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May 17, 2013

A Game



Let's play a game.

Can anyone spot the common theme among the videos in this post?



THE STEPS....!


Remember Evan Lysacek when he still had a soul?


For many skaters who are coached by Nikolai Morozov, their skating can be stylistically split into two distinct eras: before Morozov (BM) and Anno Morozini (AM). Here is Miki Ando, BM.


For my repressed inner vulgarian.


A reminder from my salad days, when I was green in skating judgment. And in the dark of night, after a few drinks and when I'm all alone....


The ironies of one's decline.....


A bit incoherent at times, but a very different Carmen by Fumie Suguri.


Just to make it absolutely transparent for everyone.

24 comments:

  1. Miki Ando watered down Wilson's program. I read in japanese magazine Wison advised good pieces to Miki on choreography.
    Unlike Lori or Morozov, he is not a kiss-ass choreographer. First year work with him, Chan and Hanyu couldn't catch up his choreography. They need time. Emotional intimacy with choreographer could produce masterpieces. Too much changes in coaches or choreographers represents unstable mind, which often causes lack of consistency.

    After my friend, modern dancer,watched Caro's bolero,she laughed at me saying "cheap plagiarism of Maurice Bejart"
    "Who did choreograph this one? there is no creativity in this , is this the usual way ice dancer is choreographed?"

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    Replies
    1. "Too much changes in...choreographers represents unstable mind, which often causes lack of consistency."

      I'd have to disagree with you on this one. I feel skaters should stretch themselves more, experiment with different choreographers rather than sticking to the same one(s) ad infinitum, because different choreographers have different styles and can provide different perspectives on skating. Look at someone like Daisuke Takahashi, for instance--he's worked so many choreographers over the years and he's produced many masterpieces with different choreographers and styles. That is creativity, not the sign of an unstable mind.

      Emotional intimacy with choreographers can produce masterpieces, but it can create a certain sort of monotony as well. I feel both Yu-Na Kim and Mao Asada, for instance, could benefit from changing choreographers (maybe they can trade?).

      Delete
    2. "I feel skaters should stretch themselves more, experiment with different choreographers rather than sticking to the same one(s) ad infinitum, because different choreographers have different styles and can provide different perspectives on skating."


      I think this kind of concept is a myth. If you look into FS history, none of masterpieces come from hunting for choreographers. Outside box thinking doesn't come
      from shopping various choreographers, but between-trust built up for years.

      Choreographers don't take a risk nor adventure with one-point relationship. They usually doesn't overstep customer's taste or style.

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    3. "I think this kind of concept is a myth. If you look into FS history, none of masterpieces come from hunting for choreographers. Outside box thinking doesn't come
      from shopping various choreographers, but between-trust built up for years."

      Uhh....actually, no. If you actually look at figure skating history, there are plenty of examples of masterpieces coming from skaters using various different choreographers. Let's see:

      Masterpieces from Daisuke Takahashi:
      -Cyber Swan (Nikolai Morozov)
      -La Strada, Blues for Klook (Pasquale Camerlengo)
      -In the Garden of Souls (David Wilson)
      -Eye (Kenji Miyamoto)

      Masterpieces from Michelle Kwan:
      -Salome, Romanza, Lyra Angelica, etc (Lori Nichol)
      -Rush (Christopher Dean)
      -Miraculous Mandarin (Peter Oppegard)
      -Spartacus (Nikolai Morozov)

      Masterpieces from Lu Chen:
      -The Last Emperor (Toller Cranston)
      -Butterfly Lovers, Adios Nonino, Take Five, Spring Breeze, etc (Sandra Bezic)
      -Beetlejuice (Tom Dickson)- note: Lu Chen wasn't quite so polished a skater at the time but I thought the use of music and choreography itself was very interesting

      Masterpieces from Jeremy Abbott:
      -Eight Seasons (Tom Dickson)
      -Exogenesis No. 3 (Jeremy Abbott and Yuka Sato)
      -Life is Beautiful (David Wilson)
      -A Day in the Life (Shae-Lynn Bourne)

      -Shanti Rushpaul's various (and rather sporadic) programs for various ice dance teams

      ....and so on.

      "Choreographers don't take a risk nor adventure with one-point relationship. They usually doesn't overstep customer's taste or style."

      Completely disagree. Built-in trust is nice, but the final product really depends on both the artistic capability of the skater and the talent of the choreographer. There are plenty of instances in which choreographers have taken risks and produced masterpieces from one-off collaborations with skaters. Examples include:

      -Stephane Lambiel, Poeta (with Antonio Najarro)
      -Daisuke Takahashi, In the Garden of Souls (with David Wilson)
      -Lu Chen, The Last Emperor (with Toller Cranston)
      -Anissina/Peizerat, Romeo and Juliet (with Shanti Rushpaul)
      -Yu-Na Kim, El Tango de Roxanne (with Tom Dickson)
      -Torvill/Dean, Barnum (with Michael Crawford)
      -....and so on.

