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  1. #21

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    Should this be in the DOD thread or was it meant to be a totally different discussion?
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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    ^^ Yes, seems very much the same topic, ITA.

  3. #23

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    ^ I disagree that this thread should be merged with the DOD thread because every thread is really about Michelle Kwan, yet we do not merge every thread into one big Michelle Kwan Figure Skating Universe thread

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    Michelle.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    ^ I disagree that this thread should be merged with the DOD thread because every thread is really about Michelle Kwan, yet we do not merge every thread into one big Michelle Kwan Figure Skating Universe thread
    Guess you're right, since there's already the Michelle Kwan Forum for the one big Michelle universe, which predates FSU.

    Yep, if every thread isn't exactly about MK, she's often a reference point/ topic of discussion.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    ^ I disagree that this thread should be merged with the DOD thread because every thread is really about Michelle Kwan, yet we do not merge every thread into one big Michelle Kwan Figure Skating Universe thread
    When last I heard Ms. Kwan and her skating were an important part of the history of the sport.
    Why can't she/her work be discussed and appreciated on this board?

    No one forces you, or anyone, to post/participate if you disagree.

  7. #27

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    I wasn't trying to start a fight! I was asking because I genuinely thought the OP meant to post as a reply. They even mentioned the DoD video. If they wanted to start their own thread then more power to them.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Michelle was lucky to have Lori because Lori did bring the best out in her.

    Unfortunately once that partnership broke up, even though the skating was good, Michelle had a habit of just skating through the music and doing very little to the music. There was no attention to detail which was disappointing for a skater of that calibre.
    It's amazing how much I disagree with the above comment. Yes, Kwan's post-2002 work was far from her personal best, but I do think there was a lot of attention to detail in The Feeling Begins and Spartacus SPs. Also, one could argue Peter Oppegard's LP, The Miraculous Mandarin, was more intricate and musical than Lori's Song of the Black Swan (which is my personal favorite Kwan LP performance at Worlds).

    Aussie Willy, watch this and tell me Kwan isn't doing anything much with the music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EoeO239UX4
    In fact, I think it's probably Kwan's best SP since Dream of Desdemona in 1997 or Rachmaninoff in 1998.

    Also, some of my favorite exhibitions from Kwan have come from other choreographers, most notably Sarah Kawahara and Phillip Mills. In fact, I think those two understood Kwan's natural style of skating more than Lori did to be honest.

    This reminds me of a conversation I had on goldenskate many years ago with a poster who had a background in ballet/dance (at least I remembered she did). She never liked Kwan's skating because she felt she was always so tight in the upperbody and didn't think Lori Nichol allowed Kwan to move freely. It was not until the 2002-2003 season where she actually started to appreciate Kwan's skating and actually became a fan despite the choreography being less intricate or complicated because she finally saw Kwan as the skater she wanted to be and not what she was packaged as. She also said that Kwan's Spartacus SP was the best SP she ever saw from a lady skater when Kwan debuted it at Nationals.

    I didn't entirely agree with her point, but I do see where it came from. Kwan's skating became simpler in order to have speed and power (and fighting off an injured body that wasn't allowing her to increase her tech. difficulty), but her skating became more genuine.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 05-22-2011 at 07:18 PM.
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  9. #29

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    I don't know if I see all the attention to detail in her Spartacus SP. She performs it well but I feel like each element stands out on its own. I see the footwork, I see the spiral well timed to the music, the spins, etc. However, I don't see these elements all being connected together by moves accentuating the music and flowing freely from one to another.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  10. #30
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    I disagree. I thought it flowed really well. The only it might be missing is bombardment of transitions, but Kwan certainly moved really well and I felt it was much more connected than say A Day in the Life, East of Eden SP version, and Fate of Carmen.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Michelle was lucky to have Lori because Lori did bring the best out in her.

    Unfortunately once that partnership broke up, even though the skating was good, Michelle had a habit of just skating through the music and doing very little to the music. There was no attention to detail which was disappointing for a skater of that calibre.
    That was more evident in the LPs than in the SPs. I have noticed there seems to be slightly more praise for Michelle's repertoire of SPs than her LPs. There are a lot of skaters that have similar issues with choreography when comparing their SPs to LPs. Michelle just came from such a high level of choreography that it stood out when she skated LPs with "the norm" in choreography later in her career. That she was able to sustain choreographic excellence over a span roughly 6 years in her competitive programs speaks volumes about her abilities even beyond her titles. What other singles skaters can we say that about? Who else is comparable in that department? I'm just happy there's a representation out their for ladies skaters to see consistency in many aspects, including choreography, even if it wasn't over the span of her entire career. I feel like that, given Michelle's physical ailments she developed later, a longer period of choreographic emphasis might have been expecting too much from her.
    Last edited by Kwantumleap; 05-22-2011 at 09:24 PM.

