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  1. #81

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    The new member should at least watch some of her programs before posting.

  2. #82

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    I have often thought that Mao should try Lori for her choreographer. She may bring out Mao's emotions the way she did in Michelle's case. When Michelle was just 15, Lori was able to create the Salome program for her, and at that young age Michelle was able to interpret that music because (from what I read) that was the music she liked. Michelle was truly a master of musical interpretation, but without a choreographer like Lori it is hard to say how far she would have progressed at a young age. After turning pro many of the technical skaters developed their artistry but you watch programs like Salome, Taj Mahal, Song of the black swan, and Lyra Angelica, and you see how unique Michelle's artistry was. It's a shame that she did not get the OGM in her illustrious career.

    I feel that Mao has a lot to give to the sport that has not been discovered. However, I agree that the COP may make it harder to do. Michelle had total freedom to interpret the music because of the 6.0 system. I do believe she lost some of the uniqueness after she left Lori and skated to more traditional skating music. I still loved her programs and the interpretation but the programs were not as intricate as Lori's.

  3. #83

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    Didn't Mao use Lori while she was working with Artunian? I thought Lori did Mao's beautiful Nocturne short program. I could be wrong.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I have often thought that Mao should try Lori for her choreographer. She may bring out Mao's emotions the way she did in Michelle's case. When Michelle was just 15, Lori was able to create the Salome program for her, and at that young age Michelle was able to interpret that music because (from what I read) that was the music she liked. Michelle was truly a master of musical interpretation, but without a choreographer like Lori it is hard to say how far she would have progressed at a young age. After turning pro many of the technical skaters developed their artistry but you watch programs like Salome, Taj Mahal, Song of the black swan, and Lyra Angelica, and you see how unique Michelle's artistry was. It's a shame that she did not get the OGM in her illustrious career.

    I feel that Mao has a lot to give to the sport that has not been discovered. However, I agree that the COP may make it harder to do. Michelle had total freedom to interpret the music because of the 6.0 system. I do believe she lost some of the uniqueness after she left Lori and skated to more traditional skating music. I still loved her programs and the interpretation but the programs were not as intricate as Lori's.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I have often thought that Mao should try Lori for her choreographer. She may bring out Mao's emotions the way she did in Michelle's case. When Michelle was just 15, Lori was able to create the Salome program for her, and at that young age Michelle was able to interpret that music because (from what I read) that was the music she liked. Michelle was truly a master of musical interpretation, but without a choreographer like Lori it is hard to say how far she would have progressed at a young age. After turning pro many of the technical skaters developed their artistry but you watch programs like Salome, Taj Mahal, Song of the black swan, and Lyra Angelica, and you see how unique Michelle's artistry was. It's a shame that she did not get the OGM in her illustrious career.

    I feel that Mao has a lot to give to the sport that has not been discovered. However, I agree that the COP may make it harder to do. Michelle had total freedom to interpret the music because of the 6.0 system. I do believe she lost some of the uniqueness after she left Lori and skated to more traditional skating music. I still loved her programs and the interpretation but the programs were not as intricate as Lori's.

    i think part of the reason lori and michelle parted ways is because lori's choreography for michelle had become stale, had lost a lot of its old magic. lori's inspiration went _elsewhere_. which came first, the egg or the chicken--michelle's leaving, or lori's sending the message, i'm burning the midnight oil for somebody else?

    long before michelle started skating to war horses, some of michelle's programs by philip mills and sara kawahara moved me far more than some of lori's lesser creations. not all lori's creations were uniformly great. of course dante's prayers and the red violin (exhibition version) and the programs you mentioned were among lori's most successful--i would say that lori is the choreographer with whom michelle achieved the greatest heights.

    lori did indeed create nocturne for mao, and lori created liebestraum last season. forgive me, perhaps i misconstrued your words, but were you in fact hypothesizing that if mao had lori in the 'formative' years, mao would have been... more michelle-ish, more masterful in interpreting choreography and music at an early age?

