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Twenty years ago today

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Gazpacho, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    Twenty years ago today, April 15, 1994, the sport lost one of its most beautiful figures to a hideously ugly disease.

    Here is John Curry's Olympic skate. How is it physically possible to have such perfect posture? :swoon:
  2. Finnice

    Finnice Well-Known Member

    Gazpacho, thank you for opening this thread!

    Yes, the openness of his chest, the way he holds his head, and his spread eagles are something every figure skater should try to learn! His soulfullness is something you can not teach, it just comes if it comes.

    This program you linked shows that you can be one of the greatest without quads. A well-executed 2a is enough.:respec: John Curry!:inavoid:
  3. coraczek

    coraczek Member

    Thank you for this thread. Of course I know who John Curry was but I have never seen him skate. And he skated really beautifully. I'm also surprised at the quality of the video. It is really very good.
  4. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    I loved him so much.
  5. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Finnice and (deleted member) like this.
  6. harekrishna43

    harekrishna43 Active Member

    Thanks for opening this wonderful tribute thread to John Curry, Gazpacho. I cannot believe it is 20 years since his passing.

    It was so nice to open all the You Tube links to his wonderful performances and I truly enjoyed the opportunity to see the Maestro interviews shared by Floskate!!! I had never heard John Curry speak so much before and so frankly. I especially enjoyed his discussion on how he worked with the music to find just the right places for the elements in his program.

    It was rather sad to hear him explain that he had to "dumb down" his program for the judges so that they could actually be able to see he had completed all his elements. Not to mention his very frank opinion on corrupt judging in general.

    I'm glad that he had the opportunity to pursue his dream of choreographing for his own ice company - I only wish he could have lived longer and continued to develop more works of art.
  7. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    I have only seen videos of John Curry, and probably just 2 or 3 (not seen the vids posted in this thread yet), but he was a beautiful skater. Later skaters were measured by how they would stack up against him, in terms of lines, posture. Paul Wylie once said that he attended a one week camp with Curry, and it impacted him greatly. We saw that influence in Paul's skating. My most favorite John Curry performance was Don Quixote at the 1976 worlds. Of course I watched it long after he had performed it.
  8. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I was lucky enough to see two of his programs when his company came to the Metropolitan Opera House in the 1980's. He was sublime.
  9. sadya

    sadya Active Member

    Lucky you! Would have loved to have been there. :)
  10. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Curry's Olympic skate is one of my favorite skates ever. Every beat of the music is actually interpreted.

    All it's missing is one of those glorious COP 40-second footwork sequences, featuring every turn in skating imaginable. Yes, I'm being sarcastic. :p
    Dr.Siouxs and (deleted member) like this.
  11. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Thanks for the thread.
  12. poths

    poths Well-Known Member

    John Vinocur's article on Curry is available online. This is the article that effectively outed him and published just before his gold medal. Vinocur had presented as interested and off the record and severely damaged John's confidence. The aversion to male grace still exists IMHO but, with this years podium of Hanyu and D10...and the likes of Brown, Rippon and Machida it's quite satisfying to see that grace can now be a prerequisite of being a champion.

  13. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    I saw his show live as well. Never saw him compete live, but he and Toller Cranston in 1976 were the first male skaters who really captured my attention. I remember ladies and pairs from 1968 and 1972, but I don't remember paying much attention to the men in those years (I was 7, 11). For example, I don't remember watching Wolfgang Schwartz/Tim Wood or Ondrej Nepela, but I do remember being disappointed that John Misha Petkevich didn't win a medal.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  14. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Time to dust off a few goodies in memory of John I think. The first is his complete set of exhibitions from the 1974 Europeans in Zagreb. This has been seen before but only in black and white and poor quality.

    John Curry 1974 Europeans EX

    The second has not been seen in its entirety in over 40 years. Here is John Curry's brilliant free skate from the 1973 World Championships in Bratislava. He was so under-marked here but this was his best international long programme of his career at this point in time.

    John Curry 1973 Worlds LP

    These are real treasures so I hope that you enjoy them. :)
    kwanfan1818 and (deleted member) like this.
  15. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Lucky you, indeed!

    Here are some reviews


    About audience response:
  16. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

  17. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    I enjoyed seeing his Oly skate again. Of course I've seen it many times since my original viewing in 1976 but I never get tired of it. I remember wanting to watch skating that year specifically for Dorothy Hamil but I ended up being mesmerized by Curry. The world not only lost a wonderful skater but also a fantastic coach. He was able to pass on to his skaters (regardless of jump ability) a beautiful lyrical quality in their skating.
  18. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    Upon rewatching, I noticed that he spins equally in both directions. Very unique!

    If only his disease could have waited a few years. There have been so many advancements in the treatment of AIDS that if he had been struck just a few years later, he may very well still be with us today :(
  19. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

    Amazing. And so sad. We are lucky to be able to still see the beauty of Curry's skating. That will live on.

    Thanks for posting this thread, Gazpacho.

  20. Alixana

    Alixana Definitely NOT a sonogram

    And if Curry had done one, I believe it would truly have been glorious! :)
  21. merrywidow

    merrywidow Well-Known Member

    I still miss him.
  22. Skateophile

    Skateophile New Member

    No-one has ever interpreted music like John. I was lucky enough to see him at the Royal Albert Hall in London where his company skated to a full orchestra on the ice. There is a wonderful statue of him at iceSheffield (the practice rink when Europeans were held there), which captures a great deal of his "essence". I just love to look at it every time I visit.
    By the way, his mother recently celebrated her 100th birthday!
    kwanfan1818 and (deleted member) like this.
  23. viennese

    viennese Well-Known Member

    He was a master of this sport, a real artist, and a great influence on so many skaters on choreographers.

    He died way too young, as so many did, of a terrible disease.
  24. leigh466

    leigh466 Well-Known Member

  25. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

    John Curry is one of the skaters that every skater should aspire to emulate. His posture was gorgeous, his use of his arms and upper body was truly remarkable and he felt every note of music down to his fingertips. I'm generally not a fan of figure skating from the 1970s, but he is one of the few exceptions.
  26. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

  27. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    John Curry always interpreted and expressed music through his skating- his blades, his whole body, the variations based on the music. He did not just focus on facial expressions. I really appreciate that about him.
  28. Belinda

    Belinda Member


    I thought I had watched all the John Curry videos on Youtube, and here you have two more new videos I haven't seen!!!!! I can't thank you enough. Do you have a video of his 1972 Sapporo Olympic performances?

    Some posters have written that Curry has influenced many a skater and choreographer, but I cannot somehow believe it. If only that were true, we would be seeing more beautiful skating.

    Recently, I've seen Hanyu and Machida being interviewed together and Hanyu was saying "I only have jumps, but Machida has artistry." I wish Hanyu would learn from Curry to improve posture, carriage, fluidity on ice, etc.
    I would give Hanyu the following two Curry performances as exercises for him to do, until he becomes watchable. I particularly like the Mozart piece. The music, already sublime, is illuminated and enhanced by Curry's skating.

    John Curry - Carmen

    John Curry – Mozart

    His premature death is a great loss to figure skating, but were he still with us, would ISU listen to him?
  29. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    The ISU doesn't "listen" to anyone.
  30. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    The fact that John Curry's performances are still viewed so fondly today speaks to the power of artistry and elegance. Technical standards improve over time. Jumps that wowed audiences a few decades ago are blah today. But art is timeless.
    Sylvia and (deleted member) like this.