Great programs that were overshadowed

Marco

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14,617
The iconic program thread got me thinking, there are so many terrific programs out there that fans might not have immediately given recognition for a variety of reasons -

  • the skater had other more conventionally iconic programs
  • the skater's immediate competitor had more conventionally iconic programs that season
  • the skater had an off season and never skated it well
  • the skater changed program mid-season and didn't skate it much
  • the music itself is more associated with another skater
  • the program is associated with defeat, etc...

but these programs deserve credit too!

For me, Maria Butyrskaya's Fever comes to mind. It's beautifully choreographed and she skated it wonderfully at the Olympics - but everyone just associates her with Scene D'Amour and Otonal.

Everyone sees Lu Chen's iconic program as Rach #2, but Spring Breeze has a very special place in my heart. Same with Lark Ascending for Yuna Kim.

For 1998, everyone remembers Michelle Kwan's Rach #3, but Nicole Bobek's Zorba the Greek was also wonderful - absolutely in love with the explosive step sequence.

Shizuka Arakawa's signature program is Turandot, its 2004 version won Worlds and its 2006 version won the Olympics - but for me the best rendition was the original version of Turandot in 2001-2 which unfortunately she didn't get to skate at Worlds and the Olympics with.

Michelle Kwan's Miraculous Mandarin and Rush programs were wonderful and so different for her, yet she opted against them and went back to safer options in 2001.

As far as war horses go, I really, really love Eric Millot's and Michael Weiss' versions of Carmen and Alexei Urmanov's version of Swan Lake.

Let's give these overshadowed programs a shout out!
 

Spun Silver

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11,594
I think of Tatsuki Machida's Inheritor, a 5-minute exhibition program he did soon after his unexpected retirement. It is almost as demanding as a competitive program, and both technically and artistically stunning, to me. But it seemed that few other than Japanese fans ever saw it. At the time he posted a rather remarkable reflection on his website on the theme of the piece, but I can't find it now. IIRC it had to do with his sense of being not just an individual but a participant in the living tradition of skating. https://youtu.be/S1AGU202VYk

I also think of Mao Asada's Ritual Fire Dance in her last competitive half-season, where she used different versions of the same piece (one for solo piano, one for full orchestra) for both her short and her long programs. Unfortunately she was struggling with an overuse injury of one of her knees, which limited her practice, which in turn led to jump errors, which in turn led skating fans to pretty much write her off. In fact she did retire in the middle of the season and we never got to see those programs done perfectly. A pity, because they are the kind of artistically mature, grown-womanly programs that we don't see as much these days. Her EX that year was also amazing in a completely different vein (the baroque). It is like Machida's in far transcending the exhibition genre, and in being essentially a reflection on the tradition and art of skating.
SP: https://youtu.be/Ul-uR0oWjZ0
FS: https://youtu.be/mIYJIRsN4eo
EX: https://youtu.be/HbhxrlLBNCQ
 

Miki89

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163
I absolutely love Lu Chen's Spring Breeze! My favorite Lulu program is The Last Emperor. I find it far more intricate and intriguing than her Rach II program. It is curiously underrated considering she won her only world title with that program.

Michelle Kwan's Dream of Desdemona is one of her best. I think it's underrated because she never skated it clean at a major competition.

Another program that I think isn't talked about more is G & G's Barber of Seville SP. The opening choreography and their costumes were perfection. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9_ngEk7Crg

Mao's Ritual Fire Dance programs are absolutely stunning. I think the LP is her best ever in terms of choreography and expression. Before Chopin's Ballade became Hanyu's signature program, Mao did an exquisite exhibition to Ballade, which, in my opinion, is still the best interpretation of the music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPqHSdHEQZ0

I also want to give a shout out to her Clair de Lune SP, which I think was overshadowed because it was performed during the same season as Yuna's Danse Macabre and it was an inconsistent one for Mao. I think it is also underrated by fans because of similarities to the first Nocturne, which is unfortunate because I think it is one of the best interpretations of that popular piece. Most skaters treat the piece as simply sweet and romantic, but there is a lot of melancholy and yearning in Debussy's melodies and Mao was one of the few skaters who were able to capture that feeling.
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
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Michelle Kwan's Dream of Desdemona is one of her best. I think it's underrated because she never skated it clean at a major competition.
. . . and the most noted time Michelle did skate it clean


it was against the only skater that could make it look ordinary, Kristi Yamaguchi.


