Johnny v. Lambiel
Mao v. Kim
Johnny v. Lambiel
Mao v. Kim
For the gentlemen, I would say that Lambiel has the most versatility. I think he could skate to anybody's music and make it his own.
I too think Lambiel has great versatility - honestly I can't think of many who compare, perhaps Buttle and Sandhu in recent years? And for that reason, I find it a little odd that both his SP and LP are flamenco inspired this year - however, I love them both and just want to see him ok and up to competition standards. Anyway, Lambiel could make 'elevator music' interesting to skate too...
I don't know about Mao and Kim, but I'm thinking they are differently versatile and that Kim appears a bit more connected to the audience/extroverted on ice, while Mao is much more in her own zone so that I would wager on Kim appearing to do better with someone's music although it would be close.
Lambiel is a much more warm skater to watch than Weir. He definitely pours his heart out to everyone when he is on the ice and he is such a superior dancer with amazingly fluid body movement and musicality. Johnny is not as welcoming because his programs are more internalized IMO. Lambiel has shown far greater versatility in his music and program selections than Weir.
I prefer Yu-Na Kim to Mao and feel that her musical selections have shown more versatility than Asada's, plus she has the longer body line which makes for more aesthetically pleasing pictures on the ice.
I really think Mao improved a whole lot this season and I would say she is more musical than YuNa. That hungarian rhapsody Mao did last year was not memorable. I think for both these ladies, they need to work music choices that they are capable. By the time the Olys come, they both will be so well with beat and rhythm that this will not be a distinguishing issue for either of them.
I think too, that Evan has moved strongly into better musicality, but I also think a change of pace might be in order. Carmen and Tosca too close. Johnny, of course, is innately musical, but he too could chance a change of pace, imo. Both will be vying for Oly gold some day soon and rhythm and downbeat or upbeat should not be an issue.
Johnny is one of the most elegant and artistic skaters out there, but he could never perfomr something like Lambiel's flamenco.Stephane is just so passionate , flamenco is all about passion, drama, malincony and he express it on the ice so beautifully. (I just go crazy in the second half of the programm when with the movements of his hands draws the body of a woman).
I finally see Stephane as the man he is, and I don't really see Weir into this kind of music and concept,though I find him very artistic too, but in a different way.
I can see Yu-na skating more beautifully and with more emotion to Mao's SP music than Mao did.
Johnny and Lambiel each has their own niche although Lambiel's might be little more broad. Lambiel has showcased more versatility than Johnny, that's for sure. But I can never imagine him skating to Swan or Otonal and vice versa. They are both able to emote, but in different ways.
Mao and Yuna. Well, Yuna is certainly more known for her ability to emote. Yuna is more tv-friendly skater because she emotes through her facial expression. OTOH, Mao's skating is easier on the eyes because her movements are fluid and bigger than Yuna's. Although they were already briliant skaters when they were juniors, none of their junior programs were memorable IMO. Last year though, Yuna had two great programs whereas Mao had one great program. So it's no surprise that some people say Yuna is a better skater (non-tech-wise) based on last year's performances. But the thing is even the greatest skater needs a right program. So I say give them a few more years before we can decide who can do whose program better. They are too young to have developed thier own styles. Good thing is they clearly don't hesitate to explore.
I like Mao's seamless skating style too but I think Yuna is more musical and artistic. Although everyone seems to be whining that Miss Saigon is such a terrible choice of music and last year's Lark Ascending was such a PERFECT piece of music, I TOTALLY disagree. Lark Ascending was a VERY difficult music to skate to and appear finished because it's the sort of music that's bland and without lyrical up and down quality like Mao's Ladies in Lavender or Czardas or even Yuna's Junior program, Papa Can You Hear Me. Lark Ascending is MEDITATION music or BED TIME music for lulling you to sleep. Honestly, if it weren't Yuna performing to it, I couldn't have finished watching anyone else's performance to it. One fall and the skater will lose the audience in a nano-second UNLESS the skater has some ethereal quality like Yuna who can do many things with her arms, somehow give the audience something else to see besides the jumps. If you think about it, her Tango de Roxanne was the same; the way the music was cut was a bit galling on the ears, definitely, NOT soft and easy on ears on first hearing, but Yuna did a spectacular classy performance to it.
Her SP to Chopin's Nocturne - such a beautiful music - EASY ON ANYBODY'S EARS - she performed well to it. As long as you don't fall, even Emily Hughes could appear elegant gliding across the ice with this tune.
Her LP to Czardas - folksy Russian-sounding music with LOTS of potential to give character to performance - but what happened? Mao's so-and-so expression left me with a bland taste. This music COULD have been like Yuna's Roxanne - similar ethnic sounding tunes but better, more flair than a classical music, and great opportunity to ENGAGE the audience.
SP to Ladies in Lavender ost - such a lyrical hauntingly beautiful music (and EASY ON THE EARS) - Mao's performance is quite extraordinary with lots of lovely motions with the way her back arches and graceful arm movements... BUT I came away feeling SOMETHING was missing, or shall I say, INCOMPLETE, the same bland taste I experienced after watching Mao's performance to Czardas. It's SO weird. With Yu-na's performance, I HEAR the music, and notice how beautifully the MUSIC is expressed by the performer. With Mao's SP, I saw her near flawless buttery movements across the ice but felt as though SHE was being lead by the music, not vice versa. I don't know, it's like Coco Chanel's quote: 'If you dress shabby, they notice your clothes. If you dress impeccably, they notice YOU' kinda thing. (Dressing - skater's performance, Clothes - the skater, YOU - the music).
AND finally, Mao's LP to Chopin's good ole' Fantasie Impromptu (THE KING OF KINGS among easy-on-the-ears music category - I think I've been listening to it since I was four years old AND still not tired of this piece: CHOPIN is a genius!) If you watch her program carefully it's no more artistic than Yuna's Miss Saigon. In fact, I think it's quite, here it goes again... bland with succession of jumps and spins MASKED by very beautiful background piano music. So it APPEARS, Mao's program is more artistic and beautiful and more finished ( unless you splat like four times). But it's actually Chopin that's artistic, beautiful and finished. And why did I feel Mao's program was somewhat... how to say it... repetitious? ... lack of flair? ... I can't put a finger on it. IMO Mao had better music than Yuna BOTH last year AND have this year and therefore had/have advantage in pleasing the crowd and/or the judges in terms of presentation marks. Good for her, good for her team, I think they are smart. Using Chopin is less challenging than Miss Saigon in terms of pleasing the audience.
I think Yuna's camp is BOLDER in trying different types of music from the very lyrical Papa Can You Hear Me to very one dimensional Lark Ascending to Miss Saigon which is definitely an acquired taste with all that jangling angst-filled noise(?). If Yuna is musical and artistic as I think she is, this girl will give LIFE to that program and a new dimension that trenscends the Miss Saigon OST's limitation. And I think she will.
By the way, I'd like to see Yuna skate to the OST of SOMEWHERE IN TIME. Suuuuch a beautiful piece of music by John Barry (Out of Africa), totally suits Yuna. Or even Dying Young OST.
Last edited by fourclover; 11-12-2007 at 06:44 PM.
Although I love both Mao and Kim I don't see either one relating to the audience. Actually I don't see that with any of the ladies for quite some time.
Awesome post, fourclover, and I basically agree with everything you said EXCEPT for your thoughts on The Lark Ascending. That music is great and it does have lots of interesting lyrical changes, to me.
Why so many people blame the Miss Saigon of Yuna? I really like this program though the music is not as good as the Lark . I think she will perform it better in futhure.