Fair enough, maybe she's just a very shy person who finds the performative aspect difficult. Or maybe she gets nervous and 'freezes' in that regard.
Anyone remember when Fumie Suguri and Shizuka Arakawa first entered seniors? They could not be more stone-faced.
Suguri ended up becoming one of the most expressive and musical skaters (though declined in recent years), and Arakawa really opened up in terms of projection.
On an unrelated note, I think Chengjiang Li was totally hosed in his competitive days.
He had the most spectacular 4T and 4S (with correct entries) and was years ahead of his compatriots Guo and Zhang in terms of presentation. He seems to have a good rapport with his skaters and I hope he does well coaching.
Each of these quads would be at least +2 GOE in my book.
Kexin 'looked' she was not enjoying skating because she is shy to express her personality on ice. Besides, I think she's been struggling in these two seasons. Reading the posts above she's had conflicts with Mingzhu Li. And also she had difficulties to maintain quality of her jumps because of her puberty and disease. She focused on her technical elements and it made her face blank. I kind of hope she'll stick around at least one more season. Her situation will be changed since Li's gone. It can go either way, better or worse. Well, one can only hope...
Shy or not, she has a long way to go to command reasonable PCS.
Whilst you're less likely to see a Chinese skater showing the 'charismatic showman' kind of performance, the Chinese Pairs and Chen Lu have proven that you can develop a different kind of performance ability, one that is softer and more romantic, yet still quite elegant and refined.
The problem with Zhang Kexin is that she hasn't really been going anywhere in that regard. I guess that between puberty and the difficult relationship with her coach, the conditions weren't exactly optimal. So maybe I shouldn't be writing her off just yet.
(Btw, Nichol wanted Li Zijun to 'flirt with the boys' in her tango SP as well so I guess it's something she's particularly keen on but I really don't think that it's a good idea for those skaters.)
It is pretty common knowledge that Chinese culture is collectivist and it has been widely described in scientific literature.
The Basics: http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Col...alist_cultures
The Numbers: http://geert-hofstede.com/china.html (China's Individualism score of 20 places it in the lowest band.)
It's also pretty common knowledge that humility is seen as a very important value in Chinese culture.
An example: http://www.ipedr.com/vol29/24-CEBMM2012-Q00050.pdf
It goes on, giving more referenced examples.Traditional Chinese culture places great importance on humility and arguably amongst the world civilizations the Chinese were the first to promote humility. In one of the most ancient Chinese texts Classic of History, the Book of History reports , put complacency and humility at the level of heaven.
So next time perhaps spend 5 minutes on Google before attempting to mock someone.
Last edited by Ziggy; 04-30-2014 at 03:54 AM.
Lately, however, I feel that this part of their performances has been getting lost and they haven't been living up to the promise they've initially shown. I hope they can get their mojo back because they definitely have the capability to be great performers.
I agree that Chinese society is more about collectivism and humility--that said, I don't necessarily agree that humility affects performance. For instace, many Chinese students I know are rather humble about their Math achievements but that does not affect how they perform Math. I know skating is a sport and is different; I do think some of the acting/sexy posing/etc may be a little uncomfortable for some, though I do think Chinese have no trouble with moving with elegance and performing with confidence (like Chinese gymnasts, for instance).
I guess, what I'm saying is, humility does not necessarily translate into "inwardness", for lack of a better expression.
eta: I do think it's possible that modesty is an issue, though I really haven't studied this enough to say that with certainty
Last edited by jlai; 04-30-2014 at 04:31 AM.
Success in academia is quite different from projecting on stage or in an arena. Many Chinese ballerinas I've seen are technically wonderful, but have needed to be coaxed out of their shells over time, and I've learned to be patient.
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy
Perhaps what we are discussing is being uninhibited, which to me isn't necessarily an issue of humility.
Perhaps this is an issue of modesty though.
I don't think so - there are a ton of Chinese gymnasts who have/had a ton of performance ability, so I don't see why the figure skaters won't be able to do it.
And Pang and Tong + Shen and Zhao had amazing performance ability as well
To be fair, the S&Z and P&T of late 1990s and early 2000s were quite different from those from 2003-4ish onwards. Pairs was China's #1 priority and these pairs only got to improve because they had decent results from late 1990s onwards and therefore resources to justify hiring external advisors. With Han Yan's success, I think men will be #2 ahead of ladies now.
In the recent 20 years when Chinese skating became more popular / competitive, we have seen about 1 or 2 skaters out there who can naturally perform. I guess in a weaker nation, the more important factor is getting the jumps done because that's how you make it out of Nationals. This was almost the exclusive focus at the expense of spins, stroking and of course, musicality, finesse and choreography.
To me Kexing's shyness is more individual matter than cultural. She seems to be on the shy side even off ice. On the other hand, Zijun or Yan are not. Especially Yan on weibo is very entertaining. I think in more desirable situations she could have been more expressive. Wish she'll know she has international fans including me. But if she feels happy to retire, I never blame her. I just wish her the best.