What separates Kwan's artistry from Ashley Wagner's?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Kwantumleap, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Dick was definitely the biggest Kwantard I can think of (not that there is anything wrong with that of course). It might also explain why he was such an Irina hater, he sensed she was her biggest threat, although he probably also genuinely didnt like her skating as it seems many people dont. Slutskaya seems to be a skater who is the opposite of Trenary though, people seem to recall her more favorably with the passing of time than they did while she competed. I still remember in the early to mid 2000s when she was competing and often the skater to beat, and many threads here were closed due to the out of control anti Slutskaya trolling. It will be interesting to see as more time goes on how time will treat Michelle Kwan. So far it seems pretty well, although there are a few more people who seem to follow the impression she held the technical standard back (IMO a false myth) than years earlier.
     
  2. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    I merely brought up Dick Button to correct the previous poster's "mis-fact".
     
  3. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    In terms of artistry, musicality, connecting with the choreography and music...all of those things that are tough to teach...Michelle had it from square one. Even as a tiny jumping bean there was something about her that made people take notice. She always had that it factor. In 1995, pre-Salome, you could still see Michelle's fluidity, connection to the music and audience; unfortunately, at 14 years old she was packaged like a 14 year old so those qualities weren't as apparent at the time. That next season they upped the ante by getting rid of the ponytail and puffy armed dresses. That natural grace and ability to interpret music and convey a feeling or emotion were always there...they just had to highlight it and bring it to the front. Just watch her LP from 1995 worlds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UlJuZjzpUM

    The choreography and presentation weren't nearly as sophisticated and mature, but you can see those innate qualities she later became renown for...including her appeal. She won over the crowd, received a standing ovation and had the commentators singing her praises as well.

    As for Ashley, I'm glad that she's been studying Michelle. No, I don't think she has that magical ability to draw people in but she's developing her own kind of magic. I love Ashley's fierceness and attack. You can see her confidence we she steps out onto the ice and I admire that. I do think she's doing a good job in channeling Michelle's ability to take command of the ice. She's developed a wonderful presence on the ice. As far as style, Michelle and Ashley are two different skaters. Michelle was more about grace, finesse and quiet power; Ashley is very powerful and attacks more, which works for her. I'm happy the US has a legitimate contender again. It's been a long time...
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  4. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    I specifically remember an interview with Kwan when she waxed poetically and explained that she put her heart on her sleeve or was giving her heart to the audience. It wasn't a 'mis-fact'. Just because Dick Button said it does not negate that Kwan also did. IIRC it was probably at 99 Nationals and she was wearing a fuzzy bluish sweater.
     
  5. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Actually, Kwan had excellent pacing and her skating was always in tune with the tempo and progression of the music / program. I wonder how much of this is due to Nichol. Kostner also has excellent pacing now - her speed is much mroe controlled and she is taking her time to present herself.

    Wagner on the other hand looks a little hectic to me, and her timing isn't always as spot on.
     
  6. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    You've got that right! I'm a huge Kwan fan and I'm more than willing to admit that Bolero was a shit program (sorry if I offend anyone!). And yes I would call 2004 nats FS the definition of "Heart on Your Sleeve". That audience got the show of their lives that night!
     
  7. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    This is sort of a weird thread. I see a few similarities, most notably confidence and projection. When watching Ashley's FS at TEB I was thrilled to see that at almost all times she was looking up, out to the audience, and kept her posture. She was wedged in between Tuktamysheva and Lipnitskaya in the skate order who both tend to look down a lot and shrug their shoulders between elements.

    I don't think her style of skating is similar to Kwan's overall, but I do think that Ashely has tapped into the kind of confidence we saw with skaters like Kwan, who are so sure of themselves that they aren't afraid to look right up at the audience before and after a difficult element. The only thing lacking in Wagner's skating right now (and it improves every day) are those deep silky edges, which were Kwan's biggest strength.
     
  8. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Dick Button, an Irina hater?! Hmmm, I guess that's why he felt "entitled" enough to ask her if he could pinch her rosy cheeks (or words to that effect). So if he didn't like Irina's skating, which I think is a false perception, he sure as h**l thought she had a cute smile and lovely, pinchable cheeks. ;)

    Weird thread, indeed, but many are.
     
