classic performances: hallelujah


hallelujah at 2013 worlds

Jeff Buckley's rendition of Hallelujah provided Tessa and Scott with a beautiful gala program. They used this routine for the 2012-2013 season. During that time, their free dance was Carmen and their short dance was the Hopkins Waltz. Fans who followed Tessa and Scott during this season know how deeply this song moved us and how it comforted us after all the pain and drama involved with the actual competitions. Whether they won or lost, it didn't really matter. We always had the distinct feeling that though the rules were being followed, for the most part, but the judges were finding ways to not fully reward the brilliance and innovation that they demonstrated with this free dance.

Sometimes the skate itself broke our hearts, like the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Osaka, Japan, where Tessa was in such pain during Carmen that they ultimately had to stop the program midway and take a few minutes to compose themselves. Other times, the unthinkable happened, like two lifts being held for a second too long at 2013 Nationals, resulting in a two point deduction, marring an otherwise spectacular performance and missing the best opportunity to finally set the standard when it came to scores. This was a season that broke your heart as a Tessa and Scott fan, tested your faith in the system the ISU currently has set up to judge ice dance and frayed many nerves.

Yet every time Tessa and Scott settled into their opening positions for this program and those opening notes started to play, we knew instantly why this team belonged with the all-time greats. And no matter what the scoreboard indicated a few hours ago, they skated this routine and proved once again why they had no equals skating today. It was always a cathartic, raw and emotional gala skate, and it almost became more poignant and deeply personal as the season went along. Even after they lost the 2013 Worlds in London, Ontario, these two hometown heroes took to centre ice, skating through the bright spotlights, the thunderous applause, the unspoken disappointment and the relief that the season was indeed over ... and danced this dance one last time after a competition. It was an old program by this point, but they still brought every nuance out of these notes with merely the way they looked at each other, the way they reached for each other and the way they moved their bodies towards each other -- it's surreal to watch and is the epitome of perfection in ice dance.

Hallelujah - 2012 Skate Canada
Hallelujah - 2012 Cup of Russia
Hallelujah - 2012 Grand Prix Final
Hallelujah - 2013 Nationals
Hallelujah - 2013 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships
Hallelujah - 2013 Worlds
Hallelujah - 2013 Stars on Ice Canadian tour


notes.

Thanks to Grace for giving me the link for the Nationals video.