Jeffrey Buttle's Ararat free skate

Hindernisse

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,504
Hi everyone,

I would like to pick FSU's brain again, if you don't mind. Do we know how Jeffrey choose the soundtrack of Ararat to be his free skate in 2007/2008? Did he ever speak about it then? I couldn't find anything online, so I even tried contacting Jeffrey directly via DMs or email, but he never honoured me with an answer.

I am an Armenian, I understand the topic very well, I watched Atom Egoyan's film. But I would like to know what thought Jeffrey and David Wilson put into the program and what they were trying to portray with it.

I always found it an interesting coincidence, that Rafael Arutyunyan was one of his coaches that season. Is it a coincidence or was there a connection?

All these questions occupy my mind for a couple of years already, so if anyone here knows anything, I would be very interested to hear. Thanks!
 

Aaron MB Fan

Well-Known Member
Messages
898
Unfortunately, I don't know the answers to any of your questions. But just wanted to say how much I LOVED this program and his performance at Worlds!!! One of my all-time fave moments in Canadian Figure Skating history. Despite all the success Jeff had in his career, many of them came with less than perfect performances, so I was thrilled he could have a Paul Wylie type skate and moment to win Gold :)
 

BittyBug

Disgusted
Messages
26,808
I don't have any information to share but his performance of this program when he won worlds is one of my favorite men's free skates. There were so many intricate details in this program, but one of my favorites is the choreographic step sequence at the beginning of the program with the knee slide before knee slides were a thing, so beautifully timed to the music.

And LOL at the US commentators thinking that it wouldn't place first when it was obvious from watching the program that he was masterfully maximizing his score under IJS.

 

JasperBoy

Stayin inside
Messages
4,754
I loved watching this video. Caught glimpses of myself in the audience and was taken back to that wonderful performance.
I believe that Jeff was the first skater to fully understand the new COP and to use it to his advantage.
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
Messages
37,872
But Buttle's PCS, including his SS, were lower than Joubert's :mitchell: (As freaking if.)

But his TES was over 10 points higher, 50/50 base and GOE. Buttle didn't have a single -GOE score.

I was so lucky to be there. I even skipped the opera in their cool boat opera house near the water, to see the Victory Ceremony.
 

skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,685
Hi everyone,

I would like to pick FSU's brain again, if you don't mind. Do we know how Jeffrey choose the soundtrack of Ararat to be his free skate in 2007/2008? Did he ever speak about it then? I couldn't find anything online, so I even tried contacting Jeffrey directly via DMs or email, but he never honoured me with an answer.
I'm not sure if Jeff found the music, or whether his choreographer David Wilson did.
I am an Armenian, I understand the topic very well, I watched Atom Egoyan's film. But I would like to know what thought Jeffrey and David Wilson put into the program and what they were trying to portray with it.

I always found it an interesting coincidence, that Rafael Arutyunyan was one of his coaches that season. Is it a coincidence or was there a connection?
I believe that Jeff said that Arutyunyan's heritage was a factor in him choosing the piece, but I can't find the interview so that's from memory so take that for what it's worth.
 

Aaron MB Fan

Well-Known Member
Messages
898
Had to re-watch this again, gosh I absolutely love this program. Buttle was so perfect for IJS and almost before his time in his ability to master and maximize it. Landing that first lutz after his struggles with it that season always gets me :wuzrobbed (in a good way) every time!
 

marbri

Hey, Kool-Aid!
Messages
16,591
That video doesn't even do justice to how fantastic that performance was in the arena. I swear my hands were numb from clapping and was on my feet without even realising it at the end. But I was behind the judges so you won't see me in those crowd shots :)
 

caseyedwards

Well-Known Member
Messages
22,397
Hi everyone,

I would like to pick FSU's brain again, if you don't mind. Do we know how Jeffrey choose the soundtrack of Ararat to be his free skate in 2007/2008? Did he ever speak about it then? I couldn't find anything online, so I even tried contacting Jeffrey directly via DMs or email, but he never honoured me with an answer.

I am an Armenian, I understand the topic very well, I watched Atom Egoyan's film. But I would like to know what thought Jeffrey and David Wilson put into the program and what they were trying to portray with it.

I always found it an interesting coincidence, that Rafael Arutyunyan was one of his coaches that season. Is it a coincidence or was there a connection?

All these questions occupy my mind for a couple of years already, so if anyone here knows anything, I would be very interested
Hi everyone,

I would like to pick FSU's brain again, if you don't mind. Do we know how Jeffrey choose the soundtrack of Ararat to be his free skate in 2007/2008? Did he ever speak about it then? I couldn't find anything online, so I even tried contacting Jeffrey directly via DMs or email, but he never honoured me with an answer.

