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Thread: The Script of Shen & Zhao's 'Meditation'

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    The Script of Shen & Zhao's 'Meditation'

    Paragon has translated the script of Shen & Zhao's 'Meditation'. I got the permission from Paragon to publish here. It's fun to read Shen&Zhao's own version of this music piece.

    The original post, in Chinese, can be found here:

    http://shenxuehongbo.blog.sohu.com/24091363.html

    I have opted for a very literal translation, rather than one that streamlines the translated text to sound better in colloquial English. In so doing, I hope to preserve full nuances of the original text.

    覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧

    Hongbo Zhao: in response to the request of online fans, I present this analysis of "Meditation" for your enjoyment

    As so many of our friends have demanded it, we are posting our program's musical breakdown and treatment. Of course, we didn't base the choreography on the original story from the opera, because only a few people have seen it, while most are more familiar with the music as something used to accompany memories and flashbacks in TV programs. We created this program with the latter sentiment in mind. We hope you like it!!!

    So much pain, so many tribulations. When they hold hands, it's a kind of a love, a kind of transcendental love!!!

    The clear and serene ice surface, feeling the hard road, wrapped in the "Meditation" musical piece, it instantly makes one weep. The indelible experiences of a lifetime ... figure skating.

    The first part:

    Choreography

    It starts with two people back to back in the sheer world of ice.

    They slowly glide backwards the search.

    In the instant they cross paths the boy discovers a pretty little girl,

    And from that moment, they searchingly guide their hands towards a gentle grasp, the two hold hands backwards while extending their arms fate almost let these two miss each other by a hair.

    The girl holds the boy's waist in an arabesque pose while gazing up at Hongbo, the boy opens his arms the girl admires and leans on the boy (as a little girl cuddling up to someone), and the boy treats the girl with gentle care.

    Holding both hands, the boy glides backwards while the girl glides forwards, then turn briefly into both gliding backwards he looks back at her, the girl fixes her gaze on him --- fate has set them on the hard road of their career.

    Accelerating forward into a 3toe/2toe boldly going forward, charging towards high difficulty

    Dance move, big one (in English, they call this a spread eagle) [translator note: the Chinese pictograms for "big one" visually approximates a spread eagle] linked into a double axel spreading wings and flying high

    Complex choregraphy linked into a throw twist both in shared pursuit. towards a lifetime of experience.

    Dance move spread eagle into a lift with a certain level of artistry and superior technical ability as the basis. the first ascendance in their career (a new stage) (1999 Grand Prix Finals)

    Directly into a spiral line (in English they call this a death spiral) with a hand change and a position change the emotional nadir, the struggle of the bitter pain inside, the cruelty of reality

    Right into the second part

    Dance move march into criss-crossing into a dance lift challenging oneself, digging back out of the pit, as the phoenix rising out of the ashes, receiving new life from pain, towards a new starting point

    Straight line footwork, forceful, body twisting, changing the upper body and turning the feet a desire to break out of artistic boundaries, to show oneself

    Expressive dance, leg hooking move the emotional line: the turbulence of fate subsides to let the two calm down and deeply feel something besides figure skating: love! The wisps of adoration and heaps of love given to the other person. Living through disasters together and relying on each other, an experience that ripens daily to push the two further along. What could possibly keep them apart? Even if her feelings mysteriously disappears, he will use the feeling of his whole body and soul to make her come back! Using even the strength of the tip of his toes he will hold the girl tightly in his embrace. Emphasize the depiction of emotions, the twists and turns, rise and fall, deeply moving.

    Holding both hands and gazing at each other with deep affection, glide into back to back throw jumps: throw 3 salchow - throw 3 loop two hearts as one, exceeding dreams, from victory to even greater victories

    A little dance lift between the two throw jumps the celebration after the victory, yearning for new victories, the boy admires and treasures the girl even more

    Spiral step sequence entering into a free world of figure skating and emotions, as two birds side by side in flight, tightly leaning on each other and connecting, hearts as free as the wind, thoroughly displaying the beauty of artistry and technical abilities, with infinite aspirations towards the future

    Turning into the pair spin while fully displaying the body language in the process two people carrying each other, never leaving nor forsaking the other, both striving

    Entering into the third part

    Glide out of the spin, the two passionately extending their arms while looking at each other, gliding into the third lift at full speed leaving their problems behind, creating glory anew with full confidence!

    Ending and concept: gliding on one knee, the girl's arms and gaze are directed far away, but the boy pulls her towards himself. The two deeply embrace the break after the victory, chatting about their deep appreciation for the riches figure skating gave them, their great love for figure skating and the process of arduously struggling half a lifetime before achieving glorious joy!!! A lifetime of using heartfelt romance to experiencing a career. Let time disappear as the music lingers!!! Even though the girl seems to want more, his mind has already wandered off towards the future while yearning for a new life. At this moment the girl, with deep appreciation, holds on tightly!!! "Xue Hongbo"

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    'Meditation'

    I found a better CCTV5 version of their GPF performance on youtube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py2cbRtvLpo

    Although it's debatable whether it's appropriate for them to completely ditch the original 'Meditation', it's fun to compare the script to their actual performance.

