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Thread: Kurt Browning, Evgeni Plushenko on similar paths (article)

  1. #16
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Evgeni Plushenko and I have something in common.

    I wish it was our triple Axel, or the fact that we both carry combs, but I'm thinking more along the lines of we're both trying to come back to competition.
    I really like self sarcasm in people, it 's a sign of high intelligence, his article is great, and speaks frankly about COP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    As for your point about choreography, I've often wondered what kind of massive adaptation choreographers had to achieve to gear themselves up for CoP skating. These days, they have to execute some pretty complex math to get every possible point into a program. I notice that we don't hear much from some of the old stalwarts of choreography. This is one reason I so admire Lori Nichol. She was one of the most creative and musical choreographers of the 6.0 era. Then in the last Olympics, she crafted not one but two gold-medal long programs.
    Lori Nichol was involved in the making of CoP rules.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Kurt's enthusiasm and love for skating are always evident, whether it's in his skating, choreo, commentary or writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    As for your point about choreography, I've often wondered what kind of massive adaptation choreographers had to achieve to gear themselves up for CoP skating. These days, they have to execute some pretty complex math to get every possible point into a program. I notice that we don't hear much from some of the old stalwarts of choreography. This is one reason I so admire Lori Nichol. She was one of the most creative and musical choreographers of the 6.0 era. Then in the last Olympics, she crafted not one but two gold-medal long programs.
    As seniorita noted, Lori Nichol does have something of an inside track... also, she did put together two OGM winning programs, but I'd argue that neither was particularly memorable. IMO, the best of the OGM programs in 2010 was done by Marina Zoueva, and the best LPs by men's and pairs medalists were done by Pasquale Camerlengo and Ingo Steuer, respectively. Nichol is capable of good work with some skaters (e.g. Kostner) but a lot of what she does is pretty boring and repetitive, even if it does garner a lot of points.

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    I don't mean to be rude, but I'd far rather talk about these two fine skaters than about fellow posters, so I'm shifting the topic a bit.

    One thing that Kurt and Evgeny share is longevity. Kurt's Olympic-eligible career was about average for a male skater, but his pro career is a marvel of endurance and continued innovation, I think. His jumps are obviously not at the level they were in his twenties, but the ones he does are still beautiful, fast in the air. In terms of footwork there are still few skaters of any age who are as commanding as he is. In terms of longevity, he really is like Gene Kelly, his idol among movie dancers, and also like Fred Astaire. These two stars danced in films well past their forties. Meanwhile, Plushenko is closing in on his fourth Olympics, having medaled at each of the ones he's been in so far. Having been one of the youngest world-class-level skaters, he's now one of the oldest. That's pretty impressive. He's just about the last embodiment of old-school Russian skating instruction, and now he's also at the start of a new parade of Russian excellence. Good for him!

    The lovely thing is that one doesn't need to choose between him and Browning in terms of whom to admire. Even if they were in competition for the same prizes (as YuNa and Mao are, or Dai and Patrick), one wouldn't have to choose. As it is, they're at completely different stages of their careers. Kurt is in his mid-forties, and his position as an all-time great is assured. Plushenko is in his late twenties and can still add to his medal haul. His position as an all-time great is also assured. Possibly except for Yagudin, there's no one in Soviet/Russian singles skating history who could stand on a higher rung on the ladder. And Plushenko has something that Yagudin didn't go for: a long span of time during which he has been at or near the pinnacle of skating. That takes a particular kind of drive and endurance that few people have. In fact, one of the few people who have chosen to hang around in skating for as long as Plushenko (though in a different area of skating) is Browning. Both of these men have maintained their commitment to daily practice and grinding conditioning, and the motivation to give it their all every time they step onto the ice.
    Last edited by Olympia; 10-15-2012 at 08:27 AM.

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    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Plushenko had asked Browning to choreograph him last season or 2010, I dont remember, but Kurt said he was busy engaged in other things. It would have been cool to watch them together.

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    I don't think being an Olympic medalist is the be all and end all criteria for deciding whether a skater is "one of the best" or any other adjective you might come up with. For me it's longevity and entertainment. He's never been a "one trick pony" and has skated to many, many genres of music - comedic, dramatic, edgy! Kurt Browning personifies all that I love about skating. He's never ever said an unprofessional word about another skater, he's been gracious and professional in defeat, and he's not just been out for his own glorification. He's promoted skating and the enjoyment of skating and certainly given back more than he's got! 'Nuff said.

    I wish him well in any and all endeavors.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    Plushenko had asked Browning to choreograph him last season or 2010, I dont remember, but Kurt said he was busy engaged in other things. It would have been cool to watch them together.
    I think Kurt decided not to do any more competitive choreography, I don't believe he enjoyed working on IJS programs. Maybe Plush can work on an EX with him? Other than exhibitions and SoI, the last skater I can remember him working with is Tugba Karademir in the Olympic season. He also choreographed for Abbott, Kostner, Joubert and Mroz but that was earlier (like 2007-8 at the latest).

