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Thread: Music selection - Does it fit the skater's style?

  1. #1
    mpal2
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    Music selection - Does it fit the skater's style?


    It seems to me that the ladies programs are music selections that emphasize a balletic or graceful movement with the occasional jazzy or sexy program thrown in. In other words, you won't find to many selections like Tonya Harding's early programs. I just don't think that this style is a good look for all of the skaters. It just seems that edgy, power driven or peppy music is not encouraged for whatever reason or prejudice.

    I may not be describing this very well, so here are a couple of skaters that come to my mind: Irina Slutskaya and Sarah Hughes. While their skating skills have improved over the seasons, I think the opera/classic look just emphasizes the wrong things and makes them look sloppy at times. They have obviously done well on the international scene, but would they have done better with different basis of music selection?

    My favorite Irina programs are from 1997-1998. Once 1998-1999 season came around, she started using more of the opera selections and I have found it harder to stay interested in her programs. I would love to see another short like the Piano Waltz. Her music selections in 97/98 had a lot of life and energy and just seemed to suit her personality and style better.
    www1.odn.ne.jp/~cam04900/...ostume.htm

    I thought Sarah's best program was Fosse. It hid a multitude of problem, but the majority of her programs have been from ballets.

    I hope this helps explain what's in my head a little better. That information just doesn't always translate well to others. :lol: Anyway let me know what you think. What skaters have not picked the best music selections for their skating style?

  2. #2
    Princess Leppard 625
    Guest

    Re: Music selection - Does it fit the skater's style?


    <span style="colorurple;font-family:georgia;font-size:small;">Actually, I thought Sarah's SP music for this season was all wrong for her, too, though I enjoyed it a lot more when I saw her skate it live at Worlds.

    I wish some of the women, especially those that can skate fast (Irina, Fumie, for example) would try some techno or dance music, just to shake things up. I think you can still be pretty or delicate to techno, if it's choreographed correctly.
    So, yes, like you, I would like to see some peppier programs.

    I think Michelle showed us in her SP this year that you can add some pizzazz and still be beautiful on the ice.

    Cheers,

    Laura </span>

  3. #3
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    Re: Music selection - Does it fit the skater's style?


    People used to criticize Irina's presentation for too much head grabing or arm flailing. Now after seeing Sarah's SP,LP this year I thought Sarah had way too much hand flailing and leg kicking in her program. I'm wondering how come uncle Dick didn't point out that it is Sarah's arm flailing all around the place. And she is the last one should be call ballelic style. Her 90 degree hand/arm position this season bothered me more than ever. I'm glad one of her perticular leg kick position, which she had in all her program last a few season like a habbit, was gone this season. I agree with some poster said that Fossi was a number more suit her style.

  4. #4
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Music selection - Does it fit the skater's style?


    Ahhh, music that soothes the savage beast <em>and kills the figure skater!</em>

    One of the problems in dealing with Opera and Ballet music is the skater believes he/she is forced to literally interpret the story in 4 minutes - IMPOSSIBLE. One doesn't even have to interpret anything. Just skate to the music as you feel it. While Irina was skating through the different segments of Tosca during the Olys, she became confused with the story and her exquisite technique. At Hershey"s(?) the last competition, she skated so freely to La Traviata (no story involved) and so lyrically - none of her tricks were emphasized except that dumb Bielman spin (wait till I get a hold of my leg so you can see how flexible I am.) IMO, if she had gotten first, I would not have objected. If she keeps up the way she wants to interpret an opera and forget the story, she will be going for gold.

    Sarah, and ballet music, was not a literal interpretation of La Bayadere. But it was involved musiclly with the different segments of the ballet. To be honest, it is not my favorite ballet, but I would have preferred to see it at Lincoln Center in toe shoes. Sarah, for me has not yet given me anything of her. Fosse was acceptable but there is more to this talented lady I am waiting to see. When?

    Kwan coming in with Aranjez - who"da thunk it! Just plain old fashinion beautiful skating to the off beat music. Honestly, did you miss the triple triples?

    Joe




  5. #5
    BronzeisGolden02
    Guest

    Music and Style


    I am a sucker for dramatic expression so I rarely tire of seeing skaters perform to Puccini or the like. But, I do see what you guys are saying. I am also a fan of techno and dance music and I was glad to see Michelle reach a little with Peter Gabriel. As for Irina, I would have to disagree about her programs being better from 97-98. Sure, they were more upbeat, but she was so unrefined and a bit sloppy back then. Her three technical programs (2000, 2001, & 2002) were all set to more dramatic music and I believe they rank among the best in recent years. I won't argue about "Tosca" though, it never hit me as a great program. Nice..sure, but something didn't jive like it did in her technical program from the same year. I prefered her "Carmen", which had moments of drama and some playful, upbeat segments. LOL, anyway, didn't Arakawa have a techno "Swan Lake" this year? I didn't see it and opinions I read on it were mixed. I'll also say I didn't think "La Bayadere" fit Sarah's style very well. I actually enjoyed her technical program a bit more (from Nationals anyway, even with the flawed jumps).

  6. #6
    mpal2
    Guest

    Re: Music and Style


    Bronze,

    I wasn't specifically referring to the skating skill. I was looking more at the style of music used. I definitely agree that Irina has improved a great deal since 1997-1998, but I still feel that the music selection itself suited her better back then.

