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  1. #1
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    Michelle Kwan's Exhibition Skate to Hands

    Hey, I wanted to see what you guys thought of Michelle Kwan's exhibition skate to Hands by Jewel. Do any of you remember what it felt like when you saw it live for the first time? What does it look like to you now? Does the skating there still stand the test of time or does Michelle's performance and choreography look stale and boring in light of what has since been done under COP? It's so fascinating to go back in time and see a Michelle exhibition with fresh eyes.

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    Thanks for posting that link, krenseby. My memory of this exhibition is from when I first saw it earlier that season. That version has stayed more in my memory, so it is fun to see this version again. The original was performed under lights. Both are still great and hold up well to repeat viewing, IMO.

    I think there are those who don't particularly care for Michelle Kwan's skating who might say that her skating was always "stale and boring." So I beat them to the punch. I have followed Michelle almost from the beginning. So, I think that having gone on that journey and having appreciated how she developed, and having been inspired by her competitive consistency, her heart and her magic, means for me that watching her anew never grows old. It brings back wonderful memories. I think her skating and the impact she made on the sport is still relevant and will always stand the test of time. In fact, Michelle Kwan's career transcends fs, and has a great deal more resonance and depth than CoP can ever hope to have.

    The great skates that have "been done under CoP" are great in spite of IJS/CoP, and definitely not because of this still evolving, anonymous judging, mess of a system. Whatever good you can say that there is about CoP is just via accidental happenstance. IOW, dumb luck.

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    This is as beautiful as I remembered it from 12 years ago. The choreography was detailed and she skated it seamlessly. Beautiful edge moves all around and I love the perfect 3toe into the layback with a little gesture at just the right time.

    And I think the performance at Nationals was especially well skated and fitting, because she had a rough competition there but ultimately prevailed.

  4. #4
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    I think that one was choreographed by Phillip Mills, IIRC. We talked about it in my podcast interview with him a few years ago.

    Sorry I don't have time to listen to the whole interview to confirm, but I'm pretty sure it was him.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  5. #5
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    It is Phillip Mills and he said it was one of his favorite routines that he has done. He also said Kwan was the easiest skater to work with because of her ability to be the best student.

    I think this is my favorite performance of "Hands" just because I think the competition lights show off the choreography better (and you can see Tatiana Tarasova watching).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmG6W0JCgpU
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 08-04-2012 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Added a video
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    Hey, I wanted to see what you guys thought of Michelle Kwan's exhibition skate to Hands by Jewel. Do any of you remember what it felt like when you saw it live for the first time? What does it look like to you now? Does the skating there still stand the test of time or does Michelle's performance and choreography look stale and boring in light of what has since been done under COP? It's so fascinating to go back in time and see a Michelle exhibition with fresh eyes.
    I miss Michelle and her skating so much - everytime I revisit a program like this - so incredibly beautiful - all I can think of is how much skating lost trying to be better.

  7. #7
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    "Hands" is definitely Michelle at her best, it's pure magic, the kind of magic that barely happens in FS anymore. It still blows me away, time doesn't change anything, maybe just my perception cause when I first saw it I was a child, now full grown I'm even more capable of appreciating what a masterpiece it was. Perfection in every way, just like "Fields of gold". Just like Yags at her time, these were the true legends of skating. Champions of today, like Chan and Kostner, don't even come close.

  8. #8
    Fetalized since 1998
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    This is as beautiful as I remembered it from 12 years ago. The choreography was detailed and she skated it seamlessly. Beautiful edge moves all around and I love the perfect 3toe into the layback with a little gesture at just the right time.

    And I think the performance at Nationals was especially well skated and fitting, because she had a rough competition there but ultimately prevailed.
    Out of reps for you, well said.

    Whenever I rewatch this particular performance, I think of AYS. I met her in 2000 at SOI shortly after Nats and she was still talking about this performance.

    This is an example of what made Michelle's skating so special.

