Monday, November 11, 2013

"...That Boy With Wings on His Heart"

Johnny, Fallen Angel, Vancouver 2010.
“The most beautiful performance I have ever seen. 
Inspired a young theater group in Brazil...” 
Read this poignantly uplifting story below.
Now UPDATED with a postscript!

Yes, we have video of Johnny’s 
TWO-HOUR commentary on NHK Trophy!
Men’s event here
UPDATE: Women’s event here.
And random rave reviews from Twitter below.

Reminder: Johnny is commentating 
on all the Grand Prix events! 
Tune in to NBC’s coverage of Trophée Eric Bompard
this Sunday, November 17
at a new time: 4:30 pm EST.

One of the major perks of blogging incessantly about Johnny is encountering some of the most amazing people from all over the world whose lives have been touched by him in heartbreakingly beautiful ways, often completely unbeknownst to him.

Val Oliveira, a volunteer drama teacher from São Paulo, Brazil, is one of those people.

A few days after Johnny announced his retirement, longtime fan Amanda Shank wrote a heartfelt guest post, “My Beautiful Ice Angel,” as a tribute to Johnny and his outstanding career on competitive ice. I uploaded this photo to the blog’s Facebook page with a link to Amanda’s post:

About seven hours later, this comment appeared under the photo:

The most beautiful performance I have ever seen. Inspired a young theater group in Brazil.

Along with this intriguing photo:

I asked the commenter, Val Oliveira, if she could tell me more about the photo. Here, through comments she posted and our exchange of messages, is her story.

This is the Theatre Company Tal & Pá, youth 13 to 18 years old, high school students.

These students are in a poor neighborhood of São Paulo, Brazil, and are part of a volunteer project theater. I am a teacher. The company exists in São Paulo for 19 years.

In 2010 we were producing a show [Flying to the Top, or Flying High, based on the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach] that talked about following the voice of the heart and make everything with love, seeking perfection.

It was then that I saw the presentation of Johnny Weir in the Olympics. It was so beautiful! It was like seeing his soul sliding on the ice.

Johnny, your presentation inspired us. We had little money, but we designed costumes like yours. And there is a picture of you in our album of that year...

The thrill of Johnny at the end of his program is the reward that I desire for all those people who work hard for something they believe in.

And it did not matter the result, my students never asked anything about medals or win... Just understood that this moment had been unique and perfect.

These are photos of our performances that fall....

We gave three performances: here in our school theater in São Paolo, in the state festival in the town of Tatuí, and in a very small town named São José do Barreiro.

We talked a lot about Johnny Weir that year.

Our story wasn’t about Johnny, but about the same kind of love, the same kind of passion for an ideal.

The boy at the top... He died in March. He was only 21. Johnny, he watched your video a million times. 

Time has passed, but we keep very special memories of that season.

And I still like to think about that boy with wings on his heart, and imagine what he’s doing...

Here is a portion of the students’ performance 
at the state festival that year, presented on October 13, 2010. 
The description reads in part: 
“Energy, positive vibes, satisfaction ... Magic! 
This is the definition of this spectacle 
on the stage at Tatuí.” 
Additional videos of the performance 
are available on ArenArt’s channel.

Val also writes:

This is a very special experience for us! We are happy for this opportunity to share a little of our history! This is our Facebook page, and here are some other videos, tests and other shows.

Some students are now teachers...

We love you, Johnny, and your amazing performance.

Visit Tal & Pá’s website here. Under the History section, the site notes:

In 2010 the Cultural Center ArenArt signed its first agreement with the Ministry of Culture. The project “Growing in the Theatre” served more than sixty children and adolescents during the season and produced the show Flying to the Top, inspired by the work of Richard Bach, one of the season’s most successful for Cia Theatre Tal & Pá.

For additional photos of Flying to the Top
please see Tal & Pá’s twitpic gallery.

UPDATE: Postscript

I sent the link to today’s blog to Val after I posted it this morning. 

Tonight I received this beautiful message from her:

Dear Binks, thank you!

You created for us a parallel universe where our history and Johnny Weir finally met... That was really amazing. I shared with the boys and already have people crying here... 

Richard Bach once said:
“…Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see each other once or twice?”
Our love for you, Binks, for Johnny Weir and his family, I imagine, is the size of the world!

