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Thread: LADIES Free from TV

  1. #31
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rgirl
    But by now we know I could ride the subway naked if I was having a bad "remember clothes?" day.

    Rgirl
    When that day comes, make sure you let us know!! I bet men will be tossing you millions of shiny fake bead strings!!

    Hey, we're all partners learning about this new system. I know it's not perfect, and like any other sport involving referees, I'm sure every call is not a good call. I just like having some way to try to make sense (or not) of the outcome. The old system always left me totally ????? about why a 5.8 for one skater, and a 5.7 for another.

    Long after this competition is past, if you asked me to pick one program to watch again it would more likely be Sasha's or Shiz's if I could only pick one, but probably not be Mao's. But I can see how she won the day from a competitive standpoint.

    DG

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggygirl
    :
    Long after this competition is past, if you asked me to pick one program to watch again it would more likely be Sasha's or Shiz's if I could only pick one, but probably not be Mao's. But I can see how she won the day from a competitive standpoint.

    DG
    Well...i guess I was feeling similiarly just a moment ago in the Mao thread...

    I think Sasha's performance was really great and given her silver (as opposed to gold) and some of the commentary I read prior to watching last night, I must say I was surprised by how good her program was. Yes she has errors to work on, and after Rgirls explanations of edges and extension, I doubt we will ever see deeper edges on her spirals (or maybe only a little deeper), but I don't think I want her to NOT extend, it is beautiful, imo, and like the commentators, I realized yesterday that I missed it. I have to say also that I think Sasha is more expressive in this program than I have seen her (or more than usual), and while she still punches out her elements and doesn't 'dance (gently/sublty) to the music' (to my eyes), i like how it works in this LP. The only thing I don't like about this LP, I mean really don't like, is the ending spins....the first of the two seems like it should end the program, but then, the music just keepssssssssssssss going with that - to me - un-nerving crescendo (like, will it end, when will it end, will SHE end with it on time????) and second spin that includes a terribly slow bielman. I would just LOVE to see that little part of the program and music changed.

    Someone in some thread mentioned Marton's version of Romeo and Juliet, and I will just say I like it a lot too...

    I don't know where/how I would place Sasha versus Shiz....I haven't looked at the scores yet, but I'll say that I think they look very closely (but differently) matched to me. If Shiz returns to the triple triple, and/or the triple triple double, then I think Sasha will really need to dig deep to find some more points...but I need to look at the scores to know that; but I do think Shiz has a really good program, and think she can only improve it from here. Joanie and her scores always confuse me a bit...i think her program is really really great; I think Joe said somewhere that she will have to skate totally clean to get it recognized though and I suspect he is quite right. I don't intuitively understand why Rochete is scored soooo differently from Shiz, but the great thing about NJS is when I have time, I can compare the scores and figure it out (like DG i love that, unlike DG it will likely be next season when I get to it).

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rgirl
    Personally, I love Johnny Weir's skating "unto himself" as Dick Button calls it. Watching someone genuinely and deeply involved in the Zen of his or her skating is very compelling to me. Of course I enjoy the uninhibited playfulness of a Mao Asada. But I enjoy just as much and often more the lively depth of Sasha Cohen; the regal lyricism of Michelle Kwan; the powerful life force of Irina Slutskaya; the quiet power of Shizuka Arakawa, who is a completely different person and skater than she was just three years ago. I could go on and on.
    Go on and on! Say one about Fumie!!

    I know just what you mean about Johnny Weir. He does not invite you into his inner world, but he still casts a spell that you can't tear away from. (Especially his Unchained Melody exhibition last year. That's the one he should do in the Marshalls thing coming up.)

    MM

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    However, this "R/J" performance was anything but aloof, remote, or robotic. I could feel Sasha's heart beating with "Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou?" through the entire program. I've also been fortunate enough to see Sasha compete live. It was the '03 Campbell's at Madison Square Garden, which usually fully deserves the name "cheesefest" by every skater's moldy performance. But at this Campbell's, Sasha debuted Tarasova's black and white "Swan Lake." New York City gets almost no competitions--venues too expensive--so the Garden was packed. I'd say Sasha blew the roof off at best and at worst gave a stunning, dramatic, heartfelt performance.

