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Phillip Mills: "Ashley Wagner and I have decided to go in different directions"

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sylvia, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Well-Known Member

    It really sounds like Mr. Mills couldn't take the news so he made his own news.

    Anyways kudos to Ashley for wanting to try something new :) I think that this can only be a positive decision. And I'm reeeeeally hoping she uses Shae-Lynn for at least 1 program!!
    OliviaPug and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Artistic Skaters

    Artistic Skaters Drawing Figures

    A compare & contrast between formal choreography & hairstylings. No wonder he had to issue a press release to make his point.
  3. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

    Because Mills was more than just a choreographer to Ashley, I wonder if she had wanted to keep him as coach while seeking choreography elsewhere. Perhaps this was just too big of a blow to his ego, and he felt uncomfortable with the idea of working with and potentially tweaking programs that he did not create for Ashley himself. (And maybe that's primarily why he mentioned in his statement how he wouldn't want people changing his work, just as he wouldn't want to change someone else's work.)

    Hopefully Nicks is willing to adequately fill the void, because it was quite clear that Mills was doing a lot more than simply giving Ashley programs. Skaters use different choreographers all the time, and it's not a big deal at all, but this issue was obviously greater than just that.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  4. IceIceBaby

    IceIceBaby Active Member

    I agree. And if you take the mandatory jumps and the spins off the choreography, there is probably like 2 minutes time left to choreograph. Choreography nowadays means just adding a couple of transitions between the elements. Also, most of the music cuts are the recycled from the past.
  5. jdonavan

    jdonavan Active Member


    I believe this is why many people don't understand the 10,000+ fee for a long program which many times the head coach will adjust during the year to accommodate new rules, newly acquired elements etc.
  6. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    For some reason I keep wanting to call him Phillip Morris, because man, what is he smoking.

    As a graphic designer myself, you create for your client, and highlight their strengths. It is about the design supporting the product, and if they want to do something a certain way, it is your job to find a solution. Not to dig in your toes and say, I want to do it my way. That's the fast track to unemployment.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  7. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    I wonder though how much of this also has to do with Ashley herself. There have been many comments made on these boards in the past about how hard Ashley is to work with (maybe even more so than Mirai). I think two people posted here before that Priscilla fired Ashley also.

    But it also does seems like some stuff was changed before Japan Open. I remember seeing a clip on here before Japan Open and her spiral and the ending of the program did seem a little different than what we've seen since Japan Open. And also, she did take out some transitions after Japan Open.
  8. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    Ahh, all very true. But as a fellow designer myself, there are copyright issues to the work you own. Plus If I have a client who waters down the work to the point that I don't want my name associated with it anymore, then I don't want to work with them again, regardless of how many times I've tried to work with them to find a proper solution that plays to their strengths. Some clients don't want to listen to your expertise or advice, even if they are willing to pay for it.

    But I don'tt want to infer that that is what happened here. We don't know exactly what happened.
  9. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    You can't "take out the mandatory jumps and spins" and not count that as part of the choreography. First of all, it's not like the requirements for spins are *that* specific. There are literally hundreds of possibilities you could come up with for any particular piece of music. As for jumps, yes, a 2x is a 2x, but you still have to decide where to place it and it still has to fit within the rest of the piece. Change something in one part of the program and suddenly the jumps don't fit any more and have to be shuffled around.

    It can take hours to choreograph just a few seconds of a program. I've actually had programs choreographed for me of much shorter duration than 4 minutes and watched coaches work with elite level skaters on their programs and I find the comments here to be :wall:
  10. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    I agree with the people that say once you paid for a program, it is yours to own. It's like once you paid for a one-of-a-kind designer dress, you can alter it any way you want. If you rent the dress or it is on loan then of course you are not free to alter it ... Unless you're Lindsay Lohen; in that case feel free to rip it into a mini dress ;)
  11. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

    But you know Phillip first hand....you know Phillip first hand...you know Phil... whatever! NOW you want to say " oh dont quote me" but you were rather emphatic regarding your point of view in earlier comments and the reason why your margin for error of being incorrect was so small was because " i know phi...he chorepgraphed for me...we eat lunch together...he came to my sweet 16 party." LMAO
  12. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Give it a rest, arakawafan2006, especially with the personal insults. Anyone can know someone first hand and not know exactly what goes on in every one of their business dealings.
  13. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

    To your point, how many times do you see two celebs. who wear the same dress but one sliced and diced it and the other wore it straight from the runway accessorized differently?

    On one had, i understand the whole " i want it my way or the highway" because i am an only child LOL. Us only children are perceived as being selfish and picky by others but to us, we just dont mind getting what we want at all costs even if it means sacraficing a relationship.

    On the other hand, Mills IMO is just not a big enough fish to really be picky. I am sure to him he disagrees but still he's not. At the end of the day, people like Lori, Sarah, Tarasova, Dean, Zueva, Shpilband... these are people who should be picky and i have met all except Lori, Sara K. and Dean and they are oodles kind (though I am a spectator). These are some of the names that I could actually see being complete jerks if they wante too because THEY CAN! In our sport those names are the Gucci, Prada,Chloe, Lanvin, Jean-Paul etc. and can be picky.

    I teased ManleyWoman about it earlier but it is true that we wont know what happened. We can all presume and may be correct but I would hate for P.M. to have regrets. He was choreographing for a top skater and no doubt after the Olympic cycle, more skaters might have been more curious about his work and it could have opened more doors for business for him. However, for all we know, $$$ means little to P.M. Remaining true to himself might be super important. Plus, the guy might be sitting on a bucket of cash from an inheritance and working with skaters to keep himself busy???
  14. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

    Then dont try and make it seem like you have some inside scope when you clearly dont. Oh and you give it a rest. I never insulted anyone but I do wish that you would stop trying to be the playground aid.

