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Thread: GP Final Analysis and Predictions

  1. #106
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    RE the above post. Artistry comes from within not from a Coreographer. The Choreographer gives the skating direction, and it is up to the skater to make it his/her own. We have to remember these Ladies have led a very sheltered life and their emotions come from skating as does every sheltered skater. Facial grimaces that Ladies show can be displayed by the body as a strong balerina dancer would show the audience high above the stage.

    Truly emotion skaters in order of my preference: VM; DW; Kostner; Abbott; SS.

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Travel distance is also small for Takahashi / Tran. T&T are also coached by Richard Gauthier, as are D&R, so they are equally as close to Quebec City.
    T&T scored 10 points less over their two events than D&R and were behind them at Skate Canada, and that's with T&T skating about as well as they possibly could at NHK, while D&R had multiple major errors in the LP at both their competitions, under-rotating both jumping passes and missing their big category 5 lift at Skate Canada, and three falls at TEB. If clean, D&R could be looking at a score in the neighbourhood of 125.

    But yes, D&R are very happy to be going with their training mates.

  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    If you read the official PCS guidelines with their full explanations, I think you will be rather surprised to find how little 'Art' (especially what appears to be your definition) matters in the full scope of PCS and CoP in general.
    I have problems with the current PCS guidelines [think it is still in early draft and given the COP's young history, it is understandable.] and put forward some ideas in the 'Seeking The Perfect Combination Between Sport And Art' by Bluebonnet. I do realize I have a different fresher perspective from most long term skating fans who seems to have accepted the way things are, but I tends always focus on how things should be, could be and what would bring credibility and popularity to the sport in 10 years, 20 years to encourage better work, better performances and attract more fans, more money to the sport.

    For the record, I don't think Mao is artistic. But then again, I don't consider Yu-Na, Carolina, Alissa, Joannie, or any of the current/recent ladies skaters as artistic either. They are charismatic performers who follow instructions well, or perhaps have great line/posture that results in an aesthetically pleasant picture on the ice, etc. How I view this whole thing about 'Art' in figure skating is that elite figure skating is first and foremost a sport. Skaters skate to win competitions, and to do so, they construct their programs to get the most points under the current rules of the sport--creativity, imagination, etc be damned. Right now, what can plausibly be construed as 'Art' means relatively little in figure skating (as the criteria and structure of PCS scoring clearly indicate) and so the vast majority of skaters' programs reflect this. You stick those transitions before and after your jumps not because they add to the character of the music or fulfil some artistic vision, but because transitions are very important in getting points as they are needed for positive GOE and the TR component of PCS (remember: harder/more intricate is always better!). Cramming the correct number of brackets, counters and mohawks, etc with vigorous upper-body motion tend to be the main factors in dictating the character of footwork (you need to get those levels somehow), not the music or emotions. Try not to succumb to complete artistic abandon/get lost in the performance, because you might leave out a rotation and lose a level or two on a spin. Throw in the fact that the judges seem to link all the components of PCS quite closely together (within a point, IIRC) and that SS--a very technical component--seems to be the component that decides the rest of the PCS....well, yeah. Hence my less-than-laudatory attitude towards the 'artistic' side of figure skating (except for a very, very few exceptions).
    I agree with your summary on the state of current judging, that this should be primarily a sport. Infact that was why I disagree with Mao's 3 triples performance (without a clean 3Lz, 3:3, 3A) despite the argument she is better in everything else. Since when has a 3 triple program with 3 failed triples = 1 level up on spins and spirals? (If so... what have you been doing all this time Alissa? Mirai? Akiko?) In a way, I don't care about the mathematics when they are based on fiddling around with numbers to imply absolute values but they are clearly impressions that is open to scrutiny and influencing. And I would 100% disagree with you on Yu-na.

