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  1. #1

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    Show skating- am I the only one that does not care for it?

    I have always loved competitions. Long ago when COI was still alive, I went to the show annually. I went to SOI almost every year, until about 2006, I think. Then I stopped. I just did not enjoy it anymore.

    Often I see announcements of many skating shows here, with famous skaters, for various reasons. Although I appreciate the intent behind those for charity, I rarely get satisfaction from watching show skating. It may have to do partly with those shows rarely coming to my city.

    In the past- besides COI and SOI- the FS shows I had seen live were 1) Valentine's day, 2)Kristi Yamaguchi's family and friends.

    The first one was quite enjoyable. The second- some cute little children, but as a skating show I did not much care for it.

    On TV, I have not watched skating shows in at least 5 years now. I got tired of seeing the same skaters skating roughly the same routines. Of course I am only referring to N.American shows (mostly USA, since that's all I can get). In the past I had gotten videos of shows in Russia and they seemed interesting, but probably because they had my most favorite skaters, and because they were a little different. I had always enjoyed watching on TV the Evening with champions hosted by Paul Wylie, but we don't get it anymore.

    Whenever I read about the announcement of a skating show, my reaction is- Wow! they have such great skaters! However, the shows have almost always been a disappointment to me because the level of skating is just not there. Some skaters are very good artistically (e.g. when Yagudin was skating, or even Johnny Weir in the past), and that is enjoyable to watch, but quite often I am turned off by routines involving comedy, loud music, etc. and with lights that actually interfere than highlight the skating.

    Still, if an interesting skating show comes to my city, I may go see it, with lowered expectations. Sadly, Kristi's Family & friends is not on my favorites list, and that's the only one that has come here multiple times.

  2. #2

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    Totally agree with a few exceptions. I always loved Michelle Kwan in exhibition because she never "phoned it in". Probably one of the more impressive shows that I have been to in terms of the quality of skating was Festa in April of 2009. A lot of the skating was truly impressive.

  3. #3

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    I always loved Michelle Kwan in exhibition because she never "phoned it in".
    Agree 1000%!

    The most impressive exhibition I've ever seen was the 1994 COI/"Artistry on Ice" Tour.
    Everyone was extraordinary.

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    I have found myself in the same boat.

    I used to enjoy skating shows and tours very much and went every year, but the numbers became more and more the same until there was nothing memorable in any of them. Even eligible skater exhibition programs have degenerated to the level of tedium. I can't recall the last time I recorded a show or exhibition program because I'd want to rewatch it. I don't know if it is the lack of skaters I find special, poor music choices, or burnt out choreographers, but the magic is just not there (not even from skater who can produce magic in their competitive programs). In the case of shows, I think the skating to live music craze is part of what makes the shows unwatchable, but SOI can;t use that excuse. In their case, I think the problem is severely reduced budgets, hack choreographers, and the unavailability of any really special skaters beyond Sasha. Ironically, the skater who could help them spice things up the most, Johnny Weir, is the one they won't sign.

    I did also enjoy the Kristi friends and family shows until we were subjected to too much Nancy Kerrigan skating in slow motion, toddlers who cannot skate, and people carrying babies around for no good reason. I did enjoy watching the kids who could really skate tho. One year, I thought the duet with Viktor P and his daughter to be the highlight of the show. I also was tickled to see Liza Kulik skate. Her skating technique is a wonderful hybrid of Katia & Ilia. (Quelle surprise.)
    Last edited by Susan M; 09-25-2011 at 10:00 PM.

  5. #5
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    Have never liked exhibitions of any kind. Part of my enjoyment of watching the sport comes from seeing athletes perform under pressure. As a rule I usually don't enjoy the kind of mainstream popular music geared toward a show audience, nor do I enjoy the underwhelming technical content usually on display.

    That being said, IJS has made it really difficult for me to watch competetive skating these days.

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    There are many exceptions, but I, too, have similar issues with show skating, especially in North America (though you can find weak shows all around the world). The "flash" really turns me off. (Not a fan of rock or pop concerts for the same reason even if I like the music in other settings.) Don't care for the comedy routines either, but I think the financial numbers would be pretty bad if they didn't aim at a family audience, and it seems family audiences like goofy comedy, so I understand their inclusion.

    The thing I hate the most about shows (and this goes for galas after competitions as well) are the group routines and horrible finales (and many times the finale is some form of a group routine). The choreography is extremely simple, the unison is almost nonexistent, and the music is often the latest pop crap.