. . . Michelle suggests, after her marks, that she might have to throw in a quad to beat Kristi :D
 
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Wyliefan

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I mentioned Ashley Wagner's La La Land in the signature program thread as a "might have been." I'll mention it here too, because in reality it never got the chance to be a signature program.
 

Miki89

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163

Miki89

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163
I always think of Michelle and Katia Gordeeva as counter examples to the argument that older skaters are more mature and thus better artists. I think a skater can definitely improve their artistry with age, but there are those that were always artistic and then there are some who will never be artists regardless of age.
 

Marco

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14,617
Michelle Kwan's Dream of Desdemona is one of her best. I think it's underrated because she never skated it clean at a major competition.
Wasn't it clean at Nationals? This is the program she debuted her signature spiral. I didn't include it in my original post because I feel like this program has definitely gotten its due credit over the years.
 

bardtoob

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Wasn't it clean at Nationals? This is the program she debuted her signature spiral. I didn't include it in my original post because I feel like this program has definitely gotten its due credit over the years.
Kwan had a poor landing on the 2A. That was the year she was skating with the messed up boot. The blade was noticably tilted.
 
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Rock2

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My posting name is partially inspired by two of these:

Chen 1996 worlds LP and M/D, 1994 Olympic LP

Le sigh.
 

gk_891

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4,203
I thought Usova & Zhulin had a fantastic rhumba OD in 1994. It got overshadowed by Torvill & Dean's OD that year though.

There was a lot of talk about the Shibutani's FD in 2016 and how great it was (and it was fantastic). But their SD got overlooked that year IMO and I thought it was also excellent.
 

bardtoob

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Surya's 1998 Olympic Caravan SP was overshadowed by the backflip in the LP.
 

Marco

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14,617
Sarah Hughes - everyone focused on her 2002 win, but IMO her best programs were really her 2003 ones, even though her form and jumps had regressed by then due to injury. They were mature and detailed and would have been quite nice to watch if she had skated them during her peak form.
 

misskarne

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19,639
Joshua's Schindler's List. Not only was it overshadowed by Lipnitskaya's program the same season (which I 100% disagree with and not just because I'm a Josh fan), but it later was then overshadowed by his Give Me Love SP which got much more attention the following season.
 

Skibean

Member
Messages
48
Sarah Hughes - everyone focused on her 2002 win, but IMO her best programs were really her 2003 ones, even though her form and jumps had regressed by then due to injury. They were mature and detailed and would have been quite nice to watch if she had skated them during her peak form.
Sarah was injured in 2003? I don’t recall hearing of an injury. I remember re getting a ton of backlash for showing up unprepared and our of shape. An injury would explain that. How unfortunate
 

gk_891

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4,203
With all eyes on the top 3 couples at the 1991 Worlds, I thought Grishuk & Platov's Blues OD got overshadowed. I actually think it's some of their best work together.

Anissina & Peizerat have had so many wonderful free dances. Their 1997 free dance to Ahla Leila was given the thumbs down that season and they barely hung onto 5th place at Worlds. But when I rewatched it recently, I was shocked at how much better I like it now compared to back then. I thought it was very ambitious. I actually would've place them second at Worlds ahead of K&O.

In 1992, Moniotte & Lavanchy were pretty new to the scene and so they didn't have a hefty reputation just yet. But I thought their polka OD was outstanding. But they were way down in the standings instead. I would've placed them in 3rd behind K&P and G&P for this OD.

Out of all the free dances that Pechalat & Bourzat did, my personal favourite is the one they did in 2008. But I don't think it's as well known as their other programs, especially ones they did while medal contenders.
 

Angela-Fan

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Messages
2,326
The iconic program thread got me thinking, there are so many terrific programs out there that fans might not have immediately given recognition for a variety of reasons -

  • the skater had other more conventionally iconic programs
  • the skater's immediate competitor had more conventionally iconic programs that season
  • the skater had an off season and never skated it well
  • the skater changed program mid-season and didn't skate it much
  • the music itself is more associated with another skater
  • the program is associated with defeat, etc...

but these programs deserve credit too!

