Gus Lussi question

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by manleywoman, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    I was just doing research on David Jenkins, and poking around Wikipedia when i came across this:
    Does anyone have a copy of this documentary? I'd love to see it. Thanks
     
  2. dr.frog

    dr.frog Well-Known Member

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    I do recall having seen this documentary on TV at the time it came out, but I was not really into collecting skating tapes back then. Now, of course, I am :wuzrobbed at not having saved a copy of it.

    Main thing I remember about it was Dorothy Hamill saying something like, if Lussi told you to jump out a window, you'd go ahead and do it -- and make darn sure you were doing it with your head held high and toes pointed. :lol: I also vaguely recall some footage of Lussi sitting in a chair giving spin tips to Paul Wylie and Tracey Damigella.
     
  3. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like those instructional tapes that are still being sold in VHS format. They featured Paul Wylie, Tracy Damigella, Cecily Morrow, and another female skater. I believe Dick Button and Dorothy offered reminiscences. I had a coach who took lessons from Lussi and loaned the spin tapes to me (great instructional tapes btw). Cecily Morrow produced them, I think there are 3 or 4 of them.


    If this is what you are looking for try Rainbow Sports.
     
  4. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I just looked it up. It is "Gustave Lussi Systemic Figure Skating" there are 4 volumes. It looks like it has gone out of production so you'll have to go to various places to find each volume. Rainbo has volumeII.

    I remember it also had clips of Curry, Cousins, and Fratianne as well. I was hoping it would come out in DVD, but it looks like it is going away.

    If you are a non-skater you may want to try one video first - it is primarily an instructional video.
     
  5. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    PM sent!
     
  6. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Which is tragic, because I used to have two of the tapes (lost them in my last house move :() and they are amazing. I wish they'd be released on DVD. Every coach should see those, especially the flying sit spin instruction. I want them again, but not on VHS if I can avoid it. I never saw he other two instructional vids.

    But I was hoping someone might have a copy of the documentary on Lussi himself. Sigh.
     
  7. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    There is a photo studio near me that converts tapes to dvd. I am going to try them out with my tape of John Curry's Ice Dancing. The online places make you sign that copyrighted tapes are only for personal use, so I hope they will do it. If it is worthwhile I'll round up the Lussi tapes and do it.
     
  8. Screenie

    Screenie Active Member

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    I have one of the tapes, I didn't know there were 4. I think I bought it in the mid-90s in Lake Placid. He taught an interesting entrance to spins that was basically: LFI, put your right foot under it to be on a RFO, 3 turn, back crossover, spin. He felt it centered the spin better.
     
  9. smileyskate

    smileyskate New Member

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    I'd love to see those too.
    Since it was shown on PBS, perhaps you can contact the station and see if they have any suggestions. Maybe they would even re-air the broadcast if they felt there was enough interest. It is a long shot but I do know that people make these requests for programs aired long ago. Also, since they need $, perhaps they are able to sell copies for a certain price, like you see them do all the time for certain programs.
     
  10. Kelleys6th

    Kelleys6th Active Member

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  11. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    I just sent Gus Lussi through Wiki. Read the article all the way, it talks about his former students at the top and more at the bottom. For instance, Priscilla Hill. I might try contacting some of his former students, such as Priscilla, who are current coaches.
     
  12. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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    One of the coaches at my rink trained with Lussi and she was a fanatic about this setup. And there was no arm wind up. Very weird, but it definitely worked for her. (Not so much for me.)
     
  13. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    What I found useful about the tapes is that each skill is broken down step by step and you get to see skaters try them repeatedly.

    I always had a problem dropping my arms upon entering a camel spin and would have to readjust. After watching the tapes I noticed that Cecily Morrow held her arms high on entering the spin and they naturally dropped to the correct position. I tried this and it solved my problem. This might not be a useful technique for someone who doesn't have that problem.
     
  14. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Both Paul Wylie and Dorothy Hamill trained under Lussi? They both have similar techniques for their scratch spins and both do great ones. I wonder why we don't see many more skaters with similar scratch spin. Surely Mr. Lussi must have taught spin to more students than just Paul and Dorothy.
     
  15. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    Lussi wasn't a primary coach. Other coaches sent their students to him to solve technical problems. Button, Curry, Cousins, Hamil, Wylie were some of his notable students. He primarily helped Curry with his jumps.

    I think most skaters and coaches picked the methods they found useful from Lussi's system.
     
  16. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Which is understandable because he was about 70 when he started working with all the above skaters except, obviously, Uncle Dick, who came to Lussi when Lussi was about 40.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  17. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    In the documentary he was coaching from a chair as an old man. His eyes were as sharp as an eagle's, though.
     