  12. #32
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    MK's Spartacus SP at Nationals was one of my favorite performances of hers. Dick Button said that she brought out about as much emotion in that program as she possibly could, and I agreed. I loved the circular footwork ( the only change I would made to that was when she momentarily stopped in front of the judges, I wished she would've looked directly at them instead of down on the ice). The iconic spiral that she hit right at the crescendo of the music and the final arms movements of the layback into the ending pose gave me goose pumps when I saw it on TV.

  13. #33

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    It's hard to express what it felt like to experience it in person.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    It's amazing how much I disagree with the above comment. Yes, Kwan's post-2002 work was far from her personal best, but I do think there was a lot of attention to detail in The Feeling Begins and Spartacus SPs. Also, one could argue Peter Oppegard's LP, The Miraculous Mandarin, was more intricate and musical than Lori's Song of the Black Swan (which is my personal favorite Kwan LP performance at Worlds).
    We will agree to disagree. Her post Lori programs seemed to be she just skated around the rink to other and doing a jump at each end. She skated through the music, not used the music. Also with Bolero in particular there was not much demonstration of multi directional skating in that she skated most of it in an anticlockwise direction which is not good program composition either. In fact you could say that most of her SPs after Lori were pretty much the same program just skated to a different piece of music.

    A sign of telling if the skater really is using the music is to turn the music off and see whether you can see anything in the program that would give you an indication of a theme or idea and also detail. That example you gave is one of those. There was a little bit of choreograph at the start but it certainly wasn't carried through. Maybe only the circular steps brought something out, maybe hitting the spiral on the music, but there was very little else in the program that gave any indication of the music choice. And you certainly couldn't say the choreography was complex or detailed because there just wasn't a lot of choreographic content.

    I always felt with Lori, Kwan brought out emotion and character in the performances. After Lori she kind of just smiled through most of her programs and there was a real lack of emotional investment and connection in the music.

    Sorry if that upsets Kwan fans but I was asked the question and that is my answer.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  15. #35
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    ^^ Entitled to your views, Aussie Willy, but just Wow! Without Lori, MK still brings out emotion and character in her performances. If all you see in Spartacus, Hands, Kissing You, Tosca, The Miraculous Mandarin, Winter Song, etc., are just "smiling ... and lack of emotional investment and connection in the music," then I feel sorry for you, and I'd hate for you to be one of the judges scoring skating by any of my favorite skaters.

    Not upset at all, just sayin... Whatever you think or anyone thinks, doesn't change Kwan's greatness or what she accomplished in her amazing career, and what she is still contributing in her life today.

  16. #36
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    Regarding Aussie Willy's statement about the same program with different music: The Feeling Begins and Spartacus are totally different programs even with the music off. Even her Totentanz SP "to be" was different than her other programs. I don't buy calling her SPs the same. I agree that her LPs lacked as much content as before 2002, but to me it felt like she was transitioning into a stage of greater emphasis on technical content as early as 1998 following her defeats to Tara in 97. After the Olympics in 98 her next two LPs stressed her power and command. She seemed stronger. Her biggest competitors Slutskaya and the younger American girls emphasized technical content more. Artistically, Michelle had already reached a plateau by Lyra Angelica IMO. She still was able to go further with other programs, but technically she had more room to grow, so IMO she began exploring that more. We may just be talking about the same thing in different terms, less choreo = greater technical emphasis for Michelle.

    One things I love about Michelle's LPs from 03 on, minus probably Bolero, is that she skated each of them with a different intensity and fire that you just can't measure when talking about choreography. She had minimal choreography but was able to create (at least in my mind) an even greater artistic effect than many skaters with lots of choreography. Again, that's just my opinion, but I really think this whole conversation has to be framed around what is known of Michelle's injuries she sustained from about 03 (and perhaps earlier) on to her final competitive performances.
    Last edited by Kwantumleap; 05-23-2011 at 02:44 AM.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    ^^ Entitled to your views, Aussie Willy, but just Wow! Without Lori, MK still brings out emotion and character in her performances. If all you see in Spartacus, Hands, Kissing You, Tosca, The Miraculous Mandarin, Winter Song, etc., are just "smiling ... and lack of emotional investment and connection in the music," then I feel sorry for you, and I'd hate for you to be one of the judges scoring skating by any of my favorite skaters.

    Not upset at all, just sayin... Whatever you think or anyone thinks, doesn't change Kwan's greatness or what she accomplished in her amazing career, and what she is still contributing in her life today.
    Why would you feel sorry for me if I don't get what you see? I think the hardest thing is to try and be objective about performances, to quantify aspects and not to get drawn into the emotion of them. And if it makes me a tough judge then so be it. That is what I have had to learn to do. I am really picky when it comes to skaters using the music and I want to see the music used. Maybe it is one of the consequences of IJS and the breaking down of components, which is probably what I am applying in this case.

