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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    I'm going off on a bit of a tangent here but this post made me think... I guess the reason that people expect amazing artistic packages from these girls is because they believe skaters like Baiul and Kwan exhibited great artistry at a similar age (not sure if you agree). They already had international senior experience though, because the rules were different. So did they exhibit artistry because of something innate that they had, or because of experience skating in seniors? In Kwan's case I guess I would chock it up to experience, since she revamped her style significantly after 95 Worlds. In Baiul's case it's impossible to tell, since there are no videos of her prior to that 1992-1993 season, afaik.

    The reason I find it interesting is that the reason for the age cutoffs for senior Worlds/Olympics is supposed to be to save their young bodies from the technical demands of the senior circuit (though some think the true reason is to keep young girls from winning everything and then retiring so the ISU can benefit from ticket sales). As you point out though, being in juniors has not stopped Adelina and Liza from having amazing technical content. So ironically, keeping them out of seniors did not have the intended effect, but may have stunted their artistic growth. Makes one wonder if the rule is even worth it.

    I also think it's really dumb that Adelina will be eligible to skate with seniors in the Grand Prix in fall of 2011, but not mature enough to skate with seniors at Euros/Worlds until Spring 2013. It would actually make more sense if ISU flipped it and let them do senior champions before the GP.
    Baiul was a natural, artistically. She did not compete internationally before the 1992-1993. The first I heard of her was when she placed 2nd at the 93 Euros and then won the WC (prematurely, IMO but the artistry was there even then).

    Kwan had to develop her artistry when it was clear the judges were not going to give it to her just because she could land all the jumps. Frank did a smart thing getting Lori Nichols to get the right choreography and packaged her as a 'lady' in her Salome LP. Once the door opened artistically, Kwan went on to great heights artistically. It could happen to the young Russian ladies at some point. No one can predict when it will happen.

    I find it totally ridiculous that 15 year olds are not allowed to skate in the senior worlds. I think it's an astute observation in your post that barring them from the senior field has not stopped them from trying difficult jumps, so that rule has not achieved what it intended to.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Kwan had to develop her artistry when it was clear the judges were not going to give it to her just because she could land all the jumps.
    Is this still true today? Are there skaters who in the last couple of years had to make the same decision to devote themselves to artistry? Or does artistry not matter at all anymore?

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    Is this still true today? Are there skaters who in the last couple of years had to make the same decision to devote themselves to artistry? Or does artistry not matter at all anymore?
    Artistry has always been the most subjective part of figure skating. What some people see as artistic, another will find unbearable to watch. What doesn't help is the PCS breakdown which shoehorns 'artistry' into PE, CH and IN with its various criteria. When you see programs getting 7's and 8's for CH when there really isn't any choreography, well it makes a bit of a mockery of the whole ethos. And without choreography how exactly do you interpret the music? So why should skaters bother trying to find their 'inner artist' so to speak, when any old crap will usually do so long as you land stuff?

    So to answer your question, no I don't think we will see any Kwanesque transformations any time soon because the system will never demand it as it currently stands. We've just been lucky in ladies skating that Mao and Yu Na were and are both beautifully artistic skaters in their own way. JMO obviously.

  4. #84

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    I find Yu na very artistic, and Mao obviously has the talent to be artistic (her Chopin SP is one of my all time faves). I find Takahashi very artistic too.

    What COP took away was the musical expression, which is a shame. We will never see skating like Michelle, B&S, Cohen, etc. again. The skaters are doing things other than jumps and getting credit for them too, but very few actually express the music. It's all about collecting the most points. Yu na is an exception. I am afraid Mao may have lost her artistic talent, with the focus on collecting points. I agree artistry is subjective and hard to judge, so they changed it to 'presentation' when we had the 6.0 system. Still, that did not take away the musical interpretation away. The COP definitely has. Now we have a few exceptions but most skaters are just doing the elements with the music playing in the background.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I am afraid Mao may have lost her artistic talent, with the focus on collecting points.
    She hasn't lost it. Have you seen her exhibitions? It's just that she hasn't been fortunate enough to be given good competitive material in recent years.

