Yvonne Dowlen (nee Broder) was a Denver-area native and professional ice skater. Not an extraordinary pairing, until you learn Yvonne also skated to the very end of her life, passing at 90 years of …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
Yvonne Dowlen (nee Broder) was a Denver-area native and professional ice skater. Not an extraordinary pairing, until you learn Yvonne also skated to the very end of her life, passing at 90 years of age.
Edges, a short, beautiful film directed by Katie Stjernholm and shot and edited by Jonathan Hiller, profiles Dowlen amid scenes of her gliding on the ice with grace and ease. Skating scenes are intercut with archival footage and stills of her as a young, stunningly beautiful performer. The overall effect is cohesive and imminently compelling.
Yvonne Dowlen in youth and age, courtesy Katie Stjernholm. © Balcony Nine Media.
Stjernholm was drawn to Dowlen’s story because, as she says in a director’s note, “I have always been fascinated by those that are living life to the fullest in their ninth and tenth decades. The eldest members of society are national treasures and I feel a sense of responsibility to capture their stories, wisdom and insights. Our society has dramatically evolved in the last century and I believe that we all can learn from the perspective of those who have witnessed this unprecedented transformation. Yvonne’s [was] ... the perfect subject and it was truly a gift to capture her story on film.”
Ice skating was the longest love-affair of Dowlen’s life. She never stopped competing, and her wish was to skate every day of her life. Watching her skate, we see someone thankful for each new day. Add up the days, and you see how such simple things make for a life well lived.
Yvonne first learned to ice skate with her family on Evergreen Lake in Evergreen, Colorado. As she continued to skate, she garnered more and more recognition. Her passion allowed her to travel: headlines refer to a “Denver Girl” as one of the performers highlighted in the 1950 Ice Capades in London. She met with royalty. Pictures of her flying through the air adorn numerous playbills. Through it all, Dowlen always beams her bright smile.
The thematic message of the film: stick with what you love. Nothing could keep Dowlen from the ice—not a car accident, not a stroke. She overcame much to return to what she loved to do best. For Yvonne, “it was easier to skate than walk.”
The main focus of Edges is the Yvonne of later years and the little gestures that completed her life. We watch her carefully lace up her skates—a morning ritual done with ease and grace.
After Edges was featured in more than 15 film festivals—including the Denver Film Festival and the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival—Stjernholm decided to make the film more widely available by making it available for streaming.
Watch the entire nine minute film at vimeo.com/198875141.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.