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Thread: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review

  1. #16
    mathman444
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    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    Apache, I'm sure that Rgirl will respond in detail, but perhaps only by recapping the analysis she has already given.

    For me it's a lot easier -- What's so great about Michelle's Aranjuez? Just look at her, man!

    Mathman

  2. #17
    mpal2
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    Apache,

    I think people are responding to Michelle's 02/03 year because it is really her in charge now. Beware, some of the following could be considered "pshychoanalysis" because I have not proof and I don't know any of the parties involved, but this is really what I thought and wondered at the time.

    96 was the start of her greatness, but it was still Lori and Frank making a lot of the program choices. <em>(Edited: this sentence should say that in 96 they made all her music choices it was in 98 that they made most of them)</em> By 98, Lori had to convince her to use the Lyra? or Rach? music (I can't remember which right now, but Lori had specifically mentioned it in an interview). Michelle was starting to make her own decisions instead of just blindly going along with everything she was told. Lori and Frank were succeeding at creating a skater who could put all of herself into a program.

    By 00, Michelle was starting to get pulled in different directions and it was hard for her to get focused on the programs. She pulled out some great moments, but it didn't come together for her until the end of the season.

    By 2001, I had mentioned to my sisters that I thought Michelle needed to change coaches. I wasn't posting on any of the chat boards at that time so I think I missed out on some interesting discussions with people who actually followed the sport. I didn't start posting until after 2002 Nationals because of some MKF members that I met there.

    I got the general feeling that Song of the Black Swan and Scheherazade were not Michelles choices and she would have preferred something else. Frank and Lori were wonderful for her early on, but just from listening to interviews answers I felt that she wasn't getting as much say in her programs as she wanted. I always heard her give the generic "I love my music/program" answer, but I wondered if Frank was holding her back to a certain degree.

    He is a wonderful coach but I from what I've heard, Frank is the one in charge of the coach/student relationship and I think Michelle was starting to outgrow that. Frank and Lori had created a skater that could think for herself, then they didn't seem to let her do that. I know that Michelle has given Frank and Lori a great deal of respect and credit for what they gave to her skating, and I think that is one of the reasons why she may not have changed coaches sooner.

    I honestly wasn't surprised when she "fired" Frank. I was surprised that she didn't get another coach though.

    By 2003, Michelle is 100% in charge. Scott knows his role extremely well. Technical guidance with maybe a little bit of advice. The adult Michelle is in charge of her life now and I think it shows in every movement she makes. While she didn't choreograph both programs, I think she had a lot more to say about what went into them. The people around her these days are not telling her what to do, they are offering suggestions. She is picking and choosing as she sees fit. Also the maturity that comes with time is only enhancing her ability to pick the best for herself. IMO, her programs seem to fit better. I do confess that the "fit" of the music is a huge deal to me, just look at the music selection thread I started. :lol:

    Sorry for the psychobabble, but this is my humble opinion. Feel free to fire away if you disagree, I really do think I missed out on some great discussions by not posting on the internet until recently.

  3. #18
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    Apache - Aranjuez flows, flows, flows. She doesn't stop to do the next variation. She just keeps going! MK does have footwork in the routine which just kept flowing. This I believe is her strength over everyone and one forgets about the missing 3x3s except for fans of others.

    Joe

  4. #19
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    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    I agree with mpal and rgirl, 2002/2003 season's MK reached whole new level.

    To me I've always liked her skating, but it was 2002/2003 season she became her own artistry. I would say before this season watching her skating you always fell the chroegraph was there, she skated to the chroegraph and music. But this season oh god, she became the chroegraph and music on ice, every thing IS herown.

    I don't know what the termnoledge to use since im no expert. All I can put is that before this season, it was program (or chroegraph you would like) make her skating alive. But this season it was her skating make the program/chroegraph alive. (hope you get what I mean). The best example is Aranjues, with the simple chroegraph not as many in betweens as the program she used to skated, she is still able to draw you in.

    IMO, her 2003's SP/LP beat her 98's SP/LP. As the performance came more naturally to me in 2003.

  5. #20
    ApacheApache
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    Mathman, Joe and Mzheng, I actually do like Aranjuez a lot because like you say, it flows and I find it is full of excitement and emotions. I agree with a poster from MKF that if she wore red, it would make much more impact (I know wearing red for a Spanish theme is corny though).

