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Thread: Tosca has no in-betweens a myth?? My take

  1. #1
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    Tosca has no in-betweens a myth?? My take

    What are people talking about when they say Tosca doesn't have alot of "in-betweens" re-watch. I see pleanty of subtle emotion inetweens. Like during the flying camel, her arm variations are 'da bomb!! Ok,ok, fiirst of all I see in Tosca

    3 main "moves in the field" sections.

    1.First section between the 1st 3lutz and triple flip. This one has very smooth chor. She really shows off her smooth clean, crip edgeing, and liquid smooth(but limited) arm movments. Here the real emphasis is on MK's fluiditiy across the ice.

    2. Second MITF section is between the double axle and 3 sal. This section is where the "character" of the music is expressed. NOT necessarily(sp?) Tosca the character, rather the angst the music envokes. This sections shows, Michelle's command on her edgeing, and exprssion of her music.

    3. The last MIFS is really the entire footwork after the 2nd lutz including the final death drop. This section is all about Letting the Performance quality come though. What this section does is it has "emotional connectivity", that is the extra energy, extra, emotion, extra pasison, that comes though her footwork and ending spin. She becomes frantic, just like the music she is skating to and preforms at a fevor pitch!!

    In conclusion, Tosca has more in-betweens than it has been given credit for on the net. Tosca has 3 main MITF sections. It has more subtle nuances that the judges clearly have responded to. I believe that these nuance are what the judges are rewarding her for along with her exellent perfomance abilities! All in all Tosca just became another Kwan classic!!!

  2. #2
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    I think your analysis is right on, KwanisQueen. For me, the music is so intense that if there were more choreographic in-betweens, it would look too busy. IMO, Michelle fills it in with her skill, power, and emotion. If she held back or had a flat performance, I can see how the choreography might look "spare," but I don't see Michelle doing that.

    I'm generally a "don't depend on the skater to use emotion and movement intensity to fill in for choreography" kind of person, and I wouldn't have said the following prior to last season, but Michelle is the exception. When I was a dancer, we did a concert that recreated dances that showed the history of modern dance. One piece choreographed in the late 1920s was very simple, basically the dancer just standing in front of some smoking incense, moving as if she were the smoke, Two women in the company alternated doing the role on tour. One woman was absolutely captivating. The way she moved and her energy totally commanded your attention and drew you in. The other woman did the same moves, but on her, the dance was nothing. BTW, personally, I felt the same about both dancers. Anyway, my point is, some performers can fill up the space just standing there and others can't. I know Michelle's long-time fans have always felt she could do this. For me I've only seen it since last year's Nationals. Whether there was a significant change in Michelle or not, who knows? But I do know that at least IMO, the choreography for Michelle's "Tosca" is just fine--as long as Michelle is doing it. Put it on another skater and I think it probably would seem lacking. But that's what a great performer can do. And Michelle is one of the greats.
    Rgirl

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    The way Michelle skated last night, it didn't matter what the music was or what the choreography was like. She is beyond a legend. At Nationals she gives the performance of a lifetime, every time.

    Mathman

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    Crazy Armchair Fan/Resident Nerd
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    I have to admit, I wasn't all that crazy about "Tosca" when MK first brought it out (even "Tosca" is arguably the greatest opera ever written, emotionally speaking, but that's another post). But, leave it to MK to sell a program to me. IMO, that performance and the way MK performed it made all the little arm movements and bits of choreography stand out and command your attention. They weren't as strong as I would have liked, but they definitely complimented the music perfect and brought out MK's fluidity. The final straight-line footwork and its Morozov-esque energy was absolutely the drama and the fire of "Tosca" and was the moment of the night. IMO, she also had more facial expression this year in BOTH programs (especially in TFB, but you saw it in the beginning pose of "Tosca")

    I have one sidebar, though: How can you do "Tosca" wearing orange? Orange is a happy color, "Tosca" is dark and brooding. I don't see it (though I'm probably nit-picking, and the dress looked awesome on her)

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    I thought her dress looked pink! Maybe it's my cable? Either way, I agree that it's not the best colour for dark and dramatic music.

