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Thread: What Defines a Musical Skater?

  1. #16
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    I just reflected about my first post, the one about Rachael and Caroline. I figured that what I described there didn't necessarily have anything to do with musicality. It's really hard to judge or even voice an opinion about a skater's musicality without taking a closer look at the scores of the music they used, maybe do some kind of analysis, and the biographical background of the composer. As this has a lot to do with the Intellectual part of musicality. What we perceived when watching a programs to music were are not familiar with(in terms of musical analysis), is emotional musicality. Especially this part is highly influenced by our own perception which is was makes it so subjective. So, what we're describing is often only superficial or partial.

    just my opinion, of course

  2. #17
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinymavy15 View Post
    Michelle was artistic, but no always musical.
    Sasha was very musical and also artistic.
    Plushy is artistic, but not really musical.
    Irina is neither.
    Caroline can very artistic, but not really musical.
    Kimmie can't really do either (sorry girl), but her artistry is better than her musicality.

    I think musicality can be taught to some degree with a good choreographer. Artistry is more you have it more you don't.
    Good thougts - and Sasha is worth mentioning because she was both musical and artistic. But Sasha also could spend some time posing and charming a crowd. Watch some of her programs and at times it is like a Johnny or Yags performance to me. Very good, very dramatic but I can see her following the choreo so closely at times it loses a bit of a natural feeling to me. And it is full of dramtic posing.
    This is difficult - at times I see Plushy and Joubert doing this macho bit - and whether you like it or not - it works, the audiences love it and the judges reward it. It is part charisma, part flaunting your looks but not necessarily musical. It is dramatic. I have no problem saying Sasha can be more dramatic than Michelle. I am not sure if she is more musical though. Again, this is subjective. Please understand it is just my opinion and I dont claim to be right.

  3. #18
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Jeffry Buttle was musical, right???I mean this is my idea of musicallity.
    Stephan was artistic,and I m debating if he was that musical as Buttle. I think not.

    I mean i could watch buttle skating to anything of a music without choreography, while stephan gives me performances of a character with music or not, do i make sense?

    I must be the last one on earth that cant see the so much musicality of Yuna. I see drama and theatrical superiority.

    Does a musical skater must know to be musical in all kind of music pieces???
    Last edited by seniorita; 07-13-2009 at 07:05 PM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post

    Does a musical skater must know to be musical in all kind of music pieces???
    Theoretically, yes, emotionally, no!

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alicja View Post
    I just reflected about my first post, the one about Rachael and Caroline. I figured that what I described there didn't necessarily have anything to do with musicality. It's really hard to judge or even voice an opinion about a skater's musicality without taking a closer look at the scores of the music they used, maybe do some kind of analysis, and the biographical background of the composer. As this has a lot to do with the Intellectual part of musicality. What we perceived when watching a programs to music were are not familiar with(in terms of musical analysis), is emotional musicality. Especially this part is highly influenced by our own perception which is was makes it so subjective. So, what we're describing is often only superficial or partial.

    just my opinion, of course
    OK, your comments for me are great!
    I just wonder though - when you are playing the piano perhaps your objective is to interpret the composer's intent as closely as possible. That is one type of musicality. When Charlie Parker was playing a great jazz chorus on "Indiana" I think he was showing a musical genius the world had never seen at that time. He wasn't really expressing the composer's original intent. He was expressing his own feelings and musicality. Is that any less musical than a classical performer trying to play Mozart the way Mozart had intended?
    It might be interesting to hear from some dancers or skaters or gymnasts and their feelings about musicality, how it was taught them from an interpretive point.
    Skating is so unique - unlike dancing it can provide at time's an almost magical gliding feeling along with other elements provided by skates meeting ice.

    Someone earlier said "Irina was never artistic." I think I disagree - or probably I disagree with that poster's idea of artistry. Irina, when she was on was something to behold. She had such beautiful jumps (is that not artistry??) and such a command of the ice........again just my opinion.
    Last edited by janetfan; 07-13-2009 at 07:13 PM.