    What's frustrating is that I often do like many of the exhibition programs. If all the garbage were removed, I'd probably love the overall show as well.

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    I used to go to SOI every chance I got. I went to Orlando in 2000 (or 2001, can't quite remember) and it was still wonderful, Scott H was still part of it and I remember thoroughly enjoying the whole show. I didn't go again until 2010 and that was only because D/W were there. Of course I loved them and seeing them live for the first time was a thrill. But overall, the show was nothing like I really remember SOI being. The glory days of show skating was really the 90s. I do appreciate the shows being done now for good causes. And honestly, I've never been to a live skating show that I didn't enjoy simply because I really appreciate skaters performing for us.

    I like competitive skating much more, though.
    MERYL DAVIS AND CHARLIE WHITE - 2014 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALISTS!

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    We enjoy attending SOI in particular, and try to attend the Disson shows when they are in the area. My problem with the Disson shows is how they are presented on TV, with too much emphasis on the live singer. I know that has been discussed ad nauseum, but I want to see balance brought back into how these shows are aired for the general public. I do not want to see the skaters treated as an afterthought (and am usually grateful when they skate to prerecorded music - unless I happen to love the musical entertainer too).

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    I enjoy many shows,like Art on Ice,All that Skate,and many Japan shows,although most of them I can just watch on youtube.and I also find North America shows are boring to watch,even on computer.I think people from North America should see some shows outside COI,SOI and Disson shows.North America shows are almost dead these years,but show skating can still be intersting and enjoyable.

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    COI ceased to exist long ago, but it was one of the few shows that I enjoyed most of the time. The reason may be that the skaters on the tour were mostly eligible skaters, so they were still in pretty good shape athletically.

    I did not care for most of SOI. I disliked the group numbers. Usually there were one or two really good skates whenever I went to the show. As the ticket prices went up, it was really not worth paying that much for.

    There have been a lot of 'silly' shows- for the lack of an appropriate objective. They flooded the market and skating did not remain anything special anymore.

    I particularly dislike shows that have live music. On the TV I get to watch about 40% of the skating,and the rest of the time it's the face of the singer, which i don't care for.
    Last edited by Vash01; 09-26-2011 at 05:45 AM.

  11. #11
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    I've never been a huge fan. I always liked COI, mainly because the cheese factor was drastically reduced compared to other shows.

  12. #12

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    Asian shows in recent years have been quite amazing, much more so than COI or SOI IMO.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskatefan View Post
    ....... My problem with the Disson shows is how they are presented on TV, with too much emphasis on the live singer. I know that has been discussed ad nauseum, but I want to see balance brought back into how these shows are aired for the general public. I do not want to see the skaters treated as an afterthought (and am usually grateful when they skate to prerecorded music - unless I happen to love the musical entertainer too).
    Quote Originally Posted by ~tapdancer~ View Post
    .... But overall, the show was nothing like I really remember SOI being. The glory days of show skating was really the 90s.
    ......
    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    ....I particularly dislike shows that have live music. On the TV I get to watch about 40% of the skating,and the rest of the time it's the face of the singer, which i don't care for.
    Last season there were a couple of discussions about the current state of show skating in NA. And those issues are still present.

    I also for the most part don't care for the Dission style skating exhibitions. Last year the only one's I watched were "Shall We Dance on Ice" and Riverdance. With Shall We Dance, I only watched for two or three programs then turned the rest off. ITA with not being crazy about the camera going from live singer to skater with the home viewer missing a huge portion of the skating program.

    Riverdance worked because there was dancing on stage and on ice (although we still missed half of what was going on on the ice).

    Apparently some of the viewers must like things the way they are as Disson has never made any changes to the format. It will probably much the same this season.

    ITA tapdancer about SOI. Every now and then I see traces of what used to be and think perhaps SOI is attempting to get back to what they were known for but that glimpse of SOI of old is fleeting. For the most part, SOI has begun to somewhat resemble COI with many of the teams skating to the latest pop/rock/R&B tunes. There are a couple of exceptions.

    Sometimes I wonder if the producers are underestimating the American audiences and the overuse of pop tunes is because they feel their target audience responds the most to those types of programs. If true then they should give us more credit. IIRC one of the most well received programs from the final year of COI was G&P/Weir's "Fallen Angel" group number. That was one of the last really creative, artistic numbers I've seen from an exhibition tour. I love to see creativity encouraged.

  14. #14
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    I'm not fond of shows, either. I prefer competitions. I go to shows for some occasions.
    But in fact, I'm always happy at those shows, because it's the best way for skaters to make money, to be more popular, to practice in front of a puclic. Same for the ice rinks and clubs.