    Joe and Nymkfan were also there, and I'd be interested in hearing their reactions, positive or negative.
    Rgirl - Yes, yes, her black and white swan at the Garden was superb and I even wrote it on a thread that it was her year. And it was all through that season until the Free skate in Dortmund. No one mentioned about my remark in her Moscow Free where I said she showed a sense of warmth. She actually put a little something into the pas de deux from Nutcracker. She also got excellent PCS scores. So I was not surprised that her Roti R&J showed some feelings, and I was very pleased to see it. She has become a mature skater.

    She has also become, unfortunately, overly cautious in the technical (not unlike Kwan in Nagano) The spins are slower, the jumps are not so solid, there is no attempt at a 3x3 (needs that for gold because the tech scores flow into the pcs scores) but these she can work on for the future. The program as it is works.

    She was up against a little tyke who like Tara skated on a sugar rush and it just wins the heart of the spectators and I guess the judges too. But she doesn't have her at the Olys but she will have Irina and that's another story.

    I think she impressed the judges with this one GP skate to remember her at the Olys. This is in her favor.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller
    Funny how ESPN failed to mention that Sasha's free program was deemed THIRD best (behind Arakawa's)
    IMO relative to Cohen's PCS, Arakawa wuz robbed.

    Mao has great ice coverage, depth of edges and stroking efficiency, her basic skating reminds me of Fumie. IMO, Cohen always look much better on TV. I have seen both Cohen and Fumie skating live in the same competition, and Fumie's edges, speed and ability to sail through the ice is very pleasant to watch, after all ice skating is about edges and speed across the ice.

    In terms of Cohen's music interpretation, IMO, Sasha's way of presenting has always been about Cohen and not the music. edited to add: IMO Cohen's presentation has always been Cohen first, music second.

    I speculate if Kimmie delivers the same program. the commentators will not cry Sasha WUZ robbed. I disagree with Wylie that there is a budding rivalry between Mao and Kimmie, so far Mao beat Kimmie everytime they met. I do hope the Japanese federation will not go forward with the ridiculous idea of arguing for Mao to go to the Olys. Mao needs to stay away from the spotlight and train like hell for her overall packaging. Sigh.. somehow the packaging thing seems not to be as important to Japanese skaters. They all want to be like Midori ito, that is why landing that triple axel is so important to them, although under COP a triple/doubld/double combination will give more points. Mao wants to land a quad loop in 2010, good for her, she should keep on practicing, but that is high risk low reward, even men skaters are not doing quads like they used to. Besides, all the attention to jumps give the commentators and press the opportunity to call her a jumping bean which is a very unfair characterization of Mao, a complete skater overall. If she trains to repackage herself she will be able to win some easier points in the PCS department , just look at how Cohen is rewarded so much largely due to her flexibililty since she was 15. Was Cohen as mature as Angela Nicodinov when they were competing for an olympic spot in 2002? ( Mao definitely has huge flexibility potential).
    Last edited by gezando; 11-30-2005 at 01:08 AM.

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    In terms of Cohen's music interpretation, IMO, Sasha's way of presenting has always been about Cohen and not the music.

    That statement is very interesting.. I have to agree, but you can also take out Sasha's name in that sentence and replace it with Irina's or Michelle's.. I think they are all great skaters don't get me wrong. Although, they are going to be remembered for their own special style/moves no matter what music they are skating too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by equestrianguy
    In terms of Cohen's music interpretation, IMO, Sasha's way of presenting has always been about Cohen and not the music.

    That statement is very interesting.. I have to agree, but you can also take out Sasha's name in that sentence and replace it with Irina's or Michelle's.. I think they are all great skaters don't get me wrong. Although, they are going to be remembered for their own special style/moves no matter what music they are skating too...
    Well, when Michelle skates, I get the feeling that she truly is trying to put the music first, and Michelle second, e.g. Lyra Angelica by Alwyn, MK was trying to understand what the music is all about, her interpretation is not about Michelle, it is about Alwyn's harp concerto. Whether Mk is 100% on target in skating to the essence of Lyra Angelica is a different issue. It is more difficult for me to talk about Irina's interpretation, but to me, her presentation is not about Irina either. Irina's way of presenting IMO at times is competition first, music second, and Irina third.