    The one out of balance thing about this forum is that it's not true to reality. Most forums that have conversation threads always have menbers who boisterously disagree but if you do that here the members cry like babies.When people debate or express their opinions sometimes it causes another person to express their opposing one. There will always be people who have strong personalities ( me) and they are not wrong for having them. This forum though i love it has posters who think that if you're not saying stuff thats warm and fuzzy you're a bully. Where the hell do you live and get off? I can express how i feel no matter how many times people like michiruwater get their feelings hurt and give negative reputation comments...how about THAT was completely unnecessary.

    I like Manleywoman enough; even subscribe to her podcasts but still felt like when it was convenient to use her inside track regarding P.M. she did. I gave her a hard time for it. SO WHAT? she's a big girl...i never personally attacked her. It's a controversial forum and my behavior was not out of line IMO. Grow up people...
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
    Jem X and (deleted member) like this.
  15. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    You definitely insulted manleywoman. That whole post was completely rude.
    luenatic and (deleted member) like this.
  16. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    So it's OK for you to express your opinion about other posters, but it's not OK for me to express my opinion about what you said? Double standard much?

    I don't care how strong your opinions are, or whether I agree with them or not. No one is getting on your case for having a different opinion. What I have a problem with is how you express your opinion. You can easily say what you have to say without being rude or petty.
    LynnW, Yazmeen, OliviaPug and 9 others like this.
  17. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

    Someone please positive rep Overedge for me. Thanks.
  18. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I, too, am missing where manleywoman implied anything about having inside scoop. Knowing someone In a professional capacity and having insight into their behavior *in general* is not the same thing.
    manleywoman and (deleted member) like this.
  19. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    If you have a strong personality, you need to have the cajones to back up that opinion and, also, to possibly receive negative comments (or even negative rep!) for it. I certainly am not against people giving all sorts of opinions, and I absolutely give them myself. I find it very ironic that you actually took the time to write a post about how you have this strong personality but when people disagree with you and call you out on behavior your response is to whine about it. And you know what? This sort of thing, where a bunch of people agree that someone said something out of line and get irritated about it? It actually happens in real life too.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  20. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    I did, for both of us!
  21. BittyBug

    BittyBug And the band played on

    I'm finding it very hard to imagine how choreography for an individual skater isn't work for hire and owned entirely by the skater. It's not like Mills designed the program for general use and then sold Ashley a license to use the piece - it was created expressly for her and he was paid in full for the work. Unless Mills had a contract with Wagner requiring her to follow the program exactly as delivered, she's free to alter it in any way she pleases. Of course, he's free to not work with her again, but he doesn't own the program - she does.
  22. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

    I tried. But I must spread some around first.
  23. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

    I did it for you and me, Sparks.
  24. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    I don't know how copyright issues in choreography work. I actually think its a fascinating topic worthy of its own thread. Some people here have made statements about it regarding dance ( I mean, I assume a Martha Graham or Alvin Ailey piece must be done the same way every time, right?) but I'd think with skating its more complicated. It seems to me choreographers are always happy to have their names attached to a program when it's close to the original, but tend to denounce it when it's not. In graphic design copyright works very differently, but thats another topic.

    FWIW, I do know Phillip personally, but no, he didn't call me directly and give me any inside scoop. His arrangements with skaters are not my business. I still think both he and Ashley are great people, and its as simple as they couldn't find common ground for this year.
    dinakt and (deleted member) like this.
  25. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Those dancers, whether in a company or hired by the choreographers themselves, are paid to perform the works of a Martha Graham or an Alvin Ailey. They don't have any wiggle room to alter the choreographers' works without their direction. It's not the same at all as a skater who pays the choreographer to come up with a number for her.
  26. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I think skaters should be able to alter their programs because it is really their career they have to worry about. They need to do what's best for them in order to maximize their points and skate as well as they can.

    That said, if it's altered to the point that the choreographer no longer wants to be associated with the work, then the skater should remove the choreographer's name or not attribute that routine with that choreographer upon the choreographer's requests.
  27. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    It's more complicated in dance too. For one thing, it's impossible to exactly duplicate a performance when humans are involved. Sometimes it's a matter of making mistakes. Sometimes it's a matter of physical limitations and sometimes it's a matter of interpretation. It complicates the issue of copyright because it raises the question of at what point do these changes alter the work enough that it no longer is a copy of the original and is now a new work.
  28. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    According to this interesting article, at least to me, there are 4 categories of Figure Skating Choreographers: The Dictator, The Visionary, The Collaborator and The Facilitator. There is nothing inherently wrong with being any of the types, but the skater should find out (and I would guess most do) what kind he or she will be working with before hiring.

  29. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    This is a bit off - topic.
    But I often wonder how one skater's choreography would look on a different kind of skater.

    Certain body types are good at different things, and it would be unlikely a skater with a smaller more muscular build could do something made for a skater with a longer frame.
  30. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    In the United States, Congress added coverage of choreographic works to copyright legislation in 1976 under the quality control principle. The quality control principle acknowledges that artists desire not only economic protection by also artistic protection. While choreographers are entitled to the economic profits derived from their work, they are also entitled to:

    The right to be known publically as the author of the work.
    The right to prevent someone else from claiming ownership of their work.


    So if say, in the case of Kwan and Bolero, she did change the choreography but continued to list Dean as the choreographer, he would have had grounds for bringing legal action against her.