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    She hasn't lost it. Have you seen her exhibitions? It's just that she hasn't been fortunate enough to be given good competitive material in recent years.
    I meant in competitions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    She hasn't lost it. Have you seen her exhibitions? It's just that she hasn't been fortunate enough to be given good competitive material in recent years.
    I would guess the reason she (and most other skaters) aren't given expressive choreography is because it doesn't translate into points. Getting back to the original topic, I see the same think with Sotnikova. There's a lot more personality/musical expression in her Swan Lake exhibition than any of her competitive programs we've seen so far.

  8. #88
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    Uh, well yeah, you must have missed something...quickly get thee to YouTube and educate thyself. Years 1996 thru about 2003 in ladies figure skating ought to do it...
    Um, no, thanks. I didn't have plans for a day snooze today. I had enough of this boredom in 1996-2003.


    their spins are super-weak compared to some of the other ladies)
    Like really super weak?And compared to whom exactly?

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    I would guess the reason she (and most other skaters) aren't given expressive choreography is because it doesn't translate into points. Getting back to the original topic, I see the same think with Sotnikova. There's a lot more personality/musical expression in her Swan Lake exhibition than any of her competitive programs we've seen so far.
    Well, Adelina's choreographer is also TAT, so it could be a trend with her works. I think the code affects some choreographers more than others. The ones that can adapt well within the constraints posed by the code usually are able to create better programs. But on the whole, I do agree that the programs created under CoP have not been as innovative or inspiring as those done under the old system. Both skaters and choreographers had more freedom back then in creating their programs.

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    hat's so wrong with that?

    I'm going off on a bit of a tangent here but this post made me think... I guess the reason that people expect amazing artistic packages from these girls is because they believe skaters like Baiul and Kwan exhibited great artistry at a similar age (not sure if you agree). They already had international senior experience though, because the rules were different. So did they exhibit artistry because of something innate that they had, or because of experience skating in seniors? In Kwan's case I guess I would chock it up to experience, since she revamped her style significantly after 95 Worlds. In Baiul's case it's impossible to tell, since there are no videos of her prior to that 1992-1993 season, afaik.
    Well I don't think Michelle was a great artist at 13 or 14, which is the ages Elizaveta and Adelina were last year. I think artistry absolutely is important but I also think that having good basics technique are important too. A lot of the youngsters who start out looking like amazing artists from the beginning can have some major technical issues later on. Sasha never had the best skating skills even if she looked beautiful. Look at the cautionary tale of Caroline Zhang.. Who people were saying was better than Michelle at 13 (and yes was more artistic than Kwan at 13 but lacked basics)....
    I say wait and see how Adelina and Elizaveta develop artistry wise, if their programs mature etc before one says that they are lacking in comparision to either Kwan or anyone else. I'd argue 14 year old Michelle wasn't more artistic than 14 year old Adelina... Its a straw mans argument to start out at Michelle's artistic break through and ignore where she was at before the artistic break through. (And there's nothing wrong with where Kwan was at because obviously Frank did a great job developing her.)

    I mean we haven't even see a single competitive program from Adelina at 15 or Liza at 15, but already they are being compared as failures to 15 year olds Kwan (Oksana). Even though at 15 Michelle had several years of international experience including Junior and Senior level. Whereas the other two just made their Junior international debuts.

    And really I don't think Mao's programs at 15 Nutcracker were much to write about in the artistry program but Asada grew up to be a gorgeous balletic skater. And I frankly would disagree with the concept that artistry wise Asada's is " lesser than" someone like Kwan. Even if I don't always love Asada's programs. Because Asada and Kwan artistry wise are different...Michelle more expressive Asada more balletic. This being said I must say both skaters are the type who at their best can bring tears to my eyes. And Mao's recent exhibition reminded me of Michelle. In that it had added depth and emotion. At the end of the day Mao at 15 was probably more than capable of more mature programs but Lori probably wanted to wait until Asada's total debut for the full transformation.

    Two or three years from now if Adelina and Elizaveta aren't skating more mature programs than I think it would be fair to compare them to a Kwan. But right now I don't think its particularly fair.
    Last edited by bek; 08-28-2011 at 03:47 PM.

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fashionista View Post
    Um, no, thanks. I didn't have plans for a day snooze today. I had enough of this boredom in 1996-2003.



