Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by arakwafan2006, May 19, 2011.
Yoshie Onda, Japanese Nationals, 2006-2007 Season:
All she does by "recycling" programs/music is to demonstrate what a master Michelle was at interpreting her choreography.
Most of these attempts have suffered by comparison.
Even the best choreography needs the right interpreter to "bring it to life" and show its' ultimate potential.
Mao's Nocturne SP is one of my all times faves. I don't think it's too late for Mao to try Lori or any other choreographer that brings out the artistry in her. Mao was very young (16?) when she skated to Nocturne and it was magical, but no, I did not mean she needed Lori in her formative years; they just happened to be there. I don't think Yukina Ota can be compared here because I always saw her a natural artist (like Oksana Baiul), and she could get into any music she skated to, at a young age.
About Michelle & Lori I do agree with you somewhat that the combination had become somewhat stale (though I would have happily watched it). It was also understandable that Michelle wanted to try something different at that point in her career. I was not particularly impressed with Sara Kawahara's approach to Scheherzade. Like you said, the intricacy is not as important as the musical interpretation itself, and Michelle did well even without intricate choreography because she could bring out the soul of the music through her skating.
To this day, many theories, no actual reasons/statements from Michelle and Frank. This is their private business, and they've kept it that way.
She also redid the Rachmaninov Trio for Tim Goebel in 2004, though she used an orchestral version and didn't add music from the 3rd Piano Concerto. It was still a little odd...
I've been thinking of starting a "New CDs for Lori Nichol" charity event. Any interest in participating?
I am still confused about what you're trying to say since Lori has done several programs for Mao. It's true that Lori's programs haven't been all that original post-Kwan. You can also see that in a lot of Mirai's programs as well. They are nice and fun but don't reach any great heights.
I think Yukina Ota, as talented as she was, benefitted greatly from Dickson's choreography. In my opinion, he is one of the best yet underrated choreographers. He really knows how to highlight the particular strengths of a skater.
May be I don't see 'Lori' in Mao's programs (other than Nocturne and may be Liebestraum; I don't know of others) or may be I have not kept track of Mao's choreographers. Her programs have not impressed me in recent years. It's possible that she needs a different choreographer.
Totally agree. It takes an incredible skater to pull off his choreography, however. This http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzYhGRjWXPM is an absolute masterpiece in my opinion.
All the people in the know say it had to do with money and Frank's percentage of Michelle's earnings. This is why they've kept it private.
i agree with you that choreographers can truly help a skater, but dickson's more recent program did nothing for caroline zhang (although his earlier program for her--spanish gypsy (06-07?) was widely praised.
in the mao forum there's been discussion about how much credit or blame a choreographer should receive. some say if only mao landed her jumps, you'd see how great the choreography she received from tat was.
i don't think it's that simple--though the people who pan morozov's choreography for miki might say something like, look what consistently landing jumps can do for a program with basically sucky COP smart choreography--look at that PCS!
i happen to think it was both dickson and yukina--i've seen his geisha program for liza t (future russian super star) --along with his work for zhang--and i was underwhelmed. i believe a choreographer can do a lot, but the skater must have something special to contribute too--both must contribute enough to achieve something like, oh, critical mass someone said dickson did masterful programs for matt savoie--i need to really look at those programs, increase the number of dickson programs i get to watch. sad to say i was not impressed with dickson's tango de roxanne program for yeonah kim that everybody else in the world loves, even though i also like YNK.
anyway, just as it was both yukina and dickson, it was both michelle and lori--but more michelle than lori. with other choreographers--even bezic--michelle could have blossomed--it may not have taken place in the 95-96 season necessarily, but i saw a real gift for musical interpretation even in song of india and other very early MK programs (yeah, yeah, lori had her hand in those too, but i don't recall anybody hailing MK's artistry back in those pony-tailed days
anyway, i don't think michelle needed lori to 'bring out' her artistry--she needed the schtick--the thick make-up and the biblical theme--something dramatic, like a knock on the judges' heads so that they wouldn't see her as mere child anymore. however, i am NOT--repeat--NOT--a fan of the accelerated path michelle, frank, and lori embarked upon. i am an MK fan through and through, but i wanted lu chen to win in 1996 and i still prefer that program to MK's salome to this day, extra triple jump though MK threw in.
i rambled again *slaps head* as for lori's greatness today, i'll consider her 'great' again when she creates something on the order of sale and pelletier's 'la vie en rose.' i adore mao's liebestraum program, but it too, has a slight musty odor, reminiscent of caroline zhang's nutcracker atrocity.