    i also see great untapped potential in mao's skating. i wonder if you, perhaps, think that it is already 'too late' for mao--because lori wasn't able to contribute as much to mao's training when mao was younger? i would like to think that it is not too late, because i like mao's skating very much, and this season we've had reason to celebrate several late bloomers, including the current ladies world champion and US champion. also, lori is not the only choreographer capable of bringing out great interpretation--i was deeply impressed with dickson's work for yukina ota--especially picasso dance (03-04 season, IIRC). did dickson contribute as much to yukina's awesome skill in musical interpretation? i don't know--i'm asking you and the other learned people--IMO you could as easily say that it was yukina who had the unique spunk and sass, an ear for how to synchronize her movements with the musical highlights, and with any other skilled choreographer she would have flourished.


    anyway, back to lori and michelle. i'm thankful for those really good years--i now have a lot of skating i can watch and re-watch


    P.S. intricacy isn't essential to my enjoyment of a program--what's critical is the choreography's suitability for the music--i love dante's prayer, rachmaninov 98, red violin, but i also love programs like dorothy hamill's pia jesu and paquita, programs which emphasize flow and grandeur rather than complicated fuss, because there is not much in the music to be accented with intricate choreography. grand and epic war horses, i enjoy also
    Last edited by skfan; 06-02-2011 at 01:01 AM.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    i think part of the reason lori and michelle parted ways is because lori's choreography for michelle had become stale, had lost a lot of its old magic. lori's inspiration went _elsewhere_. which came first, the egg or the chicken--michelle's leaving, or lori's sending the message, i'm burning the midnight oil for somebody else?

    long before michelle started skating to war horses, some of michelle's programs by philip mills and sara kawahara moved me far more than some of lori's lesser creations. not all lori's creations were uniformly great. of course dante's prayers and the red violin (exhibition version) and the programs you mentioned were among lori's most successful--i would say that lori is the choreographer with whom michelle achieved the greatest heights.

    lori did indeed create nocturne for mao, and lori created liebestraum last season. forgive me, perhaps i misconstrued your words, but were you in fact hypothesizing that if mao had lori in the 'formative' years, mao would have been... more michelle-ish, more masterful in interpreting choreography and music at an early age?

    i also see great untapped potential in mao's skating. i wonder if you, perhaps, think that it is already 'too late' for mao--because the lori wasn't able to contribute as much to mao's training when mao was younger? i would like to think that it is not too late, because i like mao's skating very much, and this season we've had reason to celebrate several late bloomers, including the current ladies world champion and US champion.

    anyway, back to lori and michelle. i'm thankful for those really good years--i now have a lot of skating i can watch and re-watch


    P.S. intricacy isn't essential to my enjoyment of a program--what's critical is the choreography's suitability for the music--i love dante's prayer, rachmaninov 98, red violin, but i also love programs like dorothy hamill's pia jesu and paquita, programs which emphasize flow and grandeur rather than complicated fuss, because there is not much in the music to be accented with intricate choreography. grand and epic war horses, i enjoy also
    I agree it is not too late for Mao. She just needs like someone to click with just like Angela Nikodnov.

  6. #86
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    Lori has been one of Mao's main choreograhers over the years and generally their programs have been enjoyable. Mao's Nocturne SP has been of the rare gems in Lori's catalogue in recent years.

  7. #87
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    Michelle & Frank

    Is it okay to ask if there ever was a reason given as to the split between Michelle and Frank? They were together for such a long time?

  8. #88
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    Was it Michelle or Lori?

    Both.

    But I think Michelle was greatly lucky to meet Lori while Lori was at her peak.
    Michell is of course the supreme skater!
    But Lori makes her skaters look like having more artistry than the artistry 'they each have inside'. (Look at the past season's Caro's beautiful LP.)

    Lori is really great.
    Last edited by t.mann; 06-02-2011 at 03:51 AM.

  9. #89

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    Why does Lori make a hack of herself so often by doing programs for musical pieces she has already done? She has not done anyone, except perhaps Rachael, any favors with these rehashings of old Kwan programs. Do the skaters come to her with these famous Kwan selections and ask for a program? Or does Lori pick them?

    To name just a few:

    Kostner- SOTBS
    Yoshie Onda - Red Violin
    Rachael Flatt- East of Eden
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 06-02-2011 at 08:51 AM.

