Abstract

Despite the high number of homosexual male athletes involved in figure skating, heteronormative performance is integral to the sport, particularly in ice dance which requires teams or “couples” to portray a close relationship on the ice. In their 2012 free dance programme, Canadian ice dance champions and Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir facilitated their portrayal of a romantic relationship by skating to music from Funny Face, a 1957 Hollywood musical starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. Using Richard Schechner’s distinction between “make believe” and “make belief” performances and Susan Sontag’s definition of camp, I argue that Moir not only wants to “make believe” that he is performing the role of Fred Astaire, but also wishes to “make belief” that he is as skilled as the American dancer in presenting his partner. Moir, though, introduces a camp aesthetic into the performance through his exaggerated facial expressions and gestures which causes him rather than Virtue to be the feminized object of the gaze. This element of camp thereby introduces a queer resistance to the heteronormative gender roles demanded in ice dance and highlights how male figure skaters have to make belief in their masculinity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1920-941X
Print ISSN
0315-0836
Pages
pp. 43-47
Launched on MUSE
2017-02-22
Open Access
No
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