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Thread: Scheherazade

  1. #16
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    I loved Schez it is one of my favorites. The music was great and I think that MK interpreted the music very well.

  2. #17
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    MKFSfan, it is very big of you to re-view MK's performance and try to see it in another light. That is really going the extra mile.

    I do that to some extent with the criticisms of Sasha but it is not an enjoyable process (though it may bring increased objectivity). And I don't think you'll find me granting that her critics may have a point.

    You're a better woman than I am, Gunga Din!

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver
    MKFSfan, it is very big of you to re-view MK's performance and try to see it in another light. That is really going the extra mile.

    I do that to some extent with the criticisms of Sasha but it is not an enjoyable process (though it may bring increased objectivity). And I don't think you'll find me granting that her critics may have a point.

    You're a better woman than I am, Gunga Din!
    Why thank you! I guess because I realize noone is perfect, not even the Kween! And she does have many more almost perfect programs, so if one is not up to par...ah, well! I was really curious why this one seems to be on the "To Hate" list, right along with Bolero (which I get because the music is monotoned and very associated with a famous dance pair for obvious reasons!), but unlike Bolero, I thought Michelle DID "finish" Schez.

    I do review some of Sasha's programs. I'll admit it's more when people cry "wuz robbed!" in 2000, 2002, and 2004 Nationals. And I like rewatching some of her exhibitions!

  4. #19
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver
    This makes it sound as if there can't be any legitimate reasons not to be a Kwan fan.
    That was not the intent of my statement. It is fact that most figure skating fans have favorites and definitely one in particular. When a fan prefers someone other than Kwan or some other skater, then that's what makes the sport interesting when exchanges of views take place. (Soogar's impressions of Kwan are valid because she doesn't get into trite remarks.)

    If you had been reading this forum during the About.com era you might understand how the Tara/Michelle remarks went and those same fans went on with Irina/Michelle and continued with Sasha/Michelle. that is what I am talking about when I say ignore them. They are the same as in 1998. But occasionally, you are correct, a new member who comes along who can genuinely compare and contrast MK and whomever. That is not only interesting but could be an eye opener for the MK fan.

    I will admit that many MK fans during those periods gave bitter retorts which just flamed the fire.

    There is no reason not to be a fan of anyone. My good feelings about Lambiel have been kicked around by posters who do not see the great skater he is that I see. I don't like to read other fans not liking Lambiel or finding faults with his jumps, and will retort but I do want to avoid the trite remarks.

    Joe

  5. #20
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    If I understand, you are distinguishing between acceptable "retorts" - justifiably annoyed responses to criticism of one's favorite(s)? - and unacceptable or at least undesirable "trite" remarks. I am not sure what you are calling trite. Please clarify! Thanks.

  6. #21
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    You got it, SS, I looked up trite and it is a variation of undesireable in the sense of bad taste.

    Joe

  7. #22
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Still not sure I get it. You're saying it's fine to argue somewhat snappishly, with style and panache, in defense of one's beloved (to use the Platonic term), but not to do so in a way that is tasteless, unimaginative, and obvious?

    Or are you ruling out dull, obvious posts at all times?

    I'm not sure I can live up to either standard!

    This is an interesting board. Sure is different from some others I am not supposed to name!

  8. #23
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver
    Still not sure I get it. You're saying it's fine to argue somewhat snappishly, with style and panache, in defense of one's beloved (to use the Platonic term), but not to do so in a way that is tasteless, unimaginative, and obvious?

    Or are you ruling out dull, obvious posts at all times?

    I'm not sure I can live up to either standard!

    This is an interesting board. Sure is different from some others I am not supposed to name!
    Golden Skate, imo does cover a lot of territory despite the Kwan/Cohen gushes.

