Featured routine for July/August|
"The Man in The Iron Mask"
Updated August 30: fan comments added
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Romeo & Juliet here.
"The Man in
the Iron Mask" was A&P's free dance for the 1998/1999
season, and they used it in 1999 as an exhibition before
performing it again at the Grand prix Final. It is a very
dramatic and powerful dance with intricate footwork as well
as beautiful spirals and very difficult lifts. This routine
made A&P become the crowd's favorites, and they got
standing ovations near to everytime they skated it. Above
all, it was the interpretation of the music and the
wonderful lifts that made this routine special. Here is more
info about "The Man in the Iron Mask"....
Introduction: the movie
Marina & Gwendal skated to the
soundtrack of the movie "The Man in The Iron Mask" (directed
by Randall Wallace and with Leonardo di Caprio). The whole
routine is inspired by the story, so you need to know a
little about the movie to understand the routine. It is
about French King Louis XIV, who took his twin brother into
custody in order to reign alone. His twin brother has been
encased in an iron mask (so that nobody can recognize him)
all his life until the Musketeers deliver him and help him
to succeed to the throne. In the routine, Marina represents
the mask and Gwendal represents "the man in the iron
here to visit the movie's official website
music is the soundtrack from the movie, composed by Nick
Glennie-Smith. Some of the selections used by Marina &
Gwendal are "Heart of a king" and "Surrounded". Marina &
Gwendal had made very good music arrengements, starting with
a slow part and ending with more powerful music, so that
everything was built to the end. When they used the routine
as an exhibition, they added vocals (in French) at the start
that explained the story of "The Man in the Iron mask".
here to buy the music
man in the Iron mask"?
First, Murielle Zazoui had a precise idea of
what kind of program she wanted Marina & Gwendal to
skate for the 98/99 season: "after the success of
& Juliet, I wanted to keep the same emotional style,
but I didn't want the new routine to be compared to the
previous one. I didn't want to tell a love story on the ice
and our coach Murielle Zazoui had seen the movie, and we all
enjoyed it and thought the music was great," Gwendal said,
"we tried other musics but in the end we came back to this
one. It is a wonderful theme."
routine was performed at:
Skate America - free dance
1998 Trophée Lalique - free dance & gala
1998 NHK Trophy - free dance
1999 French Nationals - free dance
1999 European championships - free dance
1999 Grand Prix Final - free dance
1999 World championships - free dance
1999 Champions on Ice - exhibition
1999 Trophée Lalique - gala
1999 NHK Trophy - gala
2000 French Nationals - gala
2000 Grand prix Final - free dance (first round)
Marina & Gwendal got five 6.0s in
artistic for that routine at the 1999 French Nationals and
another one at the 2000 Grand Prix Final from the Italian
judge (artistic mark).
Alla Dukhova and Murielle Boucher-Zazoui.
highlights & pictures
Marina is standing in front of Gwendal, her hands in front
of her head. She represents the prison where "The Man in the
Iron Mask" (MITIM) is living. When the routine was used as
an exhibition, the start pose was as pictured on the second
photo: Marina & Gwendal are back to back, and Gwendal is
miming a mask. Right after the vocals end, they both return
to the first start pose.
Brajon/Patinage Magazine, second photo © Kelly
This lift represents the moment when the MITIM leaves the
prison and puts his mask around his waist. Marina rolls up
herself around Gwendal. Then you can see that Gwendal opens
his hands to unveil his face once Marina (who represents the
mask) is off the ice.
This lift is one of the more difficults in the program.
Marina has her legs up and her head down, and her only
support is Gwendal's leg. Gwendal holds her by her legs.
This lift represents freedom, and the speed they get on that
move really gives an impression of freedom!
A spiral with awesome lines. Gwendal is skating forward and
Marina is skating backwards, then she turns to go forward. I
don't know the real meaning of that move, but I guess it
represents the joy of finally being free.
Gwendal lifts Marina very high (shoulder height) and turns.
They both look up. The MITIM discovers and watches the World
The most impressive move of the program. First, Marina &
Gwendal had been practicing this lift with Gwendal lifting
Marina. It was, I guess, a symbol of him wearing the mask or
something like that.:-) Then they had the idea of making it
a reverse lift, with Marina lifting Gwendal. Marina first
thought she wouldn't be able to lift Gwendal in that
position (almost a sit position) but after hours of hard
work she did it. This lift requires a lot of flexibility
from Gwendal, and a lot of balance for Marina. "We don't
want to make lifts that require a lot of power when Marina
is lifting me. It's just a balance thing", Gwendal said.
photo captured by
Behning , second one
The step sequences represent the battle between the
brothers. The circular step sequence was taken off when the
routine was used as an exhibition: this particular sequence
is very difficult, and Marina & Gwendal are skating very
close from each other.There is a passage at the end of the
final step sequence, where you can see Gwendal taking off
the mask (kind of fighting with Marina).
lift & final pose
The victory of The Man in The Iron Mask! Gwendal lifts
Marina, who is head down. Then he catches her hand and gets
down on his knees to get into that final pose.
"I have to
say that I didn't like this routine so much but there was
some interesting moves.For exemple: Marina lifts Gwendal.
But their charisma impressed everyone."
lifts Gwendal--the role reversal lift! Had these two won the
1999 Worlds with this routine they could be 2-time world
"I loved the
beautiful and flowing costumes, especially the color. The
music was GREAT- as it suited them perfectly! The lift was
WOW (as everyone says)! It had some great steps also, which
I notice now that I am a BIG fan of dance.This happenened
after seeing M&G at 1998 Olympics!"
this will always be an emotional favourite of mine (partly
because it never got the medals I thought it deserved). This
routine's got so much emotion, power and tension it simply
pins you to your seat and makes it impossible to turn your
eyes. As for favourite moves that is a very difficult choice
as the program is so much of a whole and beautiful from
beginning to end. I adore the lift with Marina head-down
clinging to Gwendal's leg though. I'll never stop wondering
how they can hold on to that pose... I also love the
syncronized steps and the fight sequence...and the opening
and finish of course...but really, there are more favourites
than I can mention here...;-)"
& Gwendal really knew how to make this program alive. It
was good both as a competitive program and as an exhibition.
I would have liked to see more steps in there, but still, it
"The Man in
The Iron Mask is just my favorite routine that A&P have
skated to!!! It's breathtaking! They should have won Worlds
with a performance like that! I love the beginning... Really
takes you into the mood! And that lift... All I can say is
"I have a
special feeling about this routine every time I watch it.
It's just breathtaking and it's the kind of routine that you
don't want to end. The music is wonderful and they used
every beat of it perfectly. I loved the way Marina &
Gwendal let their emotions come out during the whole
routine, it really looked like they felt the music deeply. I
love the storyline, and the way the routine is building to a
climax. Marina & Gwendal skated as one and in my opinion
this routine was really worth a 6.0!!"
"I have to
say I love it! But there is a part here where I feel that
the routine is put on "fast forward" and something is "cut
out" it is before Gwendal jumps/leaps it looks like a
preview to a JUMP so I am actually waiting for a
triple/quad! LOL! So when that does not appear I feel that I
am left behind... Hard to explain... But seriously I am
actually confused...so I guess it's the Surya (singles
skater) fan that appears here :) I really like the ending
and the beginning ..it is certainly 'something
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