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Thread: What is "heart?"

  1. #46
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    Seriously, part of the reason this thread is a seven headed monster is because there are so many contexts for 'heart.'
    The question I really wanted to ask -- and this should have been the title of the thread -- was "What is the difference between "wearing your heart on your sleeve" and "performing your choreography in a convincing fashion."

    I am OK with all the interesting twists and turns the thread had taken, though.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mot View Post
    I agree. There are always some skaters who transcend cultural differences and become almost universal. And only truly gifted (or lucky?) can achieve that. Masterpieces of any art form too, as you have pointed out.

    However, how to and how much one expresses their feelings, emotions or 'heart' in that matter is a product of a culture, as well as individual traits. In a recent talk show on TV, Shizuka Arakawa and Daisuke Takahashi talked about their experience of having to show the programmes choreographed by foreign choreographers for the first time in Japan, and how embarrassed they were then. (Funnily enough, the programmes they said they were most shy to show were both done by Morozov.) They said they had not minded it much while practising abroad, but they had became too self-conscious and shy once back in Japan.

    It is a slightly different issue, but Daisuke also reckons there are certain things he could not yet express because of his lack of real life experiences. He thinks his choreographer Pauquale Camerlengo was much better at expressing the emotions contained in this season's long programme, and only men in their 40's or above, who have experienced ups and downs the life offers, can truly express intensity of the programme. 'I cannot beat men in the 30's and 40's on that', he said. He also says each mistakes and hardship he has to endure helps him to be a better performer. This is perhaps the reason why skaters in the twilight years of their competitive career can bring a greater degree of sophistication and complexity of expression to the programmes, which some younger skaters are not capable of.
    I agree w/the bolded; but if we're operating off of that principle, Westerners would not be able to express admiration for the very culturally-orientated art of kabuki theatre in Japan or kendo or traditional Japanese dance. There are different ways of expressing a performance but so long as there's heart behind it, regardless, I feel like it comes through either through facial expressions, body language, or just the performer's presence/aura or any combo of those three aforementioned. I remember watching some of Michelle's performances prior to her "transformation" into Salome by Lori and Frank and even though she didn't possess the artistry that would mark performances like Aranjuez and Song of the Red Violin masterpieces, there was nevertheless something that just drew your eye automatically to her, jumping bean or not. And what about Lu Chen? Such subtle, sublime elegance she possessed, reminiscent of the grace of traditional Chinese dance and yet that did not mean her performances lacked heart anymore than Michelle's performances did imo. When a skater allows him/herself to just fall into the music, culture disappears for now it is the music, not cultural norms or traditions that dictates the skater's movements, his/her expressiveness, indeed his/her very self. And that is when true art is created on the ice.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    The question I really wanted to ask -- and this should have been the title of the thread -- was "What is the difference between "wearing your heart on your sleeve" and "performing your choreography in a convincing fashion."

    I am OK with all the interesting twists and turns the thread had taken, though.

    is it always a wonderful thing to wear your heart on your sleeve, though? doesn't it require some degree of audience, hmm, empathy, willingness to look-see what's in your heart, sing along with you, in a way? some of oksana baiul's programs when she was really not in such a good place anymore felt like ... too much information to me. the commentators felt it too--they weren't gushing over her like they did during the 'meditation from thais' days, and not because another olympic champion had already replaced her as flavor of the day. some of oksana's programs i don't rewatch very often, because she, like MK, shot straight to my heart and i didn't like what i was feeling watching her during certain moments of the choreography. i'm guessing those who don't like MK very much must cringe similarly when they see her 'passion to win'

    the answer to your question is... IMO, possessing a truly extroverted personality (bobek, MK, baiul) vs. introvert with lots of coaching (yamaguchi, caroline zhang, for me).

  4. #49
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ I agree with everything you said. And also with your first two posts on this thread.

    To tell the truth, I think think the most genuine emotion comes from the youngest performers, not the most mature. The kids whose sole theme is "look what I can do!"

    I like that better than dying swans flopping about on the ice.

  5. #50
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Watch Plushy and then maybe a skater like Mroz. Tell me which skater is commanding the ice and with it possibly a higher degree of our attention.
    Neither capture my attention, honestly.

  6. #51
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    To tell the truth, I think think the most genuine emotion comes from the youngest performers, not the most mature. The kids whose sole theme is "look what I can do!"