I've heard those supposedly strong stories and also the theory that Michelle simply wanted more control over her own life and skating (as in having a life around skating), but who knows what really happened? There are many "in the know" rumors; I won't believe anything until I hear it from Frank and Michelle, and that ain't happening. And at this point, who really needs to know? Michelle is a legend in the sport and a very happy woman in her new work, Frank finally has his OGM and is continuing on happily coaching, life is good for both of them.
Well, then you were talking to people that don't know much. American coaches don't charge that way. The only places that do that are places like Eastern European Countries and China, where the coach is basically a foster parent.
It couldn't happen to a more deserving pair, IMO.
I always blamed that awful boyfriend. He was a convenient target.
The fact that they get together for a birthday dinner each yr and have remained friendly is a credit to both of them.
That should settle the questions about Frank and Michelle's relationship.
Never mind that I (and many others) saw Frank enthusiastically applauding Michelle's performances at Nationals.
I admire both of them very much.
If you look at her results from the fall of '98 through the split, she seemed to be getting off to a slower and slower start with each successive season. Whether it was the alleged injury or motivational issues, who knows. But her record against Slutskaya in 2000 had to scare her. I think the only programs she won were the LPs at 2000 and 2001 worlds. Maybe there were a few others, but Slute seemed to have the upper hand.
I agree with you, not only about Michelle, but also about Kurt Browning. They stand out, for me, as two wonderful skaters who skated brilliantly choreographed programs, but never won the OGM. Michelle, however, skated really well in the matchup with Tara, whereas Kurt fell. In both cases, thought, it just broke my heart that neither of them won.
I think it's sad that Michelle had the break up with Frank before SLC, because it seemed to affect her performance adversely. Also, I think most of us will agree that Lori Nichol, for better or worse, would have designed something more swoon worthy than Scheherezade.
So, there was something going on there, a story that has never been told. Michelle can say it was a personal, private decision that should remain forever secret, but reasonable people can agree that it was also a public story that people could learn from. It might be a cautionary tale for future stars facing the Olympic pressure.
Michelle is on one hand very considerate and high class. On the other, she is guarded and diplomatic about everything. I believe she chooses not to tarnish herself or Frank, because it might hurt her brand or cause Frank pain (or hurt Frank/Lori's brand). She should be respected for this.
Still, there is a story there that remains unknown. Who knows if it is a story that would benefit other skaters or the USFSA?
Personally, I think Salome is a masterpiece, and I don't know what it has to do with SLC.
Sorry, I edited it to be Scheherezade. Salome is a materpiece!
The original question, was it Michelle or Lori, I think it was ultimately Michelle. In the fluff piece on Salome, Michelle says that Lori told her to do what the music moved her to do & that Lori found many moves that she used in the final choreography. And if you look at Winter which she chor'd herself you can see Michelle's creativity.
I think some choreographers stifled Michelle's creativity (Sara - Sheharazade) & some brought it out (Phillip Mills - Hands). I think the programs which used long edge moves as a highlight were all Michelle.
But Sarah did Fields of Gold. I think it was the pressure of competition - of OLYMPIC competition - that kept Schez from coming together as a program.
From all of '99 on, Michelle's long programs took longer and longer to come together. So the way Schez looked at GWG '01 wasn't indiciative that Michelle's creativity was stifled.
Off-topic: Someone finally put up a video of Michelle's One More Time exhibition:
The youtube police took off the previous video.
Thanks so much for this. I don't think I've ever seen this exhibition! It was beautiful!
Thanks for the "one More Time" it was beautiful. Haven't seen it in years....but WOW
Thank you. Watching this video it is no wonder that Michelle is known as the "Kween". Loved it!
Meh. The Lori-Frank-Michelle split is one of the biggest mysteries in U.S. skating lore, even 10 years later. Its safe to say they all kept it classy unlike certain other splits in recent memory.
I'll always remember him as the d-bag who fought Mario Lemieux.