  10. #90
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    Wait...Yoshie Onda skated to the Red Violin?
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Wait...Yoshie Onda skated to the Red Violin?
    Yoshie Onda, Japanese Nationals, 2006-2007 Season:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB18z_Dao6U

  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    Why does Lori make a hack of herself so often by doing programs for musical pieces she has already done? She has not done anyone, except perhaps Rachael, any favors with these rehashings of old Kwan programs. Do the skaters come to her with these famous Kwan selections and ask for a program? Or does Lori pick them?

    To name just a few:

    Kostner- SOTBS
    Yoshie Onda - Red Violin
    Rachael Flatt- East of Eden
    All she does by "recycling" programs/music is to demonstrate what a master Michelle was at interpreting her choreography.
    Most of these attempts have suffered by comparison.

    Even the best choreography needs the right interpreter to "bring it to life" and show its' ultimate potential.

  13. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post

    lori did indeed create nocturne for mao, and lori created liebestraum last season. forgive me, perhaps i misconstrued your words, but were you in fact hypothesizing that if mao had lori in the 'formative' years, mao would have been... more michelle-ish, more masterful in interpreting choreography and music at an early age?

    i also see great untapped potential in mao's skating. i wonder if you, perhaps, think that it is already 'too late' for mao--because lori wasn't able to contribute as much to mao's training when mao was younger? i would like to think that it is not too late, because i like mao's skating very much, and this season we've had reason to celebrate several late bloomers, including the current ladies world champion and US champion. also, lori is not the only choreographer capable of bringing out great interpretation--i was deeply impressed with dickson's work for yukina ota--especially picasso dance (03-04 season, IIRC). did dickson contribute as much to yukina's awesome skill in musical interpretation? i don't know--i'm asking you and the other learned people--IMO you could as easily say that it was yukina who had the unique spunk and sass, an ear for how to synchronize her movements with the musical highlights, and with any other skilled choreographer she would have flourished.


    anyway, back to lori and michelle. i'm thankful for those really good years--i now have a lot of skating i can watch and re-watch


    P.S. intricacy isn't essential to my enjoyment of a program--what's critical is the choreography's suitability for the music--i love dante's prayer, rachmaninov 98, red violin, but i also love programs like dorothy hamill's pia jesu and paquita, programs which emphasize flow and grandeur rather than complicated fuss, because there is not much in the music to be accented with intricate choreography. grand and epic war horses, i enjoy also

    Mao's Nocturne SP is one of my all times faves. I don't think it's too late for Mao to try Lori or any other choreographer that brings out the artistry in her. Mao was very young (16?) when she skated to Nocturne and it was magical, but no, I did not mean she needed Lori in her formative years; they just happened to be there. I don't think Yukina Ota can be compared here because I always saw her a natural artist (like Oksana Baiul), and she could get into any music she skated to, at a young age.

    About Michelle & Lori I do agree with you somewhat that the combination had become somewhat stale (though I would have happily watched it). It was also understandable that Michelle wanted to try something different at that point in her career. I was not particularly impressed with Sara Kawahara's approach to Scheherzade. Like you said, the intricacy is not as important as the musical interpretation itself, and Michelle did well even without intricate choreography because she could bring out the soul of the music through her skating.

  14. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    Is it okay to ask if there ever was a reason given as to the split between Michelle and Frank? They were together for such a long time?
    To this day, many theories, no actual reasons/statements from Michelle and Frank. This is their private business, and they've kept it that way.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    Why does Lori make a hack of herself so often by doing programs for musical pieces she has already done? She has not done anyone, except perhaps Rachael, any favors with these rehashings of old Kwan programs. Do the skaters come to her with these famous Kwan selections and ask for a program? Or does Lori pick them?

    To name just a few:

    Kostner- SOTBS
    Yoshie Onda - Red Violin
    Rachael Flatt- East of Eden
    She also redid the Rachmaninov Trio for Tim Goebel in 2004, though she used an orchestral version and didn't add music from the 3rd Piano Concerto. It was still a little odd...

    I've been thinking of starting a "New CDs for Lori Nichol" charity event. Any interest in participating?

