Ge stands out as the epitome of that to me. Plushenko, in comparison, is a much more substantial artist despite being similarly camp. Plushenko has far more confidence, skill and variety in his ability to make people feel. On the flip side, you can have a very artistic performance that isn't that campy. Michelle Kwan's Lyra Angelica would be a good example of that.
More than a few posters have now cited Kevin Reynolds as an example of camp now. This is so ludicrous to me I almost think there must be another Reynolds skating about. If it is Kevin you guys are talking about, how is he camp? He barely performs when he skates. There's very little emoting, stylizing, mimicry, theatricality or anything that stands out as camp to any part of his skating. He's only campy in that figure skating is inherently campy. There's nothing campy about him relative to other skaters in the sport.
Originally Posted by skateluvr
But even classical ballet has a lot of intentional camp to it. Many of those pieces tell stories with more than a few twists, which the production must convey without the use of dialog or narration to the people in the last row. The body lines are going to be crisp and clear. The music is going to hammer every emotional bit home. The audience is never going to wonder, "is she supposed to be a swan?" 'cause by god, she's going to be stuffed with feathers. And that's what camp is. It's production design, the costumes, the sets, the musical motifs, the repeated motions that helps the audience escape into an different and impossible world. At the end of the night, no matter how good a ballet company is, the audience isn't going to think that the dancers really were hunters, princesses and rebellious gladiators who lived, loved and died within a few hours. The campiness, when done right and done with good artistry, lets a willing audience participate in a temporary fantasy.
Originally Posted by Olympia
And this is also very applicable to figure skating. There are, no doubt, skating fans who would just as soon no skater ever skate a piece where they pretend to be a character of any kind or tell any kind of story. But I wager most of us would object. And most of us wouldn't demand that the skaters be truly, completely authentic to whatever they're portraying. We don't need Alexei Yagudin to be an actual gladiator. We don't need Torville and Dean to be a bullfighter and his cape. We don't need Virtue and Moir to be actually in love (though some wish it so). We know they're putting on a show. And we know they're putting on a show while doing incredibly difficult and precise athletic feats. That's the camp in skating. Without the camp, figure skating would just be exercising.
I think the people who cite Kevin Reynolds as an example of "camp" are referring to his hair, as it is by far the most stylized and theatrical thing about him.
Agreed that camp is NOT the same as gay culture and hasn't been for quite a while. The tv series of Batman may be one of the campiest things ever produced. As is, yes, synchronized swimming (not to mention Esther Williams movies).
The specific Voir Carmen program is not in and of itself campy, but the idea of Carmen on ice definitely is.
I have to agree with Serious Business that I don't see anything camp in Kevin Reynolds' skating at all.
And I totally agree with Sather's post: camp is always affectionate, much in the same way that kitsch is. It is a very different attitude than satire. Satire is always, on some level or another, critical. Camp is not.
But camp, of course, has the same problems of definition as pornography. At what point does the erotic become pornographic? At what point does an extravagant theatricality become camp? 'Tis a quandary...
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