The Skating Lesson: Interview w/ Sandra Bezic, Part 1

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Fabrichnova, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Fabrichnova

    Fabrichnova New Member

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    In Part 1 of the interview, they talk a lot of about "Battle of the Blades" and Sandra's early years. Really interesting stuff, although I'm looking forward to the upcoming parts. I'd love to hear more of her thoughts on 2002, IJS, etc. But this first part is definitely worth a listen.
     
  2. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

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    So you got background on how she became interested in choreography and broke into the business of choreographing for other skaters but of course her extreme nonsensical reaction to S/P losing is next!! Total disgrace of a TV commentator.
     
  3. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    ^^^
    No one forces anyone to listen.
     
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  4. Fabrichnova

    Fabrichnova New Member

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    Part 2 is up and it covers a lot of her elite choreographing career. She talks about Brian Boitano, Witt, Kristi, Tara, Kurt and Lulu. Definitely worth a listen considering how many well-known programs are her work.
     
  5. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Part 2 is good listening. Sandra is so much more likable here then when she does commentaries for NBC. I like what she said about accommodating Tara's wishes so that although the work was still true to Sandra's vision, the final result the public saw was mostly true to who Tara was on the ice (meaning Sandra didn't say "do it my way or the highway." ;) )

    Dave's expression was funny when Sandra and Jenny discussed about when a girl looked into the mirror and realized that she has transformed into a woman, LOL.

    Is there a part 3 and more ?
     
  6. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

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    I agree- Sandra is so likable and poised. I'm told there are 4 parts total.
     
  7. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    Will this woman ever age? I loved hearing about the creative process between her and so many successful skaters. Can't wait to hear Dave grill her about 2002 in the next chapters. As much as I feel she has been inappropriate as a commentator from time to time, I can't help but respect Sandra for her unbelievable talent and the memorable programs she's created over the years.
     
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  8. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    No, but I think she gets help in that department :p
     
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  9. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    Part 3 will be posted tonght.
     
  10. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, kwanette,
     
  11. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    Really interesting interview. I'd forgotten Sandra Bezic worked with Lu Chen. Not sure why Dave yet again couldn't wait to bring up the storyline of the movie behind Tara's long program. Big deal. We're not living in the 1950s. Plus it seemed to embarrass Sandra (the question, not the movie's storyline). Also interesting to hear that Sandra had zero input with Kristi's Malaguena musical choice. Wonder what she might have suggested if she were asked? All in all, a good job by TSL once again!
     
  12. Fabrichnova

    Fabrichnova New Member

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    Dave asking if Sandra had seen the movie was a valid question, especially considering how much she had said in the past that the film's storyline was integral to capturing Tara's POV. And considering Sandra even said she usually does see the films she suggests for programs, she didn't seem embarrassed at all, only that she hadn't seen it but should have.

    Anyway, I especially liked hearing her discuss Lu Chen. I agree her Rach program was probably her finest piece of work.
     
  13. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. But it strikes me as odd that if she really did claim in the past that the storyline was integral to Tara's POV, then why say in this interview she hadn't seen it and ask Dave how it was. I disagree, though, that she didn't seem embarrassed. She didn't appear mortified but slightly embarrassed, yes. Like I said, though, I thought it was a good interview overall.
     
  14. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

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  15. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

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    I think it was interesting having seen part 4 about IJS missing forest for the trees. But technically everything is divided up but program is judged as a whole but in five parts! So you have the technical score having no unified score at all and no unified impression but pe , tr , ss, in and ch does.

    I thought there would be more about the merit of the choreography of s/p vs b/s. Because s/p won the tech mark but lost the artistic mark. Did s/p have the merit for a second mark win? B/s did have mistakes on jumps but even by the end of that program it seemed like they were totally great! I could see how she wouldn't regret anything at all but as a choreographer where was he merit in s/p program? Like they performed it so well but what did they perform ? A snowball fight? How does she feel abouT a snowball fight?
     
