Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Hail the Kween: Dream of Desdemona

Michelle Kwan gifted this sport with so many wonderful programs.  As a Michelle-uber I feel the need to revisit these programs every now and then, if only to bask in the glow of Michelle's sheer brilliance.  Let us bow before the absolute masterpiece, "Dream of Desdemona."

Now that's an ending position!

In terms of favorite short programs, I think this one ranks #2 on my list. The music was amazing, the choreography was perfection, the costumes were stunning, the delivery was convincing and dramatic...truly one of her masterpieces.

I loved the story this program tells.  It's from the play Othello; Othello's wife, Desdemona (whom he killed), visits him in a dream. There was a feeling to this program that was so tortured and passionate...Michelle pulled it off brilliantly. This program is the definition of performing from your head to your toes.  Even down to her fingertips, Michelle completely embodied the feeling and character of this music.

There is so much to love: her masterful edging; the beautiful flow into and out of her jumps; her complete use of the ice; the speed and difficulty in the footwork; the incredible musicality of the choreography; the impeccable timing and how her jumps and spins hit the accents of the music right on cue; the dramatic tone of the program; the expression and emotion she exudes; and that gorgeous ending pose...everything. I could really go on and on about this program all day. It's definitely one of my favorites.

Head to toe to fingertip...perfection.

In 1997 Michelle continued to mature into an even more graceful, expressive and amazing artist.  Given how tumultuous that year was for Michelle, I believe the reason she so convincingly delivered this program had to do with some of the inner struggles she had to deal with. The weight of being the US and world champion got into her head and affected her confidence. This was the season Michelle was forced to learn how to manage her nerves and hone her competitive focus. I feel like "Dream of Desdemona" along with "Taj Mahal" are sometimes overlooked when people talk about Michelle's greatest programs because 1997 was what we call a "down" year for her. I find it hilarious that a silver medal at nationals and worlds is considered a bad year, but those were the standards the Kween was held to. Down year or not Michelle's programs that season were amazing, including her exhibition to "Winter," which she choreographed herself.  She grew immensely as a competitor, reached a new level of maturity in her skating, and established herself as the standard of artistry and expression in the sport.

Here's my favorite performances of "Dream of Desdemona."


  1. I agree with you on this one. I am a super MK fan since 1993 when i saw her for the first time here in Phoenix at Nationals, anyways, I always have thought that "Taj Mahal" was her best program.

  2. I love your blog and I've been a super huge fan of Michelle since 1995 when I was 10 years old. I'm so glad that you spotlight her wonderful performances. It makes me happy but it also makes me sad because I miss seeing her transcendant, beautiful skating. It's hard for me to pick a favorite because she had so many good ones. I went on a Kwan binge on youtube after Skate Canada and watched her "Hands" performance like 8 times in a row lol.