I don't know about the LP. I haven't liked it all season. And yes, the way she skated it at Nationals, it seemed like there were no transitions at all, just long setups for her jumps. Yikes. But, at the same time, I agree that going back to last year's LP might mess with Alissa's fragile confidence. I guess my thought would be to press on with this year's program, but try to freshen it choreographically before Worlds by adding in some more transitions.
Last year's programs were a big step forward for Alissa, but this year's programs are disappointing. At the start of the season, she said in an article that her team was really focused on the technical side and wanted to essentially play it safe choreographically "with classic Alissa programs," as she put it. Not sure if that was a good call. Alissa's strength is her artistry and elegance on the ice; she needs to constantly highlight and improve that area, rather than going with the status quo.
If she continues to skate past this season, she really needs to consider pushing herself- and I'm not talking different type of program, necessarily- I mean by using her increased confidence to add more elements in her programs, and perhaps even go for 7 triples. Sort of like what she did at SA...even though it was a bit messy, it still got her 1st over a solid Kostner. Personally I think that's what she should do at worlds...even with one fall, if she can hit everything else she'd still be a podium threat.
as for la vie en rose being her signature piece, i already see "the swan" being that. her performance of that program at 2009 nationals was just amazing and i think a lot of people know who she is because of that performance. many have said it is one of the best ladies SP's ever for nationals.
I like Valse Triste, and I like her LP. It must have received good feedback and she did well with it at both of her GP events. I understand for some it is not as exciting. If they were going with Sibelius, maybe they should have used Finlandia? But I do agree with someone who said that if she is going to stay in then she needs to do something completely different, out of her comfort zone. An American in Paris? Maybe Philip Glass? I've always wanted to see someone use his music (although I believe Christina Gao used some for her SP a few years ago and Dube/Wolfe skate to some Glass for their LP). Astor Piazzola? I know ice dancers have used his music, but I think she would do well with a tango - but not Adios Nonino since quite a few have skated to that. Trying to think of some soundtracks that could work but nothing coming to my mind right now....
But back to the question at hand: No, I don't think she should go back to last year's LP. She should stick with Valse Triste. Maybe in the time between Nationals and Worlds it will look completely different.
La Vie stands out to me because its tone is relatively unique in ladies skating: it's romantic and flirty in a mature, sophisticated and laid-back way. Skating is full of young whippersnappers zipping around. And when they do flirty, it's usually more exuberant, wink-and-a-leg-kick kind of way. La Vie sets Alissa apart without foregoing sexuality.
Well, OK, maybe I'm one of the few who likes it that much. But I do think that the wrong program this year isn't her SP. Valse Triste, really, a sad waltz? An oxymoron.
I think Alissa will do just fine at Worlds, regardless. Together with the very capable Ashley Wagner, I think the US has an outside shot at reclaiming that 3rd spot.
No, way too late...she has what she has this year and needs to work it better. Is this her last year? I enjoy the spins and spirals but still can't watch her jump. No skater could do that so late in the season.
Years ago, Toller Cranston had a signature piece to Valse Triste, and he gave it somewhat more intensity. But I don't see Alissa getting intense anytime soon. I love Sibelius, but I have to say that Valse Triste is just about my least favorite of his compositions...and I haven't come to love it any more deeply from Alissa's rendition of it.
To answer the original question posed in the thread title, I say "of course not", no more need be said if one has followed Alissa's skating throughout the years. She's a fragile skater, therefore messing with her LP so close to Worlds would only mean disaster. Rather, giving her confidence is "key", always has been. Jmho.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll do what she managed to do at Skate America this year, prevail over a fabulous Carolina Kostner, even with mistakes. This, imho, will be her best chance at a World Medal, mayhap even Gold! *crossing fingers*
ps: hmmm, I never really thought of a signature piece from Alissa, I don't think she has one yet that truly defines her, though of course she's had some spectactular ones over the years (e.g. "The Swan" & "La Vie En Rose"). I'm still waiting for that ONE that everyone identifies her with (e.g. Oksana Baiul "The Swan"; Michelle Kwan "Salome", T&D "Bolero", G&G "Moonlight Sonata", et al).
For me, her signature piece is last year's George Winston LP. I absolutely loved the choreo and thought it was very Alissa while still being something different for her. Some dismissed it as another classical Alissa program but it wasn't. It was more abstract than her previous programs and was all about channeling the music - more difficult, I think, being a character, like Audrey Hepburn or a Swan, etc. When you saw that program it was really hard to imagine any other skater that year pulling it off like she did, and that's a signature piece in my book.
In that sense, it would be nice if she had stuck with it this year too but I don't know about going back to it for worlds. For some it works - like Shizuka Arakawa at the 2006 Turin Olympics. It worked for her to go back to a music she loved and felt comfortable with. But I think other posters might be right in that it might just rattle Alissa to change things mid-season. I also agree that while I really enjoy her La Vie on Rose program this year, the LP has been pretty forgettable. But she could still do great at worlds if she can bring herself to take it one jump at a time, like she did last year.
As for focusing on the technical side and "playing it safe" with the choreo, I think Alissa could have done both. The artistic side comes so easily to her - I think she could have been ambitious on that end AND pushed the tech side a little. (She can always train the difficult combos and then not compete them.)
Anyway. No matter, what I love her and I am THRILLED she is going to worlds.
And this isn't exactly the middle of the season either. It's--what, a month?--before Worlds. In baseball terms, it's the end of the season, pretty much in the playoffs. The time for any changes is long passed. What she needs to do right now is to become more and more secure in her program.
She can skate to the Mendelssohn Octet next season. (hope springs eternal....)
ETA: I also hope her coaches urge her to focus on what has gone RIGHT this season - she won another GP gold, made it to finals and made the world team. Of course, she is probably disappointed that things didn't go as well as last year but she is still in the game, unlike in previous eras, when Alissa would follow one great year with a terrible one.
Last edited by Layfan; 02-04-2012 at 10:09 AM.