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Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge!' gets new life on the Olympic ice




Canada's Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue danced to
Canada's Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue danced to "Roxanne" from the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack during the team competition at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images

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If you've been watching the Olympics, you may have noticed a common theme in the figure skating events.

Many of the athletes — including Canadian gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir — set their routines to music from the soundtrack to the 2001 film, “Moulin Rouge.” Baz Luhrmann, director of the film, even tweeted his approval:

When The Frame's John Horn called up Luhrmann to get his take on all this Olympic love, he was in the middle of working on a new project, but he took some time out to share his thoughts.

"Moulin Rouge!" in its own language is operatic. Yes, it's a musical. And yes, it's a post-modern musical. But its emotions are operatic. You go from great romance to ridiculous, over-the-top comedy, but also tragedy and dark themes. So a track like "Roxanne," the tango of that, gives ice skaters high drama, great romance and some fun, thrill and excitement. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, only since 2014 have figure skaters been able to use lyrics in their performance music. Luhrmann believes the music from his film can lend even greater drama to ice skate routines. 

Vincent Zhou — who's on the USA team — he does "Nature Boy." When I recorded that track with David Bowie singing it, and when he sings that Eden Ahbez song, and you see a young boy like Vincent Zhou dancing on the ice, it's as if it's what's going on in his head. If they skated and actually sang the lyrics, the lyrics would not be out of place. 

 



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