Ballet on ice
Ballet music seems like a natural choice of music for figure skating, and a lot of it has been overused. There is also ballet music that has been used in moderation. It's hard to list all the skates for each piece of music, so I will list just my favorites- one or two (occasionally 3) per ballet. I may not have the time to post ALL the youtube links tonight.
First the overused ones:
The Nutcracker (Pas de deux): My favorite still remains G&G's pro routine to this (around 1991). I also liked Bechke & Petrov's version. It was very elegant. I don't particularly care for singles skating to this, although Sasha looked pretty good.
Don Quixote: John Curry (1976). I also liked Irina's at the 2001 GPF. Those are polar opposites.
Swan Lake: B&S's SP (1998), Rudy Galindo LP (1996 US nationals) and Oksana Baiul's SP (1994)
Scheherzade: I loved Midori's 1990 LP the most.
Romeo & Juliet (Tchaikovsky): Klimova-Ponomarenko's pro routine and G&G;s 1990 Euro LP were great. I also liked Ilia Kulik's LP in 1997.
Not so overused:
Romeo & Juliet (Prokofiev): A&P's 1998 FD is my most favorite.
Sleeping Beauty: Angela Nikodinov (2001 LP)
Carmina Burana: Paul Wylie (pro) and A&P (2000 FD)
Giselle: None that I really loved, but Angela's LP in 2002 had the potential to be really good. Unfortunately she never skated it to its potential. I appreciated Katia's pro routine to this, after Sergei's death.
Firebird: Joannie Rochette (2005)
Copelia: Yamaguchi-Galindo (1990 LP)
Cinderella: Angela and Midori skated to it. Angela's was technically perfect. Midori skated it upon her comeback, but it was disappointing.
Other music from the Nutcracker: Ilia Kulik's pro routine was wonderful.
Spartacus: Michelle Kwan SP, Debbie Thomas Pro
Incredibly, the most balletic ice dancers Usova-Zhulin never skated to ballet music- in my memory at least.
Last edited by Vash01; 12-28-2012 at 10:42 AM.
Fun topic. Thanks for the skating reminders.
We used to receive NBC Superchannel here in the Netherlands. They often showed pro skating to my pleasant surprise. Once I watched a pro skating competition with Yamaguchi winning I think. And they aired 'Nutcracker on Ice' or whatever the name was, Boitano and Baiul were performing in it. I loved it.
From 'Swan Lake' as a teenager I used to adore the 1995 lp of Alexei Urmanov. The 'Giselle' routine by Bobek was enjoyable too. Years later I loved the Swan Lake of Maria Butyrskaya. The music of 'Spartacus' is great, but so far no skating routine I ever saw lived up to that music, even if it wasn't bad.
As ever, no interesting reflections from me, only a list. Some are great; some are merely good.
- Asada's Swan Lake FS at this season's Grand Prix Final
- Curry's Don Quixote FS and Scheherazade exhibition at the 1976 Winter Olympics
- Hughes' 2001-2 free skates, which included music from Daphnis et Chloe; also her La Bayadère at 2003 US Nats
- Kwan's Scheherazade at 2002 Worlds and her Spartacus SP at 2005 US Nats
- Machida's Firebird at this year's Skate America (I still haven't seen the event he won.)
- Nakano's Giselle at 2008 Skate America and her Firebird at 2009 Trophee Eric Bompard
- Sato's Spartacus TP at 1995 World Pros
- Slutskaya's Don Quixote at the 1999-2000 Grand Prix Final
- Sumners' Swan Lake at 1986 Challenge of Champions
- Urmanov's Swan Lake at 1995 Euros
Last edited by falling_dance; 12-28-2012 at 10:49 AM.
Yes, Nakano is a great one, thanks for that reminder.
I loved Nakano's LP (Don Q, I think) at the 2006 worlds. She was held down by the judges, IMO.
Viktor Petrenko Don Quixote 1988
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piVLD6ghvow I love this, this is great without COP
Plushenko Don Quixote 1996, he was 13, so lovely, so Russian and so talented..
I loved Viktor's DQ LP at the 1988 Olympics. He was just 18, but so talented both technically and artistically! It won him the bronze.
Originally Posted by lala
Some more to add:
Mishkutenok & Dmitriev http://youtu.be/8Q8rMoVmFM8
John Curry, 1976 Ex. http://youtu.be/o26Bb8bh3EM
Gordeeva & Grinkov, Pro routine, http://youtu.be/VfXmt2q-6m4
Militano & Militano 1972 LP: http://youtu.be/XRjCTY1m7x4
Shen and Zhao's nutcracker is one of the most memorable performances ever. Davis and White's Giselle is one of the most successful translation of ballet on ice!
I really do not like the music from Don Quixote, or at least not the cuts that John Curry popularized with his Olympic performance. It seems very formulaic and predictable.
However, because Curry did such a good job with it, he inspired other artistic skaters to make the same choice, so we ended up with some more good programs to mediocre music.
Some of my favorites:
Mark Mitchell 1993 relies more on classical skating than classical ballet for choreographic inspiration
Alizah Allen 1997 has some ballet-inspired touches
Neil Wilson of GBR also had a nice program to that music in the mid-90s.
I am wondering if Katherine Healy used ballet music? She only skated as a pro, and she was a ballerina.
The most beautiful Scheherazade ever
Originally Posted by lulu
- Rep Power
Originally Posted by falling_dance
Tchaikovsky's "Onegin" letter pas de Deux.
We have had a thread about influence of opera on FS and this one about ballet but not many skaters actually show visible signs of influence from these disciplines. Katherine Healy is of course an exception: her skating, in particular, posture and the way she carries her upper body, sets her apart from others. I particularly love how she uses flexibility. Many a female skater can raise her leg at 180 degrees but what amazes me about Healy is no the leg which is up but the upper body, which is in complete equilibrium (can't explain very well). See 1:05 onwards of the video above.
I know she wouldn't get high scores under COP but she is one of those few skaters who can wow you without jumps.
- Rep Power
I like to compare her pro performance of Afternoon of a Faun in 1983 with her 1968 Olympic skate to that same music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jukiKL0di58
Originally Posted by gkelly
Bookends to a brilliant career.
It's gorgeous, isn't it?
Originally Posted by briancoogaert
- Rep Power
John Curry selected parts of the score to create a mood/image which is unique. To me the theme of this piece is 'suspense', and its 'resolution'. The essensial ingredient - the quality of skating. I also love his double jumps. Everytime a skater doubles his/her triple jump I wish it were done like one of JC's double jumps.
Originally Posted by briancoogaert
It's a pipe dream of mine for someone to use Sylphide and for the man skate in a kilt. Singles, pairs, dancers, I don't care. The Kerrs and their Scottish OD at Worlds put that dream into motion. Thank you, John.
Right now, Davis and White's Giselle SD brings me life.