    Like really super weak?And compared to whom exactly?
    Well, both girls' spins are definitely not as good when compared to a lot of skaters they'll most likely be competing with including Alissa, Mirai, Mao, Yuna, Laura, Ksenia, Agnes, Wagner. But they have time to work on them, especially since their jumps are already at the highest level.
    Last edited by burntBREAD; 08-28-2011 at 04:50 PM.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by burntBREAD View Post
    Well, both girls' spins are definitely not as good when compared to a lot of skaters they'll most likely be competing with including Alissa, Mirai, Mao, Yuna, Laura, Ksenia, Agnes, Wagner. But they have time to work on them, especially since their jumps are already at the highest level.
    But their spins are quite fast and well centered and both girls are able to get good GOEs for them, especially Adelina who got level 4 for her almost every spin at every competition. What she needs is to improve her layback (well, layback itself is good already, but leg position and biellman can be improved), but I don't think her spins can cause problems, especially considering other girls you mentioned (except Yuna and Mao maybe, but they have their own problems) aren't even close to her level when it comes to jumps and/or skating skills.
    As for Liza, she never was a great spinner but if you compare her spins 1-2 years ago with last season you can see significant improvemets. And now she is learning new positions, so I think we can expect more improvements from her.
    Of course Liza and Adelina have their flaws, but who is perfect? Their rivals have their flaws as well.

  13. #93

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    Going back to the artistry discussion (and I don't think it's totally OT), I think the skaters hold back on emotions in their competition performances because it CAN tire them out, and/or distract them from the technique. In the COP even one moment of losing focus can be disastrous, like a mistake in a footwork sequence, or while changing position in a spin, which can cause the skater to lose valuable points. There are exceptions like Yu na, but many top skaters could run into this problem. Since Tarasova uses emotions a lot in choreographing, it will be interesting to see if Adelina can balance the technique and emotion. After all COP does not reward heavily for expressing the music/feeling, the way the 6.0 did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    Well I don't think Michelle was a great artist at 13 or 14, which is the ages Elizaveta and Adelina were last year. I think artistry absolutely is important but I also think that having good basics technique are important too. A lot of the youngsters who start out looking like amazing artists from the beginning can have some major technical issues later on. Sasha never had the best skating skills even if she looked beautiful. Look at the cautionary tale of Caroline Zhang.. Who people were saying was better than Michelle at 13 (and yes was more artistic than Kwan at 13 but lacked basics)....


    Two or three years from now if Adelina and Elizaveta aren't skating more mature programs than I think it would be fair to compare them to a Kwan. But right now I don't think its particularly fair.
    1)Sasha's skating skills were never going to be at the level of say, Yuka Sato, but by 2003/2004 she had pretty much fixed this weakness.

    2)Who said Caroline Zhang was better than Michelle at age 13 in any sense? I don't remember anyone making that comparison...

  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    1)Sasha's skating skills were never going to be at the level of say, Yuka Sato, but by 2003/2004 she had pretty much fixed this weakness.

    2)Who said Caroline Zhang was better than Michelle at age 13 in any sense? I don't remember anyone making that comparison...
    But I wasn't talking about Sasha Cohen the finished product. I was talking about Sasha at Adelina and Elizaveta's age. And Adelina and Elizaveta have better skating skills/basics. And at least in the jumps one wonders if not having good technique is what always hurt Sasha when the pressure was on...

    And there were people absolutely who were calling Zhang better than Kwan at age 13. Now many people including myself were poohpoohing that saying that Zhang has some big time flaws that will hurt her when puberty strikes. And that while Michelle at 13 wasn't the flashiest of skaters, Michelle had extremely solid basics/technique much more solid foundation.

    In some ways I wonder if the Sasha example is why so many young US skaters ignored skating skills/basics good technique US....

    It just seems to me that skaters can only work on so much/certain things at time. And perhaps when a kid is learning to skate, its best to teach the basics first.. In Sasha's example though she started out in gymnastics so of course some things came more naturally to her...For some performance is more natural and easy in the beginning than for others...

    While I have questions about Mishin packaging Elizaveta properly. (Although I think Elizaveta has tons of potential artistically. She has tons of charsima/drama and I think could be chanelled into Kim's direction). I do think that Adelina's coaches teams are trying to develop her into artistic skater, and are going to do their best to channel Adelina that way.

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    But I wasn't talking about Sasha Cohen the finished product. I was talking about Sasha at Adelina and Elizaveta's age. And Adelina and Elizaveta have better skating skills/basics. And at least in the jumps one wonders if not having good technique is what always hurt Sasha when the pressure was on...

