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Thread: Irina: Please! No more head-grabbing opera heroines!

  1. #1
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Irina: Please! No more head-grabbing opera heroines!

    I love opera. HOWEVER! I think Irina's personality is so much more suited to something more upbreat and peppy than to dramatic opera scores. Plus, she selects the most melodramatic moments and tries to act them out. NO! I'd love to see her try on something totally different for size--a la Michelle this past year--something more suitable to her own unique personality.

    Just one Gal's opinion.

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    ITA. Light and lyrical makes me forget Irina's less-than-classical body line. As soon as she gets into the heavy classics, her flaws are magnified for me. Her skating great to watch - her acting misses the mark.

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    ITA! But if anyone remembers past posts, you knew that.

    I think Sarah Hughes should stay away from the operas as well. I think part of the reason why I don't appreciate them as much as other skaters is because think of adjectives like "lurch" and "thud" to describe what I have just seen. For some reason, those descriptions do little for their appeal.

    Both Irina and Sarah fall into the category of skaters I want to like better but just can't. As tired as I got of Fosse, it looked good on Sarah. Now if only Irina can come up with some lively programs. :\

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I think all the skaters should stay away from acting on the ice! If you must, take the essence of the character but don't grab your head; don't flap your arms; don't stab yourself.

    Rudi's Swan Lake was him! Boitano's Turnadot was him! Irina's Don Quixote was her and it was delightful.

    The only single skater I can think of who could get away with acting a 4 minute competitive rountine on the ice is Philipe Candoloro, but when you think about it, it was more essence than reality. In Pairs, however, they can do it because they have a rapport with somebody already on the ice - each other.

    Joe

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    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    As tired as I got of Fosse, it looked good on Sarah. Now if only Irina can come up with some lively programs.
    ITA

    I am a huge fan of Irina... but her choreography needs major rework

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    Well, anything is better than that aweful music Irina used for her long program during the 96-97 season. I can't remember the name but it was so heavy and repetitative. "Tosca" was a fine program, but not stellar...I think Irina's "Carmen" had more potential and fit her better. Although, I did think her short program from the 2001-2002 season was her best ever. She skated it to near perfection at the 2001 Goodwill Games and that remains one of my favorite Irina performances. I also prefer her skating to something that at least features some upbeat or playful segments. If she sticks with that type of music I don't think choreography will be that much of an issue, but I think it'd be interesting to see her work with another choreographer.

  7. #7
    Rooting for the Kerrs!
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    Irina's Don Quixote was her and it was delightful.
    ITA. Her Don Quioxte was my favourite LP of hers. I thought it suited her very well - the upbeat circular footwork sequence at the end was great!

    I don't see the big deal with the operas though. Ok, so she used Tosca (which was a lot better than some people make out), and I didn't see her LP this year but IIRC people said it was a similar opera. That doesn't mean she uses nothing BUT operas, she never tries anything different, etc etc. She's usually very versatile in her music choices. Think of her SPs, for a start, and also her exhibitions. Carmen and Don Quioxte LPs weren't "head-grabbing operas melodrama" either. Don't be so hard on the poor lass.

  8. #8
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Well, any Carmen who mimes stabbbing herself in the end qualifies as "head-grabbing operas melodrama" to me.

    Before Irina was "reborn" as an elite skater with Operas. she gave us peppy Broadway Show Tunes, the dirge like Phantom on Ice, and the cutsey Ah Nastasia.

    To me, arm flailing is arm flailing. The fact that she skated around waving her arms in the air to 'Tits and [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color]' rather than skating around waving her arms in the air to 'Le Donne Mobile' doesn't mean much.

    I doubt that music choice is what's holding Irina back artistically.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Berthes Ghost - Yup. Irina comes on strong with strong opera music. the problem is, imo, it is not suitable for her. Her fans, don't really see that. She could skate to the Typewriter Song and her fans would say she's marvelous. Come to think of it I might too. But Opera is not her beat. Leave it to Shen and Zhao to interpret music in a bravura manner without the laid out story of that crazy Chinese princess who is very italianzied. And Tosca, is just a confused "star" who knows nothing about overthrowing the monarchy in Italy. Leave it alon!!! It takes a couple of hours to understand all that.

