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Thread: What Defines a Musical Skater?

  1. #91
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, Zartian. Thanks for joining us.

    All opinions are welcome here.

  2. #92
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zartian View Post
    Hi..

    After reading all these threads, I don't quite understand why so many people here praise Michelle K's skating so much. I watched her videos on and on...Well. she is good, of course.. Becoming a world champion several times (how many?) is a great achievement. I think very highly of her consistency, her competitiveness.. never giving up, but I couldn't find any special quality beyond other top skaters: she did not have as a beautiful line or is as flexible as Sasha, Alissa or Mao; her skating is not as speedy, energetic, or even exciting as Yuna or Carolina. Well, it seems that she is musical...she feels music.. so she acts very well with music (her facial expression, her body gesture). But I would say that other ladies also have such level of musicality: Yuna, Alissa, Sasha, even Ashley.
    I can understand your feeling of over-the-top-praise of MK (it does become tiresome) but I see it as without anything to do with her grace and poise over the ice. You also tend to compare this injured skater in her later years with the dynamos of today. To say a skater who can drag, and I say drag, her leg over her head while spinning as some sort of supreme beauty is in the mind of the viewer. Not everyone enjoys over-the-top acrobatics and contortion-like body moves in figure skating. When the music demands energy and speed, MK could meet that requrement for the musicality and not for the points. You apparently prefer overt virtuosity over lyrical styles.

    So we differ in what makes a musical skater. No problem.

    in skating of today, I would say Caroline is a contemporary of MK and she doesn't need all that flexibility but could use more power stroking. We'll see if this and more pronounced musicality happens this season.

    Mao, I see as a contemporary of Irina Slutskaya: Strong, athletic but lacks any musical style

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I can understand your feeling of over-the-top-praise of MK (it does become tiresome) but I see it as without anything to do with her grace and poise over the ice. You also tend to compare this injured skater in her later years with the dynamos of today. To say a skater who can drag, and I say drag, her leg over her head while spinning as some sort of supreme beauty is in the mind of the viewer. Not everyone enjoys over-the-top acrobatics and contortion-like body moves in figure skating. When the music demands energy and speed, MK could meet that requrement for the musicality and not for the points. You apparently prefer overt virtuosity over lyrical styles.

    So we differ in what makes a musical skater. No problem.

    in skating of today, I would say Caroline is a contemporary of MK and she doesn't need all that flexibility but could use more power stroking. We'll see if this and more pronounced musicality happens this season.

    Mao, I see as a contemporary of Irina Slutskaya: Strong, athletic but lacks any musical style

    Thank you for your reply, Joe.

    I agree with the most of what you said, but I disagree with you about Caroline. She seems to have become immensely popular now (to consider the number of pages of the threads about her). And many people tend to identify her extraordinary flexibility as her being artistic. To judge from the past seasons, however, she is not yet artistic at all. She doesn't express herself yet with music. The flexibility without being musical or artistic looks more acrobatic to me (like... what I felt ... when I saw Chinese circus). That may be because she is still young and has not fully developed her artistry yet, so we will see what she will become this season (and I hope that she will be totally transformed this season, just as Yuna did between before 2007 and after).

    Do I prefer virtuosity over lyrical performance? Maybe yes. But I like lyrical programs too. But in order to be lyrical, you have to be very gracious, musical and artistic: otherwise lyrical programs tend to become boring. As far as American ladies are concerned, I think Alissa is the most lyrical. Her flexibility helps because she is able to express herself musically in her own way of gracious movements: otherwise her flexibility would have become acrobatic too.

    As for artistry and star quality among the current top American ladies, I think Mirai and Ashley is better than Caroline and Rachel. Maybe the latter are better in consistency but they do not evoke any emotional movement for me yet. But I think Caroline has qualifications to grow into a artistic, musical, elegant skater if she gets to feel music later and be able to express it with body gestures, because she has a good body line and flexibility: her slow (boring) skating is a problem to solve, though.

  4. #94
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Zartian - thanks for your thoughtful reply. Without dragging out this discussion too end, I will just say we understand each other in that we differ, if that makes sense.

    I also believe that the virtuoso skater is more popular than the lyrical skater, but my preference lies in the latter.

