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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    If you were fine with the changes, then it seems to me that you would think that the program still represented your work.
    Not necessarily. The changes could fit in it with the theme/requirements of the program, but if the overall program no longer looked like what you considered to be your style of work, you might not want your name on it any longer. Even if you still liked the program in an objective sense.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by arakwafan2006 View Post
    Complain all you want, no choreographer works for free! Thats what I dont get. They were handsomely compensated for their work (if they werent then shame on them) and thats it! The skater can do whatever they want because THEY PAID FOR IT!!!
    that's not how choreography works. It's not a physical item that can be purchased and then the owner gets to do whatever they want to it. Purchasing the choreography is really purchasing a LICENSE to the artistic output of another person. You can't take a fee to reset the work on someone else (i.e. resell it), and there is a line, albeit not a hard and fast one, on how many changes and adjustments can be done and still call it the work of the choreographer.

    Skating choreography is interesting to me because it has to accommodate specific athletic elements, and there has to be flexibility in the choreography for reworking placement of elements (or even places to add/change elements during the program). But there's a difference between rearranging elements and eliminating/watering down choreography, and I would hope that would involve discussion with the choreographer. After all, they are the experts, and they may be able to come up with something different that would solve whatever problem was needing attention - but some choreographers may feel that their job is done and they'd rather the skaters do whatever they want and not spend any more time on it. That's fair - as long as it's clear before the changes come that that is the case.

    Honestly, I don't think this is anywhere near as big a deal as people are making it.
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  3. #83

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    I am sure I really know nothing about the relationship both contractual and political between figure skaters and choreographers. Having said that:

    If you go to a choreographer, and he lays out a program for you, and you pay him, seems to me you bought it. If you are skating to it during the season, and some part(s) is not working for you.....what is the expectation? You keep falling? Two-footing? Makes no sense to me.

    My hairdresser does my hair...and when I leave the salon, it looks gorgeous. What I do with the cut and style after that............well, it never looks like that, but I still tell people who cuts my hair.

    I thought his "announcement" was self-serving, egotistical, and dissed Ashley. Boy, that is what I would want to do to a two time US Champ in an OLY year.

    I get his desire to keep his piece of choreography in tact, but I just think that is unrealistic. Not with something that always needs tweeking and working during the year.

    Wonder what his issue really is
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  4. #84
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    I think it's up to the choreographer to decide what his or her own terms are -- they could change per skater -- and choreographers can have many different takes on this. I think criticizing Mills for his own take is misguided, because skaters can decide to take his approach, leave his approach, or go against his wishes, after which he doesn't have to work with them again.

    There are plenty of ways to respond to the question that are more neutral, like, "We're on different pages regarding next season." He chose to critique her in an indirect way, which I find odd since he coaches her as well. I think that's where the news is, not his choreographic philosophy, which has suited him fine.
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  5. #85
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    Just curious but outside of Ashley, who else has Mills choreographed competitive programs for that made the podium at Nationals and/or made the World team with his programs?

  6. #86

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    Mills choreographed Tatsuki Machida's "Firebird" FS this season.

    ETA that I posted this interview with Mills last year but the interview is now "protected content" : http://everythingfigureskating.com/m...phillip-mills/

    March 2013 Q&A with Mills: http://www.icetalentinc.com/2013/03/...phillip-mills/

    Manleywoman's Sept. 2007 podcast & transcribed highlights: http://www.manleywoman.com/episode-7-phillip-mills/
    Last edited by Sylvia; 04-17-2013 at 02:41 AM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  7. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    I think it's up to the choreographer to decide what his or her own terms are -- they could change per skater -- and choreographers can have many different takes on this. I think criticizing Mills for his own take is misguided, because skaters can decide to take his approach, leave his approach, or go against his wishes, after which he doesn't have to work with them again.

    There are plenty of ways to respond to the question that are more neutral, like, "We're on different pages regarding next season." He chose to critique her in an indirect way, which I find odd since he coaches her as well. I think that's where the news is, not his choreographic philosophy, which has suited him fine.
    I agree. He can choose to work or not work with anyone for absolutely any reason but to announce it so publicly and say that he isn't going to work with her because she won't keep his vision intact is just going too far. He should have just said they were going to try different things this season, or better yet, he didn't need to say anything. This isn't exactly a Kwan/Nichol combination here, the skating world is not going to freak out if Wagner showed up next year with a different choreographer. This would hardly be news at all if he wasn't such a douche with how he handled it.
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  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    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."
    I agree.

    Philip Mills really needs to go to a ballet rehearsal. There is soooo much collaboration between ballet dancers (and their individual strengths) and a choreographer. For example, in Don Quixote, a male dancer will do his most spectacular leaps and jates, steps are slightly changed for each dancer. Music is also changed in collaboration with singers: Stephen Sondheim has re-written for Streisand and others, Hugh Martin re-wrote the original lyrics to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, at 21 year old Judy Garland's request, and she was right. Philip Mills is a prissy little ass, and petty to not keep this to himself. He's really shooting himself in the foot -- Who's going to want to work with that?

    And least anyone say that Ashley Wagner is not Garland or Streisand? Ashley would be the two, or three-time American champion representing her nation at the Olympic games; for that moment it equates. And this guy is so small, that if a couple of steps change he won't compromise? How Republican Congress of him.

  9. #89

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    Excuse me, but exactly why does the "public" need to know? If he is so damned good, I'm sure it could get out there without this big dramatic announcement. The skating world seems to know he is very good at what he does. I'm sure he could have gotten the word out with without such an proclamation that come off like a dig against the skater.
    "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

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    The skating world seems to know he is very good at what he does. I'm sure he could have gotten the word out with without such an proclamation that come off like a dig against the skater.
    Definitely, there's something more to this......................

  11. #91
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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.
    It would have been informative if he had elaborated on how their focus differed or what going his way or her way is. It is difficult to imagine there is really that much difference. Personally, I don't see the need for an announcement to be made in the first place. But if there was, he could have simply said he would not be choreographing Ashley's programs next year instead of saying something more which leads to much idle speculation.

  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by operagirl View Post
    I agree.

    Philip Mills really needs to go to a ballet rehearsal. There is soooo much collaboration between ballet dancers (and their individual strengths) and a choreographer.
    Mr. Mills used be a ballet dancer himself. I think he knows the scene very well, which makes me perplexed at his statement.

  13. #93
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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.
    Was Ashley the only one he choreographed for? That's strange, but until this I had no idea he was a member of her coaching team.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by demetriosj View Post
    Definitely, there's something more to this......................
    I wonder if it had the tone it did because, maybe, Ashley has been saying some negative things about his work.

  15. #95
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    The essence of Phillip Mills

    From his web site


    Phillip Mills is an organic figure skating choreographer who creates movement from the inside out with joy and freshness. Originality and movement have always been a part of Phillip’s life as he morphed from a champion gymnast to a star international ballet principal to a World and Olympic ice skating choreographer. Transformation, inventiveness and innovation are the core of Phillip Mills’ essence. He uses this easy flow incorporating each skater’s skills into a unique program full of energy and imagination.

    Always focused on the skater’s movements, Phillip works to capitalize on each ice skater’s strengths while encouraging new challenges and skills. Staying true to the composer’s intent and music, each program is uniquely crafted utilizing the skater’s energy and excitement where movements fit just so.
    Last edited by Iceman; 04-17-2013 at 02:49 AM.

  16. #96
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    duplicated link
    Last edited by Iceman; 04-17-2013 at 03:01 AM.

  17. #97

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    ^^^ I posted the link to the March 2013 Q&A with Mills above (post #86).

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    From this web site
    It's Mills' own web site: http://www.phillipmillschoreographer.com/index.html

    Ashley Wagner had a new show program choreographed by Shae-Lynn Bourne after Worlds (for the SOI Canada tour). I think she debuted it in the WTT exhibition? Maybe she wants to try a new choreographer or two for the Olympic season? (just guessing here)
    Last edited by Sylvia; 04-17-2013 at 03:04 AM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    Honestly, I don't think this is anywhere near as big a deal as people are making it.
    100% agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by AxelAnnie View Post

    I get his desire to keep his piece of choreography in tact, but I just think that is unrealistic. Not with something that always needs tweeking and working during the year.
    IMO (and I said this earlier upthread) I don't think the "issue" was that she tweaked anything throughout this past year, or last year. I think it's more that they have different visions moving forward into the Olympic year. Granted, he could have said that more directly, but knowing him as I do I believe that was the intention.

    And for all of those dissing him as a choreographer, lest we be reminded that his choreography pretty much put Ashley on the map? Perhaps he hasn't choreographed enough Olympic level skaters for everyone's liking here (and really there are very few of those choreographers anyway . . . Wilson, Dickson, Kawahara, Bezic, Nichols, and a few more "big" names) but he does consistently work with very high level skaters throughout all the Novice through Senior ranks. He once choreographed a program for me about 6 years ago, and it was a wonderful experience to work with him. He's a good guy. Though I agree the press release opens the door to speculation, I think everyone here is jumping to some pretty hefty conclusions.

    I do think this does bring up the interesting issue of the owning of a piece of work, and at what point is it no longer your creation? I recall when Johnny had David Wilson choreograph his piece during Be Good Johnny Weir, and then when Galina was done with it the piece was a shadow of it's former self. I can't recall if Wilson cared or not (or if he said so publicly at all).
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    100% agree.



    IMO (and I said this earlier upthread) I don't think the "issue" was that she tweaked anything throughout this past year, or last year. I think it's more that they have different visions moving forward into the Olympic year. Granted, he could have said that more directly, but knowing him as I do I believe that was the intention.

    And for all of those dissing him as a choreographer, lest we be reminded that his choreography pretty much put Ashley on the map? Perhaps he hasn't choreographed enough Olympic level skaters for everyone's liking here (and really there are very few of those choreographers anyway . . . Wilson, Dickson, Kawahara, Bezic, Nichols, and a few more "big" names) but he does consistently work with very high level skaters throughout all the Novice through Senior ranks. He once choreographed a program for me about 6 years ago, and it was a wonderful experience to work with him. He's a good guy. Though I agree the press release opens the door to speculation, I think everyone here is jumping to some pretty hefty conclusions.

    I do think this does bring up the interesting issue of the owning of a piece of work, and at what point is it no longer your creation? I recall when Johnny had David Wilson choreograph his piece during Be Good Johnny Weir, and then when Galina was done with it the piece was a shadow of it's former self. I can't recall if Wilson cared or not (or if he said so publicly at all).
    THis seems fair and probable. Mills could have been planning Ashley's Olympic vehicle for a while now and what she wanted conflicted greatly. Never know...

    I think that it can be argued that John Nicks put her on the map. Mills choreography to me sometimes was disjointed and uninteresting. Either way, i am glad to know they will be going seperate ways. It's not a big deal... thats the best message to glean from all of this IMO

  20. #100
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    Or perhaps Mills didn't think Wagner was a good vehicle for his work? I mean, they did put each other back onto the scene of elite competitive skating, but there was still a laborous quality to Wagner's skating that I don't (and I am sure a lot of people including Mills may not) appreciate. Towards the end of both the short and long this season, she was rushing things and she didn't manage to build sufficient impact for the climax / ending due to the labourous spins and footwork. It is possible that Mills find her incapable of delivering his work to his expectation, while she finds his work too difficult to handle / not fitting to her strengths.

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