      There aren't that many examples because skaters often cling on to the tried-and-true, but as the examples above demonstrate, it's certainly possible to vary choreographers (even with "one-point relationships") and produce great programs. It's a risk, yes, but true creativity entails risks.

      Delete
    4. PS. I should clarify something:

      I'm not saying that long-time collaborations between a skater and a choreographer is necessarily a bad thing (for example, Lori Nichol's work with Carolina Kostner has been brilliant these past few seasons, as was David Wilson's relationship with Jeffrey Buttle, Christopher Dean with the Duchesnays, Stephane Lambiel's long-time work with Salome Brunner, Michelle Kwan and Lori Nichol for many years, Sandra Bezic and Lu Chen, etc), but sometimes, to get some outside-of-the-box thinking that is sorely needed in many instances, one literally has to get outside of the damn box and try something different.

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    5. Not to join this discussion, but I found a nice video of Bejart's ballet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpdFYhf3XZ8.

      Delete
    6. Your examples made my point. interesting programs, but nothing creative nor innovative.
      they are ready-made to suit each skater. Why Kwan's programs with Lori are in there? Those are not outsourcing programs.

      Delete
    7. And, Why Lulu's programs with Sandra over there, too. You are distorting the fact.
      They are not outsourcing choreographer. In case of Jeremy, Tom and Yuka cannot be one-time choreographer.

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    8. I don't object to outsourcing programs. Sometimes, it is good to look for different choreographers. But, searching for another choreographer every or other year is like chasing the rainbow. You cannot produce masterpieces every year. You have ups and downs in life. In those processes, Trust can be built up between them. Choreographers are professional, but they are human, too. For instance, I can understand why Lori took better care of Caro than Mao.

      Delete
    9. Anon (presumably the same one) at 12;19 and 12:28: Please read carefully and you will find that you are completely misconstruing my posts.

      Anon at 1:27: I don't think skaters should necessarily search for a new choreographer every year or every other year. My replies in this thread were a direct response to an opinion I vehemently disagreed with in the original reply: "Too much changes in coaches or choreographers represents unstable mind, which often causes lack of consistency." I was trying to indicate that this was not necessarily the case, and acknowledged that sticking to one choreographer and building up trust certainly could yield great work as well (see my post at 1:45AM).


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    10. Morozombie! Are you dead or something. I am missing your posts!

      Delete
  2. I don't feel like watching it all just now but I'm taking a crap shot:
    No falls, maybe?

    Also, I favour a lack of choreographic consistency. A lot of skaters and choreographers could benefit from it. I find most if not all of the choreographers overrated, anyway. Some, one a higher level than others, of course, but still.

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    Replies
    1. No, "no falls" is not the common theme.

      Delete
  3. Is the theme: "What could have been..." i.e. "Wasted potential"?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm feeling so stupid, right now. and that sentence doesn't really make it better :D:

    "Just to make it absolutely transparent for everyone. "

    However, Another crapshot: Career peaks in the creative/performance department?

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    Replies
    1. Closer, but still no banana :(

      In retrospect, it's probably only absolutely transparent just to me....

      Delete
  5. I didn't look up all of their careers, but won worlds or Olympics medals with empty programs/propped by judges?

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  6. Programs/performances you like/enjoy/admire by skaters that you normally don't (consistently) like/enjoy/admire. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations Anon! That is indeed the correct answer. Your official prize is one (1) post of entirely your choosing that I will write and post on this blog, even if it is horrendous topic like "The Enduring Greatness of Evan Lysacek."

      Caveat: I make no guarantees when this post is going to appear.

      Delete
    2. Excellent! I thought it was pretty easy. It's pretty much a hall of fame of skaters you're not a fan of, but...these aren't bad performances/programs. There's stuff to admire in these performances that these skaters ironically didn't have in their bigger victories.

      I don't want to abuse my prize, so I won't make my request too skater-specific. Here are some suggestions for a post: 1) expand and explain what you like about the programs above. :P 2) choreographer suggestions for skaters who have usually worked with one or two choreographers their entire career [as you were discussing above] or music suggestions for the Olympic season. 3) If you were stranded on a desert island and had only 10 skating performances to live on for the rest of your life, what would they be?

      I won't expect it anytime soon...Thanks morozombie!

      Delete
    3. Anon, you really are too kind because the #1 thing I would have done in your place is to abuse the prize by requesting a topic like "The Enduring Greatness of Evan Lysacek" or "Why Stephane Lammbiel is Overrated and Should Be Shunned."

      But very well, I will think about which of your three topics I will write about and hopefully will post it sometime within the next century.

      Delete
    4. You really got off very (read "too") lightly there, Morozombie. :D

      The topics you could have been given... the posts that will never see the light of day...

      Please, if you have it in your heart, think about a second installment of such a game. Just think of the amazing topic assigments you missed out on, like:

      1: The amazing tenure of Ottavio Cinquanta and why he's the best that ever happened to figure skating.

      or

      2: Why Snooker and Formula One Racing are both more art and more sport than figure skating.

      or

      3: Morozov: The greatest choreographer of all time and a man of taste

      Delete