    And of course ITA, Mk and IS will be remember for their own style and moves no matter what music they are skating to.
    Last edited by gezando; 11-29-2005 at 07:58 PM.

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    Reading this thread makes me wonder if I was watching some other competition.

    Shizuka is the only lady that IMO was robbed. Her strength, flow, speed, power and control was the best of anyone there. Her PCS should have been the highest.

    Mao's PCS were fine. She covers the ice really well, has good edges, flow. The best thing about her skating is the breezy quality that she has. An ease of movement that is very pleasing. She meets every single requirement for high PCS marks, so her score is fair.

    Sasha. I just don't get the "wuz robbed". She was slow, landed only one or two jumps solidly, her power and edges aren't at the level of Joannie or Shiz. Her PCS were generous. Having nice line and carriage is only one part of the equation. The choreo is much improved from Campbells, but nothing special. I've seen Sasha live at Nats and have come away completely unimpressed. TV does Sasha a lot of favors. I read enough live reports from TEB and almost all felt the result were fair.

    BTW, Sasha and Shiz's spirals are designed to be L4, but they're not holding some of those positions long enough. In order for a spiral to count it needs to be held 3 seconds, if it's held for less it doesn't count at all. Sasha didn't hold her Charlotte, and the first part of the COE long enough. Shiz's fan spiral was also not held long enough.

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    Sasha and Shizuka

    Well. I have seen Sasha at Nationals live also and come away very impressed. This was one performance that Sasha was into the music and it showed, and it is telling that so many of us could see the difference this time. She connected to the music. She went for the triple-double-double combination and landed it. Her foot work was lovely. The split was awesome as usual. The spiral section gorgeous and there were nice additions to the choreography. Shizuka was wonderful also but in a different way. Her deep edges, soft landings on her jumps, nice spiral and great speed were stunning. She interpreted the music beautifully. She is a skater's skater. But Sasha's performance, even with the fall, was the mesemrizing one of the night. I re-played it over and over I was so impressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdreampixie

    Shizuka is the only lady that IMO was robbed. Her strength, flow, speed, power and control was the best of anyone there. Her PCS should have been the highest.
    ITA, and especially relatively to Cohen, I think Arakawa wuz robbed.

    Mao's PCS were fine. She covers the ice really well, has good edges, flow. The best thing about her skating is the breezy quality that she has. An ease of movement that is very pleasing. She meets every single requirement for high underPCS marks, so her score is fair.
    I agree about her breezy quality. I imagine she will develop into an ethereal style. I think if she keeps on working on her basic skating skills she may approach Katia like speed, stroking efficiency, and speed soon. I disagree with Suzie that Mao's skating "lack maturity" and many people complain that Mao look juniorish, she is only 15, so she looks young, but her skating is not juniorish at all. I don't think maturity is a criteria set the the ISU rules committee either

    . I've seen Sasha live at Nats and have come away completely unimpressed. TV does Sasha a lot of favors. I read enough live reports from TEB and almost all felt the result were fair.
    According to people who were there Mao received the biggest ovation. Cohen's speed is the worst among the top skaters minus Cupcake, IMO Miki and Mao easily out speed her. I watched Cohen in live competition a few times, and her lack of speed is frustrating. In the footwork section, Cohen's feet are busy and quick, but all the quickness does not translate to speed (velocity across the ice). If you watch the footwork work of e.g. Maneochenko (spelling) Irina, or Yuka Sato ., all these ladies don't have busy quickness, but with one move of the blade they travel huge distance.
    Last edited by gezando; 11-29-2005 at 10:05 PM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gezando
    Well, when Michelle skates, I get the feeling that she truly is trying to put the music first, and Michelle second, e.g. Lyra Angelica by Alwyn, MK was trying to understand what the music is all about, her interpretation is not about Michelle, it is about Alwyn's harp concerto. Whether Mk is 100% on target in skating to the essence of Lyra Angelica is a different issue. It is more difficult for me to talk about Irina's interpretation, but to me, her presentation is not about Irina either. Irina's way of presenting IMO at times is competition first, music second, and Irina third.
    Well stated. And thanks for the thoughtful analysis of Mao's programs. This is the most interesting thread we've had in the GP folder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gezando
    In terms of Cohen's music interpretation, IMO, Sasha's way of presenting has always been about Cohen and not the music. edited to add: IMO Cohen's presentation has always been Cohen first, music second.
    Yes! That is exactly what bugs me about her choreography, but I couldn't figure exactly how to word it. You certainly hit the nail on the head.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwanford Wife
    :banging:

    Are you seriously serious? Disagreeing with a judging outcome isn't boo hooing... Just like being contrary for the sake of being contrary isn't always a good thing...
    A little of both. Just saying it was refreshing to see

    I don't have time now to watch her performance, so I refrain from commenting on the performance itself until I see it.

    But "disagreeing with a judging outcome" has been dubbed "wuz-robbing" by internet skating fans. And that's what people are doing here re. Sasha. That's what I meant.

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    I feel the top four ladies are all great, and in a way they all should be paced first or fourth. Mao has the triple axel, but her long program isn't that exciting as her short.
    She looked tired, and skating was a little sloppy. Sasha did much better job than her short. She did not play safe as she did with her short. I guess she fell on her last jump because everything went so well and she was too confident and relaxed about the jump. Arakawa made a lot of improvement since the beginning of the season. She is in the best shape than ever. Joannie has strong performance. Her strong back and arms give her a lot of power and confidence to execute each jump. I feel strong upper body is great for skaters as long as it does not affect the agility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Rgirl - Yes, yes, her black and white swan at the Garden was superb and I even wrote it on a thread that it was her year. And it was all through that season until the Free skate in Dortmund. No one mentioned about my remark in her Moscow Free where I said she showed a sense of warmth. She actually put a little something into the pas de deux from Nutcracker. She also got excellent PCS scores. So I was not surprised that her Roti R&J showed some feelings, and I was very pleased to see it. She has become a mature skater.

    She has also become, unfortunately, overly cautious in the technical (not unlike Kwan in Nagano) The spins are slower, the jumps are not so solid, there is no attempt at a 3x3 (needs that for gold because the tech scores flow into the pcs scores) but these she can work on for the future. The program as it is works.

    She was up against a little tyke who like Tara skated on a sugar rush and it just wins the heart of the spectators and I guess the judges too. But she doesn't have her at the Olys but she will have Irina and that's another story.

    I think she impressed the judges with this one GP skate to remember her at the Olys. This is in her favor.
    Joe, thanks for responding. There's nothing like feeling the connection live, or not feeling it, or pretending it's there when it isn't, or blocking it. So given the variety of opinions on this thread in multiple directions, how about we have a general "agree to disagree" among a number of parties on certain subjects just so we can get that out of the way.

    Anyway, I remember very clearly your talking about Sasha's QR and, among many things, expressing the warmth with which she skated it. The reason I remember is that you asked several times before the QR was televised, "Has the QR been televised? What did you all think of the difference between Sasha's QR and her LP? I thought she was much better in the QR," or words to that effect.

    So I was thinking, "Joe is anxious for us to see a Cohen performance for what sound like positive reasons? This I gotta see and report back!" As US figure skating TV is want to do, they showed Sasha's LP first (ehh) and her QR a week or 36 later. So when they finally showed Sasha's QR, I thought, "Well I'll be damned. Her QR and LP were very different performances! Too bad she didn't get it the LP, like it would have move her up, lol, but just from the POV of doing an excellent QR and an excellent LP, I think it would have been good for her confidence as well as her ability to know how to 'let go' of a program in order for her right brain kinesthetic feelings to take over rather than overthinking it."

