Page 7 of 15 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 LastLast
Results 91 to 105 of 215

Thread: Skating as art

  1. #91
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    28,100
    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    And I also think that [Dick Button] focusing on aesthetic commentary in a competitive context at the expense of explaining fine points of technique and rules did a disservice to the sport as sport.
    I have to disagree about that. I think Dick Button did a great service to lay audience members who were fuzzy asbout exactly why one performance was a wow and another, equally competent, was a dud.

    One year it was the layback. Dick was merciless in criticising unesthetic positions and in praising correct ones. (The next year every lady had improved her layback position. )

    Get all the way down in your sit spin. This pair is wasting the music. That spiral position is just plain ugly. His arms are too stiff. She is not reaching out to the audience. He is not utilizing the whole ice surface.

    I always found that sort of commentary to be interesting and enlightening. More so than, that triple flip gets 5.5 base value but the edge was questionable, so there might be a deduction in GOE.

  2. #92
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    6,889
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I have to disagree about that. I think Dick Button did a great service to lay audience members who were fuzzy asbout exactly why one performance was a wow and another, equally competent, was a dud.

    One year it was the layback. Dick was merciless in criticising unesthetic positions and in praising correct ones. (The next year every lady had improved her layback position. )

    Get all the way down in your sit spin. This pair is wasting the music. That spiral position is just plain ugly. His arms are too stiff. She is not reaching out to the audience. He is not utilizing the whole ice surface.

    I always found that sort of commentary to be interesting and enlightening. More so than, that triple flip gets 5.5 base value but the edge was questionable, so there might be a deduction in GOE.
    As Carol Heiss once pointed out, in the early days of televised figure skating the viewers were totally clueless. At Squaw Valley the vast majority of Americans had never seen a figure skating competition.

    By 1968 little had changed other than we saw a bit more skating on TV.

    Those who think new or casual TV viewers of today get it anymore are kidding themselves.
    A broadcaster's comment about plus or minus goe means nothing to someone if they don't know what goe is in the first place.

    Some have said American TV has failed and let the fans down and the fading popularity of skating in USA is the fault of TV and it's broadcasters.

    I disagree and find that an inward, self absorbed type of thinking that fails to accept that the vast majority of Americans do not care about skating.

    The majority of viewers do not care how the CoP works. Skating was a minor part of USA Pop/sport culture years ago and is barely a blip on the radar these days.

    Don't blame the announcers, they call it like they see it and their job is not to cater to less than 1% of ther viewers.

    It is fair to criticize perceived shortcomings of Button (or anyone else) but on the whole I think US Skating owes a debt of gratitiude to him that is hard to measure.
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-01-2011 at 12:51 PM.

  3. #93
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    653
    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    i have to disagree about that. I think dick button did a great service to lay audience members who were fuzzy asbout exactly why one performance was a wow and another, equally competent, was a dud.

    One year it was the layback. Dick was merciless in criticising unesthetic positions and in praising correct ones. (the next year every lady had improved her layback position. )

    get all the way down in your sit spin. This pair is wasting the music. That spiral position is just plain ugly. His arms are too stiff. She is not reaching out to the audience. He is not utilizing the whole ice surface.

    I always found that sort of commentary to be interesting and enlightening. More so than, that triple flip gets 5.5 base value but the edge was questionable, so there might be a deduction in goe.
    Quote Originally Posted by hernando
    those who think new or casual tv viewers of today get it anymore are kidding themselves.
    A broadcaster's comment about plus or minus goe means nothing to someone if they don't know what goe is in the first place.

    Some have said american tv has failed and let the fans down and the fading popularity of skating in usa is the fault of tv and it's broadcasters.

    I disagree and find that an inward, self absorbed type of thinking that fails to accept that the vast majority of americans do not care about skating.

    The majority of viewers do not care how the cop works. Skating was a minor part of usa pop/sport culture years ago and is barely a blip on the radar these days.

    Don't blame the announcers, they call it like they see it and their job is not to cater to less than 1% of ther viewers.
    I agree with both of you, and I'll take a stab at a synthesis:

    I'll go out on a limb and speculate that the vast majority of figure skating audiences (maybe places like Canada excepted, in deference to ImaginaryPogue ) care about the sporting and the artistic aspects of figure skating at very different levels of granularity.

