The purpose of family and community is to show love, support, guidance, and understanding for our young. In the opening pose of Max’s new long program I placed him in a very strong and confrontational pose. This is Simba’s first meeting with his evil Uncle Scar, who killed his father Mufasa when Simba was just a small cub and then cast him out of the pride. Scar, as Simba’s own blood, should have been there for his nephew cub Simba, but as is portrayed so clearly in the show, it is all a façade to facilitate his own desire to be King of Pride Rock.
Simba is grown now and determined to retake the Pride so that he may protect and guide them to safety and prosperity. This program is a reflection and journey similar to the one Max has taken through his skating career. There are good times and bad times as in any facet of life and one must preserver and strive to be the best no matter how many road blocks are put in front of them.
Artistically, the choreography was developed to highlight Max’s strengths while continuing to develop, improve and refine his weaker areas, as all skaters must do. My intent was to construct a beautiful story with inspiring music. The introduction of Lester Horton and Martha Graham techniques assist him to grow as an artist. This is a wonderful aspect on our journey together as teacher and student.
Carlo Fassi, who taught me so much and is someone I loved dearly, said to me back in the era of Jill Trenaray, “It is a sport first and an art form second.”
Carlo knew that the importance of being a superior athlete was enhanced by the artistry but not defined solely by the artistry. What wisdom Carlo had which is still so true today. I think Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez are phenomenal athletes first who have honed their artistic skills to make them the best in the world.
“The Lion King” is another stop on Max Aaron’s artistic journey to bring his choreographic interpretation up to his superior athletic jumping so that he can represent himself and his country with the same pride that Simba has in protecting and guiding all the animals in the kingdom.
The session is over and the Zamboni is coming out.