Ashley was quoted recently by icenetwork saying
http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_newsI spent a lot of time studying Michelle Kwan's programs, and the way she would interact with the audience. Michelle was so beloved from the audience. She skated to perform, not only to win. It's certainly a level I would like to reach -- both for the results and the performing success. That would be the best of both worlds.
I wish skating had more strong individuals, some champions the audience can latch on to. In the U.S., the skating audience is dwindling now. I'd like to go back to what it was in Michelle Kwan's times. Performance is what people come to watch, beyond technique. Of course, you go for the elements, where you get the points. But the components are also so important.
I decided to compare one of Michelle's more exotic early LPs, Taj Mahal, with Ashley's Sampson and Delilah.
Kwan Taj Mahal 96 SA
Wagner Sampson and Delilah 12 TEB
I admire her interest in reviving American skating and trying to pick up Kwan's torch. When I compare the two videos the biggest technical difference I notice is that Kwan seemed to have a few less linking moves to process between jumps. More subjectively, Kwan seemed to string her choreography along with the music, but I feel that Ashley's delivery of the choreography does not flow from one gesture to the next. It also feels like Kwan had greater command of her technique than Ashley Wagner does, though Wagner has developed into a consistent athlete. I think Ashley was right, in order to try to be able to perform, the technical aspects will need to be second nature. It's still early in the season and they're two totally different athletes, but Ashley's mention of Kwan begged a comparison.