Thoughts About Choreography
Perhaps some thoughts on choreos could be fun, informative and lead to some interesting discussion and a few good arguments
Who are today's best choreographers and what makes them so good?
Why is Lori Nichol so busy and why do opinions on her choreos seem to vary so much depending on who you are talking with and about?
Are choreographers more important under CoP than they were in the 6.0 era?
Looking back who were some of the most important and innovative choreographers?
How important was choreo in the era of Dorothy Hamill? Did Carlo Fassi do her choreo or were there choreo specialists back then?
Any other questions or comments about this topic are welcomed.
Thoughts about Dance and Pairs should be part of this discussion.
Thanks and hope to learn a lot!
One of my favourite choreographers now is David Wilson, especially when he choreographed for Jeffrey Buttle. Such consistently cerebral, often brilliant choreography. Also, Salome Brunner for Stephane Lambiel also produced some great programs.
For pairs, I often enjoyed Tamara Moskvina's choreography for Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze and Mishkutenok/Dmitriev (if I'm not mistaken, she choregraphed their competitive programs, right?). She seemed to be quite good at bringing out the beauty of her pairs teams.
As for Lori Nichol, I think the reason why she is immensely popular right now is because of her often stellar work with Michelle Kwan--think of programs like her 1996 Salome LP, or 1998 Rachmaninoff SP, the ones that so readily racked up those 6.0s for presentation. I would say that the apparent quality of her choreography varies so much is because (and this applies to every choreographer, really) some choreographers mesh better with some skaters. Obviously, Nichol-Kwan was a beautiful fit. Tarasova-Yagudin was quite magnificent as well, but--for instance--Tarasova-Lysacek was...not so good.
Many interesting comments Evangeline. My favorite pairs team was and still is Mishkutenok/Dmitriev. Of course they were good skaters but I think it was their innovative choreos that drew me into their programs. I knew they were coached by Moskvina but never thought about who might have done their choreos.
Originally Posted by evangeline
But it was certainly something I enjoyed so much about their performances.
The two best choreographers these days are Lori Nichol and David Wilson. Two very different styles but both bring out certain qualities in their skaters. The reason they are so popular is that the are the ones that understand COP the best. Lori is my personal favorite and I think she can create some real masterpieces. She also challenges her skaters a lot - check out this video with her and Patrick (although she is more of a coach to Patrick):
Lori has stated in interviews that skaters often take out a lot of her choreography which is why some programs don't suit or work for a skater. If a skater commits to the choreography (like Joannie did this past year) the program can become a great vehicle for them.
I also think Shae-Lynn Bourne will become quite popular in the coming years.
In the past I think choreography was just as important. Marina Zoueva choreographed brilliant programs for G & G. Sandra Bezic also created some amazing programs - Kurt Browning's Casablanca comes to mind. The pieces she created for Josee Chouinard were also very charming.
Zoueva, Wilson, and Nichols round out my top three...
from the past it was Zoueva, Besic (one thing I like about her...) , Nichols...
so, yeah... *shrugs* nothing much has changed in my mind...
oh and a choreographer who stands alone as just so mind boggling I can't put him in a category with others - Chris Dean... I've loved everything he's touched (when a skater *cough*KWAN*cough* doesnt butcher the heck out of it)...
Zhulin is another that I love to watch his work.
Hmm, this is a very good point which applies to many other choreographers as well. I remember this is what sort of happened to Michelle Kwan's Bolero LP, which Christopher Dean had choreographed for her--apparently Michelle took a lot of his choreography out and left mostly a shell of the original program. And we all know how well Bolero was received...
Originally Posted by i love to skate
According to this Goldenskate interview with Tamara Moskvina, she is "the coach, the choreographer, the doctor, the costume designer, the planner, everything" for her pairs teams.
Originally Posted by janetfan
Last edited by evangeline; 07-03-2009 at 02:08 AM.
I love you, Jeremy!
The best? Well, you already mentioned the most famous guys. Nobody said Morozov, which is almost funny. And nobody mentioned the best of all for me, Tom Dickson.
Lori Nichol is always focused on creating something "beautiful" - and "sensitive", but not much deep. And since she creates coreographies for 874364781 skaters, the "Nichol style" has become almost boring, expecially when I see skaters not yet mature on the artistic side, like (IMO) Zhang, Nagasu, Meissner and Flatt this year (I have nothing against American skaters, by the way ). Of course it depends on the skater. In the past years, Nichol was more flexible to the skaters' personality. Michelle skated to the essence of music, kind of spiritual skating, which is admirable and interesting. On the other side, Fumie was really passionate, and almost a theatrical actress. I love Nichol when I think of these two particular skaters, but for others... mmmh... too much aesthetic beauty, as I said before.
I think that good choreography depends aa lot on the combination skater + choreographer. Sometimes certain choreographers are good with certain skaters, but not all of them.
I'm surprised Nikolai Morozov hasn't been mentioned yet. Although he does have his limits I think he's amazing when it comes to finding a style that suites a skater. He's great when it comes to helping a skater figure out who he or she is. He's good with findind a skater's personnality, but a little less when it comes to developping that personnality once the skater has matured.
Being a good choreographer today means fitting with the system. I consider Tatiana Tarasova to be a good choreographer, but her choreographies aren't unfortunately rewarded by the new system.
Comming back to my first point, I'd like to underline Salome Brunner's work with Stéphane Lambiel and Kurt Browning's work with Brian Joubert.
I've seen a lot on Lori Nichol. Personnaly, I really think it depends on who she works with. I generally like what she does with the men but not with the ladies.
I agree with i love to skate concerning Shae-Lynn Bourne.
In ice-dancing I would say Shiplnad & Zoueva and Muriel Boucher-Zazoui.
The first time I saw Yuna was at '07 Worlds and she made a big impression on me. Her SP program "El Tango de Roxanne" was by Tom Dickson. Was it Yuna or was it the choreo - but this program looked so fresh!!. Others have mentioned Caroline's "Gypsy" program as one of her best which was also done by Dickson.
Originally Posted by GiuliaPlum
Tarasova is one who can confound me - as I see moments I both love and strongly dislike - many times in the same program. But that is more about my personal taste than anything else.
Lori must be working about 20 hours a day, 8 days a week to be able to take care of so many clients.
Last edited by janetfan; 07-03-2009 at 09:19 AM.
Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie!
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
There is a miriad of answers here for your questions. In the past - Karen Magnussen, Dorothy Hammill, Janet Lynn for example - most skaters' coach would choreograph their programs and find their music. Today the choreography field of figure skating has really developed. There are some wonderful skaters who have left the competitive scene and have become choreographers. David Wilson of course springs to mind as one of my favorties and one of the best. Also Christopher Dean and Sandra Bezic as well as Lori Nichol.
No, I don't think it's any different under the new judging system. Although sometimes the choreography seems to be more demanding - a David Wilson program for instance really challenges the skater.
I am looking forward to seeing Jeff Buttle's work. I think he has a lot of talent in that area. I hope he will get a chance to work with some of the skaters.
Addicted to handsome, artistic male skaters ;-)
Does anyone know who else Buttle is working with this season besides Andreev and Tommy Steenberg? This article mentions that he "will design the routines for at least five skaters", but the journalist only included Steenberg's name. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs...article975687/)
Originally Posted by Ladskater