    And there were people absolutely who were calling Zhang better than Kwan at age 13. Now many people including myself were poohpoohing that saying that Zhang has some big time flaws that will hurt her when puberty strikes. And that while Michelle at 13 wasn't the flashiest of skaters, Michelle had extremely solid basics/technique much more solid foundation.

    In some ways I wonder if the Sasha example is why so many young US skaters ignored skating skills/basics good technique US....

    It just seems to me that skaters can only work on so much/certain things at time. And perhaps when a kid is learning to skate, its best to teach the basics first.. In Sasha's example though she started out in gymnastics so of course some things came more naturally to her...For some performance is more natural and easy in the beginning than for others...

    While I have questions about Mishin packaging Elizaveta properly. (Although I think Elizaveta has tons of potential artistically. She has tons of charsima/drama and I think could be chanelled into Kim's direction). I do think that Adelina's coaches teams are trying to develop her into artistic skater, and are going to do their best to channel Adelina that way.
    You said: Sasha never had the best skating skills.
    Not, "Young Sasha" or "Early in her career..."
    The whole point of this thread is that most artistic skaters show proficiency in that area early on, even if it takes a few years for the technical skills to catch up.

    Re: Zhang being better than Michelle, that was certainly not a popular opinion and I don't think it's a good example. In contrast, people have been calling Zhang boring and one-dimensional since age 15, long before her consistency abandoned her.

  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    You said: Sasha never had the best skating skills.
    Not, "Young Sasha" or "Early in her career..."
    The whole point of this thread is that most artistic skaters show proficiency in that area early on, even if it takes a few years for the technical skills to catch up.

    Re: Zhang being better than Michelle, that was certainly not a popular opinion and I don't think it's a good example. In contrast, people have been calling Zhang boring and one-dimensional since age 15, long before her consistency abandoned her.
    While Sasha never did have the best skating skills. Her skating skills improved but she was never at Irina's level, Arakawa's level, Michelle's level in that area. But we were comparing young skaters to other young skaters.

    And there were Zhang fans who did argue that. People are now saying Zhang is boring. But she wasn't so boring at 13.

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    Quote Originally Posted by burntBREAD View Post
    Well, both girls' spins are definitely not as good when compared to a lot of skaters they'll most likely be competing with including Alissa, Mirai, Mao, Yuna, Laura, Ksenia, Agnes, Wagner. But they have time to work on them, especially since their jumps are already at the highest level.
    Well, first of all if their spins are weaker compared to some of the best in the world senior ladies it doesn't mean they are super weak.
    Second I wouldn't compare them to senior ladies as long as we haven't yet seen their spins in this season competitive programs. BTW I wouldn't compare anyone's spins to Alissa's because obviously she is female Lambiel in that regard. BTW-2 I am really surprised to see Yuna on this list because her spins and spirals are the worst among top ladies. Actually I think we've got the olympic champion with the weakest spins ever.
    Third if we compare Liza's and Adelina's spins to those juniors whom they actually competed with I guess they would be among the best. The only junior girl with faaaaaar better spins I think of is Polina Agafonova. But looks like the girl is next in line for the female Lambiel title after Alissa retires

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fashionista View Post
    Um, no, thanks. I didn't have plans for a day snooze today. I had enough of this boredom in 1996-2003.
    Hey, your choice. As they say, ignorance is bliss...though I find that to be counterintuitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fashionista View Post
    Like really super weak?And compared to whom exactly?
    The ladies they'll be competing against next year, sillyhead . burntBREAD spelled it out easy enough for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by burntBREAD View Post
    Well, both girls' spins are definitely not as good when compared to a lot of skaters they'll most likely be competing with including Alissa, Mirai, Mao, Yuna, Laura, Ksenia, Agnes, Wagner
    Adelina and Liza T have decent speed and centering...but a lot of their positions are in need of some work, whether they gain level 4 or not.

    Essentially, as long as you cram more than 3 positions with one holding for 8 revolutions, you get a level 4 even if the spin looked terrible while you did it. I think those kind of spins (harder elements, somewhat poorly executed) shouldn't gain more than a level 3. Spins that are executed very well should receive level 4. Of course the subjective side comes in where people will complain "well what constitutes a well-executed position?" in which case there's no point of trying b/c people's opinions vary. I guess what it really comes down to in the GOEs the judges hand out...

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