    To me, her skating has gotten less sloppy but her music selection still leaves her looking sloppy. IMO, she is using music that requires very fluid movement which she doesn't always have. There is almost something sharp about her skating style and it fights against the music style. I don't know how to explain it any better so I hope that this makes a little sense to others. :lol:

    I would love to see her return to more of the peppier, upbeat music from 97-98 with her skating skills at the level they are now. I think I could be completely converted as an Irina fan instead of the half like/half dislike stage I feel now.

  7. #7
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Music and Style


    mPal - Totally agree on Irina's up-beat music. She is the coquette in style and tunes like Don Q fit her well. And Sarah, too. I think Sarah, too, should go more for the coquette than the dramatic.

    <em>An artist must work, work, work, on their technique and then forget it when on stage. Just dance, dance, dance. - Alexandra Danilova, Prima Ballerina Assoluta</em>

    Joe



  8. #8
    Princess Leppard 625
    Guest

    Re: Music and Style


    <span style="colorurple;font-family:georgia;font-size:xx-small;">Bronze, I LOVED Shizuka's techno Swan Lake! Thanks for reminding me of that fabulous program. I loved the costume, too. :D

    Cheers,

    Laura </span>

  9. #9
    toutestgrace
    Guest

    Re: Music and Style


    Great topic!
    Just by observing competitions, it seems there are many in the skating community who believe that the ultramainstream opera or ballet classic is a surefire way to win over the judges, no matter what style suits the skater. Maybe it is, but IMHO it's pretty risky. If the skater doesn't carry it off well, they risk not only looking sloppy, but borderline comical, or at best juvenile. Bright/athletic, but nonclassical-looking skaters like Irina and Sarah should not be put in the position where their moves look strained and out of character. There's plenty of variety in instrumental music to choose from. I think Michelle showed us that in 2002/3. She kept the excitement without once having to flap her wings, stab herself, or go mad!

  10. #10
    Princess Leppard 625
    Guest

    Re: Music and Style


    <span style="colorurple;font-family:georgia;font-size:x-small;">Someone brought up in another thread Yoshie Onda. I didn't like either of her programs this year because they tried to give her this delicate style, and it just doesn't work for her. She's just so happy to be out there on the ice, give the girl something spunky to work with. I felt like the music this year just dampened her natural happiness on the ice.

    Cheers,

    Laura </span>

  11. #11
    mpal2
    Guest

    Re: Music and Style


    You're right, I completely forgot about Yoshie. Yet another example of someone trying to "improve" their presentation but neglecting to realize that not everyone is the graceful little swan.

    I don't think that we would find to many examples of men "behaving pretty" and not looking good at it, but are there any out there that are trying to skate too "manly" and not pulling it off?

  12. #12
    rachelstarlet
    Guest

    Re: Music and Style


    Great topic, I agree - I've often sat there wondering what would happen if I could switch around the music of everyone in the first six spots of a competition. I think Sarah's presentation could be improved a lot not only with better music selection but with better choreography. Some of her moves drive me crazy, because it's not that they aren't performed well, but they just don't suit her (or the music, often!) at all.

    As for the men, I'm not sure. Sometimes I think Michael Weiss is trying too hard with the "I'm a tough, straight male, and I'm gonna skate to Metallica and Rolling Stones" thing, but then again, I don't think his long program music suited him this year either. So I dunno.

  13. #13
    Jaana
    Guest

    Re: Music and Style


    I think that some skaters are using music which may not fit their personality so well, and would say that Irina S. is a good example (IMO).

    Just speaking from memory, but the freeskate music and choreography style she used as she won the Europeans in 1996, was very much like her. It was an utterly charming programme to the music and did fit her personality perfectly. After that I have been kind of disappointed in many of her programmes, and in my opinion for example "Tosca" was as much wrong for her true personality as anything can be. Well, at least for the impression I have gotten from her personality, LOL.

    When making musical choices it would be easier for skaters if they choose the kind of music which they can really relate to and to interpret, and not something which is seen as great skating music generally speaking. And about interpreting I would like to see them sticking to the interpretation of music and not interpreting a story. Generally speaking when I see skaters interpreting a story with theatrics (e.g. from a movie), I always think that they do it, because their choreographer is trying to hide the fact that the skater is not good in interpreting the music.

    Another example could be Viktoria V. She is a great looking lady, but her figure type is not for ballet in a butterfly style. I would say that strong music suits her best.

    Marjaana

  14. #14
    Excidra2001
    Guest

    re:


    I like Irina's programs now then before. Just the other day I was going through old tapes and I came across the 2000 Keri Lotion classic competition and took a few minutes to watch Irina's performence for only god knows how many times and every time I watch it I get little teary eyed because her performence is out of this world beautiful to me. I never felt that way about her before her transformation. I watched the 98 Olympics and I find my self paying more attention to Kwan and Tara then Irina, why, because their programs drew me in.
    To me Irina is the most versatile female skater i've seen in a long time. She can skate to up-beat music(Culture, Timeless, Don Q), switch it up to softer music(Serenade, Appassionata, Cry of the forest, Schindler's list), a little bit of Drama(Tosca, Samson and Delilah) and she can make all that look beautiful on ice.

    Edited to add: Irina loves listening to classical music. Her favorite piece is by Beethoven 'Moonlight Sonata'. It makes sense if she skates to a Beethoven or a Bach piece because that's the kind of music she likes and probably thinks she can interpret better then say a Chris Spheers piece.

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