I think Johnny-inspired love only comes in that size.

Thank you so very much, Val, for your kind words, and for the honor of sharing your story!

Photo posted by the Great Neck 
Skating Club to their Facebook page: 
We’d like to say good luck and thank you to Johnny Weir. 
The skaters of our club carry many influences and favorites, 
and some of them looked up to you as a wonderful 
figure skater, someone who gave them the desire 
to work harder, skate faster and jump higher. 
Hopefully your future will be as fulfilling 
as your skating career. All the best to you.

From crimsongravedigger on Tumblr.

UPDATE: In response to requests, here is 
Johnny’s stunning Fallen Angel program 
from the 2010 Olympics.
Video link.

Bonus Round:
Selected Twitter love 
on Johnny’s NHK commentary

Yes please.

Very special thanks 
to Val Oliveira 
for her wonderful words 
and the Tal & Pá photos!

And enormous gratitude and remembrance 
to all US military for your service, 
today and every day.

On Johnny’s website, 
linked to his retirement statement
Thank YOU, Johnny!

All four segments of Shigesato Itoi’s 
wonderful interview with Johnny are up:
Part One – Marriage 
Part Two – Balance
Part Three – Olympics
Part Four – Life
Plus a special message from Johnny 

about his retirement from competitive skating
is included at the end of Part Four.
Please go read it all now!

Also on the blog:
All of Him Is My Treasure.”
Fans react to Johnny’s graceful exit 
from competitive skating.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Practice Is Perfect”
25+ exclusive new photos of Johnny’s 
Sun Valley rehearsal.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

“Dear Johnny...”
Selected black-and-white photos of Johnny’s 
hauntingly beautiful Schindler’s List debut.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

“Something Beautiful Today.”
Johnny at rehearsal in Sun Valley — Part 1 
(much more to come!)
Exclusive pics plus practice video featuring 
his gorgeous triple axel.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

“Sun Valley Sneak Peek: 
‘A Rare Human So Breathtaking....’ ”
Johnny debuts his Schindler’s List program 
in this stunning simple white costume. 
Exclusive pics and HD video.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

Photo essay of 40+ starkly beautiful 
black-and-white pics featuring Johnny at rehearsal 
as young skaters watch, spellbound.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

Quiet photo essay of exclusive black-and-white pics 
paired with Johnny’s quotes from his 
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

Johnny’s latest column for the 
Falls Church News-Press.
His columns are published every Thursday 
in the “National Commentary“ 
section—don’t miss a single one! 

I discovered recently that there are 
brief rehearsal clips of Johnny on my cell phone 
that I had totally forgotten I had. 
The footage is blurry and jumpy, but as I re-watched 
this one for the first time in months, I suddenly realized 
that that doesn’t really matter at all....
Video link.
International fans video link.

A number of Johnny’s auction items 
have been relistedwhich means if you missed out 
the first time around, you’re in luck: 
It’s not too late to own a piece of Weir Gear! 
Go check it out and see what treasures 
you could take home!

Please alert absolutely everyone you’ve ever met 
to “like” and follow the new 
on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr
Because he should be on all the things. 
With or without ice. 
But definitely with Viacheslav.

Please click to vote for Johnny 
once a day as “Best Sportsman”
Because he retweeted Luisa Lotka  to tell us he wants us to! 

Need to see Seasons 1 and 2 all over again? 
Watch episodes online anytime on Logo!
Please be sure to check in with GetGlue a
nytime you’re watching the show... 
or thinking about watching the show.... 
or wishing you were watching the show....

At last: Pop Star On Ice is now available on DVD!
Order yours today from the Pop Star On Ice website!

Johnny tweeted:
“Buy my single,’Dirty Love’ via iTunes.
Tell all your friends to as well. The more copies sold
takes me one step closer to making a video! №1!”
You know what to do.
Please buy the song from Johnny’s website,
or just click the “Buy” button on the player at the top of the blog!

Hey, Welcome to My World also is available
as an eBook! More info on Johnny’s website!

copyright 2013 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Atomic Wife said...

Wow..... just wow.
What an incredible story.

aaaack said...

Wonderful performance. Thank you so much for sharing. Peace to you all.