  18. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Aaaaaaaagggghhh! Someone on eBay was selling the Gus Lussi tapes. I put in a bid, was outbid by $0.50 hours ago, and then I told myself when I got home I'd rebid. And I forgot and just found out I lost. Grrrrr.
     
  19. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    I have all three Lussi tapes and can confirm that yes, there are interviews with various skaters in the beginning, Ludington, Hammill and others, who discuss their history with Lussi and some of his quirky training techniques. This may be the "documentary" you are referring to. Since both were produced by Cecily Morrow, she probably used the same interview footage. Mine are old and starting to disintegrate and they were very expensive! I never saw a 4th volume for sale. I wonder if it was ever produced.

    These might help - maybe they're not out of print?:
    http://skatetape.com/systematicfigureskating-volumeispins-vhs.aspx
    http://skatetape.com/systematicfigureskating-volumeiiadvancedspins-vhs.aspx
    http://skatetape.com/systematicfigureskating-volumeiiijumps-vhs.aspx
    http://skatetape.com/systematicfigureskating3volumeset.aspx
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  20. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I had forgotten about that set-up. I just tried it last night. When you complete the final 3 turn it is virtually impossible to "step outside the circle" because you are on a tight inside edge facing forward. You are forced to step forward instead of turning and stepping back (outside the circle) which is a common mistake.

    I've been taught with and without the arm wind-up. It doesn't matter to me.

    I really do want to see those tapes again! :)
     
  21. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    It seems 100% ridiculous that places like Rainbo and the Skatetape store links above are selling outdated VHS tapes for $49.95. Rainbo has had copies sitting in the same spot in their store for years, and has never discounted them as far as I know. But why would anyone spend that kind of money for old technology that they are going to want to convert to DVD anyway? They really should put them on sale.
     
  22. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    From what I understood, the tapes were incredibly expensive to produce and therefore the profit margin on them is very small. I bought mine wholesale (through a shop owner) and IIRC, the wholesale cost was in the $50 range.
     
  23. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Understood, but DVDs have been around for how long? These tapes are not going to sell at $50 a piece.
     
  24. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    I borrowed the Lussi videos from a skating school/club for a few weeks. They're good, but the techniques don't work for everyone and not every coach teaches the Lussi methods.

    I don't think there are four volumes. I believe the confusion is that many online sites sell the three VHS tapes individually and then offer a fourth "Package" option to buy all three.


    I do remember recording the documentary from TV once a long time ago during an olympic year...I think it's the same interviews without the skating demonstrations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  25. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Is it possible to get them transferred to DVD or new tapes? They are treasures. I know I'd be crushed if I had them, and then they were no more.
     
  26. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    I think there is a label on the tape that says they are encrypted with technology that blocks any effort at copying. I haven't tried.
     
  27. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    If you think the tapes can't be copied to dvd, I don't want to buy them either (vol. 3 costs $64). The tapes my former coach had were in bad shape also.

    There is a phone number to call for information about the tapes on the Wikipedia site for Gus Lussi. It is a 410 area code so I would guess it is Cecily Morrow's number (last I heard she was living in Easton, MD). I will try it.

    Lussi's daughter-in-law coaches in my area. She might have access to the copyright or know who does. If all else fails I could ask her.
     
  28. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for following up on this.
    Please, let us know what you discover.
     
  29. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know you could encrypt tapes (aren't they analog technology?). Maybe they self-destruct like on Mission Impossible!
     
  30. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I called the number on the wikipedia site and it was indeed Cecily Morrow. She was home sick in bed but was pleasant and happy to talk to me. She told me that Lussi left her his autobiography and that she plans to get it out in the fall. She would like to re-issue the tapes in dvd format at the same time. She referred me to her distributor Jonathan Fishbein/skatetape.com about issuing the tapes in dvd in the meantime.

    I called Jonathan and he told me that he is slowly re-issuing the tapes in dvd (he has 500 titles) but that skate tapes are a specialty market and it is hard to anticipate the demand. He said he had not sold any Lussi tapes in the past few years (he sells to Rainbo et al) and that I was the first person to inquire about converting them to dvd. I also got the impression (although he didn't say it) that he would like to sell his inventory of tapes first.

    He told me that if anyone is interested in having the Lussi tapes in dvd (or any other tapes he has) they should contact him at info@skatetape.com.
    The price for the dvd would be the same as the tape price.

    I also asked both of them about the PBS special, both of them said that they don't have the rights. I guess PBS owns that.

    Cecily also told me some fun anecdotes about Dick Button and Lussi and said she would be happy to talk to anyone who calls. I had met her years ago at a skating rink and she is always very easy to talk to. I'm sure she would like to create some buzz for her projects. Both she and Jonathan gave me some interesting insights into their business ventures as well.