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  1. #61

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    I like that people are acting as if Ashley Wagner will all of a sudden change her style or the way she skates just because she'll no longer work with Phillip Mills. Yes, she's improved her control and honed in her energy somewhat, but she still skates the same way as she had before she worked with Mills.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8ingcoach View Post
    Phillips Mills needs to stop whining, his choreography sucked anyway. Maybe Ashley can now go get some real choreography so that she might have a small chance of making the podium at olympics.
    Wish i was a member so i could give you a positive reputation...you are correct

  3. #63
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    I think everyone here is making a mountain out of a molehill.

    I know Phillip fairly well. Knowing him as I do and reading between the lines here, I think this has nothing to do with the last few years' programs, and it could be as simple as Ashley wanted to go one way in an Olympic year, and he wanted to go another way.

    I know people love to speculate on FSU, but a lot of times it really is that simple.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I think everyone here is making a mountain out of a molehill.

    I know Phillip fairly well. Knowing him as I do and reading between the lines here, I think this has nothing to do with the last few years' programs, and it could be as simple as Ashley wanted to go one way in an Olympic year, and he wanted to go another way.

    I know people love to speculate on FSU, but a lot of times it really is that simple.
    Goodness knows we don't need much to run with, but in this case, I can't blame FSU for the speculation. When you end a relationship with somewhat pointed comments about the integrity of your work, it opens the door for speculation and reading between the lines.

    IMO

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Skatefan View Post
    Too bad! I thought Phillip Mills' choreography was the best thing Ashley had going on the past two seasons.
    I agree. I don't understand this. I can understand that Ashley might want some input into the choreo, but in my opinion, she wouldn't be where she is without Mills. Her Black Swan and Salome programs are among the best of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. She was like a different skater. I hope it isn't a matter of her believing her own publicity.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by fenway2 View Post
    Well if she was upset then she got over it quickly since she was moved to tears by Tara's performance.
    Maybe she was crying in horror at what had happened to her work
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    In light of the recent Tom Dickson thread, I would love for Ashley to work with him. Pretty please!

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I think everyone here is making a mountain out of a molehill.

    I know Phillip fairly well. Knowing him as I do and reading between the lines here, I think this has nothing to do with the last few years' programs, and it could be as simple as Ashley wanted to go one way in an Olympic year, and he wanted to go another way.

    I know people love to speculate on FSU, but a lot of times it really is that simple.
    I agree, but I also think he could have skipped the announcement which came off to me as more than a little self-centered and egotistical.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    I agree, but I also think he could have skipped the announcement which came off to me as more than a little self-centered and egotistical.
    Why should he skip the announcement? He's a public figure and a professional choreographer. It is his business to be clear that he and his client are parting way. He needs to let the public know that he is available to take on new clients. Without a public announcement, his clients (including international clients) may not want to contact him. Especially he was in Ashley's coaching team. Give the guy a break. It's not easy to earn a living in the skating world.

  10. #70
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    He had every right to make an announcement, but it was hardly necessary for his livelihood.: the public doesn't influence who hires him. Figure skating is a small world, and news travels fast. He could have contacted coaches directly or he could have had friends start the phone tree on his behalf.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  11. #71

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    I think Mills was also working as Ashley's coach a lot of the time, not just her choreographer for one or two weeks a year. A public announcement when a coach is divorcing a skater is more common than choreographer-skater. I don't find this inappropriate. Probably an overshare on the why, but not offensively so.

  12. #72
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    I agree with orbitz and OliviaPug--it's a sport. The choreography serves the goal of placing as well as possible. If he wants the focus to be on presenting his "art" exactly as he wants, go into ballet where the dancers are getting paid to dance what they're told. I'm working on a showcase right now, we had a choreographer in, we are NOT using everything he suggested (some's just too difficult, some is just not where we want to go with it)--I paid for his time and input, it's mine to do with as I see fit. I want to score well at competitions and do a fun showcase for the studio show, not present a choreographer's "artistic vision."

