Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bolero!


So this post topic has been niggling at me for a while now, so here it finally is...


Who remembers the 1984 Winter Olympics, specifically the Pairs Ice Skating event. Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean performed their free-style program to a specially adapted version of Maurice Ravel's Boléro and took home the gold. If winning gold wasn't enough, they earned the highest marks ever for figure skaters in a single performance, garnering all sixes for artistic impression. A record that still holds as of this post.

I was 13 1/2 at the time of the '84 Winter Olympics and this performance is one of the few TV moments I actually really remember from my childhood.

If you're so inclined to re-watch an amazing moment in history...


The actual impetus for this post happened last year. I was on my way home from a friend's house one evening and had the classical station on. The station was airing a simulcast from Berlin and halfway home, Bolero began to pour forth from my speakers. I turned up the volume a bit to really enjoy the performance as well as the song itself. I even sat in the car in the driveway until the song finally wound to a close. The original composition lasts anywhere from 15 to 17 minutes.

The one thing I learned at the end of that performance that totally amazed me was this fact...

The song begins and ends with the snare drum and it continues throughout the entire song and by the time all is said and done, the snare drum player has performed over 10,000 beats! WOW!

Do you remember this performance when it originally aired?

2 comments:

Regina Richards said...

Truly beautiful!

Jen FitzGerald said...

It's exciting to watch even now.