    Being a non-musical person who knows nothing about choreography and artistry, I get influenced by some posters from other forums who suggest her Aranjuez LP lacks choreography. They suggest that if if were stripped of its jump content and footwork, it would be nothing but crossovers. Ok, I think I know what a crossover is.

    Mpal2, thanks. That's interesting and it makes sense. I have watched her clips (interviews and stuff) from the early years to present and I did find Frank authoritative, he was a great coach though. As for Scott, I can sense Michelle is very much in charge. He seems to be more like a partner in the team whereas Frank was the leader. I wasn't surprised Michelle parted with Frank, she has always appeared to be a very determined lady and she would have no hesitation in taking actions in her pursuit of "excellence". I don't mean it in a negative way, I think that's a very good attribute in a person. Well, her courage to go ahead for the senior test behind Frank's back at 12(?) was already indicative of what she was made of. I also agree that she had wanted to leave sooner but didn't do so. As a Chinese myself, I understand the emotional conflicts in her. Leaving Frank would mean betrayal, ungratefulness and lack of moral. We have been instilled in our minds since young that filial piety and respect for the elders is a must. Frank was a father to her.

    This isn't psychoanalysis, this is speculation.

    As for choreography and artistry, I just don't know the differences between her present and her past programs. Do you guys understand the concept of "using the whole body"? Do you guys spot the differences? Do you guys find her body movements are better? I don't and it's frustrating.:lol: Please share your thoughts. Thanks.

  6. #21
    emiC
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    Frank was not a father to Michelle, he was her coach, and nicely paid for his work. Michelle has her own father, his name is Danny. Frank and Michelle had a business relationship bound by a contract. Michelle and Frank part ways at the conclusion of their contract

    Frank and Michelle maintained their boundaries of coach / student, Frank comment on that many times, he is a coach not a parent . They never cross that boundary to father/ daughter. Michelle's father stayed up all night to fix her skates at worlds 2001, not Frank. Danny and Estella raised Michelle not Frank.

    PS Where do you get this idea that Frank was a father to Michelle? Reading Christine Brennan?


  7. #22
    Kay118
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    >PS Where do you get this idea that Frank was a father to Michelle? Reading Christine Brennan?>

    I'm sure Apach will answer this better but I don't think Apach meant Frank is a father for Michelle in the literal term. I was also raised in the Chinese culture. There is a famous saying in China: "Regard your teacher as your father even if he only teaches you for one day". That's how much respect you should have for your teachers. Frank taught Michelle for 10 years and that's probably Apach felt Frank was a father to Michelle.


  8. #23
    Kay118
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    >As for choreography and artistry, I just don't know the differences between her present and her past programs. Do you guys understand the concept of "using the whole body"? Do you guys spot the differences? Do you guys find her body movements are better? I don't and it's frustrating. Please share your thoughts. Thanks. >

    Apach you are not alone. I didn't see the improvement in her body movements either because I felt she used her whole body very well even years ago. That is actually her strength compared to Irina whose arm and upper body movements sometimes don't coordinate with the rest of her body.

    What was new last season from Michelle was the fire and joy that were missing from her for a few years. In addition, she was physically stronger which allowed her to devote much more energy into her presentation.

    I had lost interest in Michelle's skating since '98. I didn't think she pushed herself technically or artistically. I disliked most of the music she skated to. Her custumes were inter-changeable from program to program. Lori's choreography became stale. When I watch "This time around" and "Wonderful World", I thought she should fire Lori on the spot. The programs were so boring. It was a pain to watch.

    I wish she hooked up with Nikolai earlier. He has a different style from Lori. Lori is lyrical and sophisticated but Nikolai is intense and dynamic. The highlight of her program was the footwork. She put every bit of herself into the footwork section (that's probably what people meant by whole body movement) and I was moved to tears. She won me back as a fan.



  9. #24
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    Kay - You are absolutely right. Your style preference appears to be that of 'intense and dynamic'. I like that style too, although I prefer a more lyrical approach to figure skating. Unfortunately, I only get glimpses of lyrical skating, and the dynamic style, imo, has it's technical problems. Watch BeBe Liang in Nats, you will see the very dynamic and intense skater that she is. But will she splat?