  9. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    I think there's something in this statement. I was watching a couple of old MK vids from Nationals and you can tell that she just owned the audience. In terms of really selling a program (when she wanted to) MK was really in a league of her own. Wagner wouldn't even be on the same planet. However, I do see the same sort of self-confidence from both, particularly with the jumps. It's basically saying "I got this."

    I watched a couple of Cohen vids as well (from the same nationals) and if Wagner really wants to reach that level presentation-wise she's got a looooong way to go. But honestly, there's little use in comparing her to these skaters. She's definitely capable of making her own mark...and maybe future US stars will end up being compared to Wagner, who knows?
     
  10. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    Or...
     
  11. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

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    Frankly it is amazing to see that this thread has lasted this much. I just cannot help keep thinking that the seemingly resemblence to MK Ashley provokes comes from the fact that she studied and digged into Michelle's performances, hence, it is sort of learnt habit of hers. I do think though that as time goes, Ashley will find her own aura in her skating now that she knows how to put things down on ice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  12. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    This is the interview that you meant. No heart on her sleeve, rather in the palm of her hand.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsjoojhAcHk
     
  13. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

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    I've been pondering Michelle's enigma for a bit. To me, it is that she was harmonious, miraculously so. The edges, the exquisite finish on every element, the openess to music and to audience. I don't see her as the greatest artistic woman skater; to my eyes, what Kostner has done last year is leaning more towards pure art than what Michelle did. But Michelle, like a diamond, shone from all sides. Jumps, musicality, edges, positions, joy of skating, ability to relate to audience. Beautiful harmony.
    I am not quite ready to talk about Ashley. She is a different kind of skater, a go- getter; that's her audience appeal. I don't see her in unison with music, I see her conquering it. And that's OK, as well; but it's a different approach.
     
  14. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    Yeah, sorry, my mistake. Heart in the palm of her hand, rather than on her sleeve.

    I really wish I didn't just watch that video, because it was like nails on a chalkboard. Uggh. Could she sound more vacuous and self-absorbed? God, she sounds like Kim Kardashian. A friend could send me that as a cruel joke just to make me squirm.

    So in spite of interviews like this one, I appreciate Kwan's contribution to the skating world. She has her place in history, it's well deserved, and I'll remember her great programs. And try to forget her interviews.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
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  15. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    :rofl: Yeah, having her heart in the palm of her hand and giving it to the audience. What a self-absorbed b*tch.
     
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  16. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    Michelle was a legend as a 6.0 skater. We will never know how she could have or would have adapted to COP. I suspect not all that successfully. Her jumps were not high, not spectacular, and she hadn't added difficulty in quite a while. Michelle was gorgeous, and a one of a kind. I am glad we were able to see her do what she did, and when she did it. I think COP would not have been kind to or for her.

    Kids like Ashley who can incorporate any kind of artistry these days along with such packed technical content is an amazement.
     
  17. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Awwww, Kweeeen! Brings a tear to my eye, a smile to my heart ... and a tingle up my spine. Thanks, kwanette! :cheer:

    The rest of youse unappreciative "self-absorbed" Kwan critics, eat your hearts out. :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  18. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    IDK. Perhaps she would not have been able to win as many world championships, but I think she would have been able to be a good COP skater in her prime (1996 to 2001) had she grown up on the system. She scored decent in her only performance under COP with a really bad bland long program in 2005. She for sure would have beat Tara at the1998 Olympics under COP who had even smaller jumps and a huge flutz.
     
  19. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    These are good points. It's REALLY hard IMO to construct a CoP-friendly program that fits the music as well as some of the great 6.0 ones did (and, no, I'm not trying to turn this into a go-back-to-6.0 discussion). I was watching COC with an old colleague who is also a professional musician and had not watched skating since the early 2000's. The first thing she said was, "Why is everyone so boring now and no one skates to the music?"

