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    Most Thoughtful Ladies Free Programs of the 00's

    I've been youtubing lately and find myself going to the old reliables. Reliable, not because of their competetive metal but because of the care they took when constructing a program. Whilst some of these ladies never medalled at worlds, nor remembered by the current generation of fans, these are trully some of the finest moments inf ladies figure skating of the last 10 years IMHO and I'd love to see the current crop learn a thing a two from the following ladies/programs.

    It's all about the nuances IMHO.


    - 2007 LP 'Munich' by Susanna Poykio
    The original music choice, the quiet performance and understated expression.
    The free turns on the music after the first lutz, the build up to the spiral, the super ending right on the footwork..... such a clever program worthy of any podium.

    -- 2000 LP 'Legends of the Fal'l by Vanessa Gusmerolli
    Again, a quiet performance but so many choreographical highlights. The split stop, the Ina, the change of direction camel spins to finish, packed with originality. Clearly the best program of 2000 and unfortunately only 4th at both worlds and Euros.

    - 2001 LP 'Sleeping Beauty' by Angela Nikodinov
    I think this is the epitome of flow. IMHO it's a better program and better skated program than anything her more famous compatriot ever produced.


    - 2003 LP 'Malaguena' by Julia Lautowa

    Call me insane, but I genuinely think this proves how simple it is to make a program come alive...the queen of punctuation. SHe highlights so many random beats, it's very easy to do and very effective...see opening 10 seconds, spiral, even the jumps are placed on the beat of the music (see loop)...and low and behold she splats on the last beat, I believe on purpose, all in the name of punctuation.

    -2006 LP 'Turandot' by Shizuka Arakawa
    SOmetimes you don't have to have that much choreography when you have killer flow, and jumps that are so pleasing on they eye they may aswell by choreography. When you have an Ina Bauer and a Full split COE spiral too boot......super program.


    Plenty more to be added in time.
    Last edited by poths; 01-14-2012 at 07:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poths View Post
    I've been youtubing lately and find myself going to the old reliables. Reliable, not because of their competetive metal but because of the care they took when constructing a program. Whilst some of these ladies never medalled at worlds, nor remembered by the current generation of fans, these are trully some of the finest moments inf ladies figure skating of the last 10 years IMHO and I'd love to see the current crop learn a thing a two from the following ladies/programs.

    It's all about the nuances IMHO.


    - 2007 LP 'Munich' by Susanna Poykio
    The original music choice, the quiet performance and understated expression.
    The free turns on the music after the first lutz, the build up to the spiral, the super ending right on the footwork..... such a clever program worthy of any podium.

    -- 2000 LP 'Legends of the Fal'l by Vanessa Gusmerolli
    Again, a quiet performance but so many choreographical highlights. The split stop, the Ina, the change of direction camel spins to finish, packed with originality. Clearly the best program of 2000 and unfortunately only 4th at both worlds and Euros.

    - 2001 LP 'Sleeping Beauty' by Angela Nikodinov
    I think this is the epitome of flow. IMHO it's a better program and better skated program than anything her more famous compatriot ever produced.


    - 2003 LP 'Malaguena' by Julia Lautowa

    Call me insane, but I genuinely think this proves how simple it is to make a program come alive...the queen of punctuation. SHe highlights so many random beats, it's very easy to do and very effective...see opening 10 seconds, spiral, even the jumps are placed on the beat of the music (see loop)...and low and behold she splats on the last beat, I believe on purpose, all in the name of punctuation.

    -2006 LP 'Turandot' by Shizuka Arakawa
    SOmetimes you don't have to have that much choreography when you have killer flow, and jumps that are so pleasing on they eye they may aswell by choreography. When you have an Ina Bauer and a Full split COE spiral too boot......super program.