    Given the limitation of COP, among the ladies, she is one of the rare ones to fully realize the artistic potential within such a narrow realm of opportunities to made it work. Her 11 world records would indicate this and her wide acclaims by the artistic skaters/commentators of this sport speaks for itself. While she has a great team to support her, but she should be very proud of her skating portfolio that consist of widely diversified, unique and remarkable work all offers something different than the last. I'd also consider may be her difficult early life experience/career are due to the fact she know she has to work harder than everyone else (without a strong federation backing), motivated her and pushed her and her team to construct better and more thought out programs that she were able to fully merge herself into. She could very well rest on her laurels given her consistent technical superiority. And year after she actually tried to push the boundaries of what she can do artistically and technically. I'd argue actually her influence is felt in current young generations including Liza, Hanyu, Li ZiJun etc.

    Personally I'd love her to continue skating but maybe at above senior level such as going pro-am, where hopefully would include more credible artistic judging that is different from COP. Emphasis on quality opinions with transparency and accountability, where the judges are real figure skating/arts experts that are not anonymous and have their reputation at stake. To give constructive critisms, valid feedback on why one is better than the other (they might not always right, but at least we know why one should disagree with them), beside fiddling round with some numbers and hid behind anonymity.

    I think this is a very loose definition of art. Those four performances are certainly thrilling life experiences to watch and experience....but that does not art make, IMO.
    But art is a snapshot of life, in fact art is life experiences in its entire spectrum, be they good, bad, sad, tragic, beauty, romance, realism etc.. Why is Munch's Scream, Van Gough's self portrait of bandaged ear, Klimt's The kiss so special and still so revered? They showed us an aspect of humanity that we rarely experience other than through the work and the experience of the artist.

  4. #109
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    Whether or not jumps were successful have nothing to do with spin levels and GOE. When Alissa used to bomb her jumps, she still received massive points for her spins. The fact that Mao did 3 triples should have nothing to do with the fact that she got level 4 on all her spins (which she also did at NHK). Like others said, step sequence levels are determined by the caller, and this one thought that Mao had intricate enough footwork to warrant a 4. (Just so you know, Alena Leonova also received a level 4 on that awful SP step sequence and level 4s have been seen much more often this year, even in the junior ranks, like from Vanessa Lam and Courtney Hicks)

    Jumps and spins and step sequences are all different elements and whether one has failed on one of them should not warrant any effect on the others. Mao fulfilled the criteria for level 4 spins and step sequences. And I'm not sure why you referred to Alissa/Akiko/Mirai, they all have received level 4 spins consistently this year as well (and Akiko got a level 4 step sequence this year as well). Levels on spins =/= politicking. There is a guideline that tells the caller what counts as a difficult variation, change of edge, etc. and how many of these features they need for a certain level.

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    I have problems with the current PCS guidelines [think it is still in early draft and given the COP's young history, it is understandable.] and put forward some ideas in the 'Seeking The Perfect Combination Between Sport And Art' by Bluebonnet. I do realize I have a different fresher perspective from most long term skating fans who seems to have accepted the way things are, but I tends always focus on how things should be, could be and what would bring credibility and popularity to the sport in 10 years, 20 years to encourage better work, better performances and attract more fans, more money to the sport.
    I am also not completely gung-ho with the current PCS guidelines, but I have long accepted that change comes slowly to the dinosaurs that make up the upper echelons of the ISU. Til then, we must work with what rules we have now.

    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    I agree with your summary on the state of current judging, that this should be primarily a sport. Infact that was why I disagree with Mao's 3 triples performance (without a clean 3Lz, 3:3, 3A) despite the argument she is better in everything else. Since when has a 3 triple program with 3 failed triples = 1 level up on spins and spirals? (If so... what have you been doing all this time Alissa? Mirai? Akiko?) In a way, I don't care about the mathematics when they are based on fiddling around with numbers to imply absolute values but they are clearly impressions that is open to scrutiny and influencing.
    I think you are missing the point about the earlier discussion on levels, scoring, etc. Even if you leave aside questions of Art, or even IN, CH, PE--I find Mao's technical abilities as a skater far enough above Alena's to merit her a win even if Alena lands more triples than Mao. It's not like Mao's 3 triple program won against a 5-triple Yu-Na or another skater who's closer to Mao in technical ability. The current structure of CoP scoring goes far beyond 6.0 in recognizing the Sport part of this sport is not all about the jumps, and I for one welcome this change. If Mao's other technical elements-- spirals, steps, spins, etc--are better than Alena's (which they are), shouldn't she be rewarded for this? And if you look at the protocols, Alena actually won on TES over Mao--54.65 over Mao's 49.96. Mao got the edge from PCS, and I'd have a difficult time taking anyone seriously who thinks that Alena's craptastic Morozov program deserves an edge on PCS over Mao, who is actually skating to a decent LP for a change. And things like SS? Re-watch both programs on mute, with your focus on both skaters' feet. Mao has clearly been reaping the benefits of working with Nobuo Sato. And a 3 triple program with 3 failed triples has never meant 1 level up on spins and spirals. Looking at the rules set forth by tech handbook, do you dispute that Mao deserved Level 4s on her spins and steps? If so, which elements and why? And by the way, spirals are no longer levelled in ladies programs--we now have the choreographic spiral, which has a fixed base value and is given GOEs only.