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    You are right about the practice in front of the public - I think it has made big improvements to some skater's performance and confidence in competition. I think it helped both Joannie Rochette and Shawn Sawyer be able to compete better. The show skate must go on for the audience no matter if you mess up a bit or a lot - it teaches them to continue with their programs and sell what is left to the best of their ability. Some competitors get so discouraged as soon as they have even a small mistake that they give up on themselves and their performance too quickly.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Ovsiannikov View Post
    Sometimes I wonder if the producers are underestimating the American audiences and the overuse of pop tunes is because they feel their target audience responds the most to those types of programs. If true then they should give us more credit. IIRC one of the most well received programs from the final year of COI was G&P/Weir's "Fallen Angel" group number. That was one of the last really creative, artistic numbers I've seen from an exhibition tour. I love to see creativity encouraged.

    What I really disliked about SOI were the group numbers. COI did not have group numbers, except at the start (to introduce the skaters) and at the end (to say goodbye). I preferred the COI format.

    I understand the need of the skaters to practice their new programs in front of an audience, and to generate some revenue. What I don't like is the 'show' where well known skaters are doing some not so high quality performances, or just skating the same program in every show. Forgive me if you are participating in the discussion for the 'Blades' and 'Fashion' shows in the GSD. Those are the kind of shows I stay away from. May be in the past I was so crazy about FS that I would watch every FS program on TV and that burned me out.

    When it comes to competitions, I always find them interesting (all senior and some of the juniors)

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I'm in that boat too. I used to really love it but not so much anymore.

    Michelle brought something really special to her gala pieces. Her programs were beautiful, thought out, stirring, and just really magical and special. My favorites are Dante's Prayer, Fields of Gold, Winter, One More Time and her Pocahontas one from 1997 (I believe)...that was some great choreography--Lori in her heyday.

    The only person who makes me actually pay attention to exhibition pieces now is Mao Asada. She has had some truly beautiful pieces, most recently Jupiter and Ballade, though I really loved Por Una Cabeza and Caprice. I'm also finding that Kanako Murakami is rather entertaining to watch in her exhibitions. Her one from last year and her newer, more mature exhibition really bring out different sides of her. IDK, maybe it's just me, but I find her extremely versatile when it comes to music and choreography. And lastly, Adelina Sotnikova's Black Swan exhibition from last season was wonderful.

    But for everyone else, I don't bother...like Skate for the Heart, Fashion on Ice, etc...bor-ring...

  18. #18
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    I used to love show skating in the 80's and 90's, but not so much now. ITA with kwanatic regarding Kwan's exhibitions. Always so interesting and diverse in many ways. Mao's exhibitions are the only ones I look forward to now - she seems to have something special each season. There are the odd gems like the current exhibitions by Buttle and Lambiel but most of what we see is schlock. and I too avoid anything with the ........on ice titles!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    I'm not fond of shows, either. I prefer competitions. I go to shows for some occasions.
    But in fact, I'm always happy at those shows, because it's the best way for skaters to make money, to be more popular, to practice in front of a puclic. Same for the ice rinks and clubs.
    Very similar to how I feel.
    I prefer competitions- sheer adrenaline of it, the difficulty, the psychological aspect, the feeling that everybody tries their utmost.
    When I go to the shows ( and I try- though I do not travel too far for them), I enjoy them a lot. I love seeing top skaters live, but do not expect the same rush from the shows as I get from competitions.
    Something has to be top- notch for a fan to be passionate. In shows, without that much adrenaline, it has to be artistry. But often it is not.
    Still, many Asian shows these days are superb, and I watch, and even skip sleeping sometimes for a live stream. Lambiel is incredible and uncompromising. Mao's Exhibitions rocked my world. If more skaters went out of their way to come up with programs of that artistry and complexity for the Exhibitions, it would be high art, and maybe attract new audiences.
    improving my ballad- like lines

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinakt View Post
    Still, many Asian shows these days are superb, and I watch, and even skip sleeping sometimes for a live stream. Lambiel is incredible and uncompromising. Mao's Exhibitions rocked my world. If more skaters went out of their way to come up with programs of that artistry and complexity for the Exhibitions, it would be high art, and maybe attract new audiences.
    I agree, in some exhibition/galas skaters barely do anything but skate around, do a few spins and maybe one double/triple jump. And some pairs barely do pair elements. I really love watching skaters who treat an exhibition program as important as a competition and actually make it exciting to watch.

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