Vicki Valosik

Writer, Editor, Teacher

Aquatic Writing

Hail, Caesar! and the Rise & Fall of the Aquamusical

The Coen brother's newest film, Hail, Caesar! channels the glamour of the Golden-era "aquamusical," the splashy, pool-centric musical genre made popular by Esther Williams in the 1940s and early 1950s. Now a kitschy remnant of a bygone era, the aquamusical was spectacularly successful during its midcentury heyday when Esther Williams starred in more than twenty water-themed MGM films and became one of the top actresses in Hollywood.

It’s Long Past Time for Male Synchronized Swimmers to Get Invited to the Olympics

They slice past one another’s bodies, their sequined costumes reflecting sparkles of light in a thousand directions. He catches her foot and swings her, in a curved arc, around his body. There is a passionate pursuit, with grabbing and fleeing, a feigned strike to the face and a fleeting but exultant embrace. Like embattled lovers, their movements harmonize one moment and clash in discordant turbulence the next—and the audience loves it. This is not figure skating, nor is it ballet or even a tan