  6. #21
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    I think Irina was artistic, she could catch you with her performances but she was not a ballerina.
    Some skaters are just wonderful even if they are skate circles around the ring to the music. This is artistry gift or musicality?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    OK, your comments for me are great!
    I just wonder though - when you are playing the piano perhaps your objective is to interpret the composer's intent as closely as possible. That is one type of musicality. When Charlie Parker was playing a great jazz chorus on "Indiana" I think he was showing a musical genius the world had never seen at that time. He wasn't really expressing the composer's original intent. He was expressing his own feelings and musicality. Is that any less musical than a classical performer trying to play Mozart the way Mozart had intended?
    It might be interesting to hear from some dancers or skaters or gymnasts and their feelings about musicality, how it was taught them from an interpretive point.
    Skating is so unique - unlike dancing it can provide at time's an almost magical gliding feeling along with other elements provided by skates meeting ice.

    No, that's not less musical. I honestly think though that it makes a difference whether you're purposely alterating the original form or alterating because you don't know any better. That's the main point here, I think. In one case, you practically make an existing piece your own, in the other case, you try to interpret and express the original form but fail.

  8. #23
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    As to the relation of playing a musical instrument to either artistry or musicality in skating, you might or might not want to consider the following:

    AFAIR, Mira Leung apparently is a fairly good pianist.

    Charlie White played in the school string quartet.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 07-13-2009 at 07:41 PM.

  9. #24
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    ^ Bebe Liang is very accomplished on the piano. I would say she is musical, but not very artistic.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    I think Irina was artistic, she could catch you with her performances but she was not a ballerina.
    Some skaters are just wonderful even if they are skate circles around the ring to the music. This is artistry gift or musicality?
    I would say it can be both to varying degrees.

    Earlier I mentioned Yuna and then seniorita did. We had differing opinions. .
    People are reluctant to admit it (it seems that way to me) but Cop and the choreo intensive programs of today have changed the entire way skaters present themsleves. Forget that 6.0 might have been worse or better than CoP.

    My point is that today I see skaters looking like rabbits running from a fox. OK, an exageration - but all of the arm waving and bending and dipping has nothing to do with musicality imo. If a skater can keep in time with the music and smile on key and do everything right in a program - then we will say they were artisitic and/or musical. But I don't see the more soulful programs Michelle and Sasha gave us and I miss them.

    After Worlds Yuna was hailed as the best lady skater in the world.
    I dont think a clean Mao would have beaten Yuna in LA because the way she intepreted her choreo felt very unsettling to me. Mao's SP in particular may have had beautiful choreo but it was not skated very musically. It felt superficial, unemotional and just didn't have the flow to the music we expect from a World champion.

    Yuna came out and skated dramatically and passionately- and more importantly her skating was in sync with the music
    I felt that Yuna was musical and Mao was not at worlds. I felt that way about both of their programs.

    I am not convinced Yuna is a more musical skater than Mao - but I believe she was at worlds. In fact it was no contest imo.

    There are factors like a coaching change to consider and other things. Yuna's music semed perfectly suited for her and Mao"s seemed wrong for her.

    It is interesting to watch three Americans - Evan, Johnny and Jeremy. I think one of the three feels and interprets music at a much higher level than the other two.
    If he skates clean he will beat them - but he can't beat them on superior musicality alone.

    I never felt great musicality from any of the recent Russian male champions.Their musicality was good or even better than average but not that impressive to me. They were extremely dramattic and very theatrical - and of course technically superior. It was enough to win but not sure if any of them approached Kurt Browning at his best when it came to musical interpretation.
    Last edited by janetfan; 07-14-2009 at 08:05 AM.

  11. #26
    Sitting Here on Blue Jay Way silver.blades's Avatar
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    In my dance class we were marked on musicality. Getting a good musicality mark essentially meant that you were able to stay on time with the music and hit the steps on the right counts without making it look mechanical like you were thinking through it.

    My teacher always explained artistry as the artistic intent behind a work or performance. The dancers she deemed the most artistic were the ones that had a plan, intention and/or story behind their movements, who had an emotional connection to the movement and were able to convey that connection to the audience.