For me, Maria Butyrskaya's Fever comes to mind. It's beautifully choreographed and she skated it wonderfully at the Olympics - but everyone just associates her with Scene D'Amour and Otonal.

Everyone sees Lu Chen's iconic program as Rach #2, but Spring Breeze has a very special place in my heart. Same with Lark Ascending for Yuna Kim.

For 1998, everyone remembers Michelle Kwan's Rach #3, but Nicole Bobek's Zorba the Greek was also wonderful - absolutely in love with the explosive step sequence.

Shizuka Arakawa's signature program is Turandot, its 2004 version won Worlds and its 2006 version won the Olympics - but for me the best rendition was the original version of Turandot in 2001-2 which unfortunately she didn't get to skate at Worlds and the Olympics with.

Michelle Kwan's Miraculous Mandarin and Rush programs were wonderful and so different for her, yet she opted against them and went back to safer options in 2001.

As far as war horses go, I really, really love Eric Millot's and Michael Weiss' versions of Carmen and Alexei Urmanov's version of Swan Lake.

Let's give these overshadowed programs a shout out!
Micheal Weiss's Carmen is one of my favorite programs! 😃
 

Angela-Fan

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,326
Sarah Hughes - everyone focused on her 2002 win, but IMO her best programs were really her 2003 ones, even though her form and jumps had regressed by then due to injury. They were mature and detailed and would have been quite nice to watch if she had skated them during her peak form.
I liked these programs the most out of all her programs. I particularly liked the style of her short program. I know people didn't like Robin, but I thought she was a pretty good choreographer.
 

Weve3

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,996
Surya's 1998 Olympic Caravan SP was overshadowed by the backflip in the LP.
Bless her heart! :lol: I don’t know what I appreciated more — Surya upstaging herself or the double-barrel (sticking it to the judges) middle finger backflip. Oh, Sassy Surya. 😁

ETA: I think Scott Hamilton secretly admired Surya for doing that. I sure did. :D
 
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Marco

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14,617
Also - Carolina's Afternoon of a Faun - both in its 2011 version or its 2018 reincarnated version - were overshadowed because she was not contending for a title in those seasons. I came across it yesterday on YouTube and found it beautiful.
 

thunderbolts

New Member
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10
That performance was sublime and costume was perfect! :love: I was never much of a fan of Kristi, so I would not agree.😏
The only thing that annoyed me about Kristi was her tiny jumps. Her skating was very strong in every other department, not super innovative or spectacular, but objectively very strong in every other department, and super consistent, but those teeny jumps. Michele didn't exactly have big jumps either, but they were adequate height. Kristi made Tara Lipinski look like a big jumper. I never got why the judges didn't care about her tiny jumps when marking her technically. It was not like she had flawless technique outside of the lack of height, a bad flutz, and a lean on some of her jumps. Even the rare times when she made 2 or 3 huge errors she would gets 5.7s and 5.8s technically which combined with her usual all 5.9s artistically made her still almost unbeatable. Like her 92 Olympic LP where she made 2 or 3 major errors if I recall, and even with the tiny jumps and rare huge errors still got 5.7s and 5.8s technically and all 5.9s artistically. All but ensuring her the gold medal, especialy with Midori and Tonya down in 4th and 6th after the short where they fell.

Was never a Nancy fan, but she atleast had much bigger and better quality jumps than Kristi which judges never rewarded her for. And the super obvious Tonya and Midori.
 

VGThuy

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31,971
I think a lot of Kristi’s tech marks came from having a well-balanced program with the triples spread out including a lutz at the end, having IJS-like transitions in the beginning age of triple dominated programs where choreography was becoming emptier, and having features in her spins like catching her foot during the layback. They were probably impressed that she was doing a 3lutz/3toe combo and attempting a 7 triple program which would become a Kwan standard that skaters had trouble hitting for a decade. When you have Tonya doing sloppy forward crossovers as her main competiton, what Kristi was doing stood out. However, Tonya would have a moment or two of doing a good MITF where she would show a deep edge.
 

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