    -As far as the sporting side is concerned, most of those who watch only care on a rough-grained level. That is to say, they care primarily about the result (who won? who medalled? Is it close or a blowout? (both can be exciting). Which is no different, actually, from many casual fans of football); to the extent that there is more detailed interest, it's confined to whether the jump was obviously spectacular to the naked eye in real time. I would bet that 99% of viewers can't tell the difference between a salchow and a milk cow, let alone between a lutz and a flip, and further, don't really care to know. Some may be able to vaguely distinguish a triple from a double, but that's about it.

    I've thought for a long time that the only technical aspect that most viewers truly appreciate, because it's intuitive and natural, is the GOE aspect of jumps. The speed, height, ice coverage, and flow, even the air position to some extent, can be visually understood almost immediately by even untutored viewers. And don't even start about spins and spirals; most viewers, it seems to me, aren't even aware that these are sporting elements at all, and probably assume that they are part of the artistic repertoire.

    -On the other hand, I do think that the majority of lay viewers focus on the "aesthetic" aspects with much greater attention and in more fine-grained detail. I speculate that this is because the average viewer has a certain amount of confidence, using his/her native abilities and innate standards as the primary instruments, to perceive and value examples of artistic beauty.

    In my view, most viewers, at least at a subconscious level, believe in the existence of some objective criteria (in the epistemological sense of being commonly shared, if not in the strictly metaphysical sense of being completely explicable from first principles and axioms) for concepts such as beauty and emotional affect as applied to human beings.

    It is analogous to, say, a colleague walking up to you to offer congratulations on your promotion; we are born with an innate emotional radar, and make immediate and intuitive judgments based on a plethora of cues, including the body's "language" and rhythms, and the tone of voice, as to the human, emotional truth: is that cheese-eating grin actually representative of true good wishes, or is it a false and forced action? My theory is that audiences assume that, at the most basic level, the artistic aspect of skating is something similar. And I dare say that I think they may be right. This is my "Wisdom of Crowds" theory of figure skating judgment.

    -COP, in my view, was, like Magna Carta, instituted to provide assurances of good conduct by those who ruled with an authoritarian hand to those who were simmering in revolt, including the skaters as well as the great unwashed (we the viewers). Although, as with many such documents, some will argue that COP is honored more in the breach than in the observance, it was necessary under the circumstances created by the judging scandals.

    -If my analysis is correct, however, those who advocate focus on the arcane technical aspects in television commentary are confusing the impetus for COP (technical rigor in judging) with the audience's motive for watching (which I argue is very much on the artistic and holistic side).

    This is why I agree that people generally enjoy commentators like Dick Button, because the comments emphasize things that they are already paying attention to, and which are helpful in sharpening a facility of perception that viewers already possess. By contrast, droning on about edges and quarter-turns comes across as a dreary series of teaching moments, and cause a lot of viewers to go glassy-eyed, like Ben Stein's class in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I personally prefer commentaries like Dick Button's, with technical commentary in small and strategically placed doses. You can't teach if the students don't want to pay attention, especially when they have the option to jump to another class if they're bored.

  4. #94
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    28,100
    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    Some may be able to vaguely distinguish a triple from a double, but that's about it.
    The number of rotations is in the mind of the beholder. I went to a local club show featuring performers of all ages and skill levels. I took copious notes of each element, the swifter to rush back to my keyboard and shoot off a report to Golden Skate. Almost all of the higher level performers did outstanding double Axels.

    The next poster wrote, dear Mathman, no one in that show did a double Axel. They were all singles. Expect headliner Yuka Sato , who, by the way, did a double toe loop as her other jump, not a triple flip. (My excuse in the case of Sato -- my eyes were all teary from having been overborn by the strains of Amazing Grace.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye
    *the rest of the post*
    Off tpic: May I say, that was beautifully paragraphed?

    Such a trivial matter, and yet... (When you mention both epistemology and metaphysics in the same sentence, that paragraph had better be only one sentence long. )

    One tiny detail to add about what most viewers are able to see and evaluate on the technical side -- falling down is a negative.

    OK, one more tiny detail. I think in the case of truly jaw-dropping spinners, like Stephane Lambiel, the audience can notice that something out of the ordinary is going on. In my opinion, this can't happen any more. Under CoP the skaters are too busy counting how many revolutions they are doing on each edge of each foot in how many ungainly positions.

    I don't know what I think about that. Gkelly has convinced me that this makes the sport more sporty because only the best technicians can do it.

  5. #95
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    20,185
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    As Carol Heiss once pointed out, in the early days of televised figure skating the viewers were totally clueless. At Squaw Valley the vast majority of Americans had never seen a figure skating competition.

    By 1968 little had changed other than we saw a bit more skating on TV.

