Style and grace with Steph
It's funny how short our memories are when it comes to pro surfing. Not to take anything away from current Womens ASP World Champ, Carissa Moore, but it's a bit odd the way folks seem to forget that Miss Stephanie Gilmore owned the Womens Tour from 2007-2010 and likely has a world championship or more in her. In fact, with Gilmore, Moore, and Sally Fitzgibbons, we're hoping to see some serious battles of power and grace go down in the next few years between the X chromosomes.
And speaking of grace, Gilmore certainly has kept herself busy with interesting projects. After all, she's a well-rounded girl with interests in art, fashion, culture, and apparently, dance.
This fall, Gilmore spent some time in New York, quenching her intellectual thirst and working with three professional dancers (not that kind, knucklehead) to explore the connection between surf and dance in the "Water Dancer" project. Surfing has certainly been compared to a performance art, albeit on an ever-dynamic medium. And ultimately, as a Quiksilver Ambassador, Gilmore is a student of all things with style and grace.
She met with dancers from ballet, hip-hop and commercial dance, including choreographer, Noemie LaFrance, who talked about languages of the body in both pursuits.
"It's a constant adaptation," Noemie said. "A lot of times what is 'improv' is what is most natural and beautiful." Each goes into their 'dance' with extreme structure and planning, but the two women connected on the need to let go and let the music or the wave take over."
Gilmore, who has been non-stop with projects this winter, was very impressed with the choreographer.
"Noemie's talent and creative eye for choreography was a vital aspect of the water Dancer project," she told ESPN Surfing yesterday, "I really enjoyed listening to her talk about the physicality of the body. Although dance is not necessarily competitive, it's still pushing the body to new levels. Her role is influenced more by theory of designing sequences but in the end a true performance doesn't really shine, unless it has the feeling and emotion that can only be found in the magic of the moment. Noemie is so deeply aware of her dance and doesn't see limits. I can only strive for similar characteristics."
Gilmore will be striving to regain her momentum as she prepares for the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast, February 25-March 2.