L'art pour l'art
Bored by the Ladies and Pairs
Is it just me or is the Men's event the one with most originality and diversity? I always preferred watching the men over watching the other disciplines - but the Ladies this year (+ the pairs) don't do anything for me. They are mostly the same. Michelle Kwan was a great skater, but I get the feeling that the ladies try to copy her more or less.
Don't stop reading, let me explain... They mostly skate to some classical tune (especially in the FP), if they want modern, they skate to a moderate soundtrack or musical. I love classical music - just not everywhere and for everyone. They often have the same pastel-coloured costumes. You can divide the ladies in a few groups and you have them all.
You have the Baby-Ballerinas (Mao, Kim, Zhang, Nagasu) with graceful movements and flexibility - but always the same music, shy smiles and the little-pretty-girl aura.
Then the somehow sallow ones (Meissner, Wagner, Kostner, Ando) with some good jumps, big American smiles and weird attempts to be artistic - they are just boring to watch. Kostner has better flow, but I would sort her in this group too.
Finally there is the mature group, with the Finnish Ladies, Rochette, Suguri, Nakano and Meier. All of them still try to dress like the others, just some of there movements and expression is a bit more mature. But they are not really more daring.
These Ladies do not risk anything, they stay the same, they are not daring, they do not try new things. Why do they always smile, e.g. during the spirals? What was Ando's program last year, to Mendelsohn Violin concert? Well, it is not a "happy" "smiley" concert - and yet she plasters a forced smile on her face while doing really bad spirals. Even the Ladies EX programs are profoundly boring!
So I just wish that Emily Hughes will stay competitive - because Carl Orff, with really nice (and suitable!) choreography - way to go, girl! And though I have never been a big fan of either of them - can someone please get Sasha Cohen and Slutskaya out of retirement? I would love that very much.
Oh, and the men are different because: There are way more different styles and types of skaters. We have the Macho-Jumper-Jocks (van der Perren, Lutai), we have the Jocks (Joubert, Griazev, Chipeur), we have the Musical Jocks (Lysacek, Verner, Oda, Dobrin), we have the Creative Ice Dancing for Men with occasional jumping (Lambiel, Chan), we have the Classical Artists on Ice (Buttle, Takahashi, Davydov), we have Shawn Sawyer and Johnny Weir and Alban Préaubert - these three are out off any category.
And even the others don't stay in their category, Takahashi does Hip-Hop, Joubert always tries to get into the Musical-Jocks-Group, Griazev is also borderline. Just watching Men's competition is so much fun, I am always looking forward to Préaubert's newest crazyness, Lambiel's incredible creativity, Joubert's masculinity, Lysacek's over-the-top-opera-interpretation, Griazev's Hommage-to-Yagudin, Johnny's newest interpretation of Johnny-on-ice, van der Perren's jumping contest...
Last edited by Medusa; 12-01-2007 at 10:29 AM.
ITA with you!!!! Unfortunately Ladies are becoming boring. Same music, same style, same costumes, same movements, same choreography...
Once we had girls that skated to Conga (Trenary), Tap Dance (Witt), Latin music such as Another Cha Cha (Cadavy), techno (Thomas, Harding), japanese music (Ito), chinese music (Chen), jazzy (Chen)
Or there were girls that had really original programs such as Gusmeroli, Hubert, Czako.
Or trashy, but funny (Olga Markova).
Now it's all the same all over again
Or how to forget the original style of Elizabeth Manley. The enjoyable Blue Danube Walt of Kristi Yamaguchi.
There were tons of original programs back in time.
One of the best and most enjoyable with a style on her own is certainly Sasha Cohen with Dark Eyes.
Michelle Kwan programs were quite original such as Romanza, Salome, Taj Mahal, Dream of Desdemona.
The late Irina was quite entertaing too (Totentanz, Spanish techno).
Now it's just the same style and music.
The men are quite original OTAH
Last edited by Tonichelle; 12-01-2007 at 03:50 PM.
Reason: merging back to back posts
And.....when a lady try to be original, people jump up and complain why she's not baby ballerina.
Good old Irina Slutskaya, Tanya Harding, Lu Chen, Liz Manley had some personality and presence on the ice. They are the women. They were either strong (Irina, Tanya), vivacious (Liz) or lyrical (Lu-lu), but they had their personality blended to their skating.
