You Need to Watch the Figure Skating Routine Benji Schwimmer Choreographed for Adam Rippon

October 23, 2016

We’ve always loved the expressive power of figure skating, with its compelling combination of athleticism and artistry. And when an A-list figure skater pairs up with an A-list choreographer? That takes things to an even higher plane.

Dancer and choreographer Benji Schwimmer (you probably know him as the Season 2 winner of “So You Think You Can Dance”) has been friends with champion figure skater Adam Rippon for years. But it was only recently that the two of them decided to collaborate. Rippon competed a new routine by Schwimmer this past weekend at Skate America, set to the type of music we’re more used to hearing in convention ballrooms: Coldplay’s “O (Fly On).” Playing on the lyrics about a “flock of birds” with wing-like arm movements, it seems to both riff on The Dying Swan and elegantly invert the old stereotype of women figure skaters performing Odette-like choreography to the Swan Lake score. And it prioritizes shape and gesture and musicality in a way that many skating routines don’t.

The result is kind of magical. Usually we get nervous watching figure skating, but Schwimmer’s choreography is so engrossing that we were able let it carry us away, rather than worrying about whether or not Rippon was going to land all those nail-bitingly difficult jumps. (Spoiler alert: He falls right off the bat. It doesn’t matter.)

Watch the whole performance, which helped earn Rippon the bronze, below. It’s just the kind of inspiration we all need this #MotivationMonday.

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