    I like that better than dying swans flopping about on the ice.
    I wish Ashley Wagner would listen to this. Back in 2007 and 2008 she had so much raw energy. Then her focus shifted towards being "mature" and she became less interesting to watch because it feels less authentic. And now she is literally skating a program about dying swans flopping about on the ice next season. :sheesh:

    Hopefully she'll at least take my advice for the Short Program.

    Don't get me wrong, the "serious and elegant" style certainly has a place (and has resulted in some of the best programs), but it doesn't work for everyone. I pray that Ashley's program to Black Swan is not about willowy balletic arms but rather something edgy and sinister. I'm sure it will of course have an uptempo section regardless, but I feel it would be best for her to do away with the "pretty ballerina" side altogether. Go for the dark eye makeup and black costume and BE AGGRESSIVE!

  7. #52
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    Neither capture my attention, honestly.
    Come on Toni,the comparison is unfortunate, even if you dont like any of both, you can surely see who doesnt put audience to sleep to say the least.

  8. #53
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    Come on Toni,the comparison is unfortunate, even if you dont like any of both, you can surely see who doesnt put audience to sleep to say the least.
    ummmmm... welllllllllllll.... I fastforward both of them for a reason. Audience wise though, like Michelle Kwan, I'd say Plushenko holds their attention longer... even if I'm not sure why

  9. #54
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    ummmmm... welllllllllllll.... I fastforward both of them for a reason. Audience wise though, like Michelle Kwan, I'd say Plushenko holds their attention longer... even if I'm not sure why
    If you fast forward them how can you know how they skate?Oh yes I forgot , you dont like Kwan also, that explains it
    When I come to Alaska to do all the stuff you had said, i will bring you AAAAALLL my dvds for a gift, for you to watch Kwan and Plushy until the snow will melt

  10. #55
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    for you to watch Kwan and Plushy until the snow will melt
    I watched them in real time when I was recording the tapes. once is more than enough (and I had to sit through MK's SP and LP in 2005, I think I've done my time!)

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    If you fast forward them how can you know how they skate?Oh yes I forgot , you dont like Kwan also, that explains it
    When I come to Alaska to do all the stuff you had said, i will bring you AAAAALLL my dvds for a gift, for you to watch Kwan and Plushy until the snow will melt
    That I'd pay to see!

    For the record, I don't think one has to be a fan to see why a particular skater holds the audience. I am not a Plushy fan the way Seniorita is, or the way Toni and I are fans of Kurt, but I can see that the guy is electric and is a superb skater besides. But everyone reacts differently. To make a cross-sport pun, that's what makes a horse race.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ To tell the truth, I think think the most genuine emotion comes from the youngest performers, not the most mature. The kids whose sole theme is "look what I can do!"

    .
    It sounds like you are describing Kanako.

    Or Michelle at '95 Worlds, who most definitely had that "look what I can do quality."

    She was terrific at that championship but did not become world champion until she learned to do a heck of a lot more, particularly with her presentation.
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-24-2011 at 06:12 AM.

  13. #58
    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    i didn't like what i was feeling watching her during certain moments of the choreography. i'm guessing those who don't like MK very much must cringe similarly when they see her 'passion to win'
    Yeah, I do cringe and feel slightly sick when I see Michelle's Tosca. Tosca was crude. On the other hand, Michelle's Aranjuez is my favourite ladies' LP, and I also love her shorts to Romanza and Rachmaninoff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ I agree with everything you said. And also with your first two posts on this thread.

    To tell the truth, I think think the most genuine emotion comes from the youngest performers, not the most mature. The kids whose sole theme is "look what I can do!"

    I like that better than dying swans flopping about on the ice.
    I'm thinking of Tara Lipinski.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Or Michelle at '95 Worlds, who most definitely had that "look what I can do quality."

    She was terrific at that championship but did not become world champion until she learned to do a heck of a lot more, particularly with her presentation.
    That is quite true. But still I wouldn't say that Michelle's portrayal of Salome showed "sincerity of emotion." Presentation skills, yes.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    That is quite true. But still I wouldn't say that Michelle's portrayal of Salome showed "sincerity of emotion." Presentation skills, yes.
    I agree with that.

    "Tosca" was just mentioned. Would you say Michelle is showing more "heart" here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWQSoIEAxns

    or during "Salome" when she was much younger?

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