The Ice King | Chicago Reader

The Ice King

John Curry wanted to be a ballet dancer; his conservative father only allowed figure skating because he saw it as a sport, not an art. As noted documentary filmmaker James Erskine illustrates in this moving portrait of Curry, one of the most elegant skaters to ever grace the ice, the son defied his father with almost every balletic turn. And yet, despite winning Olympic gold for England in 1976 and founding an innovative touring company of ice dancers, Curry battled depression and loneliness as a gay man precluded from living as freely as he danced. Suitably, Erksine forgoes talking heads for interspersed audio of Curry's peers and admirers, keeping the film's visual and emotional focus on the man himself and the transporting power of his art.

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