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Michelle Kwan's Dream of Desdemona and use of music

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by BigB08822, May 15, 2011.

  1. skatemomaz

    skatemomaz Goodbye my sweet little boy

    Thanks for starting this thread, I am enjoying all of the great memories. It made me realize how much I miss the Kween and how great a program could be without eleventy billion spin positions, and frantic skating from jump to jump to jump. ;)
  2. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure that it was Michelle not trusting it enough, just that commentators, probably even some viewers, and perhaps her coach, Frank (as suggested by a youtube poster), were not partial to the program. Thus, from some of the negative reactions, she was likely encouraged to drop it. I'm sure she trusted herself and her choreographer, Peter, but the unfortunate rushed timing of the program's debut and the negative reception may have convinced her to let it go -- she may have intended to revisit it, but never had the opportunity. :)

    BTW 2000 Masters Rush sp (has problems loading on my computer tho') :(

  3. Kelvster

    Kelvster Well-Known Member

    some food for thought after watching that masterpiece of a programme (short programme at worlds 97)

    if michelle could take a deep breath and relax a little bit going into that triple lutz

    she wouldn't have leaned backwards and stepped out

    she wouldn't have ended up in 4th place (that programme was a masterpiece, as i said)

    she wouldn't have lost the world title to tara lipinski

    as a 2-time world champion going into olys, she (most likely) wouldn't have lost the gold in 1998. At least two / three more judges would say, give the gold to the 2-time world champion. (I know this is another thread ... me reckons that tara probably deserved to win, because her skate embodied more the "olympik spirit" ... but michelle's lyra angelica was so much more mature, and it was well-executed)

    then we probably wouldn't have seen michelle performing all those magnificient programmes thereafter ... most notably Ariane in 1999, and Fields of Gold in 2002. To me, Michelle's jumping abilities began to decline when she took out much of the choreography for her red violin programme in 2000 :(

    and we wouldn't have seen the watered down programmes after 2002 ... i still rooted for michelle after 2002, but in all honesty, her programmes became more and more empty :(


    the list goes on ... :(
  4. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    I am sure she is amazing, but her vocals were almost too loud. It's just a personal preference.
  5. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    I am sure commentators and viewers feedback don't matter nearly as much as international judges feedback. In my mind she kept losing to Slutskaya within that period NOT because of those programs, but because judges were somehow on crack or were politiked into thinking Slutskaya ever deserved a 5.7 or above on the second mark.

    She ultimately won 2001 Worlds so I can't say if she or her team made the wrong choice, but it's sad to not be able to see Miraculous Mandarin in its full glory. (Rush was already phenominal at Masters and Skate Canada)
  6. walei

    walei Well-Known Member

    I was actually sad that Michelle ditched the Rush SP because it was constantly marked behind Slute and went with EoE. Although I enjoyed MM, I prefer SotBS more.

    Anyone know what Michelle's plan for MM was? Replace SotBS in 2001? Use it as an Olympic program in 2002 instead of Scheherazade?
  7. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member


    :respec: Yes, I felt that they gave credit to Irina for her tech superiority, but totally ignored that Michelle's presentation was so much better.
  8. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    Beautiful World is sung by the Korean soprano Sumi Jo. She is brilliant (but concededly, not a pop singer). As an interesting aside, her voice was used as the voice of the opera singing daughter in the HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce. It was so beautiful that I made a point of watching the credits to see who the singer was.

    Another brilliant Kwan exhibition is One More Time. I have seen it on Youtube in the past, but it seems to have disappeared. If anyone finds it, please post a link!
  9. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    One More Time from the 1999 Hershey Kisses Figure Skating Challenge.
    skatemomaz and (deleted member) like this.
  10. mrinalini

    mrinalini Well-Known Member

    Thanks for this! This might be her most mature and complete exhibition ever alongside Kissing You. I watched her Pocahontas exhibition skate from the 1997 Hershey's Kisses Figure Skating Challenge (both programs have been put up by the same user) and it's amazing how different she looked in just two years at the same event. One skate just exudes youthful exuberance and the other is so dramatic and sophisticated.
  11. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    True Marco, the judges' feedback (and rampant politics) have a significant influence. Not so sure about the crack, altho' sometimes it seems as if they might be imbibing something illegal ;) Disclaimer: I don't hate all judges; some do try hard to do their job and maintain their poker faces while at it.