    I don't see anything terribly wrong with a poster who wishes to emphasize what is perceived as faults. It's his/her opinion. But what I would consider in bad taste is that the poster would not be able to see anything positive in that skatter, and constantly present the perceived faults. That much negativity gets boring after a while and I believe their is hidden personality defects in the poster to put so much emotion on a skater that they never met. Skaters are human beings, too. Somewhat similarly I find gushing of the same skater boring. We're talking top figure skaters and since we have never attained such a mearure of success should we as laymen, critique them with knowledge or just distaste?

    I rule out dull boring posts mentally. Some posters I can tell what the gist is just by reading the first sentence. I just look for infractions of the GS rules.

    Joe

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKFSfan
    I guess, had you said you didn't feel Michelle connected or understood Schez, I would understand better, but to say Michelle is not musical when you know everyone who likes her likes that very thing about her, well, how can it not be insulting?
    Well I wonder why people think Michelle is so musical. Michelle's programs pretty much are geared toward landing her jumps. Now I know all skaters create programs for their jumps; but I feel that in Michelle's case, it is all about the jumps. I watched her live on COI this year and she did a program with a lot of choreography because she couldn't do jumps. While I know she is injured, it wasn't the execution of the choreographic elements that was lacking, but rather that they were just elements in themselves and did not relate to the music. That's why I don't really care for Michelle's skating. Now Sasha has her own formulaic movements in terms of her spirals and Russian split jumps but her movements go with the music. The Russian jumps goes with punctuation of the music; her hand movements are timed with the music; her toes and extension seem to follow the crest of the music. I understand that there are only so many movements a skater can do, but some skaters seem to skate to their music a lot better than others. Like Lambiel verses Plushenko.

    Fans may love Michelle for her consistency and constant presence on the competitive circuit; they may love her because she always looks happy skating out there; they may even love her because she always wins; but she is not a musical skater and never will be. She just executes what she is told and she does it well enough to land the all important jumps.

  10. #25
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    OK, Joe. Thanks. Now I'm clear. Repetitive, one-note gushes or pans are dull for others to read. Makes sense.

  11. #26
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    MK fans disagree with you, soogar (and so do I) because Michelle DOES offer more than just programs geared to jumps. Without going into specific detail, I have noticed in all her programs certain arm, hand moves to naunces of music, or a leg kick to this or that, and I always felt Michelle's COE spiral (as was before COP changes) was so well timed to a certain spot in the music. I love some of her head tilts that probably were not as much choreographed, but she subconciously placed due to hearing the music in her head. She is among the best in basic edges/stroking among eligibles, and I love watching her FW in that aspect. These things do come out more in exhibitions when jumps are not the empahsis-A Song for You and Fields of Gold stands out the most to me in this aspect. There is more to choreography then pointed toes or split jumps. Her movements/positions in Rach, The Feeling Begins and Lyra, IMO, show Michelle's musicality best. Or the start to the footwork in Aranjuez, to the end pose. Wow, gives me chills thinking of it. It was more than just her joy or passion for skating, it made me feel how the music swells and goes to the choreo. (rather than how the choreo was timed to the music!). I will agree that the past few years have seen Michelle more concerned with increasing speed, the jumps and improving her footwork. But to say she lacks what's made her so great as an artist is stretching it quite a bit.

    I think it's easier to see a skater being musical when they choose soft ballets or piano pieces or when a skater is so flexible they resemble a ballerina. But a skater can still be musical with more passionate, dramatic music, and does not need to have perfect extensions to do so, either. The Red Violin, IMO, was one of the best Michelle programs-it combined her technical and artistic ability. Wasn't very easy! Bolero never was "finished" for me, but look at her FW, the emoting was great with the music, the opening part, too, showed musicality, and I feel Michelle didn't fully grasp that piece of music.