    Of course, figure skating judging is always open to scrutiny and influencing. But I find it funny that you're disputing not Mao's PCS, but things like levels, which are actually much more objective and much more difficult to fudge properly. Mao either does or does not have the sufficient number/variety of turns in her step sequence, just like she either does or does not use upper body movements, etc, to merit a level 4 step sequence.

    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    And I would 100% disagree with you on Yu-na. Given the limitation of COP, among the ladies, she is one of the rare ones to fully realize the artistic potential within such a narrow realm of opportunities to made it work. Her 11 world records would indicate this and her wide acclaims by the artistic skaters/commentators of this sport speaks for itself. While she has a great team to support her, but she should be very proud of her skating portfolio that consist of widely diversified, unique and remarkable work all offers something different than the last. I'd also consider may be her difficult early life experience/career are due to the fact she know she has to work harder than everyone else (without a strong federation backing), motivated her and pushed her and her team to construct better and more thought out programs that she were able to fully merge herself into. She could very well rest on her laurels given her consistent technical superiority. And year after she actually tried to push the boundaries of what she can do artistically and technically. I'd argue actually her influence is felt in current young generations including Liza, Hanyu, Li ZiJun etc.

    Personally I'd love her to continue skating but maybe at above senior level such as going pro-am, where hopefully would include more credible artistic judging that is different from COP. Emphasis on quality opinions with transparency and accountability, where the judges are real figure skating/arts experts that are not anonymous and have their reputation at stake. To give constructive critisms, valid feedback on why one is better than the other (they might not always right, but at least we know why one should disagree with them), beside fiddling round with some numbers and hid behind anonymity.
    I suppose we will also have to disagree about Yu-Na. I find her a very talented, charismatic performer, much like how I find Mao a very talented, balletic and elegant performer. But artists? Not really....but I understand that others may feel differently.
    Last edited by evangeline; 12-01-2011 at 02:38 PM.

  6. #111
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    Alena had 3 major mistakes in her program too, I believe she managed 5 triples but fell on a double axel too. Her overall quality is light years behind Mao. I dont know why anyone would seriously debate the result. Alena would have won with even 1 less mistake. Her scores are more than what she deserves if anything. I admire her improvement but she still isnt on par with the best skaters in quality.

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Okay, I know this is not going to be a popular opinion, but it is just the way I see it.

    While I agree Mao is a superior skater, I don't think the judge is marking her correctly based on what she is delivering now but what she ought to be.

    My conclusion. Given the political climate with ISU that clearly seems to favour 'certain' skaters.