    Plenty more to be added in time.
    You & I must have identical taste because I loved all of them !.
    What wouild we do without Youtube ?!.
    Sussana Poykio is such a beautiful skater & her Munich programe still gives me chills. She really understood what the music was saying. She connected to it very well.
    Angela Nikodinov really improved in the 2000/2001 season & her Sleeping Beauty programe showed that. I have her Free Skates from the NHK Trophy 2000, US Nationals 2001 & Worlds in 2001 on DVD & have watched them many times. It was a well choreagraphed programe.
    Also Vanessa Gusemeroli's Legends Of The Fall Free was amazing. I watched her Free from the 2000 Europeans yesterday & still can't believe she did not win a medal. The various spins at the end were so well done.
    Another gem for me was Sussana Poykio's Free at the 2002 Europeans in Lausanne. Such a gentle programe. Have you ever seen it?.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poths View Post
    -- 2000 LP 'Legends of the Fal'l by Vanessa Gusmerolli
    Again, a quiet performance but so many choreographical highlights. The split stop, the Ina, the change of direction camel spins to finish, packed with originality. Clearly the best program of 2000 and unfortunately only 4th at both worlds and Euros.
    She also did the splits & then came back up effortlessly. This is one of my favorite program of all time & her Worlds performance was divine. I believe the commentator at the time (Uncle Dick?) said that the fact that she completed all her jumps early & then ended with a series of spins might hurt her on the tech mark. That may be so but it was brilliant choreographically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poths View Post
    -- 2000 LP 'Legends of the Fal'l by Vanessa Gusmerolli
    Again, a quiet performance but so many choreographical highlights. The split stop, the Ina, the change of direction camel spins to finish, packed with originality. Clearly the best program of 2000 and unfortunately only 4th at both worlds and Euros.
    The french commentators are Nelson Montfort and Isabelle Duchesnay.

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    Thanks for the links, poths. I particularly enjoyed seeing Lautowa again. And I love that her reaction to the fall was laughter.
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

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    I just watched the 2000 LP 'Legends of the Fall' by Vanessa Gusmerolli.

    Wow...I had never seen her skate before. That was exquisite.

    Thank you for posting! I'm going to go watch the rest.

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    Gusmeroli's scores should have been higher. Maybe the judges thought she should have done more jumps. In addition to those six good triples she only did one 2a and one 2t.

    The Pöykiö program was probably the only LP of hers where she had 7 triples planned. She doubled the 2nd flip and fell on the loop, but it was still a beautiful effort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kukkura View Post
    Gusmeroli's scores should have been higher. Maybe the judges thought she should have done more jumps. In addition to those six good triples she only did one 2a and one 2t.
    IMO, the judges thought she was not a reliable skater and were ready to give her a medal the next season if she skates like that again. The problem is that she never skated at this level again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    IMO, the judges thought she was not a reliable skater and were ready to give her a medal the next season if she skates like that again. The problem is that she never skated at this level again.
    Didn't she already have a bronze at Worlds by then? 97 or 98?

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    I am confused by the title of this thread....."thoughtful program......."

    I am not sure what the OP means by thoughtful. The examples are all over the place. I agree about an original music choice as being "thoughtful" but having good choreography (Gusmeroli) or flow & Ina Bauer (Shizuka) or Angela's beautiful Sleeping beauty performance - aren't they just good performances? What makes them "thoughtful"? I am not sure I understand the line of thinking here. Please educate me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taf2002 View Post
    Didn't she already have a bronze at Worlds by then? 97 or 98?
    Yes, but she skated so badly after her bronze medal in 1997. I have the feeling that judges told her in 2000 : "we gave you this in 1997 and you didn't do something right with it, so now, you'll have to prove that you deserve it. We'll see next year if you are consistent". JMHO.

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    Personally, I have always STRONGLY disliked Gusmeroli's 2000 LP. Waiting until the end of the program to do all the spins is very lazy choreography, IMO. It's takes a skilled team (coach, skater, and of course, choreographer) to know where to place spins, especially since they take so much energy. Spins can be used to enhance a piece of music, and should be placed to follow the melodic phrasing, again, IMO.

