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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ennio Morricone and figure skating

Ennio Morricone finally won an Oscar at this year's Academy Awards - it's about half a century overdue, but nice to see the maestro finally recognized with a competitive award (to go along with his lifetime achievement one). Morricone has had an amazingly prolific career, spanning decades and films genres. His compositions have proven very popular with skaters over the years - some more than others - and have provided fans with some memorable and entertaining skates. Here are a few that come to mind:

Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, Lady Caliph. Not only is it the best program to Morricone music, it's one of the best programs ever seen in skating. Perfection.

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, The Mission - the free skate from their breakthrough 2006-7 season.

Brian Joubert skated to Morricone scores for two years running: The Mission in 2001-2 and The Untouchables - probably a better choice for his skating style - in 2002-3.

The Shibutanis are among the many skaters who have skated to Cinema Paradiso. Their 2009 FD at Junior Worlds was my first time seeing them skate, and I was quite impressed.

After switching from representing France to skating for Italy, Samuel Contesti decided to star in an on-ice spaghetti western. I feel that points should be deducted for throwing Cotton-Eyed Joe into the mix.

In 2012-13, Kiira Korpi skated to Once Upon in America (in a gorgeous dress, as always).

And finally, this year's crop of Morricone programs includes Federica Testa/Lukas Csolley's free dance, which uses the Malena soundtrack.

Golden Skate has a very helpful index of program music (current/past), in which Morricone's work features prominently. Check it out for more Morricone goodness!