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Mao's Nocturne SP is one of my all times faves. I don't think it's too late for Mao to try Lori or any other choreographer that brings out the artistry in her. Mao was very young (16?) when she skated to Nocturne and it was magical, but no, I did not mean she needed Lori in her formative years; they just happened to be there. I don't think Yukina Ota can be compared here because I always saw her a natural artist (like Oksana Baiul), and she could get into any music she skated to, at a young age.
    I am still confused about what you're trying to say since Lori has done several programs for Mao. It's true that Lori's programs haven't been all that original post-Kwan. You can also see that in a lot of Mirai's programs as well. They are nice and fun but don't reach any great heights.

    I think Yukina Ota, as talented as she was, benefitted greatly from Dickson's choreography. In my opinion, he is one of the best yet underrated choreographers. He really knows how to highlight the particular strengths of a skater.

  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    I am still confused about what you're trying to say since Lori has done several programs for Mao. It's true that Lori's programs haven't been all that original post-Kwan. You can also see that in a lot of Mirai's programs as well. They are nice and fun but don't reach any great heights.
    .
    May be I don't see 'Lori' in Mao's programs (other than Nocturne and may be Liebestraum; I don't know of others) or may be I have not kept track of Mao's choreographers. Her programs have not impressed me in recent years. It's possible that she needs a different choreographer.

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    I think Yukina Ota, as talented as she was, benefitted greatly from Dickson's choreography. In my opinion, he is one of the best yet underrated choreographers. He really knows how to highlight the particular strengths of a skater.
    Totally agree. It takes an incredible skater to pull off his choreography, however. This http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzYhGRjWXPM is an absolute masterpiece in my opinion.

  19. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    To this day, many theories, no actual reasons/statements from Michelle and Frank. This is their private business, and they've kept it that way.
    All the people in the know say it had to do with money and Frank's percentage of Michelle's earnings. This is why they've kept it private.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    I am still confused about what you're trying to say since Lori has done several programs for Mao. It's true that Lori's programs haven't been all that original post-Kwan. You can also see that in a lot of Mirai's programs as well. They are nice and fun but don't reach any great heights.

    I think Yukina Ota, as talented as she was, benefitted greatly from Dickson's choreography. In my opinion, he is one of the best yet underrated choreographers. He really knows how to highlight the particular strengths of a skater.

    i agree with you that choreographers can truly help a skater, but dickson's more recent program did nothing for caroline zhang (although his earlier program for her--spanish gypsy (06-07?) was widely praised.

    in the mao forum there's been discussion about how much credit or blame a choreographer should receive. some say if only mao landed her jumps, you'd see how great the choreography she received from tat was.

    i don't think it's that simple--though the people who pan morozov's choreography for miki might say something like, look what consistently landing jumps can do for a program with basically sucky COP smart choreography--look at that PCS!

    i happen to think it was both dickson and yukina--i've seen his geisha program for liza t (future russian super star) --along with his work for zhang--and i was underwhelmed. i believe a choreographer can do a lot, but the skater must have something special to contribute too--both must contribute enough to achieve something like, oh, critical mass someone said dickson did masterful programs for matt savoie--i need to really look at those programs, increase the number of dickson programs i get to watch. sad to say i was not impressed with dickson's tango de roxanne program for yeonah kim that everybody else in the world loves, even though i also like YNK.

    anyway, just as it was both yukina and dickson, it was both michelle and lori--but more michelle than lori. with other choreographers--even bezic--michelle could have blossomed--it may not have taken place in the 95-96 season necessarily, but i saw a real gift for musical interpretation even in song of india and other very early MK programs (yeah, yeah, lori had her hand in those too, but i don't recall anybody hailing MK's artistry back in those pony-tailed days

    anyway, i don't think michelle needed lori to 'bring out' her artistry--she needed the schtick--the thick make-up and the biblical theme--something dramatic, like a knock on the judges' heads so that they wouldn't see her as mere child anymore. however, i am NOT--repeat--NOT--a fan of the accelerated path michelle, frank, and lori embarked upon. i am an MK fan through and through, but i wanted lu chen to win in 1996 and i still prefer that program to MK's salome to this day, extra triple jump though MK threw in.

    i rambled again *slaps head* as for lori's greatness today, i'll consider her 'great' again when she creates something on the order of sale and pelletier's 'la vie en rose.' i adore mao's liebestraum program, but it too, has a slight musty odor, reminiscent of caroline zhang's nutcracker atrocity.
    Last edited by skfan; 06-03-2011 at 03:04 AM.

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