    As beautiful as the music is, as well landed as the jumps are, as emotional it was for her to skate well in her home country, I still think the judges were smart to give the scores they did. Before there were component marks, there was only one second mark. I'm so glad that they didn't "okay" a program that was so poorly constructed, with the spins alone, if nothing else.

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    Great thread idea. Here are a few programs that come to mind.

    Sarah Meier, 2008, La Folia in Black
    You want thoughtful? Just look at her facial expression at the opening pose. Not to sound like a dried up Peggy Flemming cliche, but she really gets the music and feels it. Gorgeous unused music and she accents the nuances so well. The placement of the elements are well-distributed and really fit the program so well. Also, her footwork at the end is sublime: expresses the music so well while being difficult and moving across the ice at a good speed. It can be done. Everything about this program is just .

    Elena Liashenko, 2003, Piazolla
    Great tango program filled with lots of great choreography. She skated this better at Worlds that year but this is still a decent peformance. I love how she is able to avoid a lot of the usual cliche tango movements and does some unique moves. My favorite part is 3:00 into the program...right when the music cuts to Libertango, her epic LiashenkoLutzTM setup takes place and it fits the music perfectly. PS Her marks are a joke for this program. 4.9? Efff off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BmcC102 View Post
    Waiting until the end of the program to do all the spins is very lazy choreography, IMO.
    ITA.

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    Poths! You have such great tastes ... of all the ppl on FSU, you are certainly one of the most "thoughtful" ones!

    It's v. appropriate to reflect on the 00s ... now that we are in 2012.

    Susanna Poykio's "Munich" programme was indeed v. touching - I originally found it a little depressing but as the season went on I began to "understand" it more. Just love the quiet quality of the programme and the introspective straight-line step sequence in the end.

    Gusmeroli's Legends of the Fall programme is another one I have watched many times on youtube

    Hoping that the 2010s will be a good decade for skating and that we'll all enjoy skating as much as we used to

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    Quote Originally Posted by BmcC102 View Post
    Personally, I have always STRONGLY disliked Gusmeroli's 2000 LP. Waiting until the end of the program to do all the spins is very lazy choreography, IMO. It's takes a skilled team (coach, skater, and of course, choreographer) to know where to place spins, especially since they take so much energy. Spins can be used to enhance a piece of music, and should be placed to follow the melodic phrasing, again, IMO.

    As beautiful as the music is, as well landed as the jumps are, as emotional it was for her to skate well in her home country, I still think the judges were smart to give the scores they did. Before there were component marks, there was only one second mark. I'm so glad that they didn't "okay" a program that was so poorly constructed, with the spins alone, if nothing else.
    I think her coach/choreographer knew just how inconsistent she was & thought that if she got the jumps out of the way first it would help her.
    It was really just playing to her strengths. It did seem to help her.
    Another programe I liked was Laetitia Huberts free in 2002. She looked like she really connected to this music & skated it well at the Euro's, Olympics & World's that year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BmcC102 View Post
    Personally, I have always STRONGLY disliked Gusmeroli's 2000 LP. Waiting until the end of the program to do all the spins is very lazy choreography, IMO. It's takes a skilled team (coach, skater, and of course, choreographer) to know where to place spins, especially since they take so much energy. Spins can be used to enhance a piece of music, and should be placed to follow the melodic phrasing, again, IMO.

    As beautiful as the music is, as well landed as the jumps are, as emotional it was for her to skate well in her home country, I still think the judges were smart to give the scores they did. Before there were component marks, there was only one second mark. I'm so glad that they didn't "okay" a program that was so poorly constructed, with the spins alone, if nothing else.
    From a strict presentation mark perspective - yes, this was not top level choreography because of the front loading of jumps and back loading of spins. And this was even more extreme than Plushenko at his worst, and deserved to be pointed out.

    However, the overall effect of the program was amazing. Despite the way the elements were arranged, the program did not look empty (and she did have stuff in between the jumps) and she did achieve decent ice coverage. Her interpretation was spot on.