I am an Armenian, I understand the topic very well, I watched Atom Egoyan's film. But I would like to know what thought Jeffrey and David Wilson put into the program and what they were trying to portray with it.

I always found it an interesting coincidence, that Rafael Arutyunyan was one of his coaches that season. Is it a coincidence or was there a connection?

All these questions occupy my mind for a couple of years already, so if anyone here knows anything, I would be very interested to hear. Thanks!
This has some answers

Saw movie on tv
Loved the music
Knew artunian was Armenian
Said why not skate to Armenian music with Armenian coach

Atom egoyan who directed Ararat probably top 5 Canadian directors
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
Messages
36,033
Skate Canada held its test camp in Vancouver in 2007. A bunch of FSUers got together and went to watch - I don't know if it was officially open to the public, but we went anyway :lol: Some people took video on their cellphones and posted it on YouTube, and the next day, word got around that if anyone posted any video online, we would all be BANNED. No one did, but I think since then SC has made sure that spectators are not allowed into test camp.

Anyway, my point in telling this story is that Jeff did the Ararat program at that test camp, and opinions were really divided. Some people thought the music was too unusual and didn't understand what he was trying to do with the program, and some people thought it was one of the best programs they'd ever seen. I was in the latter group and I gave him a solitary standing O at the end of his performance.

I couldn't find the video of Ararat at that event, but here's the video of his SP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkmQGU5CqJQ
 
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Alilou

Ubercavorter
Messages
7,347
Skate Canada held its test camp in Vancouver in 2007. A bunch of FSUers got together and went to watch - I don't know if it was officially open to the public, but we went anyway :lol: Some people took video on their cellphones and posted it on YouTube, and the next day, word got around that if anyone posted any video online, we would all be BANNED. No one did, but I think since then SC has made sure that spectators are not allowed into test camp.

Anyway, my point in telling this story is that Jeff did the Ararat program at that test camp, and opinions were really divided. Some people thought the music was too unusual and didn't understand what he was trying to do with the program, and some people thought it was one of the best programs they'd ever seen. I was in the latter group and I gave him a solitary standing O at the end of his performance.

I couldn't find the video of Ararat at that event, but here's the video of his SP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkmQGU5CqJQ
I was sitting at that test camp with a fellow FSUer (who no longer posts). It was she who made and posted the video. It was of V&M's Umbrellas of Cherbourg - a glorious spin right in front of us. I have no idea how it happened, how he found me, or why me, but Mike Slipchuck called me at home that night to ask about it. :eek: Sadly it was the last time they ever allowed the public into High Performance camp :(

@Hindernisse why don't you try contacting David Wilson? Perhaps he can help you in your quest.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
Messages
36,033
I was sitting at that test camp with a fellow FSUer (who no longer posts). It was she who made and posted the video. It was of V&M's Umbrellas of Cherbourg - a glorious spin right in front of us. I have no idea how it happened, how he found me, or why me, but Mike Slipchuck called me at home that night to ask about it. :eek: Sadly it was the last time they ever allowed the public into High Performance camp :(

@Hindernisse why don't you try contacting David Wilson? Perhaps he can help you in your quest.

Here's the video, complete with FSUer commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6KDQxY3RH0
 

Hindernisse

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,504
Thank you everyone for all your contributions to this thread! I am happy it brought so many positive memories for you.

In recent years, I have re-watched that performance from Worlds numerous times, each time bringing back the bright memories from the arena back then, and appreciating nuances in the choreography. I'm with @BittyBug about the choreo sequence with a slide move, each time I see it to that beautiful music, it gives me goosebumps. Together with the fact of the program on that topic winning Worlds with an impeccable performance by an extremely talented skater. Something completely unique. I feel privileged that I had a chance to witness that moment.

Thanks @Alilou for the idea to contact David Wilson. I'll give it a try.
 

honey

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,295
I’ve always really liked this particular skate from 2007 nationals as well. He’d been out with injury for the first half of the year and I don’t think people were expecting much. Even though he’s huffing and puffing by the end, it’s magic. The 3A was a beauty too.

https://youtu.be/XkMuWhsvBbg?si=RZFcKqRJu2niW-qK

And LOL at the videos from camp. How could anyone at SC have been that shocked that people took videos and posted them when they opened their camp to the public?! They told people to come. And then acted surprised when people did and wanted to share what they saw :lol: . I’d also forgotten about V/M and the scarf LOL. Love the idea of the ISU being like “you know what ice dance needs this season? props!!!”

https://youtu.be/8J08kJmWyYo?si=o1V18NawM51UxGu2
 
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overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
Messages
36,033
OMG it still exists. I had no idea. Were you sitting with us? Had we already met by then? It was Lady Nit that made the vid.

