Miki Ando: The Message Through Skating
By Vladislav Luchianov
Miki Ando returns … Probably for the last competitive year… As people say, this makes us happy and a little sad at the same time. We’re happy because figure skating always wins from the presence of such masters.
And the sad fact is that all has its end. Even very beautiful …
Write on Miki just in terms of athletic performance would be wrong. Miki Ando and figure skating is much more. Like for the most figure skaters of Japan, this sport for her is a big part of the art, to which she always gave full physical and mental strength. Of course, the fact that she is the 2007 and 2011 World champion as well as the winner of many other big events is a very significant criterion but probably not the most decisive in the understanding of her performances.
The very fact is that the majority of Miki’s programs are dramatic. She can perfectly execute lots of the most difficult technical elements of our sport. But her performances attract people not only by that. There is something much bigger and deeper, that I’m trying to explain to myself for a long time but not very successfully.
Miki Ando on the ice is not only the complete expression of program’s theme. It’s always some kind of internal struggle, the attempt to express her deepest feelings, emotions and internal state.
Perhaps this is why dramatic themes are so suitable to her. She’s like trying to tell us something, something important for her, what she wants to share with the entire audience. Maybe Miki Ando’s performances are attempts to convey to us through movements and music all the difficult moments, which are inevitably present in every human life.
I fully admit that people, who see in figure skating just a sport, are unlikely to be able to understand the course of such reasoning. But there are others. Those, who unconsciously begin to deeply empathize with everything that happens on the ice. Such people, also unconsciously, internally understand what in fact says Miki through her skating. For them it is a true message.
Only true great artists can lead people into a state of almost altered consciousness. The artists, who not only play a role, but going through it so deep that spend a lot of mental strength. After that, such masters always have difficulties with restore. It’s much easier to them to restore their physical strength than mental. That is why our banal, skeptical and pragmatic world sometimes is very hard to them.
But when people like Miki are fully prepared and ready, then they have no equal. Miki Ando’s technique only emphasizes the strength and depth of her inner emotions. She is ready to ignore the physical injuries in order to be heard on the cold ice. And she definitely was heard and I think she will be again.
No matter how and what the new season will be for her from the sporting point of view. I’m sure that many people will be looking forward to her appearances with one goal – to empathizing with her and get that message. And what exactly does her message means, everyone decides for himself.