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    Wow, how cool! Thanks for the post. It really gives us something to look for.

    I wonder if any skater will ever attempt the real story of the Medtation of Thais. Thais, a "public sinner" (i.e., prostitute) was converted to Christianity by St. Paphnutius the Hermit. She was confined in a cell for three years to "meditate" upon the question of whether to reject her sinful life or go back into the world unrepentant and carry on as before.

    She chose to mend her ways and join a nunnery, but she died two weeks later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Wow, how cool! Thanks for the post. It really gives us something to look for.

    I wonder if any skater will ever attempt the real story of the Medtation of Thais. Thais, a "public sinner" (i.e., prostitute) was converted to Christianity by St. Paphnutius the Hermit. She was confined in a cell for three years to "meditate" upon the question of whether to reject her sinful life or go back into the world unrepentant and carry on as before.

    She chose to mend her ways and join a nunnery, but she died two weeks later.

    Thanks very much.

    So I am very curious whether most skaters skate to a piece of music based on a storyline, or simply there's no real storyline. At most it's just reflection of certain emotions or whatsoever.

    Does anybody know whether B/S' version reflected the real 'Meditation' story? or at least they had some sort of storyline.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Well, that's interesting. Did anyone get that before they read it??

    There are many sophisticated theatre goers who will not read program notes until after they see the performance. They expect the actors, singers, dancers to convey the story to them in their artistry during the performance first.

    Joe

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    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    B/S tried a romance to the music, that I think failed, because she is as cold as the ice she skated on (and as cold as some other Russian skaters, like Yevgenia Shishkova, Marina Yeltsova, and Tatiana Totmianina), while he seemed to still love her, or play the part.

    The only person whose ever attempted a storyline close to the real Thais was Laetitia Hubert's 1999 - prostitute on acid LP.

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    thanks so much for the translation!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Well, that's interesting. Did anyone get that before they read it??

    There are many sophisticated theatre goers who will not read program notes until after they see the performance. They expect the actors, singers, dancers to convey the story to them in their artistry during the performance first.

    Joe
    Yes. I got a very close impression myself and I saw a post from China-ice before seeing S/Z's analysis was posted and the two are astonishingly alike. The biggest thing is that S/Z incorporated the 13 elements in their story telling, as important tools to express themselves rather than just to complete the elements. I watched the three versions of their Meditation, the analysis was based on the first one. They had to make some changes in the later version and it is a pity that they had to take some very expressive move out. I hope that they can manage to add them back in the World. But all in all, love it no matter how they skate it.
    Last edited by hongligl; 12-27-2006 at 05:09 PM.

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    thanks for posting!

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue dog View Post
    B/S tried a romance to the music, that I think failed, because she is as cold as the ice she skated on.
    Have you ever seen them skate live? Elena B certainly did not cmoe across as cold the one time i saw them live i thought she projected enormously well and their program moved me to tears.

    Ant

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    Shen & Zhao are my favorite pair skaters. They skate with heart and their performances have been powerful and passionate (unlike almost all of Russian pair skaters, their skating, even though technically precise and artistically beautiful, were as cold as ice).
    From Mulan, Turandot, the Nutcracker, Sung Dynasty, Madame Butterfly up to Meditation from Thais now, they have displayed unparalleled technical prowess and sublime artistry, which is surprising considering that they are Chinese. They have indeed transcended all the boundaries of pair figure skating and elevated the sport to the realm of art.
    Unlike their previous long programs, Meditation has been endowed with personal reflections of their past, be it competitive, emotional or sentimental. Yet again, I have been deeply moved by their intricate connecting moves between major technical elements, especially the leg hooking and dance moves. One can fully appreciate the whole program after reading the above script. After watching Meditation, I sincerely hope they will be able to hang on to the 2010 Winter Olympics. That would be their apotheosis, finally winning the Olympic Gold, which is long overdue.

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    Their COC version of Meditation, the first one

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hg2q...elated&search=

    Hope it is ok to post the link here.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    WOW, thank you! It is so romantic and adds to thier beautiful skating. I never knew the real story behind the music with the prostitute and all...intersing.

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    G&G Meditation

    This beautiful skate was done (same music, different approach) by G&G some years back when they were first married.

    Both skates are totally gorgeous. Both are interpreted differently, but similarly. The tape of G&G is probably still available for those who might want to see it.

    G&G are on the tape with several other skaters of yesteryear.

    sh

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    Wonderful Translation!

    LOVE MIRACLE!EXTRAORDINARY CHOREOGRAPHY!
    LOOKING FORWARD TO PERFECT MEDITATION IN WORLDS!!!!!!

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