    Their ideal is likely to be

    1. Mao (Japan has always favoured Mao above everyone else anyway, certainly Miki and Akiko.)
    2. Carolina
    3. Akiko/Liza

    If it is up to me based on merit of what I see, appeal and performance.
    I'd consider more likely to be

    1. Liza (I understand about the criticisms, but they are things she can't control, by default of her physical size, age, ice coverage are fault of the choreography. The things she can control, she always did well. Some might say she lack in maturity but I'd say actually she is maturer than her age AND maturer than other skaters ought to be at their age.)
    2. Akiko (Under marked for years, she deserve this, and for her gumption landing her 3:3 at age 26! Let alone her gorgeous musicality and generous performer spirit! She is simply charming, although I still prefer her old programs. )
    3. Mao/Carolina/Alissa (All following their strategically safe 'complementary' route that are supported by their strong federations, their RP, instead go out there and earn their rightful place which I know they are fully capable of based on their previous work.)
    Excellent post os168! Well analyzed and the scoring numbers back you up. Mao is probably being over-marked a bit but I doubt it is on purpose (the only thing I disagree with you on). More likely, the judges who have undoubtedly seen Mao compete many times over the years and in her prime, are seeing her present day performances through that looking-glass. This is a normal human reaction and is very hard to get around. Frankly, the same sort of "coloration" would probably happen to any great veteran skater like Miki or Yuna or Joannie. Mao gets the benefit of her "history" and that history is full of great performances.

    I can't get over how tiny Liza is! She must be less than 5 feet tall! If she has a growth spurt of 2 or 3 inches (let alone more than that) it will throw off everything in her skating. I guess time will tell the tale. Right now she is very impressive!
    Last edited by jatale; 12-01-2011 at 06:55 PM.

  8. #113
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    In regards to the topic of artistry in skating. Many in the skating world would suggest a pre-requisite be first the folowing:
    Toe point: Sasha Cohen compared to Eliza
    Extension: Allisa Czisny compared to Rachel Flatt
    Line: Sasha Cohen compared to Alena
    Flow: Yuna Kim compared to this years performances of The other young Russian girl (sorry forgot name)
    (names were just an example of higher ranked skaters - all great skaters)

    Mastery of these eye pleasing skills come from:
    The natural ability of the body type
    Maturity
    Hard work, focus on their weaknesses and appropriate training

    If a skater has all the above they are already ahead in PCS. If they can add to this, harmony with the character of the music, through good choreography, movements and expression they are, to some, skaters of a great artistic performance.
    Last edited by havefun; 12-01-2011 at 07:11 PM.

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by jatale View Post
    Excellent post os168! Well analyzed and the scoring numbers back you up. Mao is probably being over-marked a bit but I doubt it is on purpose (the only thing I disagree with you on). More likely, the judges who have undoubtedly seen Mao compete many times over the years and in her prime, are seeing her present day performances through that looking-glass. This is a normal human reaction and is very hard to get around. Frankly, the same sort of "coloration" would probably happen to any great veteran skater like Miki or Yuna or Joannie. Mao gets the benefit of her "history" and that history is full of great performances.

    I can't get over how tiny Liza is! She must be less than 5 feet tall! If she has a growth spurt of 2 or 3 inches (let alone more than that) it will throw off everything in her skating. I guess time will tell the tale. Right now she is very impressive!
    She is 5 feet and 1 1/2 inches tall.

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianaSelene View Post
    She is 5 feet and 1 1/2 inches tall.
    http://ohtheseskaters.tumblr.com/pos...-ladies-podium

  11. #116
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    late to the guesses, but anyway...

    LADIES Liza, Mao, Caro

    MENS Dai, Patrick, Hanyu

    Dance Marlie, Voir, Shibs (I hope!)

    Pairs Don't care, totally uninspired

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    I am also not completely gung-ho with the current PCS guidelines, but I have long accepted that change comes slowly to the dinosaurs that make up the upper echelons of the ISU. Til then, we must work with what rules we have now.