    This is JMO because I don't know Cohen, and I hate to try to read what an elite movement performer is "thinking" about while performing, because the first thing one has to learn, from my experience, in order to skate, dance, play music, sing, etc. well, is to not think, at least not via higher brain functions. Anyway, IMO, I think what may give some people, who I don't know either so same story, the idea is that Sasha thinks of Sasha first and music second may be because I get the feeling she tends to be overanalytical and, in an odd way, fearful.

    In dance, it's very common to give the crit, "Get out of your head!" Of course you can't, but the purpose is to get away from thinking, "Lift leg, arch back, releve, turn" as if you're reading yourself a set of instructions. It's why the idea of muscle memory is so important. Of course muscles can't remember by themselves; they need the neuromuscular connection to the brain.

    Anybody who has ever driven the same route every day for years probably knows the feeling of last remember passing the Dunkin Donuts and not "being awake," no literally, but not being conscious until you're at another landmark you know is some 20 minutes away from the Dunkin Donuts. No sirens, so you rest assured you didn't plow into anything or anyone, but that 20 minutes of Zen driving is a rough analogy to someone who'd mastered muscle memory in performance.

    Again, JMO, but I think Sasha has had a problem especially since 2002 of "thinking too much," not about herself per se, unless you count thinking about the choreography and technique "thinking about herself." From experience, it's very scary to "let go of higher brained thinking" while skating. You think you're doing the right thing, concentrating. In fact, concentrating on doing the "right moves or doing the technique right" is a sure path to disaster.

    Example, before a performance in NY, the woman, AG, was there who had (a) specialized in performing and teaching the dances of Isadora Duncan and who (b) had set some of Duncan's pieces on our company. The words "deceptively simple" were never so appropriate. In my case, one piece just involved rising to my toes, then scooping down and up across the diagonal. It was to Chopin's "Little Prelude," played quite slowly so you'd have time to do the rising, stretching, scooping down and up while running, then pausing, all with the impetus for the movement coming from the breath. The other dance, also a Chopin Prelude, was entitled "Water Study." I was supposed to be the human emodiment of water. Ta da.

    Anyway, I'd been performing these on tour for about six months since AG had set the pieces on us. What a piece of work. When the director told me that the day before our opening night in NY she had arranged for AG to work with me on "Little Prelude" and "Water Study," first I tried the, "Are you sure that's a good idea?" approach because AG changed her mind ever time you did a section or the whole thing about what it should be. Imagine a woman--gorgeous long gray hair and in great shape for 50-something--with a screeching voice and New Yawk accent screaming, "NO NO NO!!!" and then screaming her way through the way you should be doing it--that minute. I must have learned 60 versions of each piece, one piece an hour.

    When AG first set it, the screaming, you know, just comes with the territory. Plus without the time constrainst of two hours, AG could afford to occasionally give positive reinforcement, lol. But the point about having what we all knew was NOT the kind of person you let work with you after the piece had been set, for better or worse, in your brain, your muscles, your soul, the day before a performance.

    I seriously, and I mean dead seriously, considered not showing up for the rehearsal and lying that my subway was delayed or something--that's how bad I knew this was going to be. And it was. "NO NO NO!!!" for two solid hours. I'd completely lost my connection to my center and felt as if I wasn't even connected to the floor, much less down into it.

    Although I tried to get "my" version back as soon as AG left, the damage had been done. All your movement neuronal synapses get screwed up no matter how hard you try to put AG's "NO NO NOs" out of your mind or how hard you say to yourself, "Screw you, AG!" or no matter what I tried, including just doing it over and over until I couldn't think.

    The point is, our director and AG had drilled those solos into the higher functions of my brain--precisely where they don't belong. If I'd had a bigger ego or sense of "I'm right, go to he!! Director and AG!" I would have been much better off. With that attitude, I would have gone through the motions of her "rehearsal," nodded my head, etc., but tuned it out for my own good. But Idiot Rgirl thought, "Maybe this is an opportunity to deepen it."

    End of story: Anna K-of-D (Joe, you know who) singled me out as dancing those pieces in such a scattered, uncentered way, she could barely stand to watch them. I totally agreed with her. I could barely stand to do them because that's just how the felt.

