Are we giving credit to some of the skaters that probably should be given to their choreographers?
(Not picking on Mroz, he just seems like a very straight-forward, straightlaced skater)
I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.~W. C. Fields
Lucinda's spins are a work of art, her speed, cente, and positions. Most of the COP skaters just try to contort themselves into different positions for more points. I cringe at some of the lumpy awkward positions and spins that almost come to a dead stop while the skater shifts around and tries to grab his/her foot. And don't get me started on those slow donut spins where the skater drops their hip while they try to grab their foot...
Torvill & Dean
Just found this pretty clean performance by Allen Schramm, complete with Russian split single lutz toward the end. Although in some ways I prefer the 1981 Nationals performance for its creative recoveries from failed jumps, and for the triple axel attempt .
I also have to give credit to Toller Cranston for laying the groundwork for that kind of whole-body expression.
Toller Cranston is at the top of my list of creative skaters. He really pushed the sport forward into new directions. I am thrilled that Carolina Kostner brought back the broken leg sit spin that Toller was so famous for.
All this creativity and I love it!
One of my favorite performances is by Ilia Kulik. He composed, played, recorded and cut the music. Then he choreographed a routine to it and skated to his creation in Stars on Ice in 2007-2008.
I always liked Silvio Smalun.
Toller Cranston gets huge props from me, I think Klimova/Ponomarenko, and Usova/Zhulin in the '92 Olympics were exceptionally creative especially in their LPs. Of course their choreographers deserve huge credit but how many dance teams could pull off such programs? And I think most skaters need help of some kind especially early on in their careers when it comes to creativity but it takes a great skater to pull off great choreo. I think Debi Thomas's '88 Olympic SP was out there, totally different, very creative, much more fun than the usual.
Amateur skating for the most part back in the day seemed rather limited choreo-wise but in exhibitions skaters like Christopher Bowman, and of course Kurt Browning were beyond amazing. Also skaters like Lucinda Ruh for sure, Denise Biellmann, Oksana Baiul, I personally think Katherine Healy was mesmerizing.
Oh, there is Alban Preaubert too, although he might not be as voidy as some of the ones already listed. His Flight of the Bumblebee program was entertaining, as were his Rolling Stones program and his Turtle Shoes program from this season.