    I think you are missing the point about the earlier discussion on levels, scoring, etc. Even if you leave aside questions of Art, or even IN, CH, PE--I find Mao's technical abilities as a skater far enough above Alena's to merit her a win even if Alena lands more triples than Mao. It's not like Mao's 3 triple program won against a 5-triple Yu-Na or another skater who's closer to Mao in technical ability. The current structure of CoP scoring goes far beyond 6.0 in recognizing the Sport part of this sport is not all about the jumps, and I for one welcome this change. If Mao's other technical elements-- spirals, steps, spins, etc--are better than Alena's (which they are), shouldn't she be rewarded for this? And if you look at the protocols, Alena actually won on TES over Mao--54.65 over Mao's 49.96. Mao got the edge from PCS, and I'd have a difficult time taking anyone seriously who thinks that Alena's craptastic Morozov program deserves an edge on PCS over Mao, who is actually skating to a decent LP for a change. And things like SS? Re-watch both programs on mute, with your focus on both skaters' feet. Mao has clearly been reaping the benefits of working with Nobuo Sato. And a 3 triple program with 3 failed triples has never meant 1 level up on spins and spirals. Looking at the rules set forth by tech handbook, do you dispute that Mao deserved Level 4s on her spins and steps? If so, which elements and why? And by the way, spirals are no longer levelled in ladies programs--we now have the choreographic spiral, which has a fixed base value and is given GOEs only.

    Of course, figure skating judging is always open to scrutiny and influencing. But I find it funny that you're disputing not Mao's PCS, but things like levels, which are actually much more objective and much more difficult to fudge properly. Mao either does or does not have the sufficient number/variety of turns in her step sequence, just like she either does or does not use upper body movements, etc, to merit a level 4 step sequence.



    I suppose we will also have to disagree about Yu-Na. I find her a very talented, charismatic performer, much like how I find Mao a very talented, balletic and elegant performer. But artists? Not really....but I understand that others may feel differently.
    Excellent post and rationale on the PC scores.

    Even the CoP does not use the term "Artistry". The CoP uses the term "Presentation" which means how well a skater can put the elements into a musical setting.

    Evangeline's take on Yuna is very appropro. Should Yuna be included with Michelangelo, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Pavlova, Streep? I don't think so. Yuna is a very good figure skater in this era.

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    I think you are missing the point about the earlier discussion on levels, scoring, etc. Even if you leave aside questions of Art, or even IN, CH, PE--I find Mao's technical abilities as a skater far enough above Alena's to merit her a win even if Alena lands more triples than Mao. It's not like Mao's 3 triple program won against a 5-triple Yu-Na or another skater who's closer to Mao in technical ability. The current structure of CoP scoring goes far beyond 6.0 in recognizing the Sport part of this sport is not all about the jumps, and I for one welcome this change. If Mao's other technical elements-- spirals, steps, spins, etc--are better than Alena's (which they are), shouldn't she be rewarded for this? And if you look at the protocols, Alena actually won on TES over Mao--54.65 over Mao's 49.96. Mao got the edge from PCS, and I'd have a difficult time taking anyone seriously who thinks that Alena's craptastic Morozov program deserves an edge on PCS over Mao, who is actually skating to a decent LP for a change. And things like SS? Re-watch both programs on mute, with your focus on both skaters' feet. Mao has clearly been reaping the benefits of working with Nobuo Sato. And a 3 triple program with 3 failed triples has never meant 1 level up on spins and spirals. Looking at the rules set forth by tech handbook, do you dispute that Mao deserved Level 4s on her spins and steps? If so, which elements and why? And by the way, spirals are no longer levelled in ladies programs--we now have the choreographic spiral, which has a fixed base value and is given GOEs only.

    Of course, figure skating judging is always open to scrutiny and influencing. But I find it funny that you're disputing not Mao's PCS, but things like levels, which are actually much more objective and much more difficult to fudge properly. Mao either does or does not have the sufficient number/variety of turns in her step sequence, just like she either does or does not use upper body movements, etc, to merit a level 4 step sequence.
    Well, consider me educated thanks to this post by Evangeline. I'm a supporter of CoP and this discussion has convinced me again that the CoP rules try their best to create a level playing field for every skater. Accordingly, I take back my earlier statement that Mao might have been over scored at bit at CoR, I'm really not qualified to come to that conclusion. I'm so happy to see Mao continue to compete, her talent and dedication is remarkable. I do think that returning champions have a little advantage in that judges are only human, and they can be subtly influenced by the "aura" of a historically great skater.

    Speaking of new skaters, I remain very impressed with Lisa, her "cool" is really remarkable. The next two years leading up to Sochi are going to be interesting since there are a number of talented "baby" ladies waiting in the wings to join the fray.