Speaking of Irina, I agreed with the previous posters, she was at her best in terms of performance level in her last season. There was nothing stopping her from powering through the rink. And she didn't make any attempt to be a ballerina or artistic, because she knew it wasn't just her and she had other strength she could play to.
Most of the top competitors of today are girls, with the exception of some mature ones who worry about their placing in competitions. No room for fun there.
Don't forget Sandhu, the drama on and off the ice. the ultimate dancer, who can shake his booties.
Originally Posted by Medusa
ITA. I know figure skating is a sport but it used to be theater, drama and style. Cohen, Kwan, Irina, Suguri, Rochette and Meier have that in spades imo. Maybe it will come back, I hope so.
Originally Posted by gio
Last edited by demarinis5; 12-01-2007 at 12:21 PM.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
i have to say that I am more excited by the programs of this year than last year. I just could not get excited by anyhthing last season, but now Mao has turned into such a pleasure to watch... both her programs are beautifully chreographed (yes, i changed my mind about her SP, it it lovely esp the footwork.) S&S are always orginal and technically brilliant.
But what I really love this year is the dacne. I was never a big dance fan, but for the most part, i don;t see any over the top, wierd, revealing outfits this year or overly dramatic "dances" Belbin and Agsto's freedance, Davis and White... that Italian team that skated to "la traviata", the Kerrs, I enjoyed all of thier perfeormances. I like watching dance becasue the skaters actually connect with the music, and try to dance to it, not jumps around it as the singles and many pairs do.
I'm actually just getting excited by the ladies skating this year because of Yu-na and Mao rivalry and other dark horses out there (Carolina, Yukari, Kimmie, Miki). With Miki out of the final six, it gets more and more unpredictable each competition.
I had tuned out of ladies figure skating after Katarina Witt and switched to watching the pairs (G&G and M&D and T&M) for close to twenty(?) years. The Russian pairs were just too good to miss. I heard that the last time some other nationality besides Russian won the Olympic Pairs Gold, Dwight Eisenhauer was U.S. president.
I didn't enjoy Kristi Yamaguchi's skating because her skating was kinda bland and conservative and her jumps weren't that spectacular either. I guess coming right after Katarina Witt's flashy style and presented alongside Midori Ito's spectacular jumping skills didn't help her stand out more. I remember Kristi's skating boring every time watching her. I don't remember any of Kristi's perfomances - like blurred - while I remember Midori's. I still remember Midori falling from a big jump at the Olympics and remember feeling that Kristi got the gold as a default something like that.
Next came Nancy Kerrigan and Tanya Harding but I found nothing unique about Nancy and Tanya's skate uncouth. Oksana was enjoyable to watch because of her artisty which was probably the best we've seen in ladies so far. I wasn't impressed with Chen Lu either.
After that was Tara and Michelle? I was in college then, and I wasn't crazy about either of them to care. I was so much into G&G and M&D in pairs then that I don't remember anything else around that time. Vaguely Elvis Stoijko and Ilia Kulik rivalry.
Yagudin and Evegany's skate was enjoyable to watch. I'm in the big minority but I never enjoyed Michelle Kwan's skating so I was totally tuned out of ladies skating when Michelle was around (close to ten years). I found Irina and Sasha's skating while artistic, too unstable to watch; especially Sasha - you didn't know when she was going to fall. Sarah Hughes... I think she skated strong and with more "style" than Michelle (mostly due to her physique) but she didn't stay around long enough and she was not a consistent skater either. So, Michelle, Sarah, Irina, Sasha all sort of gave me that inconsistent impression in technical department. I don't think Sasha was as artistic and beautiful to watch as Oksana AND Sasha was inconsistent (if she did well in SP, she disintegrated in LP or vice versa). Shizuka, Miki, Fumie, Yukari were all sort of "not mature yet" then with maybe Shizuka being the most consistent out of four. I found Shizuka's skating bland(?) but better than Kristi's or Michelle's.