    Those who think new or casual TV viewers of today get it anymore are kidding themselves.
    A broadcaster's comment about plus or minus goe means nothing to someone if they don't know what goe is in the first place.

    Some have said American TV has failed and let the fans down and the fading popularity of skating in USA is the fault of TV and it's broadcasters.

    I disagree and find that an inward, self absorbed type of thinking that fails to accept that the vast majority of Americans do not care about skating.

    The majority of viewers do not care how the CoP works. Skating was a minor part of USA Pop/sport culture years ago and is barely a blip on the radar these days.

    Don't blame the announcers, they call it like they see it and their job is not to cater to less than 1% of ther viewers.

    It is fair to criticize perceived shortcomings of Button (or anyone else) but on the whole I think US Skating owes a debt of gratitiude to him that is hard to measure.
    Interesting quote by Heiss.

    Hernando - When Heiss skated at Squaw Valley. I don't think the arrangements for figure skating on TV were really in place like how many TV sets were in America, and what else was on? Americans thought only of show skating, so Carol is correct, they had no clue of competitive skating. It wasn't till Wide World of Sports with its snippets of skating, particularly Peggy Flemming right after the horrible plane crash killing the US Worlds Team, that people began to sit up and take an interest in the Sport. Ice Shows continued to rule the atmosphere, but Dorothy Hammil with the layered haircut was getting a lot of hype. Unfortunately for her, show skating was going down hill. The expression, if you've seen one, you've seen them all, yet she bought Capades. Small shows still continued, but the biggest influence in the Sport of Figure Skating came about from TV when ABC took the risk of showing some competition.

    This is when Button shined in commenting on the tricks, like that dangerous forward outside edge (axel), but his aesthetics were based on good positions like the attitude position in a layback spin. He served the uninitiated well. Unfortunately, he never got to do the Olys because of contractual problems but his influence certainly made Figure Skating the Gem in the Crown of the Olympics. Maybe we need another personality like him to bring back the glory days.
    Last edited by Joesitz; 04-01-2011 at 04:46 PM.

  6. #96
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Kenai, AK
    Posts
    18,659
    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    This is when Button shined in commenting on the tricks, like that dangerous forward outside edge (axel), but his aesthetics were based on good positions like the attitude position in a layback spin. He served the uninitiated well. Unfortunately, he never got to do the Olys because of contractual problems but his influence certainly made Figure Skating the Gem in the Crown of the Olympics. Maybe we need another personality like him to bring back the glory days.
    I'm pretty sure in the early days when the olympics were on ABC he DID get to do the olympics... pretty sure he commentated during Hamilton's first Olympics, and four years later when he won. And I could be wrong but I think he was with Jim McKay when Hamill and Flemming won their titles. Again I could be wrong, I know NBC had 88 olys, but then it went to CBS for the 90s (where hamilton got to take over as the voice of skating in teh games)

  7. #97
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    20,185
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    I'm pretty sure in the early days when the olympics were on ABC he DID get to do the olympics... pretty sure he commentated during Hamilton's first Olympics, and four years later when he won. And I could be wrong but I think he was with Jim McKay when Hamill and Flemming won their titles. Again I could be wrong, I know NBC had 88 olys, but then it went to CBS for the 90s (where hamilton got to take over as the voice of skating in teh games)
    I'm not sure if ABC ever did the Olympics. CBS and NBC kind of alternated. Can you check it out? It's a minor point since the discussion is more about Button's ability to enhance the sport for the general audience, and Heiss' view of the clueless public in 1960(?)

  8. #98
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Kenai, AK
    Posts
    18,659
    from wikipedia

    Button provided commentary for CBS's broadcast of the 1960 Winter Olympics, launching a decades-long career in television broadcast journalism. Button again did commentary for CBS's broadcast of the 1961 United States Figure Skating Championships. Then, beginning in 1962, he worked as a figure skating analyst for ABC Sports, which had acquired the rights to the U.S. Championships as well as the 1962 World Figure Skating Championships. During ABC's coverage of figure skating events in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Button became the sport's best-known analyst, well-known for his frank and often caustic appraisal of skaters' performances. He won an Emmy Award in 1981 for Outstanding Sports Personality – Analyst.[5] Although other U.S. television networks aired the Winter Olympics from the 1990s onward, Button still appeared on ABC's broadcasts of the U.S. and World Figure Skating Championships until ABC removed them from its broadcast schedule in 2008. Button's reputation and influence in the sport of figure skating therefore long outlasted his own competitive and performing career.