    Icenut - It does seem some posters are coming down hard on Irina, I believe they, like me, are offering corrective criticism of her use of opera music - not bashing. She does well, with something more light and lively. I really enjoyed her final skate in March. Delightful!

    Joe

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    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I dunno, as a fan I personally don't get her choreography... I just don't see it... except for Timeless and Schindler's List... now those were well choreographed... and well skated... but other than that I'm just as annoyed with it as everyone else

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    May I add Jeff Buttle and Sasha Cohen to the list? Neither of them was very convincing skating to classical music last season. To me it seemed their coaches wanted them to show they were able to do it! Okay guys, you did it once, and now, puhleeze, do something different ....

    I liked Irina's cowboy exhibition program - she seemed to have fun and this style suited her well. Your thoughts?

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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    I think all the skaters should stay away from acting on the ice! If you must, take the essence of the character but don't grab your head; don't flap your arms; don't stab yourself.

    Rudi's Swan Lake was him! Boitano's Turnadot was him! Irina's Don Quixote was her and it was delightful.

    The only single skater I can think of who could get away with acting a 4 minute competitive rountine on the ice is Philipe Candoloro, but when you think about it, it was more essence than reality. In Pairs, however, they can do it because they have a rapport with somebody already on the ice - each other.

    Joe
    Joe, am I allowed to disagree? There are some bad programs - but their lack of quality is due to poor choreography and due to lack of talent of the skaters. As long as the acting doesn't prevent the skaters to skate well and clean, I really like it. In other words: don't stab yourself and land on your butt!

    Apart from Candeloro, the best actor on the ice is Alexei Yagudin, I loved Gladiator and MITIM, and his clown in "Circus" was awesome! Though I'm not convinced that the use of real knives on the ice in a competitive program is a good idea.

  13. #13
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Lisa - Of course you can disagree with me. Who doesn't?

    When Ben and Tanith were imitating Elvis and the Russian Team seem to be imitating B&T, one of the ladies next to me said "that's not competition, that's for a gala" meaning exhibition. I not only agreed, everyone in surrounding area agreed. This was not a put down of B&T, it was a "you're not doing competitive skating".

    As I've said many time before, I am an old curmudgeon(sp). I'm all for silly stuff in show skating but not in competition. Competitions, for me, are a serious matter. Skaters have worked hard for years to show off their sport. To use show skating in a competitive contest just doesn't do it for me. However, I could watch a complete ice show of Swan Lake provided the choreography was there.

    I think Alexei would look even better without the sword play. He's an excellent skater, and I would enjoy the sword play after he wins his gold medal without it.

    Joe

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Though I'm not convinced that the use of real knives on the ice in a competitive program is a good idea. -- Lisa
    I saw Alexei actually cut himself in one of those Hershey' Kisses competitions a couple of years ago. He was sitting in the kiss and cry trying to stop the bleeding.

    But he still won. Got some 6.0s for realism, IIRC.

    Mathman

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    Hey Joe, since I'm allowed to disagree , here goes:

    I understand your point and there are certainly programs where I would totally agree with you (Brian Joubert's LP 2003 for instance).

    My thoughts about Yagudin and his sword play (or rapier :: first of all, the role he takes is from a movie where fighting scenes are quite important, and the musqueteers fight with rapiers. Thus what you call show elements make sense, and I couldn't imagine any "Iron Mask" or d'Artagnan program without those scenes. Second, Yagudins technical skating doesn't suffer because of them - on the contrary, Morozov and TT succeeded in creating a perfect harmony between the steps and the sword play arm movements.
    Third, Yagudin is able to execute difficult steps and arm movements at the same time, and he acts well (even more so in his "Gladiator" LP).
    Your thoughts?

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