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  1. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Bute should have placed 2nd in the free at 2001 worlds.
    How? I already broke down her marks and they were as high and generous as they could be. 2nd highest artistic marks ahead of Slutskaya, and almost as many 5.9s as Kwan despite that she had merely good skate with alot of small and grating errors. Technical marks only .1-.2 on average lower than Kwan and Slutskaya, and on par with Hughes, despite completing nowhere near the technical content those three had. The judges gave her all the marks they could and it still wasnt good enough for 2nd in the long, so obviously she needed a better performance to be 1st or 2nd in the long.

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorje286 View Post
    Concerning the question, it depends on location/culture. In Europe she was not underappreciated. She probably even got overscored by judges there and I remember the Eurosport commentators unanimously pouring praise over her - probably on the same level of Kwan if not more, while acknowledging her technical inconsistencies. In the US, it was a completely different story. I don't think American commentators get the Russian school. I used to cringe in horror when Fleming used to criticize her for not "relating well with the audience." Unlike Kwan, Maria's programs were not about overwrought sentimentality. Her stern expression and detachment from the audience (not the music or the performance) is precisely what adds depth to the overall expression. I already noticed people making similar criticism for Lipnitskaya, which totally misses the point.
    I think this note is interesting because the Russian school does not strike me as being subtle. Maybe for the ladies? But certainly the 'Russian style' is all about being DRAMATIK for the men, dance, and to some extent, pairs. I actually think Michelle was fairly subtle in her routines except for her post-2002 cheesy programs. I remember Terry Gannon always commenting that Maria had a strong, powerful presence on the ice, and I thought she related directly with the audience.

    Re 2001, I don't think it was that controversial Butyrskaya wasn't second in the free, but her short should definitely have been no lower than 4th, effectively getting her to 3rd overall. That was a robbery.

  3. #143
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    What were Maria's ordinals in the long. I seem to remember a 1st, two 2nds, three 3rds, two 4ths, and a 5th. Is that right? The 5th place ordinal was harsh.

  4. #144
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    I don't equate emotive programs/music (Kwan's specialty) with "sentimentality". In terms of her competitive programs I can only think of "East of Eden" fitting that sentimental label (although it was lovely). Otherwise both her musical choices and choreography were tasteful and sophisticated. Especially programs like Rach 98 or Song of the Black Swan.

  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady82 View Post
    I think this note is interesting because the Russian school does not strike me as being subtle. Maybe for the ladies? But certainly the 'Russian style' is all about being DRAMATIK for the men, dance, and to some extent, pairs. I actually think Michelle was fairly subtle in her routines except for her post-2002 cheesy programs. I remember Terry Gannon always commenting that Maria had a strong, powerful presence on the ice, and I thought she related directly with the audience.

    Re 2001, I don't think it was that controversial Butyrskaya wasn't second in the free, but her short should definitely have been no lower than 4th, effectively getting her to 3rd overall. That was a robbery.
    Yes, subtle is probably not the exact word to describe the Russian school, but my point is that the expression was far more layered in how the point expressed rather than say, putting a certain expression on your face and relating that to the audience. I think the common ground rather than subtlety is theatricality, which definitely demands a certain detachment even when the performance is extremely dramatic. The comment on Kwan didn't go down very well, but I do think that most of Kwan's performances were structured to play the harp on people's hearts from lows to very highs, and she did that exceedingly well.

  6. #146
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    My BF, who at best is a casual skating fan, loved Maria in her competitive days. She was in her prime when we met ('99) and he told me she 'skated like a woman, not a little girl' and she was 'elegant and graceful'. I pointed out she was stiff on occasions but that didn't seem to dissuade him

  7. #147
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    Oh please, Michelle at the height of her powers could do it all, from the heartfelt and sentimental to the subtle and sophisticated. This is one of the most artistic (notice I said artistic, not soppy) performances ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrfHRSkkw6s

    That is to take nothing away from Maria, who at her best had a sort of cool elegance all her own.

  8. #148
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    Maria always looked very womanly and mature, and she definitely had that icy blonde beauty look that might have contributed to what some here are describing as a less emotional presence as a skater

  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrinalini View Post
    Oh please, Michelle at the height of her powers could do it all, from the heartfelt and sentimental to the subtle and sophisticated. This is one of the most artistic (notice I said artistic, not soppy) performances ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrfHRSkkw6s

    That is to take nothing away from Maria, who at her best had a sort of cool elegance all her own.
    Notice how Fleming described the music as having many highs and lows and that helps bring in the audience; sort of like my assessment of Michelle's programs before. I'm not taking anything from Michelle. I think this was a beautiful program among many other great programs, extremely well choreographed. But, on the more critical side, when Michelle skates I see Michelle emoting magnificently with her music with all its highs and lows and certainly helped by the flowing nature of her skating. Now this already goes far and beyond the artistic demands of the sport, but I don't always see an attempt to build a more complex character/storyline, the way I see it with Maria. Salome though is one of the exceptions (ironically when she was only 16). Just my humble opinion, and we can agree to disagree.

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