This is Halloween, everyone!
Last year we celebrated by throwing a big costume party and this year we will celebrate with a special TBT.
VaultingNews presents you: The vaulting apocalypse.
You see, since the beginning of the whole themed vaulting thing – around 2005 – as in every other human cultural manifestation in history, a few universal themes appeared; Disney characters, vampires, superheroes… all of them very important human constructions, but one is more prominent than others: The apocalypse.
Either represented in some sort of dystopian future, as robotic moves set to a strong music, or even as zombies taking over in the most literal form possible. The Vaulting Apocalypse is very very very real. I swear!
The post is split into two pieces, don’t miss the second part where I selected a few deep and insightful apocalyptic visions that will make you have some thoughts.
Part 1: The serious serious predictions of the apocalypse
1.Viktor Brüsewitz (GER) – 2014
Young Viktor (not the Frankestein one, in case you are wondering) (sorry for that, I couldn’t help it) foresaw the vaulting zombie apocalypse back in 2014.
2. Stefan Csandl (AUT) – 2014
Maybe the fact that we are still here means that we survived the vaulting apocalypse back in 2014. Those who were there remember how crazy it was, Csandl was completely out of his mind. Full zombie. No way back.
PS: This was such a good impersonation of a zombie. It was amazing. But there are no videos of him during WEGs that I know of, I only remember watching it back in the day. This video from the CVI Ermelo was before the full costume, but it is very good vaulting!
3. Kristina Boe (GER) – 2016
I think that we have to acknowledge that for some reason I am biased when making TBTs because Kristina is always featured somehow.
4. Team Colombia – 2016
I am not completely sure of what the story is behind this theme, but I am pretty sure that it has to do with some kind of zombie invasion. And it is definitely terrifying.
Part 2: Serious predictions of the apocalypse
Let’s address the elephants in the room.
1. Team Neuss (GER) 2014 – Muse
In 2014 Neuss took the progressive rock band Muse as inspiration for their World Equestrian Games winning routine. They had apocalyptical outfits, made of something that looks like leather, and adorned with human skeletons. The routine was an incredible representation to a few titles from Muse’s album 2nd Law, which takes the 2nd law of thermodynamics as a sort of metaphor of consumerism, climate change and the doom of our society – “A society based on endless growth is unsustainable”. So by talking about Muse, Neuss was actually embodying an apocalyptical critic of the way things are going.
2. Team Neuss (GER) 2015 – Interstellar
If 2014 wasn’t enough, Team Neuss’ brilliant project didn’t end there.
They came back with a sort of progression of the previous year’s theme and took home the 2015 European Championship title as well.
This time they used the soundtrack of Interstellar (great movie!) to make some sort of metaphor of humans first arriving on earth. It was very figurative and symbolic, and downright amazing vaulting.
If in 2014 they had a metaphor for how our society might be doomed to its destruction, in 2015 they talked about the origins of humanity, from its roots (brought to us by the concept of time – tick tack) ending with the sounds of spaceships going through the air. They were using the same outfits of the previous year, but added little engines to it to make it more technological. But did I mention that they end the performance with Chopin’s Nocturne op.9 No.2? Not very technological at all.
Finally let me just remind you that these two performances, and therefore two titles, ended Jessica Lichtenberg’s work as the main coach of the German club, so we cannot help but think that they are connected.
3. Club 43 (AUT) – 2017
Club 43 is well known as one of the most traditional clubs in Austria, they are overall specialized in junior vaulting and have represented their country in the junior worlds of 2015 and 2017. This year they finished the competition with the silver medal and brought us a very mature representation of the apocalypse; the girls were dressed in something that resembled earth and they used Radioactive – by Imagine Dragons – as part of their song, in a metaphor for the changes happening on earth. It is very deep for junior athletes and it is cool to think that vaulting might have helped these vaulting on thinking about this and, hopefully, doing something about it in the future.
4. Lütisburg (SWI) – 2016 and 2017
Team Lütisburg has also done a pretty good job into making us think about humanity and, well, the end of it, during the past two years.
In a somewhat different note than Neuss, the super senior squad from Switzerland has been discussing what might be the most relevant topic ever discussed on a vaulting freestyle: War and freedom. Oh my!
5. Team NORKA (GER) – 2017
Finally, our most post-modern, our most post-everything-else-I-don’t-really-know-what-this-is, representative of this Part 1 is Team Norka, from Cologne, Germany. They are our current European Champions and I really don’t know how to describe this apocalypse style performance if not by saying that it is a very good representation of the apocalypse in dance moves. Kind of futuristic, kind of robotic… I don’t know if this is meant to be the apocalypse at all, but it seems to be set in some sort of dystopian future and that is how it is with art: The meaning is in the eyes of the spectator.