    One aspect about Ashley's skating I've really liked the past couple of seasons is that she uses her spins to highlight musical accents. In the LP at TEB, she got a lv3 for her layback and I kept thinking that it would be so much easier for her to get lv4 if she wasn't so concerned with changing positions on the downbeats. Obviously, she can and has achieved both at the same time, but I'm impressed that she goes for it since there isn't really any incentive for her to do so. She would probably score the same for that element if she just shut out the music and counted rotations.
     
  20. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    Seeing how Michelle made her jumps get way bigger when COP was implemented, and recognizing that she made those improvements a) at the end of her career and b) with a bad hip, I think she would have done just fine if COP was in place in the 90s.
     
  21. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    To answer the question posed in the title of this thread, they are both two totally different skaters and individuals, therefore their artistry is different.

    Kwan expressed herself as only she could, it doesn't remind me of anyone else. Same goes for Ashley. Yes, there are times a program reminds me of such & such a skater, but not the way they express themselves on the ice. For instance, even though Ashley has always reminded me of Sasha Cohen in terms of spirit, fight, passion, personality even, that's where it ends. The way they expressed themselves on the ice is totally different. Same goes for body type, just because a skater's body reminds me of another skater doesn't mean said skater skates like that person.

    Anyhow, jmho, carry on. :)

    ps: my favorite program of Ashley's is still "Somewhere in Time", second "Black Swan". :cool:
     
  22. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    I think she would have been fine aswell. Long programs like Taj Mahal would fit right in with the COP programs today although spins and steps would have to change quite a lot. Also it is an under-appreciated fact that she fixed her flutz when COP was implemented. Although her flip became a lip too ;) They didn't care about edge violations on flip until something like 2007-2008.
     
  23. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Sasha

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    Michelle's biggest strength was her heart/mind. She would have done just fine under COP.
     
  24. dawnie

    dawnie Active Member

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    Considering her one and only COP competition score (with arguably her worst LP) is still in the top 30 on the ISU Personal Best list, I would have to agree. :)

    http://www.isuresults.com/isujsstat/pbslto.htm
     
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  25. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    I think the comparisons between Ashley and Michelle are really tough. They competed under different systems and Ashley is unable to 'lose herself' in a performance because she is busy trying to maximize points on every element. I also think that Ashley might appear forced, because she is compelled to pose / vamp it up a bit to stand out in spite of all those elements and their transitions.
     
  26. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    I always just cannot understand why people say Michelle would have done bad under COP. Especially during 1996-2001 who would be beating her? Not Tara or Sarah on the national level. Maybe Irina in 2000 and 2001 at worlds. If COP were the scoring system, I really believe Michelle would still be a multiple world and national champion, and I am pretty sure she would be Olympic Champion (1998). Her legacy for sure would be different, but she would still have been successful I think.
     
  27. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I dont think COP would have hurt Tara in Nagano. Her programs would have a higher base value than Michelle or anyones, and she didnt UR any jumps at that competition. Her flutz was even minor compared to todays standards and wouldnt have hurt her much. Also Tara was winning Nationals in 97 with how everyone skated there under any scoring system, that is for sure. Her jumps would get good GOE because of their control, rotation, perfect air positions, and flow out, even if they werent huge, and her skating was well suited to the PCS categories. Tara was no Sarah Hughes with badly URed jumps and triple-triple tries, and a huge mule kicking flutz and mule kicking flip.

    1996 Worlds between Kwan and Chen under COP would have been interesting. Kwan wouldnt have even been able to throw in that 7th triple.
     
  28. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    People try to say she wouldn't have b/c the only evidence of her competing under COP came at the very end of her career. Had she been brought up under COP like all of these skaters today, I know she'd have been fine...

    But to be honest, I thank my lucky stars Michelle was not a part of this COP era of skating and I'm glad she left the sport when she did.
     
  29. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I dont even like COP anyway. I would rather ask which skaters would do well under 6.0s than which would do well under COP. Skaters I can think of who would be much less a factor under 6.0s would be Chan (too many mistakes, too many jarring disruptive falls and stumbles, not enough emotional investment or intangible magic in his performances), Lysacek (nothing remarkable about him, just a points collector), Ando (we already have evidence of this). Kim, Asada, Kostner, the Japanese men, Plushenko, are obviously threads under any system.
     
  30. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I agree