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by MR-FAN View Post
    So he has to keep working with people who change his choreography even though he hates it? He doesn't wanna work with people who alter his work, he has the right to do so. What's the big deal?

    You see movie directors complain all the time about studios altering their visions and work to appease to the mainstream crowds, should they too keep quiet since they've being paid for it? Artists deserve to have their work presented to the world the way they see fit. and I don't buy into the argument that they only have that right if they work for free
    I agree. She bought it so it was hers, then she decided to make changes. He didn't like the fact that she made changes, but probably could not stop her changing it. But he has a choice to decide whether he wants to work with her again. It is a business.

    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I have it on good authority Sarah K was very pissed at how much MK watered down her choreography, and SK said she didn't want her name associated with the program.
    I think that may be exactly his problem. His name is under whatever Ashley skated. So whatever she does on the ice, it is his 'advertisement'. If I was a great choreographer, I wouldn't want people to watch a watered down program thinking "who created that?" It could also negatively influence his future business.

    Quote Originally Posted by fenway2 View Post
    If something you worked on gets destroyed or changed drastically, why shouldn't you be upset? Payment or not, art is art. Alan Smithee exists for a reason.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post
    Regardless of what Mills had intended to say in this statement, what's so hard to understand with what you wrote above? If I had a lot of respect for my very own creation I wouldn't want my name attached to it if it has evolved to something that's not really mine (or worse yet, less than what I had originally intended it to be). I find the suggestion that him being paid handsomely means he should then compromise kind of offensive. It's not all about money.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    This isn't like you commissioned a painting from an artist and then proceed to add your own touches to the completed product. Competitive skating choreography has to be organic. The skater and coach must be able to make adjustments throughout the season in order for the skater to feel comfortable pulling off all of the technical elements. Let say Ashley doesn't feel comfortable doing the 3loop-2Axel sequence choreographed into her LP program by Mills, and she really wants to either eliminate it or change it so that she has a better chance of skating clean. Is Mills going to be so freaking anal-retentive about his work that he'll adamantly put his foot down and say "NO" and not care if Ashley has a high percentage of falling on that sequence? Mills has been involved with competitive skating long enough to know that choreography do change as the season progresses. If he doesn't want this to happen then he should stick to only doing pieces professional shows or groups like The Next Ice Age, for example, and stay away from competitive skaters altogether.
    The thing is, we don't know how much she changed. I don't think that this was about changing a jump for another jump. If I was a choreographer, I would hate if someone took out the little details, such as a few hand gestures, head going up at certain beat etc. Ashley's black swan had plenty of tiny details I noticed only when I saw it live and did not notice when I watched it on TV, for example when she changed into the black swan, she made expression with her face which immediately told us who she is now. Maybe similar little changes got taken out from this years programs and by taking those out, the program suddenly becomes generic. So that in my view would be a reason why I wouldn't want to be signed under something like that. Suddenly instead of masterpiece it would be another generic program...

  14. #74

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    Right. When you're choreographing for an Olympic eligible skater, it goes with the territory that her primary objective is winning, not expressing someone else's artistic vision. So the tone of his announcement doesn't sit right with me. He should know his client and her goals, and that she'll make changes if it's likely to earn her a better score.

    That said, I think he did some great programs for her, that really highlighted her strengths. With Mills leaving and Nicks possibly retiring, I hope she'll be able to find a strong support system.

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    What I do know about this type of situation is that these top-level choreographers do charge anywhere between $10,000 - $20,000.00 per PROGRAM. In 2005, T & M, the Olympic Pair Champions in 2006 were quoted the fee of $20,000.00 for a Lori Nichol program. I believe she did more than 15 programs that year for various people. Mills probably charges similarly.

    With that in mind, I can say (as someone who has done choreography for others) that I would simply not care one bit if you took my $10,000.00 - 20,000.00 dollar choreography and changed it or didn't even use it at all. I would care if you turned around and sold it to someone else, however.