  16. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    I've always liked Sandra Bezic. I really enjoyed the interviews. Thanks so much for sharing. :)
     
  17. Scrufflet

    Scrufflet Active Member

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    Really enjoying these! Just watched the first 2 and am saving the rest for tomorrow.
     
  18. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Well-Known Member

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    I liked the parts about Chen Lu and her choreography in the 1990s, but her reaction in 2002 still grates on my last nerve. In what way is it professional to scream "No" as the anthem is being played? That was so disrespectful and childish.
     
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  19. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Enjoyed listening to part 3 and 4.

    Bezic got a lot of flaks from FSU for what some labeled as "Whorechography", and one such program was Lu Chen's "Black Magic Woman". I didn't mind the sexy programs; My beef with that particular Chen's program was that it was boring.

    I don't think Bezic has ever done a program for MK, correct? I would love to hear what music she would've chosen for Michelle.
     
  20. kosjenka

    kosjenka Well-Known Member

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    I dozed off 3 times in first 10 minutes of part 1...
     
  21. alchemy void

    alchemy void Well-Known Member

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    These interviews are great to listen to but it would be wonderful if we could get a follow-up question once in a while, so we can get further elaboration.

    "Sandra, is IJS too complicated to bring new fans to the sport?"

    "Yes!"

    And then it's onto the next topic. I'd really like to hear what she would change to make IJS more accessible.
     
  22. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    I agree, it would have been nice for Jenny or Dave to then ask her what changes she would suggest. I think she would have answered, as she was very good about answering the other questions.

    But she did give her take on what she doesn't like. I especially appreciated her take that this type of judging takes out the comparative aspect, which is essential to competition and how, at the end of the day, the result does not always represent who skated best in that particular competition. That's my biggest beef with IJS.
     
  23. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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  24. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Sandra's responses are very interesting,
    Kudos to her for taking the time to reply to comments and questions.
     
  25. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    And not only that, she is responding to some idiotic comments posted by someone whose writing style and user name bear a very close resemblance to FSU's own caseyedwards :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  26. Dr.Siouxs

    Dr.Siouxs Well-Known Member

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    great quote (On Janet Lynn) "If you look at a Janet performance today, you realize we've gone nowhere in 30 years"
     
  27. DBZ

    DBZ Well-Known Member

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    Another wonderful interview from TSL.

    I'm glad they didn't focus too heavily on the SLC scandal, but instead chose to address it within the totality of her career as a skater and choreographer. I learned so many new things I never knew about her before.

    Whatever your thoughts on SLC, you can't deny this woman has contributed a lot of positives to the sport, creating some of skating's most memorable programs. At the very least, I definitely walked away from the interview with a better understanding of her motivations behind her comments in 2002.

    What she said about losing the casual fanbase was spot-on in my opinion.

    Big highlight for me was hearing her speak about her process, how all successful programs start from a place of honesty.

    Her acknowledging that Tara's 98 LP had no depth--something I always thought--was surprising to hear from her, but in retrospect I suppose it couldn't for a bubbly 15 year old girl. Never really looked at it from that perspective. In the end, it was a honest program for who she was at the time. And it worked.
     
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  28. os168

    os168 Active Member

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    I really like what Dave and Jenny has taken their work beyond the blogsphere, to have evolved into this wonderful series of video talks to the great legends of this sport. The likes of Frank Carroll shared so many insights that hundreds of blog pages probably wouldn't able to cover... and now Ms. Bezic. I do wonder if Dave's eventual goal could be Michelle Kwan herself, if so, what a wonderful bonus or goal it would be. If there's ever a dream list, I'd love them to interview some Russian legends like Plushy, Yag, Tat etc.., Canadian legends (Kurt, Orser, Wilson etc) too, or even Japanese legends (Midori!!). I do think how someone being interviewed and how someone come across in writing can be vastly different. Dave / Aunt Joyce being the obvious. Some people are just naturally good at being expressive with their thoughts, while others probably require a bit more processing, or comes across better in writing, or could become become more diplomatic (instead of genuine) dealing with something as politically sensitive or controversial as the ISU/skating/federation politics and personal preferences.