    I agree that Kwan was a really great skater. However years later after watching performances from her that I thought were really good, I have had to reevaluate certain aspects of them as I have gained more judging knowledge. But that just doesn't go for just Kwan. It goes for a whole heap of skaters, which can either put them in a more negative or positive evaluation on reflection and understanding. However the topic of conversation is around Kwan so that is who we are discussing.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Why would you feel sorry for me if I don't get what you see? I think the hardest thing is to try and be objective about performances, to quantify aspects and not to get drawn into the emotion of them. And if it makes me a tough judge then so be it. That is what I have had to learn to do. I am really picky when it comes to skaters using the music and I want to see the music used. Maybe it is one of the consequences of IJS and the breaking down of components, which is probably what I am applying in this case.

    I agree that Kwan was a really great skater. However years later after watching performances from her that I thought were really good, I have had to reevaluate certain aspects of them as I have gained more judging knowledge. But that just doesn't go for just Kwan. It goes for a whole heap of skaters, which can either put them in a more negative or positive evaluation on reflection and understanding. However the topic of conversation is around Kwan so that is who we are discussing.
    ^^^ And that there in a nutshell is the problem, I'd say! How can you be a judge of whether or not MK is emotionally invested in her programs sans Lori and connected to the music, when you as a consequence of learning to judge via IJS must not "get drawn into the emotion"? That makes you an emotionless judge "quantifying aspects" rather than fully appreciating the performance as a whole, which again is a large part of the problem with CoP.

    If you were actually making critiques that had validity in Kwan's case, then okay. For example, I do feel that Bolero is not MK's best program by far, but still she manages to convey emotion, altho' the music and choreo did not work for her. But if you think in the below programs that MK is not expressing palpable emotion and connection to the music, then definitely I do feel sorry for you because you are truly missing something quite unique and special.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWQSoIEAxns

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwr4zH53-bo

    And below, the last time Kwan would win Worlds, even though she still had a similar indefinable magic in 2004 and 2005. Yes, I know its hard for judges to score magic. And now, sans Kwan and post CoP, you can find precious little or none of any kind of magic. So, along with being anonymous, I guess that makes the judges happy they don't have to worry about getting "drawn into emotion."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfluAux0Sf0

    And once again, MK's relationship with Lori as her choreographer was a very collaborative one, taking nothing away from either of them. Sans Lori, MK is still a great skater. In addition, ITA with Kwantumleap, that Kwan began to focus more and more on aspects of speed, power, and athleticisim later in her career, because that is what the judges were preferring to reward. As great as she is/was, Kwan was often criticized even during her dominant years. She is great, in part, because of the constant criticism, Olympic disappointments, and injuries she had to overcome.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    It was both Michelle and Lori.

    However, starting at 2000, Michelle's jumps didn't come as easily and she had to let go of a lot of Lori's choreography to ensure consistency to battle Slutskaya (Red Violin at Skate America and Red Violin at Worlds were very different).

    She experimented with others during 2000 & 2001 (maybe also because Lori was pregnant / just gave birth?): Philip Mills, Chris Dean and Peter O. and probably had an eye opening experience with the creativity out there.

    Sensing this, Lori started to put less emphasis on Michelle and more on S&P, which IMO further cemented their split.

    Still, going to Sarah K for Schez and esp. for Fields of Gold is a great change.

    Too bad that after the split, neither have been able to keep up with their best.
    This.

    If it was only Lori then you could argue she should have theoretically been able to transfer that magic to all the skaters she works with and that clearly isn't the case*cough* American ladies *cough*. She has created some lovely programs post Kwan including those for S/P and Patrick Chan. Saying it was only Michelle discounts all the hard work that Lori put in during Michelle's transition in the 95-96 season(and beyond) to help improve her presentation. I consider "Fields of Gold" to be one of Michelle's best interpretive programs, if not the best and it was choreographed by Sarah K.

    I don't think it was the case of one being more fortunate than the other for having worked together, more like they were both fortunate to have each other. Together they helped create and bring to life some incredible programs.

    Michelle, Lori and Frank

  20. #40

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    Kwan is beyond quantification. I for one am happy she wasn't subjected to COP for very long. It brings out the worst in so many skaters and in figure skating in general in so many ways. Sometimes I feel that a skater should just stand by the boards and wait to be asked to do their Level 4 Spiral, and then their best axel, and then their Level 30 (LOL) spin, and so on. So many programs have become demonstrations of moves without much connectivity. There are a few, but very few, exceptions to this rule. Figure (and I do mean FIGURE) skating is no longer the sport it used to be. The actual skating, which was originally based on figures, leaves much to be desired at times. When we see a skater who actual has good skating skills, they stand out -- in a good way (e.g., Patrick Chan). But tricks are where it's at because that's where the points are at.

    I remember Tarasova commenting about Kwan that she could "do anything." And by "do anything," Tarasova was not referring to Kwan's "trick" ability. Not many skaters or fans or judges these days (esp those coming up in COP) probably even grasp the full meaning of that statement.

    Michelle Kwan was and is a tremendous figure skater.

    O-

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