Split jumps? Check. Triple salchow? Check. Graceful and expressive body language? Double-check. Sexy spin, kneel, and back-arching collapse at the end? Amen. Amen. A-men. Here is Stéphane Lambiel dancing on ice to Hozier’s hit single Take Me To Church. The performance happened at the Music on Ice 2016 in Bellinzona, Switzerland.
Compared to his competitive performances, there’s not a lot of jumps in this routine, yet the choreograph and execution of each motion is beautiful. His movements, combined with the somewhat gloomy aura plus the message of the song were blended so masterfully. I can’t deny the feelings I felt while watching.
He did a nice triple salchow in the first verse and a split jump in the middle, which the crowd audible cheered for. I love the part where he reached his arms up to the sky in a star jump at the three chords towards the chorus. Towards the end, his movements showed some sort of turbulence inside him. And then at the last few lines of the chorus, it’s as if he’s drawing you in to listen to his prayers when he jumped up before falling to his knees and collapsing on his back.
It’s like he’s really giving away everything he’s got when the song ended with “good God, let me give you my life”. That was it for me. I had goosebumps crawling all over my body and maybe a few tears threatening to escape.
Stéphane Lambiel is a Swiss figure skater born on April 2, 1985. He started skating when he was just 7 years old. At the age of 10, he was introduced to Peter Grütter who became his coach and to Salomé Brunner, his choreographer. It wasn’t until Stephane performed an exhibition in the World Figure Skating Championships in 1997 that he was able to cement his place in the skating world.
From there, he competed and won all national championships and moved on to win international competitions: the Olympics, Grand Prix Championship, and World championship. Despite setbacks in his career, including a few knee injuries, it didn’t stop him from pursuing and winning more major competitions in the sport.
He retired from competitive skating on March 9, 2010, but continued to appear in many skating shows and tours.