Yes, we had - I think I was sitting further down the same row as you, with another FSUer who also took some videos. I'm pretty sure she took one of Ararat and put it on YouTube, because I made a brief cameo appearance at the start :lol: but I don't see it on YT now.
 

BittyBug

Disgusted
Messages
26,808
I’ve always really liked this particular skate from 2007 nationals as well. He’d been out with injury for the first half of the year and I don’t think people were expecting much. Even though he’s huffing and puffing by the end, it’s magic. The 3A was a beauty too.

https://youtu.be/XkMuWhsvBbg?si=RZFcKqRJu2niW-qK
Thank you for posting this. It's interesting to compare the changes that he made to the program (and his costume) for Worlds.
 

nylynnr

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,104
Hi everyone,

I would like to pick FSU's brain again, if you don't mind. Do we know how Jeffrey choose the soundtrack of Ararat to be his free skate in 2007/2008? Did he ever speak about it then? I couldn't find anything online, so I even tried contacting Jeffrey directly via DMs or email, but he never honoured me with an answer.

I am an Armenian, I understand the topic very well, I watched Atom Egoyan's film. But I would like to know what thought Jeffrey and David Wilson put into the program and what they were trying to portray with it.

I always found it an interesting coincidence, that Rafael Arutyunyan was one of his coaches that season. Is it a coincidence or was there a connection?

All these questions occupy my mind for a couple of years already, so if anyone here knows anything, I would be very interested to hear. Thanks!
My recollection is that Jeff saw the film on Canadian TV, was attracted to the music and brought the idea to David Wilson. I believe he consulted with an Armenian expert on the steps sequence and the costume, so a great deal of research was applied. I don't think Raf was instrumental in choosing the music. Jeff said several times, however, that the selection was especially fitting, because Raf was one of his coaches.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
Messages
36,033
@honey I think SC got huffy about the YouTube videos because none of the programs at the camp had been done in competition yet. So the reason they gave for the threats was that they didn't want rival coaches or skaters or federations to see the programs and steal ideas from them. I mean, :skandal could have walked in off the street, just like we did, but whatever.
 

Skate Talker

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,146
@Hindernisse - Jeff's program was how I actually learned of the Armenian genocide.

Great Memories of 2008. I always loved Buttle from the first time I saw him skate. Even back before the COP system came in I was really attracted to his complete use of the music and his unique spins. Ararat was such a perfect program to showcase his talents, so dramatic and emotional. 2008 Worlds was indeed his "Paul Wylie" moment. (I was also a real Paul Wylie fan back in his amateur days too.)

I had unwittingly committed to taking my mother to visit my sister for 2 weeks half-way across the country, including during all of 2008 Worlds. My mom really loved skating, like me, but my sister did not nor was she even happy having a television on in those days so I was in great despair over missing both Jeff and Virtue/Moir in particular. After we saw in the newspaper that Jeff was in the led after the short program, my sister relented for my mother's sake and "allowed" us to watch his free program live on a little 18 inch tube tv at her cabin. Wow did Jeff ever make it worth the effort. I did later manage to get my hands on a recording of both programs and can't even count how many times I watched them.
 

LilJen

Reaching out with my hand sensitively
Messages
13,119
Skate Canada held its test camp in Vancouver in 2007. A bunch of FSUers got together and went to watch - I don't know if it was officially open to the public, but we went anyway :lol: Some people took video on their cellphones and posted it on YouTube, and the next day, word got around that if anyone posted any video online, we would all be BANNED. No one did, but I think since then SC has made sure that spectators are not allowed into test camp.

Anyway, my point in telling this story is that Jeff did the Ararat program at that test camp, and opinions were really divided. Some people thought the music was too unusual and didn't understand what he was trying to do with the program, and some people thought it was one of the best programs they'd ever seen. I was in the latter group and I gave him a solitary standing O at the end of his performance.

I couldn't find the video of Ararat at that event, but here's the video of his SP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkmQGU5CqJQ
That SP makes me nostalgic for steps into the solo jump 😢

Count me in as another who LOVED Jeff’s Ararat program. I was thrilled for his world title.
 

coppertop1

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,970
It's really nice to see Jeffrey Buttle get recognized. He's overlooked and underrated. No, he wasn't the dominant skater of his time like Elvis or Patrick but that doesn't make him less woryhy. I loved his beautiful skating. I was thrilled when he won Worlds, and now he's an amazing choreographer.
 

Former Lurve Goddess

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,804
Speaking of Buttle, is there any video footage of his LP to the Elgar Cello Concerto? I don't think he ever skated well but it was a cool program.
 

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