    Relation to Sasha or any skater who looks as if s/he is thinking about "looking good" or "pretty" or just themselves and all eyes in the audience on her, and only relating to the music in the most superficial way and certainly secondarily or tertiarily to "ME...and my medal!": Those things may be what the skater is thinking or they may be the last things the skater is thinking. A skater may be TOO comitted to the choreography and not thinking about him/herself enough. After all, it is only via the person that skating happens. The music is not primary. The skater and the music are co-equals.

    Also, it's a dance between the skater's kinesthetic brain, the music, and deeply embedded technique. In order to have a great performance, all three must interact on an equal basis. If the skater thinks about the music first, the power of the individual gets diluted and if something unexpected happens, a rut in the ice, a costume problem, the skater can be so "into" the music/choreography that, in the case of a rut, she can't react in a nanosecond to save herself. In the case of a boob falling out of costume--not that we'd notice on Sasha, lol--the skater literally might not know it. Believe me, I've seen it happen on a skater where you definitely noticed. Provided a whole new rhythm section.

    I'm joshing, but it's all true. As I said, who knows what goes through Sasha's or anybody's mind while they're skating their competitive SP or LP. But I've seen some people use such discussions to intimate that Skater A is so egotistical and superficial that no matter what they skate, all they think about is "Me, me, me!" I say, "What an egotistical and superficial thing to say about someone you don't know?" Seriously, some fans will never like certain skaters and in fact will hate them to such an incredible degree that it's hard to believe the poster is an adult, or especially a skater. Just to be clear, I'm not thinking about anyone on GS. I'm thinking of someone who was banned quite some time ago.

    Sorry, Joe, I digressed. The main point I wanted to make about your reports from Worlds in '04 and '05 is how being there, watching the practices, and watching all three rounds of competition--I realize, of course, that you were only able to do all this for just one discipline due to time and $$$--enabled you to see different qualities in different skaters depending on how much pressure was on. For example, with Irina's confidence, IIRC, she kind of sailed through the QR, but threw in enough stuff to let everybody know who was in charge on the ice. In the '05 LP, Irina was in the zone before she ever set foot on the ice and that, especially after her post-win interview when she said things like, "I do 3/3 and it feel so good I just do another one before I even know I am doing it" and "I start doing final spin and then I remember I forget to do whole footwork circle. Where my mind is at, I don't know because I am having so much good times."

    If Sasha and a lot of other skaters could learn how to skate "Where my mind is at, I don't know because I am having so much good times," I think so many of them would astound not only the audience but themselves. Of course, it's only taken Irina about 10 years of constant performing and competition to learn it--and that's fast!

    Last word about Mao: As I said, I think she's great, but she's great the way most child prodigies or actors are. They're still at the level where skating and most activities are mostly play, especially performing. Not that they're goofing off, not at all. It's just that they don't know what's at stake yet, not really. Their parents and coaches can hammer it into their heads how important it is, but their brains are still naturally attuned to make things into play. Hence the beautiful sense of wonder in Asada's performances. If she hits the 3Axel, great. If she doesn't, it's forgotten because, after all, she's still playing!

    I had a friend who was a child prodigy at the piano. As an adult, he also had a serious mental illness. No connection between the two as far as any of his doctors said. But because of him and the dance stuff, I knew a lot of people in the symphony. The only reason I bring this up was because the whole situation with child prodigies and how so few of them not only didn't make it as performing musicians, but also how so many of them growing up to have nothing to do with music at all. Those of you in music surely know there are tons of research done on child prodigies in music, but what these people all said was, "It was as if one day I had two nervous systems. A regular everyday one and one that could pick up Franz Liszt by heart in an hour. Then when I started getting further into puberty, I swear, I could feel my musical nervous system gradually (some said suddenly) fade away. After that, I couln't have cared less if I ever touched the piano and to this day (20 years later) it's never come back. Not with trying very hard, not by ignoring it, not even a little. I realized I didn't even like piano music," which I would hear Glenn Gould say later when I saw the film "Thirty-two Short Films on Glenn Gould."

    JMO--and a few things I remember as facts.

    Rgirl

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