    Would I, and do I, like to see my vision be performed to the letter and perfectly? Of course, but I also know that a good choreographer will have many options for the skater to use in the event of injury, inability to do the proposed elements, or for competitive edge. It would be show programs and exhibitions and performance art projects I would be strict about, not a competitive program.

    Mills is being a DIVA and his reputation with skaters will not be helped by this type of "do it my way or no-way" attitude. It's just MHO.

  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    I agree, but I also think he could have skipped the announcement which came off to me as more than a little self-centered and egotistical.
    I just assumed he was pressed to comment on the split by Hersh.

  17. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by PairSk8Fan View Post

    Would I, and do I, like to see my vision be performed to the letter and perfectly? Of course, but I also know that a good choreographer will have many options for the skater to use in the event of injury, inability to do the proposed elements, or for competitive edge. It would be show programs and exhibitions and performance art projects I would be strict about, not a competitive program.
    But would you still want your name to be attached to the program if you didn't feel it represented your work any longer? Even if you were fine with the changes?
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  18. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by luenatic View Post
    Why should he skip the announcement? He's a public figure and a professional choreographer. It is his business to be clear that he and his client are parting way. He needs to let the public know that he is available to take on new clients. Without a public announcement, his clients (including international clients) may not want to contact him. Especially he was in Ashley's coaching team. Give the guy a break. It's not easy to earn a living in the skating world.
    Then he has to take the heat for what he said. Sorry, he said it so now it's open to attack. If he didn't want negative statements then he should have thought about that before he issued a statement. (And I am not sure how this statement is going to help him make a living, since it would seem to scare some folks off as 'if he doesn't like me he might diss me too' LOL!)

    And if you want to defend him, that's fine, but realize that once your fingers hit the keyboard you can't control what you get back.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    But would you still want your name to be attached to the program if you didn't feel it represented your work any longer? Even if you were fine with the changes?
    Actually, yes. Here is why I say that... If I choreographed a program for someone, and they learned it only to make changes, I would still feel that I was responsible for making the program, or being part of its evolution. For example, I did a program for a skater who had a limited jump repetoire. During the season and the one that followed, the skater learned new jumps and newer spins, but kept the program I choreographed. To incorporate the newer elements, the pattern of the program needed to be changed, and the spin durations changed. This made the program develop into one that looked "different" but was actually the same.... the jumps happened in the same crescendos and phrases to the music, and the spins were similarly placed, but the pattern was altered. I did not alter the pattern, the skater and coach did that, but I was still given credit for the program.

    Yes, there were changes to incorporate the newer technique, but the theme, feeling and phrasing of the movements were all intact. I felt it was still "my" choreography.
    Last edited by PairSk8Fan; 04-16-2013 at 09:19 PM.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by luenatic View Post
    He needs to let the public know that he is available to take on new clients. Without a public announcement, his clients (including international clients) may not want to contact him.
    No, he doesn't need to do that. Every season skaters contact people they want to choreograph for them and they often ask different ones from the season before. No one makes announcements and it works out just fine. The choreographer is free to say they are busy if they can't work with someone (or just don't want to) and any team can contact any choreographer. No skater "owns" them or has "dibs" on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I think Mills was also working as Ashley's coach a lot of the time, not just her choreographer for one or two weeks a year. A public announcement when a coach is divorcing a skater is more common than choreographer-skater. I don't find this inappropriate. Probably an overshare on the why, but not offensively so.
    It's very unusual for a coach to make such an announcement. Usually these sorts of announcements come from the skater. But it's happened. Rarely, but not never. OTOH, I have never ever seen such an announcement from either a choreographer or a "member of the team." Members of the team changes *constantly* and no one bats an eye or makes an announcement about it, not even the skater usually, although it may be mentioned in interviews.

    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    But would you still want your name to be attached to the program if you didn't feel it represented your work any longer? Even if you were fine with the changes?
    If you were fine with the changes, then it seems to me that you would think that the program still represented your work.
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