    As for MK. The East of Eden lyricism together with the dynamic Aranjez has for me, just made her a Prima Skater Assoluta.

    Joe

  10. #25
    Kay118
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    Joe,

    East of Eden is one of my all time favorites as well. When I said I disliked most of the music Michelle skated to after 98, I didn't include East of Eden, which was originally picked out in 94. I loved her 99 World Pro performance. She was lyrical but had so much tension and passion. Absolutely wonderful!

    Yes I do enjoy intense and dynamic style. I like lyrical skaters too but only those who can demonstrate a range of emotions, eg. Lulu. I get tired of skaters who are super lyrical but only skate to "beautiful as a butterfly" kind of music, eg. Yuka Sato. I loved the joy in her skating, but it seems to be the only emotion she shows all these years. And it gets old for me.






  11. #26
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    Kay - We are in agreement. I see some lyrical skaters as beautifully lyrical but emotionally absent. What you call dynamic and intense I use the term bravura (it's used in ballet). The bravura skaters often are intent on their tricks and busy selling it to the audience (judges) rather than be emotionally involved in the music. But in both the lyrical and the bravura, there are the few who rise above the missing emotions, and Oh! the sport becomes an art, as well.

    Joe

  12. #27
    Kay118
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    ITA with you Joe.

  13. #28
    ApacheApache
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>
    emiC
    Frank was not a father to Michelle, he was her coach, and nicely paid for his work. Michelle has her own father, his name is Danny. Frank and Michelle had a business relationship bound by a contract. Michelle and Frank part ways at the conclusion of their contract

    Frank and Michelle maintained their boundaries of coach / student, Frank comment on that many times, he is a coach not a parent . They never cross that boundary to father/ daughter. Michelle's father stayed up all night to fix her skates at worlds 2001, not Frank. Danny and Estella raised Michelle not Frank.

    PS Where do you get this idea that Frank was a father to Michelle? Reading Christine Brennan?
    [/quote]

    As Kay118 has pointed out, I did mean "father" metaphorically and I sure think you thought so too in your response to my post. No, I hardly read Christine Brennan so I didn't get that idea from her.

    How do you know their relationship was purely contract-based? Aren't you speculating on your part too, you've suggested to people who speculate or psychoanalyze that they not do it and I understand why. However, you have to realize on every forum and every thread, there are speculations in one way or another, it's inevitable, so inevitable that even you do it without realising it.

    Kay118, such a shame you have lost interest in her skating since 98. It's after 98 that her programs have been getting better and more mature artistically (as ar as her fans are concerned, I don't know much about artistry but I think I could sense the increasing maturity in her artistic expressions as the years went by, I mean I'm not totally emotionally void as far as artistry is concerned:lol: ).

  14. #29
    emiC
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>so inevitable that even you do it without realising it. [/quote]

    There is no speculation. Frank has given workshops at PSA e.g. about a coach and a skater' s relationship is a business / professinal one, he is not (even metaphorically) the parent of a skater, a COACH.

    It is also a standard practice that coaches and skaters work out contracts, even lower tier skaters. For the top level skaters, coaches receive a % of their endorsement money.

  15. #30
    ApacheApache
    Guest

    Re: Michelle Kwan - Year in Review


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>
    he is not (even metaphorically) the parent of a skater, a COACH.
    [/quote]

    You can say it with such conviction, has Michelle or Frank for that matter, specifically mentioned that? Just because it's a standard practice that coaches are supposed to coach and receive fees for their services doesn't necessarily mean the relationship is always just purely working relationship. There are many cases in which the students regard their coaches as their second parent especially for a working relationship that lasts as long as Michelle-Frank partnership did. So you actually speculate based on your understanding or rather assumption that a coach-student relationship is always just that. I, on the other hand speculate based on my observation. I think that Michelle regarded Frank as a "father" to her but Frank might probably just regarrd her as a precious protege. Either one of us is wrong but no matter, it's a speculation. If you have read or heard one of them mention they were purely a coach-student relationship, then I agree you aren't speculating.

    Let's take this as a debate, no hard feelings, ok.

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