Bolero was meant by Ravel to reflect the relentlessness of machinery, quite a common theme of turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) art. I think the reasons it worked so well for Torvill and Dean in 1984 are:Originally Posted by Mathman
1. They are ice dancers, and ice dancers do not need music to reflect the build-up entries into jumps (Klimkins 3S out of camel spins not withstanding), the long standard entries into throws, the contrasts of height needed for twists and other overhead lifts, or fast spins with multiple changes of positions.
2. Ice Dance in 1984 had more restrictive rules for how long a couple could be apart, the types of lifts they could do, etc. Since Torvill and Dean were pushing the envelope in general, it was a bit of a metaphor for them to use changes of edge and direction, constantly intertwining arms and upper bodies, and imaginative (low) lifts against the intentional drone of the music.
It will be interesting to see what Kwan's choreographer can make of a piece of music that doesn't have a natural arc and flow for the meat of singles or pairs skating moves.