  9. #99
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    9,491
    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I'm not sure if ABC ever did the Olympics. CBS and NBC kind of alternated. Can you check it out? It's a minor point since the discussion is more about Button's ability to enhance the sport for the general audience, and Heiss' view of the clueless public in 1960(?)

    ABC did most of the Olympics for many years. I can guarantee they did the 1984 Olympics, because at the end of Torvill and Dean's phenomenal long program (all 6.0's in the second mark, I believe), Peggy Fleming said spontaneously, "We are so lucky to be here tonight!" They also did the 1988 Olympics. I believe they did '76 and '80 also, but I can't speak for earlier than that.

  10. #100
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    6,889
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    from wikipedia
    Thanks forthe link Toni. I am sure Joesitz was not questioning Button's influence and was just raising an interesting point.
    I can't remember the exact details either, but do remember Button interviewing Peggy, Janet, Dorothy, even Irina and many more after major competitions.

    He was the voice of figure skating to Americans for decades and I think those of us who have followed skating for a long time are better off for his contributions.

    One thing we can all agree on is that Button could be quirky, from his use of language to his undying praise of Sasha's back.

    And why not, he knew what he was talking about and like Dorothy, Sahsa's beautiful back was special.

    Skating is different than most "sports."
    Button's colorful use of language enhanced and never tried to hide the marvelous difference that distinguishes figure skating from most other sports

    I can't imagine having followed skating for so many years without Button. He is and will remain forever part of my lifelong love affair with skating.

  11. #101
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    9,491
    Mine, too. Button has truly served skating. One may not always agree with him, and he can certainly be partisan, but he has earned the right to have his own opinions. He was a skater himself--one of the greats, in fact--as well as having been married to one of America's best coaches, Slavka Kohout. He's connected to everyone but beholden to no one. I agree with those who have said that he calls attention to many great aspects of skaters' technique. He is at once the "professor" and the stand-in for the ordinary viewer. We need people like him in skating, not processed sports anchormen.
    Last edited by Olympia; 04-01-2011 at 08:31 PM.

  12. #102
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    28,100
    Dick Button once said, "I have been everything it is possible to be in figure skating, except a judge. I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole."

  13. #103
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Kenai, AK
    Posts
    18,659
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    ABC did most of the Olympics for many years. I can guarantee they did the 1984 Olympics, because at the end of Torvill and Dean's phenomenal long program (all 6.0's in the second mark, I believe), Peggy Fleming said spontaneously, "We are so lucky to be here tonight!" They also did the 1988 Olympics. I believe they did '76 and '80 also, but I can't speak for earlier than that.
    NBC did the 88 games... pretty sure anyway... Pretty sure it was their group of commentators that covered the Jamacian Bobsled Team... and 88 was when the current NBC Olympic theme was born.


    (I'm not a fan of Button, the older he gets the meaner he gets - for no good reason - and I get tired of him flubbing on jump calls and being abusive with words to his collegues when they dare to disagree)

  14. #104
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    6,889
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    NBC did the 88 games... pretty sure anyway... Pretty sure it was their group of commentators that covered the Jamacian Bobsled Team... and 88 was when the current NBC Olympic theme was born.


    (I'm not a fan of Button, the older he gets the meaner he gets - for no good reason - and I get tired of him flubbing on jump calls and being abusive with words to his collegues when they dare to disagree)
    Is this generational perhaps?
    I know newer fans get down on Scott but many who know how much (immeasurable IMO) he has done for skating are generally pretty forgiving and quick to defend him. That would be me. I watched Button call skating before Scott was ever heard of.

    I don't think Scott is perfect but I still like it when he is in the booth. Maybe because he is so familiar to me but aside from that he knows skating better than his little critics at GS any day of the week and twice, if not more on Sunday afternoons.

  15. #105
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Kenai, AK
    Posts
    18,659
    um I grew up with figure skating from the 80s on. I've listened to Button and prefer the younger Button to what he's become. Not sure how Hamilton got pulled in here, but most everyone here can tell you Scott was the reason I got interested in teh sport and continues to be one of my heros. I don't think he's perfect in the booth and I find myself arguing with him more and more with the CoP (I tend to blame NBC more than Scott for what he says on that subject ).

    If you're commenting on my "voice of figure skating" comment I know that title goes to Button, but as far as the Olympic viewership is concerned - since 1992 - Scott's been the voice of the games... at least he's happier when he talks, even if it does grate on people's nerves

Page 7 of 15 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •