Regarding Lori's work for Zijun Li....
There is no actual danger in recycling music and choreographic cliches when properly done. Neither is there any ethical dilemma, especially when done by the same choreographer.
It can even be fresh or inventive.
Do I think that Zijun Li’s short program is fresh and inventive? No. However, I do believe that it is done properly to suit Li’s abilities at the moment.
At this stage of development, Li's artistic priority should be to establish an artistic identity. Lori seems to have chosen to go with a more conventional yet style molding choreography rather then with a ground breaking one, perhaps reflecting Li’s abilities right now.
It is every choreographer’s dream to see his/her creation performed by a great skater. Every choreographers puts more thoughts and time into a program for such a skater. It , however, doesn’t mean that choreographers thoughtlessly mass-produce generic programs for lesser skaters. But, not every program may be thoughtful and inventive since lesser skaters often cannot handle more complex, inventive programs to begin with.
Li obviously is one of the most talented in her peer group. But, I do not think she is yet to be considered as a great skater.
Olympic champions have an iconic status though fleeting. And, Yuna Kim arguably is the most influential Olympic champion since Kat Witt. It is quite understandable that Li wants to be like Yuna Kim. But, I do not think Li’s overall skating and artistic approach truly resemble those of Yuna Kim’s. Arguably resembling a bit more those of Mao Asada’s, which is not bad considering popularity of Mao Asada here in FSU. And, Lori has been great for Mao Asada.
Figure skaters are not dancers on ice. They are merely utilizing aesthetic overtones derived from dancing, classic or modern or contemporary, and acting. Skaters’ exposure to the aesthetic disciplines is limited -- in comparison with real dancers, that is -- in general, which is why choreographers often play a critical role in developing skaters artistically. The collaboration between Lori and Li should be viewed as a long term project. I think Lori is good for Li in terms of molding Li's artistry.