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Thread: Shen & Zhao replies to advice and critisim on their blog

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    Shen & Zhao replies to advice and critisim on their blog

    I believe Shen & Zhao's long program this season is wonderful. They published a detailed 'transcript' of how they interret their story in each move of this program. It is basically a story to recall their skating career, the struggle, the defeat, the victory and their romantic relationship. It's difficult to translate this 'script', I am not even trying...

    After they published this script, Some fans have offered their 'amature' advice and critisim to Shen & Zhao's new program. Most of the advice probably is focused on telling them how to explore the story in more details and stuff like that. I guess Shen & Zhao are getting a bit frustrated after reading those comments so they updated the blog to try to 'educate' those armchair generals. I have translated their Dec 7 diary. It's fun to read, you can almost feel their frustration.


    Dec 7, 2006

    We like to update our blog on a regular basis because a lot of friends care about us and have offered a lot of advice. We’re very pleased to hear all kinds of advice and hopefully it will also help us perfect our new programs in this season.

    There’s plenty of good advice that we’d like to take, but unfortunately not every piece of advice can be adopted and we’d like to explain a bit more to all of you.

    Figure skating is a competitive sport and it is more than ballet dancing. There are 13 required elements in long program that have to be completed within 4min and 40 seconds. Within such short period of time, it is impossible to explore a story in comprehensive fashion. It is rare to be able to skate to a program choreographed with a full story line, let alone interpret the story in full detail. 4 min 40 second simply is not enough to do so. One important element for judges to mark a program is originality of the choreography. Sometimes, an original move is not as easy as it appears so on ice. For example, there’s a move in our long program that we initially go in opposite directions, but are pulled back by using both toes. This move is actually quite difficult to do. It needs excellent balance of strength to both toes. We have practiced a long time to master it.

    In order to achieve higher technical levels, a lot of elements such as spins, spirals and death spirals etc have to take up a large amount of time, especially spiral sequence, four different positions, each one has to last for at least 3 seconds, and transitional time should last less than 3 seconds. This alone will take up to 15-20 seconds in a program. SBS spin is the same. It consists of seven different changes, and all the changes have to be done in unison. This is not easy to do in 20 seconds. A well choreographed program needs to balance technical difficulty with a comprehensive story line with a theme. It requires original and high quality moves to differentiate yourself from competitors.

    Sometimes a move that appears so easy on ice is actually quite difficult to achieve. It needs a lot of practice, good balance, excellent stroke and speed to achieve the ideal effect across the ice surface. This is the biggest difference from theater ballet.
    Last edited by iloveaxel; 12-08-2006 at 09:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    I didn't know their LP was autobiographical but I thought it was exquisite.

    The "mirror" move they talk about in the LP is beautiful, and on the vid on youtube (from COC) it got a lot of applause. So it seems that at least some Chinese fans understood it was difficult as well as poetic.

    With regard to their last point, ballet is pretty darn hard too (while pretending to look easy) so I'm not sure I understand the comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    I didn't know their LP was autobiographical but I thought it was exquisite.

    The "mirror" move they talk about in the LP is beautiful, and on the vid on youtube (from COC) it got a lot of applause. So it seems that at least some Chinese fans understood it was difficult as well as poetic.

    With regard to their last point, ballet is pretty darn hard too (while pretending to look easy) so I'm not sure I understand the comparison.
    My translation is a bit off there. I guess some fans offered all sorts of 'advice' such as asking them to do certain ballet move. Zhao was trying to convey the message that some of the ballet move is impossible to be copied on ice.

    It's sort of 'autobiographical', definitely not the direct interpretation of the opera itself. Actually they provided a detailed 'transcript', but I'm not going to try to translate... That's why you actually saw Shen was smiling at certain point. Some Chinese fans criticise her smiling, saying it's superficial interpretation of this music...

    A lot of armchair generals, so funny.

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    Very interesting and offers more good insight into how this draconian CoP makes it almost impossible to be creative and artisitic. But the S&Z LP offers the best hope I've seen thus far that strong skating and a good choreographer CAN achieve a splendid result. I am looking forward to seeing it again at NHK.

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