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Sep 30, 2015

The Prophet Morozov



Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned . . .

Approximately three years ago, when I was young and ignorant, I wrote a post excoriating Nikolai Morozov for choreographing what I viewed as an abomination: Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov's Ghost. At the time, I took particular umbrage at the inclusion of spoken dialogue from the musical Ghost in the program, bemoaning how the inclusion of such dialogue was detrimental to the entire concept of "interpretation" in figure skating.

As usual, I was wrong. The ISU broke down the musical barrier between ice dance and the other disciplines last season by allowing the inclusion of lyrics and the spoken voice in general in all four disciplines. Of course, the majority of  programs taking advantage of the rule change last year used verses from various songs, seemingly all taken from The Phantom of the Opera. For example:



However, upon watching the upcoming batch of this season's programs, it appears that Mr. Morozov was not in fact a rubbish choreographer when he choreographed Ghost, but a VISIONARY and a GENIUS, brilliantly pioneering the use of spoken dialogue within the context of a competitive figure skating program. After all, what could explain the spate of spoken dialogue cropping up here and there in figure skating programs from both this and the past season?

Here we must admire the lines lifted verbatim from Ridley Scott's Gladiator in Max Aaron's Gladiator last season, in which the magisterial voice of Emperor Marcus Aurelius compels not only Commodus, but also Mr. Aaron himself, to end corruption in Rome by landing some quads or whatever:


Behold the brilliance of the use of spoken dialogue from James Cameron's Titanic in Jorik Hendrickx's long program this season, in which the cacophony of the dialogue layered over the music cleverly evokes the cacophonous conditions on board the Titanic when the intrepid Jack and Rose begin running away from an inexplicably-murderous Cal Hockley (the rapidly-listing ship may also have contributed to the panic at that point of the movie as well):


Of course, who can forget the super-convenient narrative dialogue in the dulcet tones of various actors from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet throughout Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro's long program this season? So helpful of them to include those lines from the movie, just in case we dunces in the audience forget that Moore-Towers/Marinaro are skating as Romeo and Juliet while we worry about Ms.Moore-Towers' safety during the lifts:


Or what about Elena Radionova's very own Titanic long program, in which Rose's plaintive calls for her beloved (but unfortunately dead) Jack ramps up the pathos of Celine Dion's caterwauling in My Heart Will Go On:


Such quality programs, all significantly improved by the addition of spoken dialogue! I will never doubt Nikolai Morozov's music editing and choreography prowess ever again!

8 comments:

  1. Don't forget Han Yan's LP this season also has dialogue: https://youtu.be/WGZs-Y9yB5w

    Personally I think this is a bad choice, both the choreography and the music cuts.

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  2. @Hakkai

    OMG, I'd forgotten Han Yan's LP this season--thanks for the reminder! I don't think Han Yan's R + J is a a BAD program in its first half (esp. when compared to some of the others on this list), but the voice-overs are kind of pointless and distracting ("IS SHE A CAPULET?") and the music cuts get definitely questionable in the second half of the program (e.g. if I were Han Yan's team, I'd cut out the second iteration of Kissing You at the end, which is weirdly sped up). I think the program would also look better in general if Han Yan also skated with more conviction and contrast between the soft + more dramatic parts of the program, but it's early in the season so the choreography was probably quite new when the video was filmed....

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    1. I agree, I like some of the transitions before the jumps, and Han Yan's jumps are really good. But the music cuts are very questionable as long as the 2nd half is concerned. And If we compare this set up to Hanyu's Romeo and Juliet 1.0 LP because they use the same music, that is not really a good idea.

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  3. Someone should tell Goncharenko that she is ruining Radinova with those crappy programs. They're wasting Radinova's talents and huge potential.

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  4. @Hakkai

    OMG, Elena Radionova's programs. I have so much to say about Titanic, yet so little time to write. . .I practically screamed in horror when I watched Radionova's Titanic. It was just so BAD when it could've been so PERFECT. How on earth did Morozov manage to ($#* that up, I have no idea . . .

    As always, thanks for reading and commenting :)

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  5. Goncharenko's hair (which I suspect is cut by Radionova to pay for her coaching), is a clear testament to her lack of taste. I don't think we should be surprised she's reached this level of tackiness.

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  6. I enjoyed reading this! Thank you, morozombie!

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