    I think her marks were fair. It should be pointed out that she missed out on a medal at Euros despite placing 3rd in the free skate due to a weak qualifying round placement. She was third in the free skate to Slute with 6 triples and Bute with 6 triples which was hardly unfair and definitely not marked down by the judges due to the layout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    From a strict presentation mark perspective - yes, this was not top level choreography because of the front loading of jumps and back loading of spins. And this was even more extreme than Plushenko at his worst, and deserved to be pointed out.

    However, the overall effect of the program was amazing. Despite the way the elements were arranged, the program did not look empty (and she did have stuff in between the jumps) and she did achieve decent ice coverage. Her interpretation was spot on.

    I think her marks were fair. It should be pointed out that she missed out on a medal at Euros despite placing 3rd in the free skate due to a weak qualifying round placement. She was third in the free skate to Slute with 6 triples and Bute with 6 triples which was hardly unfair and definitely not marked down by the judges due to the layout.
    I agree. The qualification round meant she was playing catch up for the short & free. Voltchkova was awful in the free skate-she landed the first 3 triples & then fell apart.
    Vanessa had the same problem at the worlds that year too. She went very early in a more difficult qualification group & skated poor.
    Still loved watching her though.
    Her free skates at the Euro's & Olympics in 2002 were very nicely choreographed but again she could not land the jumps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BmcC102 View Post
    Personally, I have always STRONGLY disliked Gusmeroli's 2000 LP. Waiting until the end of the program to do all the spins is very lazy choreography, IMO. It's takes a skilled team (coach, skater, and of course, choreographer) to know where to place spins, especially since they take so much energy. Spins can be used to enhance a piece of music, and should be placed to follow the melodic phrasing, again, IMO.
    The programme construction was the exact opposite of lazy and went perfectly with the music. It was one of the most interesting and beautiful pieces of choreography I've ever seen and the placement of elements was spot on.

    As you've written yourself , the spins take a lot of energy so putting them right at the end of the programme also makes it more difficult.

    As for the judges not OK-ing the programme , they placed her fourth and they'd have placed her higher had she not fecked up the qualifiers which essentially took her out of contention for any medal.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    The Lark Ascending, Yuna Kim LP 2006 season senior debut.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYe41SwzK94

    This program along with her Tango De Roxanne pretty set the contrasting tone for the rest of her career. Her programs has always been thoughtful and make good contrast from each other. The Choreography was complex, intricate, delicate, and she was graceful and vulnerable through out. As the clip showed, she focused very much on presenting a convincing performance beyond merely satisfying a competition program.

    I have always thought it was uncanny how her light blue dress resemble so much of Michelle' kwan's Lyra Angelica dress, something members of the Chinese press have noted in their write ups. It would be interesting if Yuna can confirm this.

    This particular program went beyond choreography to present the COP elements. It is a long and assured rendition to the spirit of the the music to the point where Yuna is playing a little Lark. With lovely interpretation, sensitivity, musicality to played the ice like a fine instrument. She really embraced and lived in these moments beyond a competition, despite the falls and all.

    Personally I'd love her to make it an exhibition again now she has the strength to deal with some of these stamina draining upper body movements. She will probably able to show a different maturity to the program compare to what it was before.

    Beside that, the Lark Ascending happens to be one of my favourite piece of classic music of all time bringing peace, grace, harmony. (It was also used recently at the memorial event for the victim of Sep 11th presented by Obama)

    For those who are fan of the music, there's a really great BBC documentary on the music and its history today UK time 7.30pm presented by Diana Rigg, followed by a commemoration performance of the music as it was originally written - for Violin and Piano, at the original Village hall where it had been first performed in 1920.

    The 30mins doc can also be replayed via BBC iPlayer if you are in the region. Check some clips out at

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16416359
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16416356
    Last edited by os168; 01-17-2012 at 12:08 PM.

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