    Can a virtuoso skater be dramatic or comedic? Easily and Cirque du Soleil shows how acrobatics with a semblance of ballet-like poses pleases that particular audience.

    Can a lyrical skater be dramactic or comedic? Not easily, especially if there is no outside story line to guide them. but they feel sorrow or humor in the music without overselling it.

    Age has a lot to do with this. The more mature the skater is outside of skating the more mature the skating will be. You may, however, prefer the little girls more than the mature ones. Many do.

    Senior Dance, except for the judging shows maturity best in skating. Age again. I know, I know, I know, the Shibutanis!! They are very talented in the little team way, for me.

  5. #95
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    my totally subjective list

    There are so many fascinating ways to think of this question, and it means a lot to me because the thing I love best about skating is probably the music.

    I can't find it, but I agree with the earlier remark that a musical skater is someone who makes you feel as if he or she is creating the music for the very first time as you watch. I don't think versatility is necessarily involved. A lot of old Soviet-trained skaters could break your heart with Tchaikovsky but couldn't have skated to popular idioms like jazz or Broadway if their lives depended on it. (I still cringe when I recall poor Klimova and Ponomarenko trying their best with "The Lonely Goatherd" because they owed us a polka during the Olympic year. In all other regards, they were peerless.) To me, a musical skater is one who makes the music paramount. This requires a certain amount of technique and artistry, so I don't see musicality and artistry being in conflict. At its best, musicality involves music that isn't heard too frequently.

    Probably everyone has a different view of which skaters are musical, but I think most people would agree about Janet Lynn, who glowed like a sunrise when she skated. Many people would also cite Kwan; I certainly put her near the top of my list. I'd add Kurt Browning and Paul Wylie without hesitation.Sasha Cohen would make it onto my list, and Alexei Yagudin. Also Yuka Sato, whose carriage, footwork, and generally radiant presence make the most of whatever music she skates to. Katya Gordeyeva, with a partner or without, definitely skates from somewhere inside the music. New skaters: well, I like the way Mao Asada uses music. I find her very light and expressive. Yu Na, of course, is there. Alissa Czisny is musical, if only she could jump consistently. Nagasu and Zhang I have great hopes for. I'm leaving out a huge list of pairs and ice dancers from all eras. If I had to limit my totally subjective list to five, it would be Browning, Lynn, Kwan, Wylie, and Gordeyeva. (Without Grinkov only because she also did such great work as a soloist and with Ilya Kulik.)

  6. #96
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    to me musicality of a skater is One who Can skate to anykind of music and Interpet any kind of Music.--Michelle is one.
    Mao and Yu-na are becoming those kind of skaters.
    Joannie surprised me a super challenge and did that.
    Sasha can skate to the Music --sometimes--(but not all--especially slow songs)) But Not Interpret it. (sorry, i KNOW I am in the minority).
    patrick chan can both skate and interpret the music--just like jeffrey buttle,
    Ilia can after skating on shows.-
    evan i am not sure of yet,
    johnny can interpet but not skate to the music.
    miki is trying to do both --sometimes succeeds sometimes not.
    Kimmie --i dont know
    caroline zhang can skate to the music--interpret slightly-
    rachel is trying to skate to the music-not interpret.

    TO me interpretation doesn't me--just moving hands and body in motion to the music-it means also involving what the skater feels from the music and how they see it where it is felt by the audience-which is lacking under the cop-
    sometimes the skaters hit -sometimes they don't.

    but only my view.

  7. #97
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    3 most musical skaters in my opinion

    The three most musical skaters in my opinion are : Jeffrey Buttle, Kurt Browning and Paul Wylie. They can skate to just about any type of music and make it a magical piece of work. They're entire bodies, face included show their emotions, their joy, etc. When I watch Jeffrey skating to "Pagliachi", I get very emotional. I go to you tube to watch these 3 men skate. It is such a great experience to watch them.

  8. #98
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    musical skaters

    Isn't it great that after all these years, Browning and Wylie still top so many fans' lists? The lovely thing about them is that they grew so much artistically after they stopped skating in eligible competition. I hope that sometime in the future, we'll get to experience a pro skating revival. Maybe it'll be in another form--online, perhaps, or straight-to-DVD. Then there will be more company for Kurt, Paul, and the other great skating artists on the best-ever list. Well, we can dream, can't we?

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