    I feel that Sasha is musical, too, and I think she works best with familiarity, in her comfort zone, kinda. Mal was amazing the 2nd time around. She's used music from Dark Eyes and R&J a lot, and even if the cuts differ, the theme stays the same, so rather than explore new pieces, I feel she grows more with the familarity of her character (if that makes any sense!). They are different , yet I feel both are artistic and musical. I

    As long as I am on this topic-NNN and Oksana are the 2 skaters I think of 1st when I hear "musicality". I never liked many of Oksana's skates, but I have to say all her Swan theme programs are good-just like I said with Sasha, she has that role down pat. I don't find it boring when she reuses, I think it's nice to see her different takes on the same theme.

    Anyway, I don't think everyone has to love the same skaters, but I do think saying one of the greatest artists around has no understanding of the music/doesn't feel the music she has portrayed over 10 years is rather insulting.
    Last edited by MKFSfan; 06-02-2006 at 01:56 PM.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by soogar
    Well I wonder why people think Michelle is so musical. Michelle's programs pretty much are geared toward landing her jumps. Now I know all skaters create programs for their jumps; but I feel that in Michelle's case, it is all about the jumps. I watched her live on COI this year and she did a program with a lot of choreography because she couldn't do jumps. While I know she is injured, it wasn't the execution of the choreographic elements that was lacking, but rather that they were just elements in themselves and did not relate to the music. That's why I don't really care for Michelle's skating. Now Sasha has her own formulaic movements in terms of her spirals and Russian split jumps but her movements go with the music. The Russian jumps goes with punctuation of the music; her hand movements are timed with the music; her toes and extension seem to follow the crest of the music. I understand that there are only so many movements a skater can do, but some skaters seem to skate to their music a lot better than others. Like Lambiel verses Plushenko.

    Fans may love Michelle for her consistency and constant presence on the competitive circuit; they may love her because she always looks happy skating out there; they may even love her because she always wins; but she is not a musical skater and never will be. She just executes what she is told and she does it well enough to land the all important jumps.
    I have to disagree with this assessment of Michelle. Certainly she makes sure that she lands the jumps, but it does not mean she has no musicality. I don't feel she is as natural as e.g. Oksana Baiul, but she has really matured in her musical interpretation. The only program I don't care for is Bolero, where she appeared almost mechanical, but almost all her programs show great sensitivity to the music she is skating to. They are finesse type things and not a 'look at me' type flexibility-showcasing moves. For example, her COE spiral is very expressive. She is right on the music when she does the falling leaf, which is very difficult to do with the music.

    Having said that, I am one of those who felt that Scheherazade was not as good a program for Michelle as many of her other programs. That is only relatively speaking though. Michelle had said that she wanted to interpret a character, but I wish she had just focused on interpreting the music. I loved her interpretation of Aranjuez and Tosca, so this is not just a case of 'missing Lori Nichols'. I truly wish that she had stayed with the Frank-Carroll & Loir Nichols team in the 2002 season. Scheherazade made her just a bit beatable.

    Vash

  13. #28
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    Vash-you said it very well. I feel I get too defensive, but your post is great! Love this part:

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    but almost all her programs show great sensitivity to the music she is skating to. They are finesse type things and not a 'look at me' type flexibility-showcasing moves. For example, her COE spiral is very expressive. She is right on the music when she does the falling leaf, which is very difficult to do with the music.

  14. #29
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Soogar - I can't help but disagree with your saying Michelle is not musical. Before the injuries she was definitely with the tempo of the music constantly. Check out your tape on 2003 Worlds, and this was not Lori Nichols.

    Sticking your leg up in the air to the swells of music does not make one musical, and it is quite easy to do. Nutcracker pas de deux is full of swells but where does the tempo change? (Much prefer two skaters relating to each other for Nutcracker - makes sense.) I'm not impressed with a solo skater Pretty much Rota's music is the same having only one theme without variation and tempo Prokofiev is much better but difficult for a skater.. . Any skater whose biggest trick is to show flexibility (nothing to do with blade to ice) is not necessarily a musical skater including MK.

    Joe

  15. #30
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    I actually recall hearing it was Carroll who picked the music. If Michelle is not musical, Why do people get so emotional while watching her skate?

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