So, when I first saw MAO ASADA skate, I was like "WOW!!!" I don't think anyone skated with that kind of lightness and ease before while being flexible with her body and technically landing all the jumps (well, most nowadays). And I've never seen anybody with Yu-na's body type (ballanitine(?) type skater as Dick Button likes to call her) land the jumps as well as her (just look at Alyssa) and express the music at the same time as well. And both of them are very pretty to look at too. On top of that I like how Kimmie is still hanging in there (we don't know what she's capable of), Carolina (I just realized how artistic and elegant she can be), Yukari (it's a different Yukari then when I saw her 2006 and before).... with Caroline Zhang and Mirai Nagasu coming up... wow, I think ladies figure skating will be very competitive in the coming years.
I've tuned out of pairs since Totmianina and Marinin won the gold at Torino. I've never been a fan of Chinese pairs mostly due to - call me shallow - the men in their pairs team are too UNATTRACTIVE.
Oh, I forgot about Yagudin. I enjoyed men's skating when he was around. Was Todd Eldrige and Paul Wylie around around that time? I forget.
Last edited by fourclover; 12-01-2007 at 01:12 PM.
Bored? Not me. =)
While I love it when skaters try new things like Daisuke's awesome hiphop swan lake, I'm still really excited by the ladies this season, especially performances by Zhang, Nagasu, Kim and Asada. Their skating just appeals to me, even if they skate to overused music/genres, I'd still enjoy it. What matters to me is the individual performance, not how "different" the skater is from the stereotypes you mentioned.
Gadfly and Bon Vivant
It's called the market. Ladies who couldn't/didn't wanna look like adorable little fairy princesses have always had a harder time of it in skating. The judges and audiences like to pigeon-hole females more than males, skating is hardly the only area where this can be noticed.
The good news is that this kind of thing tends to be cyclical, were just in a monotonous valley right now. I hope things will improve if the younger competitors last and try branching out more stylistically. The worst possible thing that could happen is for ladies skating to become a flavor of the season sport with a new 13 year old conquering everybody's heart at the beginning of the season and relegated to the dustbin of history the next.
After thinking about it for a while, I have to concur.
I can't speak for Pairs, but no one, maybe except for Kimmie, Emily and Alyssa, really interests me much at all. Asada is bleh, Ando is struggling (but when she isn't she's bleh too), and Yu Na, while stylish, leaves some with a cold feeling. I'm looking much more forward to U.S. Nationals than I am to Worlds this year, because I get the feeling the former is going to be close, while the US ladies will get creamed anyway at worlds, so what's the use. And forget nationalities for a second- I feel everyone just kind of "blends in" (that's a simple way of agreeing with the poster that said all programs look the same), therefore, no one really stands out. No one really grabs my attention otherwise. At this point, I just find myself cheering for the Americans.
ETA: Hopefully some of the up-and-comers, especially those in the US, can turn things around. But we have to give them time.
Last edited by R.D.; 12-01-2007 at 02:14 PM.
How is the top ladies going for 3/3's in the short program, not them taking on risk, or trying new things.
Ooooh oh, you have done it now, bekalc will be here any moment to defend with passion and persistance Yu-Na Kim.
Originally Posted by Medusa
Nah, she/he is welcome to his opinions. I just don't think 6.0 was really any more exciting. Just me..
Originally Posted by slutskayafan21
L'art pour l'art
Well, I am not so much talking about new jump-elements, but about style, "individual" skating, creativity and diversity. I appreciate athletic ambitions, like including the triple-triple in the short program - but this is not what I mean with trying new stuff. I want to watch the women's competition looking forward to the program, to the energy, to the emotions and passion promoted. Like I do while watching the men's competition. I also enjoy watching clean and athletically challenging programs. But I have the feeling that the ladies do not try to promote their skating style, but the one they think everyone wants to see.
Originally Posted by bekalc
If I look up the women's result or watch their programs I do not think: Oh, what a great idea, or, great dancing, how creative (how I did today while watching Verner's SP). I think: Who was clean during her program? Did Nakano do Triple Axel? Did Asada do Triple Axel? Where the Axels underrotated? Who landed Triple Triple? - and as I said, the athletic aspect is important, but I also want to ask myself who was passionate and gripping today, who was hilarious or emotional... When was the last time you saw a really funny choreography à la Préaubert at the Ladies? Or a great mimic one like Joubert's SP last season?
Not criticising 6.0 here... I do not think it has that much to do with it.
SPAM And, by the way, I am a she. Medusa is a female monster from the Greek Mythology - you froze to stone when looking into her eyes.
Last edited by Medusa; 12-01-2007 at 03:30 PM.