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by burntBREAD View Post
    Whether or not jumps were successful have nothing to do with spin levels and GOE. When Alissa used to bomb her jumps, she still received massive points for her spins. The fact that Mao did 3 triples should have nothing to do with the fact that she got level 4 on all her spins (which she also did at NHK). Like others said, step sequence levels are determined by the caller, and this one thought that Mao had intricate enough footwork to warrant a 4. (Just so you know, Alena Leonova also received a level 4 on that awful SP step sequence and level 4s have been seen much more often this year, even in the junior ranks, like from Vanessa Lam and Courtney Hicks)
    I think you misunderstood me. I am trying to see the argument that the besting her non jump element compensated for her failed 3 triple jumps is good enough compensation for her getting the high PCS she has been getting. That is why I wonder if judge is judged on what she ought to getting versus how a faulty performance should deserve. Otherwise those who are best known for their non jumping elements like spins and foot work should have scored higher given they were at least successful in completing more jumps.

    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    I am also not completely gung-ho with the current PCS guidelines, but I have long accepted that change comes slowly to the dinosaurs that make up the upper echelons of the ISU. Til then, we must work with what rules we have now.

    I think you are missing the point about the earlier discussion on levels, scoring, etc. Even if you leave aside questions of Art, or even IN, CH, PE--I find Mao's technical abilities as a skater far enough above Alena's to merit her a win even if Alena lands more triples than Mao. It's not like Mao's 3 triple program won against a 5-triple Yu-Na or another skater who's closer to Mao in technical ability. The current structure of CoP scoring goes far beyond 6.0 in recognizing the Sport part of this sport is not all about the jumps, and I for one welcome this change. If Mao's other technical elements-- spirals, steps, spins, etc--are better than Alena's (which they are), shouldn't she be rewarded for this? And if you look at the protocols, Alena actually won on TES over Mao--54.65 over Mao's 49.96. Mao got the edge from PCS.
    I have replayed back on the level 4 footwork sequences from both competitions, and counted the turns, the pace the details, they are very similar, no extra turns or movements, so I am still wondering what is the difference. I have already accepted PCS is the major reason of her high scoring, but I also noted some discrepancy in her TES score like certain level 4s when the movements and execution are the same on both competitions.

    On paper Mao does have superior technical ability, but it was not fully realized at her 2 competitions performances even taking the easier jump layout and failing 50% of her triple jumps. IMO, Alena actually exceeded her capability and sold out the heck out of the craptastic choreography and take it beyond a pantomime. I do however think she was over marked, but given it is Cup of Russia why is it a surprise? Actually that shows the advantage of both getting NHK and COR, so they have a pacemaker that justify the bench marking and relative marking even if both are overmarked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Excellent post and rationale on the PC scores.

    Even the CoP does not use the term "Artistry". The CoP uses the term "Presentation" which means how well a skater can put the elements into a musical setting.

    Evangeline's take on Yuna is very appropro. Should Yuna be included with Michelangelo, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Pavlova, Streep? I don't think so. Yuna is a very good figure skater in this era.
    LOL I like your comparison even it is utterly wacky! Really which skaters is worthy to compare to the all time greatest artist in their field? And equally do you think Streep should be compared with MichaelAngelo, Beethoven, Shakespeare? Yet I bet if you are to ask all of them to compare themselves to Yuna Kim doing the Danse Macabre, they'd certainly bow down and disagree with you.

    All these great 'artist' would certainly also suffer the wrath of the critics of their time. Take for example Meryl Streep who's acting happens to be hated by the most influential and highly regarded Film critic of all time Pauline Kael (a personal hero of mine, but I love Meryl Streep) So who's right, you or her? Opinions are just opinions at the end of the day, only history and the wisdom of the masses will be the true judge. (Though the latter could be ignorant and get it wrong too, but that is why we have revisionist history, often happens in art.)
    Last edited by os168; 12-02-2011 at 09:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Opinions are just opinions at the end of the day, only history and the wisdom of the masses will be the true judge. (Though the latter could be ignorant and get it wrong too, but that is why we have revisionist history, often happens in art.)
    True, very true.

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