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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    Plushenko had asked Browning to choreograph him last season or 2010, I dont remember, but Kurt said he was busy engaged in other things. It would have been cool to watch them together.
    Ooh, it would, Seniorita!

    One thing these two champs have in common is that they're both, in their individual ways, consummate showmen. They love being on the ice and connecting with the audience. Years ago I watched a pro-am that would not have had any impact on the skater's ranking at the end of the year. Plushenko took part. He gave it his all, as if he were skating at a grand prix competition. He even did a quad! We were astounded. And from Vancouver in the Olympics, I still remember the confidence that radiated from him as he skated his long program. That guy was born to wear blades, and clearly so was Browning. Lucky us, to have them both.

    I love the idea of a Browning exhibition program for Plushy. Can you imagine the footwork?

  8. #23
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I think Kurt decided not to do any more competitive choreography, I don't believe he enjoyed working on IJS programs. Maybe Plush can work on an EX with him? Other than exhibitions and SoI, the last skater I can remember him working with is Tugba Karademir in the Olympic season. He also choreographed for Abbott, Kostner, Joubert and Mroz but that was earlier (like 2007-8 at the latest).
    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    Plushenko had asked Browning to choreograph him last season or 2010, I dont remember, but Kurt said he was busy engaged in other things. It would have been cool to watch them together.
    iirc, 2010 was when Browning and Joubert had their "issue" where there was a "miscommunication" on one or both sides and Browning used that - along with an incredibly busy season for him - as a way to duck out of choreography. He still does shows and exhibition choreography, so if Plushenko asked for that I'd bet Kurt would jump (no pun intended) at the chance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    I don't think being an Olympic medalist is the be all and end all criteria for deciding whether a skater is "one of the best" or any other adjective you might come up with. . He's never ever said an unprofessional word about another skater, he's been gracious and professional in defeat, and he's not just been out for his own glorification.
    I clearly was not referring to Plushenko with anything in my post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I love the idea of a Browning exhibition program for Plushy. Can you imagine the footwork?
    That would be wonderful! Plushenko is capable of complicated footworks! But in the competitions, he just took off some of them for the jumps. Look at his Ex. at 2006 Olympics! He was on fire!

  11. #26
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    ^ Plushenko got level 4 for one of his step sequences at 2006 Olympics; I believe he was only second skater to get a level 4 (Dai was the first).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    iirc, 2010 was when Browning and Joubert had their "issue" where there was a "miscommunication" on one or both sides and Browning used that - along with an incredibly busy season for him - as a way to duck out of choreography. He still does shows and exhibition choreography, so if Plushenko asked for that I'd bet Kurt would jump (no pun intended) at the chance!
    No, it was in 2008. Browning's version, as best as I can work out, is that Joubert was supposed to get one program from someone else (Evgeni Platov, I guess) and the other from him, but instead did both programs with Platov and never came to Canada. Joubert has never shared his version, but he's made some comments about trust and stuff like that. My guess, like you, is that it was a miscommunication that got blown out of proportion. A pity, as Joubert had really great programs when he worked with Browning.

    Either way, all this predates his last (competitive) program, for Tugba Karademir, by a year or more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Ooh, it would, Seniorita!

    One thing these two champs have in common is that they're both, in their individual ways, consummate showmen. They love being on the ice and connecting with the audience. Years ago I watched a pro-am that would not have had any impact on the skater's ranking at the end of the year. Plushenko took part. He gave it his all, as if he were skating at a grand prix competition. He even did a quad! We were astounded. And from Vancouver in the Olympics, I still remember the confidence that radiated from him as he skated his long program. That guy was born to wear blades, and clearly so was Browning. Lucky us, to have them both.

    I love the idea of a Browning exhibition program for Plushy. Can you imagine the footwork?

    Yes, and if only Canada recognizes amazing achievement done by Plushenko and invites him to skate at any show or exhibition in Canada. At least Canadians would be able to see him life and compare to Browning, Chan, Butle.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    No, it was in 2008. Browning's version, as best as I can work out, is that Joubert was supposed to get one program from someone else (Evgeni Platov, I guess) and the other from him, but instead did both programs with Platov and never came to Canada. Joubert has never shared his version, but he's made some comments about trust and stuff like that. My guess, like you, is that it was a miscommunication that got blown out of proportion. A pity, as Joubert had really great programs when he worked with Browning.

    Either way, all this predates his last (competitive) program, for Tugba Karademir, by a year or more.
    has it really been that long? yikes!

  14. #29
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Where had you seen Browning programs of Kurt if he didnt make them at the end?

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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    Where had you seen Browning programs of Kurt if he didnt make them at the end?
    Do you mean his programs for Joubert? They started working together in 2006-7, Browning choreographed Metallica and All For You (which is my favorite Joubert SP ever) before they went their separate ways.

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