  9. #9
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    Musicality. What I like best about this exhibition is that the jumps, while exquisite, are not the highlight. Michelle makes every movement and every position so important that the jumps don't stand out like they do in pretty much everyone else's programs, and I mean that in a good way .

    ETA: One more thing I love about this program is the way Michelle's movements reflect the lyrics literally, but still subtly. Many composers use a technique called "Word Painting" where the lyrics match the shape of the vocal melody. An example would be a phrase about sunset and is set (melodically) to a downward moving scale. Michelle sort of takes this into the dancing/skating realm in many of her programs. An example in this program is where Jewel sings, "I am never broken" and Michelle hits a seemingly "broken" upright spin position.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV_1...e=fvsr#t=1m55s

    A more obvious example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV_1...e=fvsr#t=3m06s
    Last edited by Triple Butz; 08-07-2012 at 12:50 AM.

  10. #10
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    Michelle looks as if her skates barely touch the ice, she is so light on her skates. You just don't see that anymore, it is so beautiful!
    Last edited by foreverkwanfan; 08-07-2012 at 10:20 PM.

  11. #11

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    Always a joy to watch her skating. Thanks for uploading.

  12. #12
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    Stunning, heartfelt program. One of my favorite Michelle programs.

  13. #13
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    I've alway appreciated the beauty and artistry that Michelle displays in that program. Her quality of skating is admirable.

    Thanks for sharing the video.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

  14. #14

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    Phenomenal. Just so perfectly beautiful. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow ... for all time.

    O-

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    I would also like to add that not only do Michelle’s performances “hold up to repeat viewings,” they take me down memory lane while at the same time the breathtaking quality and immediacy of her magic still sends chills up my spine. And Michelle’s smile is like bells ringing as angels receive their wings. TM (all rights reserved)

    Although I have a lot of old MK performances on tapes, I don’t have any transferred to DVD. I also don’t believe that I’ve seen every performance of Michelle’s (probably most, but I think there were some exhibitions that I missed). Someone recently posted a Hershey’s Kisses exhibition of her A Day in the Life performance that I had not seen the first time it aired. What a marvelous treat to see it for the first time so many years later!

    Is there a definitive edition of the Kween’s majestic career on DVD? Hint, hint to whoever owns the rights … I’m quite sure it would sell like hotcakes. I think it might be great if USFSA would put together all the vids they own rights to of Michelle’s career, and put it on DVD along with that fabulous still images HOF tribute, and also include a clip of the HOF ceremony and a video of Michelle’s keynote speech at the graduation ceremony where she received her honorary doctorate (and also include clips of what she’s doing now as U.S. Public Diplomacy Envoy, and as a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness). USFSA could promote such a classic DVD at Nats with a contest giveaway (exclusive copies signed by MK) and then sell online. I’d purchase it, particularly if some of the proceeds would go to the Kween’s selected charities.

    I enjoyed reading your comments everyone! Yes, there is something missing these days. This generation's skaters don’t lack for talent but it just seems that they have to overcome so much to even attempt to deliver transcendent performances.

    There is a lot of great choreo today to shout about, including programs by Pasquale Camerlengo, Jeremy Abbott/ Yuka Sato, Julie Marcotte, Shae Lynn Bourne, Rohene Ward, and the wonderful work Philip Mills did for Ashley Wagner last season. Mills and Kwan; Mills and Wagner – full circle.

  16. #16
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    Years ago, someone uploaded a video to YouTube taken from their camcorder of Michelle performing to "This Used to be My Playground". It was a small video taken from one the COI shows.

    I wish it was still on YouTube because this particular program was exquisite just like the Hands program.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

  17. #17
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    I really like this exhibition. I didn't like the one at 2000 Worlds, because of the dress, and I think she was skating slowlier. But this is a cool exhibition.

  18. #18
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    Great program and great skating from Michelle. I can't believe how much I enjoy this program considering I can't stand this song ("If I could tell the world just one thing it would be that we're all ok"-Really? That's all you'd say), but the strength of Michelle's skating makes it wonderful.

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