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  1. #1
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    Skating performances with a fun factor.

    On skating forums, we often tend to discuss the various skills skaters excel at, whether it be jumps, spins, spirals, or edges.

    But the one thing that may merit just as much discussion is a skater's ability to show their love of sport.

    A skater that goes out there and really has a great time, sparkles with energy, evinces charm, infuses their movements and facial expressions with verve and flair should be celebrated even if their spins travel and their triples are popped and underrotated.

    So what performance by a skater or skaters, either in singles, pairs, or dance, struck you as being so full of life and joy that you would love to see it again, again, and again? Oh, it doesn't even have to be a competitive routine. Exhibitions count too.

    Also, let's keep in mind, the answers you give could be used to introduce people who aren't familiar with figure skating to the sport. A fun routine makes skating attractive to folks who can't distinguish a double axel from a triple lutz.

  2. #2

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    Ryan Bradley, from 2004 (just for the fun factor)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISEYOXCf4zk

    Also, when he won the silver in 2007:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91QKv8WO31Y

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    I love Richard Dornbush's new lp. He skates to "Spaghetti western" music from Clint Eastwoods movie "Fist Full of Dollars" and "Ectasy of Gold" from the film "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Richard looks like he is having a fun time with this program.

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    Most skaters these days really don't get out there and have fun. As much as I love skating and I think the top skaters are pretty amazing performers, it has been a while since I have really been entertained.

    The sport needs a few more Scott Hamiltons, Kurt Brownings and Christopher Bowmans.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Hands down, Stephanie Rosenthal's 2006 Short program at US Nationals:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rnkku5aJzZM

    I was in the audience, and had a blast, because SHE was THRILLED to be skating that program. You could see it in her face before she even took her beginning post.

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    Debi Thomas's gala at '86 Worlds. She is H-I-Larious!

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    P/B's Tarzan gala from last year
    Stephan Lambiel did this once and he said he ain't never wanna see that again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Most skaters these days really don't get out there and have fun. As much as I love skating and I think the top skaters are pretty amazing performers, it has been a while since I have really been entertained.

    The sport needs a few more Scott Hamiltons, Kurt Brownings and Christopher Bowmans.
    The combination of Scott Hamilton and Kurt Browning. Not so much figure skating as it was more of hockey performance though

    All of Kurt's galas are precious

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    Plushenko's LP at 2010 Euros. Regardless of what you thought of the program, he absolutely rocked that performance of it. Just look at the expression on his face during the straight-line steps! He's loving every second of that performance.

    Evgeni Plushenko - LP - Tango Amore


    Another one that sounds funny that I like very much is his short program from Salt Lake City. It's almost like he went, "Screw this, I've already ****ed up, I'm going to have some fun now."

    Evgeni Plushenko - SP - Michael Jackon Medley

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
    Ha that is the clip I put on Youtube. One of my all time favourites.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Aside from the ones already mentioned above, for me:

    Stephane Lambiel: http://youtu.be/0EPwnxrY_Nc
    His Let the Good Times Roll is so insanely fun and full of life. There's such a freedom in his skating now that he's retired from competition (and not having to train triple axels).

    Akiko Suzuki: http://youtu.be/urnMcbhKjZs
    Akiko has so much HEART to her skating. Her West Side Story is even with the random fall.

    Daisuke Takahashi: http://youtu.be/44AZQsKGaHc
    I love the whimsical charm and joy of Daisuke's La Strada, and how he really brings the music to life.

    Shawn Sawyer: http://youtu.be/Dv2hBOJALYM
    His best performance ever!

  11. #11
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    Lambiel, Takahashi, and Suzuki are masters of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rochelle View Post
    Hands down, Stephanie Rosenthal's 2006 Short program at US Nationals:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rnkku5aJzZM

    I was in the audience, and had a blast, because SHE was THRILLED to be skating that program. You could see it in her face before she even took her beginning post.
    ITA...and while her long was less 'fun' it was just as interesting. She got 100 pts for it with nothing more than 3S and 3T. Programs were innovative and well received by the judges.

    I cite both of these programs whenever someone complains that COP sucks the life out of 'artistry'. It's the skaters themselves who are doing it....in partnership with their choreographers.

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    Kanako Murakami's short program last year was just so joyful. I love the collective giggle when she takes her starting pose: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz8Hw...eature=related

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    Debi Thomas and Vladimir Kotin in their effort to break the Cold War in the very first Goodwill Games:
    Billie Jean exh
    Even better at the 1987 Worlds

    Christopher Bowman is a bad boy

    Scott Hamilton has fun at the opera

    I just adore Kurt Browning's That's Entertainment

    This pro routine by Robin Cousins is one of my favorites of all time
    Last edited by pollyanna; 01-10-2012 at 05:14 PM.

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    Tara Lipinski's LP - 1998, Nagano: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZhIs6OIJ-I

    How somebody can sparkle and bubble in the midst of such pressure is extraordinary. Pure Joy!

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    One more. Nobunari Oda's 2005 SP to "Super Mario Brothers"...back when he seemed to truly love skating, radiating joy & fun:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHLMYUpQ1vw

    Aw, shucks. Just one mo'. Daniel Weiss of West Germany skating one of the most fun and joyful LPs of all time, at 1989 SkCanada: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N88Rc0GRns
    Last edited by Frau Muller; 01-10-2012 at 05:35 PM.

  17. #17
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    No specific performances stood out to me, but both Sarah Meier and Yukari Nakano seemed to really exude joy of skating in many of their performances.
    I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.~W. C. Fields

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
    She also did this program at 1986 St. Ivel (where she explains the origin of the program), 1987 US Nationals, 1987 Tour of Champions and 1987 Worlds (watch the bit at the end where she has trouble with the flowers). It's a bit different every time, so you have to watch all of them to fully appreciate her humor.
    Last edited by pollyanna; 01-10-2012 at 05:51 PM.

  19. #19
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    Many of Scott & Kurt's programs - I lLove Me (Scott), Kurt's That's Entertainment in particular
    Last edited by paskatefan; 01-10-2012 at 09:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vodkashot View Post
    Aside from the ones already mentioned above, for me:

    Stephane Lambiel: http://youtu.be/0EPwnxrY_Nc
    His Let the Good Times Roll is so insanely fun and full of life. There's such a freedom in his skating now that he's retired from competition (and not having to train triple axels).
    But he does train triple axel (and also quads), as he likes to challenge himself, to prove to himself that he can still do it. His problem with it was even more psychological, than anything else. First he had some problems with it (too much explaining), then he started to be wary of it because of those problems, but there was too much pressure for him to do it, which lead to even stronger aversion. In the end, that and his stubborness (he apparently dislikes pressure from those around him, and to be told what to do more than anything else) lead to his decision not to do it in competition at all, so that he could stop thinking about it and just concentrate on other elements.

    Anyway, this is a program in similar style to 'LTGTR' from Lambiel - imho, even more entertaining (despite the fall in this particular performance, and not so fun text of the song - but this is a rare case when his program doesn't reflect that): Tainted Love (Festa on Ice 2009)

    I'd say that this is also entertaining (from Stephane again): Rigoletto (Music on Ice, January 8) (Stephane's performance starts at 0:23).

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