Artistic programs - advice

overedge

G.O.A.T.
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I'm guessing you're doing this for a test and not for a competition ;) I haven't tested but I have competed in artistic/interpretive.

Choose a piece of music that you really like and that has some variety in it - not necessarily tempo, although that's good too, but in mood or dynamics. If you're editing a longer piece, make sure that the shorter piece sounds like a complete piece in itself, i.e. no unexpected changes that sound odd. If you're using music with lyrics, be sure that the vocals are clear, as in someone who hasn't heard the piece before being able to understand the words.

For the choreography, obviously it has to reflect the mood or story of the music. But think about variety in edges, turns, and direction, and also variety in levels - not just skating upright all the time, but reaching/leaning up, down, to the sides. Interesting body "shapes" (for lack of a better word) really work well. Good flow, speed, and ice coverage are things the judges look for as well. Even if you're skating to a slow piece, you can still move at a good pace while respecting the music.

A lot of adults do interpretive/artistic programs to GFBs (generic female ballads) or to an upbeat Top 40 hit, which I guess is OK if that's what floats your boat. But IMO the more interesting programs are the ones that push the skater to do something more challenging or unusual. Interpretive/artistic can be more than "my heart is broken" or "woo! let's party!"
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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As a judge who has judged plenty of artistic programs, what I want to be is entertained. I want to see the music used (not skated through) and a clear character. A way of looking at it is if you turn the music off, would you still have an idea of what the program is about.
 

The Accordion

Well-Known Member
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3,821
Thank you both! This is a collection advice that will very much help me get started!

One more question - what constitutes a creative spin? I’ve been doing mostly compulsory dances for many years and haven’t been keeping up my spins - so they’re going to take some work. 🥴

Oh - and yes - testing. I have found the 1 hour 15 session I am doing is too long to just work on my 2 dances and go through the elements I can still do in free skate!
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
Messages
29,819
Thank you both! This is a collection advice that will very much help me get started!

One more question - what constitutes a creative spin? I’ve been doing mostly compulsory dances for many years and haven’t been keeping up my spins - so they’re going to take some work. 🥴

Oh - and yes - testing. I have found the 1 hour 15 session I am doing is too long to just work on my 2 dances and go through the elements I can still do in free skate!

Skate Canada has videos linked on its website that show programs with the different elements, at gold, silver, and bronze levels. The link is on this page.

That same page also has the assessment standards. You have to be a Skate Canada member to download information from that page, but a number of Skate Canada sections have posted the standards online for anyone to access.

It looks like the choreographic spin has variations in arm and leg position, but the main criteria seem to be that it's centered and strong, and that it fits the character of the program. No minimum number of rotations in each position, or overall, that I can see.
 
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syzygy

Active Member
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167
Everyone here has touched on the basics with music, choreo, etc., so I'm not going to be redundant about that.

Expression is super important to really sell it, so here are some times I've learned from my time in Theater on Ice:
1. I know this sounds too easy or too good to be true, but a great way of upping your expression is just make eye contact. Make eye contact with judges and anyone else watching (this is more applicable in competitions).
2. Expression is not just your face. Reach through all your movements. Visualize energy in all your limbs.
3. Put lots of attention into level changes. Over-exaggerate them, they will look normal.
4. Smiling is not always appropriate; it's better to have a blank face than inappropriately smile.
5. Give the program a story with lots of emotion then express that emotion. It will look and feel more natural.
6. Ugly hands ruin an otherwise perfect performance. R E L A X.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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I will also add to the list

DO NOT LIP SYNCH!!!

Most judges I know hate it and it just gets lost in the movement. And it doesn't really add anything. You should be able to tell an effective story without resorting to mouthing the words.

The only exception I would make is something like a girl I saw who did the Book of Mormon and she was doing a door knocking move and then introducing herself using the soundtrack. She was facing the judges and audience too when she did it. But it was appropriate for what she was doing at the time.
 

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