    Everyone's perceptions may have some validity. But honestly, Kelvster, MK has indicated many times that she would have continued skating beyond 1998, no question. How things turned out are how they turned out, and maybe there's an important lesson that many of us miss when we look at Michelle's life and career.

    All the "what ifs" and "should have dones" are just that. By MK having troubles at Nats in '97, she went into Worlds '97 with the judges and her competitors, not to mention the commentators perhaps believing she was more vulnerable than she turned out to be. Politics and politiking, absolutely! Michelle not taking a breath, I don't know that. Falling out of the 3lutz, yes, that was caught on tape. Losing Worlds '97 to an immature, but competent Lipinski, I thought it should have been otherwise then and now. But things are what they are. TPTB seemed to want to reward Lipinski rather than Kwan (and at that time, there wasn't a great deal of competition from the international ladies). Debate will always be a part of fs, and can be fun and/or frustrating.

    The Olympics 1998 is another story entirely that has been debated endlessly. The results were extremely close, and controversial, which TPTB tried to downplay at the time. In any case, in 1998, despite being marveled over and envied for her consistency, MK was not yet being talked about as a legend. That discussion didn't occur until she continued to dominate post-1998, turning silver into gold and pushing herself to extraordinary heights, taking her fans along with her and bringing new fans to the sport. In the process, MK began to transcend figure skating, and inspired many (including her competitors) to set and achieve goals in skating, and in many other areas of endeavor.

    Let's also give Slutskaya her due, as I'm certain MK does. Slute may not have had MK's grace and consistency (although she showed a level of grace and lyricism one season --2000-2001 I think, shortly after her marriage, but she eventually abandoned that style in favor of her more natural athletic approach). During the 1999 - 2003 period, I think TPTB semed to be searching for someone to rival MK and thwart her dominance, instead of realizing how MK's excellence and universal appeal might benefit the sport. I believe that politically circa 2000 - 2002 Slute (and Butryskaya in 2000, since she had won Worlds in 1999), and even Cohen were being looked upon as the contenders who might successfully rival MK. No way was Michelle politically expected to win at 2000 and 2001 Worlds -- she won because she trained hard and battled victoriously, while her competitors faltered.

    I believe MK would have continued as strong had she won Olympics in 1998, but in a strange way, not winning Olympics in 1998 and 2002 somehow quickened and became an integral part of her legend, because she overcame huge disappointments and endured in a way few human beings would have been capable of -- she's not called Kwan, the Warrior Kween for nuthin' (no matter if I just coined that particular moniker) :p

    Thanks for the clips everyone!

    ETA: Re the whole "empty programmes" critique, yes it seems that Kwan decided to focus more on the jumps, speed and power that the judges apparently preferred to reward rather than intricate choreo and unusual music ... and then along came the 2002 scandal and the enforcement of CoP. Fans suffered, and many Kwan fans lament (the lack of further development and recognition of MM, and MK's growth more along those lines) and non-Kwan fans focus on criticizing and nitpicking... Still, 2004 Nats LP is a part of Kwan's legend, and 2005 Spartacus sp, should be: :)


    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  12. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    Thank you--so beautiful.
  13. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Ditto! That's actually the first time I've seen One More Time, and Rush as well. MK must not have skated to either of these programs except once or twice?

    Rush is interesting for its different music, which I think was not well-received by the judges. Also, this was the period when Kwan was battling hard against Slutskaya and the perception that powerful jumps were more important than well-rounded programs and being a complete skater.