  12. #27
    L'art pour l'art Medusa's Avatar
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    Musicality is innate. I think everyone is musical to some extend, yes - even Joubert and Lysacek. But musicality has to be awakened, you have to allow yourself to get a feeling for melodies, for rhythms, you have to open up to the emotionality of music. You have to flow with it, take the different feelings, ideas, fantasies, imaginations and impulses the music initiates in you and turn them into movements.

    But just because you can do that, doesn't mean it translates to the ice. Examples are skaters who are just too shy, where the movements have no conviction. These skaters can very well be musical, but it just doesn't translate to the ice. Then there are skaters who have the tendency to be very nervous and tense, and sometimes every musicality goes out of the window then - e.g. Weir but also Abbott.

    Musicality isn't always expressed in just one way. I know that some Asada fans criticise that Kim depends so much on her facial expressions. But there are so many different ways to express your connection to the music, and Kim uses her facial expressions. Browning and Brezina use their feet, Weir has a way of expressing the music with his elegant arms (well, until 2006 at least), Abbott uses everything except for his face.

    I feel that guys like Lysacek "Uhh, what's classical music? Is that something extraterrestrial?" and Joubert "Every time I expressed some melody with arms and upper body, would make me, OMG, g..g...ggg...ga...gay!" limit themselves, and the worst thing is - both do it on purpose. (Ahemm, those aren't literal quotes) Just go speedskating already, or play ice-hockey! But Joubert only after an Olympic medal, I still like him (don't look at me, heck, I'm only human and female on the top of it).

    And real artistry can't exist witout musicality. You can be charming, innovative etc. without musicality. But you can't be artistic without being musical.

  13. #28
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    This is almost unanswerable. I guess I find skaters musical when they:

    * move to the rhythm of the music
    * find a personal way to express the emotional heights of the music - usually by a combination of facial expression and gesture (esp. head movements)
    * generally convince me they HEAR the music at all! So often the music is just a backdrop and could be anything!

    Musicality is pretty rare among skaters and I do NOT think they all have, or could develop it. Plus, as Janetfan said, hearing it and expressing it are really two different things. A lot more people can hear it than express it - otherwise we'd all be Dinu Lipattis or Willie Nelsons or Tatiana Troyanoses.

    Also, people can be musical with regard to some types of music and not others. Just because Sasha Cohen is amazing when she skates to Russian music doesn't mean she'd seem musical when skating to, say, Willie Nelson. The same goes for us spectators, of course. She could be as musical as all get-out with Russian music, but if I only like Michael Jackson, I'm not going to see it.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    This is almost unanswerable. I guess I find skaters musical when they:

    * move to the rhythm of the music
    * find a personal way to express the emotional heights of the music - usually by a combination of facial expression and gesture (esp. head movements)
    * generally convince me they HEAR the music at all! So often the music is just a backdrop and could be anything!
    I agree. In dance, the term musicality refers to moving in time with the music. Regardless of how one defines musicality, it always involves listening to what the music does, and in skating, being able to skate with the ebbs and flows of the music (in time, of course). I think skating doesn't properly train that because attention is placed on all the different technical aspects required of skating. I think one must take dance lessons to really work on musicality. Music lessons help, but dance lessons is more applicable to skating because it involves moving your body to music. That's why I think taking dance lessons is really critical for someone who wants to take their skating seriously since skating lessons doesn't address musicality sufficiently.

  15. #30
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by passion View Post
    I agree. In dance, the term musicality refers to moving in time with the music. Regardless of how one defines musicality, it always involves listening to what the music does, and in skating, being able to skate with the ebbs and flows of the music (in time, of course). I think skating doesn't properly train that because attention is placed on all the different technical aspects required of skating. I think one must take dance lessons to really work on musicality. Music lessons help, but dance lessons is more applicable to skating because it involves moving your body to music. That's why I think taking dance lessons is really critical for someone who wants to take their skating seriously since skating lessons doesn't address musicality sufficiently.
    Well, I took ballet for a couple of years and I was never able to dance musically. I hear the music, all right, but you'd never know it by watching me. And I've seen many unmusical dancers, alas!

    Why one dance or skater is "transparent" to the music and another is opaque is a mystery to me.

    I think dance training might help more with other aspects of artistry - esp. to get the skater to focus more on line and posture.

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