    Sandra for me is certainly a legend of the sport. She was the first choreographer who introduced Chinese Butterfly lovers (梁祝, Chinese Romeo and Juliet) as a competitive (edited) program to the west for Chen Lu, and made many Chinese audiences around world feel really proud and touched at what Lulu were able to bring that piece of her culture to the world wide audience. Therefore Bezic were also instrumental to promote the sport more to that part of the world. It being a piece of precious Chinese culture that had been neglected for decades and to see it being realised in such heartfelt and touching fashion sealed Lu Chen's place among the Chinese figure skating all time greats (and hopefully one of sport's all time great artists). The creative decisions to choose this particular piece vs the metamorphosis of Lulu's own career at the time is also perfectly, symbolically and ironically matched. It is genius really. To those who are familiar with the story of butterfly lovers, it is easy to drew the parallel lives of the beautiful butterfly evolved after long struggle of metamorphosis from a caterpillar to the short career of female figure skaters. How they struggle, rehearse, pushing bodies through the hundreds/thousands jumps/steps for that 1 short beautiful flight at its most glorious - but could ended too quickly, suddenly and abruptly. It also spoke about Lu Chen's own personal struggles at her final parting, how she has imparted all she was capable of, of a life time's work. Her spirit desperately cling and holding together her battered bodies at her age to say her good byes at the Olympics for one final parting. To share with the world her most beautiful (and heartbreaking moments) in order to preserve that one moment of glory, of beauty, to aspire for perfection against all the odds that all skaters strives for, whether you the OGM or the last one in the ranking.

    In truth, in life, we strive for beauty because it is rarely attainable, and when you were finally able to capture the rare moments of it, it does not last forever. Beauty occurs, in 'moments' in time and always has a finite life span. The flower is at its most beautiful when it blossoms. A skater is most beautiful when they deliver what they are trained to do at the biggest occasion they aim for. Sure beauty can be preserved, and captured in still photography or video, but real beauty in art does not happen in stationary. It requires occasion, audience participation, momentum, expectation, circumstance, environment, the right judging panel to make it happen. Paintings and stationary arts are merely evidence of beauty, but its beauty is in its inception, the reason of being, the transition and first full realization of the work, including its quality of processes and everything it need to overcome to in order to materialize. Why we place high value on originality and authenticity and pay extra to go and see events live, for the rare opportunity such 'beauty can happen'. We want to experience beauty at its most real, fresh, full, authentic, honest at its core, unprocessed. Well executed performance maybe one way to deliver good art, but originality, authenticity, creativity is what can elevate interpretations and performances into great art. Chen Lu's Butterfly Lovers at the Olympics, she shared her life time's work and paid tribute and gratitude to the sport, who she is and her own culture through her art. It is all there and it makes me cry like a baby every time I see it. It elevate her performance to something COP, 6.0 can't possibly measure. What and a wonderful way to say good bye to a sport that is often bathed in controversy, politics, subjection, one may argue at her personal expense.

    It is a piece of creative genius this skating fan (and many) is unlikely to ever forget thanks to Ms. Bezic and Ms. Chen. I do believe she was also the one who suggested Bond girl SP and Danse Macabare SP for Yuna Kim/David Wilson, my favourite female skater after Michelle Kwan. This means she had key input into some of my all time favourite ladies programs, to which I will always appreciate her for beyond her NBC commentaries. It is a pity she doesn't choreograph anymore. I'd love to see what she can come up for Daisuke for his Olympic Program (yes he really need a good one).
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
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  29. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    os168, not quite. Have you seen this?

    Peggy Fleming - Butterfly Lovers Concerto (1981)- 1981 USFSA in China

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A3bRoY-70g
     
  30. os168

    os168 Active Member

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    Thanks for this. That was fab gala. I didn't know about this, but it is good to know another great has skate to it. Just to show, there's nothing truly original in art anymore :p Although perhaps understandably doesn't have the same cultural significance and impact for me personally.