    One More Time is absolutely incredible! Hard to believe I never saw it all these years! Many thanks, pollyanna! I guess even when we think we've seen all there is to see ... we haven't. And with Kween, there's always something new to be revealed in watching her performances, and now especially with this one. There are a lot of moves in there, she didn't typically do, I think. What a hidden treasure!
  14. skfan

    skfan Member


    one more time was skated at COI and hershey's pro am, and maybe at other events i don't know about.

    i actually thought there was something kawahara-ish about one more time's choreography, even though peggy said it's by lori nichol. maybe in my mind it blended with the lion king song MK skated that _was_ choreographed by kawahara.

    one more time is indeed amazing, but for all 3 magnificent spirals and the great emotional projection, it still can't quite pack the punch of dante's prayer. to me dante prayer is MK's greatest exhibition. due to my own mental trauma i am unable to consider fields of gold in the equation :)

    thanks everybody for the great links, vids and discussion.

    ETA: masters, skate canada, skate america--at least 3 instances of 'rush' that i know of.
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  15. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Ahhhh, yes skfan, as per my first post in this thread, I feel that DP is the gem of gems: the music, singer's voice, Kwan's movement and magic melding into something beyond words. That's why I posted all the different versions I could find. :)

    Thanks, re pointing out how often Rush and One More Time were performed. I didn't catch a lot of the early part of those seasons.
  16. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

  17. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    That is actually my youtube account. :) I used to have an account with the same user name I have here, and I had uploaded tons and tons of videos, but alas, like many others, I woke up one day to find it gone. :( So I have a different user name now, and far fewer videos. But I still have all the vids on my computer drive, so am happy to upload any that are requested.

    See here for a list of music Kwan used between 1993 and 2000 and some of the competitions at which she skated the programs. This list probably doesn't include everything, but it helps.

    You're welcome to everyone. I'm glad that interest has been revived. :encore:
  18. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    She had an exhibition / cheese fest program in the spring of 2001 that was to a song by Linda Eder (?). It was a bit sassier than her usual stuff. Does anyone remember?

    Fall '99 - Spring '01 seemed to be full experimentation and growth in new directions. The use of choreographers other than Lori Nichol seemed to be a healthy part of that. I don't think Frank supported it entirely, though. I remember a comment from him when she dropped Rush for EOE as her SP. It was something to the effect of "this is what she's best at, this is what wins / what people want to see." But I think it didn't feel right for her. Motivation had to be an issue with her injury and just being at the top for so long. Experimenting with new styles, moods, etc. probably gave her a much needed energy boost. I wonder if his lack of support for her trying to extend her range played a role in their split.

    skfan - What "lion king" song did she skate to? I thought that was a joke on FSU from long ago?
  19. skfan

    skfan Member


    can you feel the love tonight. it was part of a disney's greatest hits countdown / disney special. she wore the gold lace dress also used for 'one more time' so that's why the two programs became kind of linked in my mind.

    are you referring to 'this time around' when you speak of the eder song? i liked the world is not enough, but 'this time around' didn't quite have the classic kwan magic for me.

    aftershocks, i think part of the reason dante's prayer worked so well is because of the circumstances, after 98 olympics--she wanted to be a legend--and she didn't win--will people still remember her? even though we knew she was young and still had so much ahead of her, you never know when injury or something else could cut short your career before your next shot at the olympics. hey, to me the olympics is just a blown-up worlds, but to mk that was where she saw her great hero, boitano, rock this world.

    plus, the song is great in and of itself. i never put on sumi jo just to hear her sing beautiful world--i have her singing opera on my itune list, but not beautiful world. i do listen to dante's prayer, just for the music. part of the glory of the mk experience was the symbiosis of all the great things--great music, great choreography, great life given to that choreography--she imbued it with something special--for me, especially in dante's prayer and the rachmaninov short program, but of course every MK fan has his or her own favorites. i also loved east of eden--my favorite incarnation of east of eden was in the vestal virgin white dress (one of my friends nicknamed it that LOL).

    what was my point again? :rofl:
  20. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

  21. LadyM76

    LadyM76 New Member

    Thank you everyone for sharing all the Youtube videos....

    How I miss this type of skating....so beautiful, powerful and moving.