Friday, February 10, 2017

Johnny Weir: Agape Fantasy

Beautiful Johnny warming up before his final performance of ‘Creep’ at the University of Delaware. Exclusive photo © David Keyser.

Today we offer a quiet escape from the inelegant cacophony of the world: an oasis of simple black and white, steel and ice, speed and power and grace moving effortlessly over frozen water in the uniquely mesmerizing beauty that is Johnny at rehearsal.

The photos and video below are from his warmup before his final performance of ‘Creep’ at UD a few weeks ago. The black-and-white aesthetic underscores the laser-like focus Johnny has every time he laces up his skates: all distractions canceled out, nothing matters but the ice under his blades and the vision in his head.

In a nod to the amazing and vast Yuri On Ice fandom, which has enthusiastically embraced Johnny, the video footage below has been paired with an especially lovely cover of ‘Agape’ recorded by the very talented Elisabeth Santos and dedicated to Johnny.

During his interview with The Geekiary about Yuri On Ice, Johnny said, “If I could choose one performance to skate that would match me, I would definitely say Yurio’s ‘Agape.’ It is totally my style.”

He mentioned in last week’s YOI interview with Crunchyroll that he is “an original” [editorial note: possibly an understatement] and likely would not perform to music from the show. But he also noted that “if there is enough demand, perhaps I shall try some ‘Eros’ or some ‘Agape’ some day . . . “

Until then, please enjoy this imagining of Johnny’s Agape as he generously offers us a glimpse into his private world on the ice.

All of the photos below are pleasingly huuuuuge. Please click any photo to open it in a separate window and admire it in all its gloriously supersized detail.

He begins his rehearsal heavily bundled up, then sheds layers as he goes. But my favorite part of this photo is the huge “Hockey” sign above his head. He’s mentioned that when he was a young skater, the hockey players in his rinks were less than kind to him (he spoke about it most recently on this week’s podcast). And now, years later: no one remembers their names, but Johnny is known literally around the world.

The camera captures Johnny’s skates in perfect focus, as if he’s standing still, but his blurred face and hair hint at how fast he’s really moving.

A momentary break to enjoy a laugh with a UD friend . . . 

 . . . and then he’s back to all seriousness and hard work again.


Video link.

Exclusive photos © David Keyser.