    Has she ADDED choreography since the beginning of the season? I remember when I first saw this program it seemed rather bland, but last night it was amazing! I think the detail in this program now is just perfect for bringing out the character of the music. I agree that she can make rather simple choreography look very intense and dramatic.

  6. #6
    TriGirl Rinkside
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    I didn't see it as empty. While I loved Aranjuez, that seemed empty in comparison, IMO. Her long, deep edges make simple movements look powerful. Her flow keeps the program moving. Also, she had the perfect balance of moves in the field, jumps, spins, etc. I was captivated the entire 4 minutes.

  7. #7
    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    Maybe the dress was supposed to be Georgia Peach, LOL? I think the SP dress color would have worked better,IMO.

  8. #8
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    I totally agree with the dress choices, Piel, If I have ANY criticism of MK's performance it would be that she MIGHT want to THINK about switching the long and the short costumes. THe dark seems to go with the light and the "Salmon" would be a better fit with TFB short.

    Otherwise, I'd like to reiterate what others have said in a different way and something I noticed about ALL the skaters in ALL the diciplines....Choose music that is appropriate to your style and abilities. I saw more "Warhorses" pulled out that are BIG, IMPORTANT pieces of music that don't have skaters doing big important programs to them.

    What Michelle, Sasha and the other top ladies do is match the level of skating to the level of brilliance. It struck me that Michelle's Tosca succeeded where Irina's fell short in the fact that there was no "gnashing of teeth and flailing of arms." No one can deny that Irina is a GREAT skater, but MK's Shez musical program left me colder than IS's Tosca. The difference is that Michelle knows to let the music tell it's own story and to skate to it.

    By the way, just a little observation, to watch MK live is to FINALLY understand what Dickie and Peggers are talking about...you can literally see Michelle take each element individually, one by one. It SEEMS like she never thinks about the triples until she is getting ready to execute one. Now that just may be the little "it factor' that makes MK who and what she is, IMHO.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Tosca and Swanlake

    If you tell some one a lie enough, that person will believe the lie as the truth. This is how I feel Tosca what has happened Tosca. Since it's debut some people on the internet boards just hammer away: "it's a empty program", "just Crossovers", ect.

    It has been drilled into our heads that Swan lake is "packed with "Chroegaphy" and Tosca is "empty". Well let's challange that set view of thinking. I think some people think have a false idea that SL is such a overwhemeling amount of inbetweens compared to Tosca when really if you go back and cheack it doesn't. All season long this has been the preception.

    My Goal is to provide balance and to previde a rebuttal in defence of Tosca. It seems to me people want to believe when read on the net rather than going back and re-watching their tapes. Just because 3 or 4 people (extramly anti-kwan biased folks) on the internet say Tosca is empth doesn't mean it is truly empty. This maked me fustrated when you really go back and compare Swan Lake to Tosca there really isn't *much* difference in terms of actual Moves in the field! I am so saddened that Tosca has be branded as a empty program when it really isn't, Like I said in my first post there are 3 main Moves in the field sections in Tosca. Also there is a hydro-sprial after the 2nd lutz before footwook. What about the inbetweens michelle does between the flying camel and the 3sal?? What about the fact that sasha has a small poseing section and Michelled doesn't. In fact Michelle is constanly skating the entire 4 minutes of her program. She doesn't have ANY rest areas. What about the fact that Michelle's Staimina at the end of the program was off the chart?? Shouldn't the judges reward the fact that after 3 minutes into her program Michelle did a Lutz?? While people constanly gloss over her programs, IMHO the judges are rewarding her for her nuanced cherogaphy and edge quality thoughout the program. This was the championship...2004 Nationals where MIchelle was supposted to lose her title, where Michelle was gonna was the one being chased but she responded with an awe-inspiring free skate and people STILL won't give any credit what-so-ever. No one ever denied Jordon, Woods, or Armstrong...why not Kwan? Anyway after last night there is nothing any anti-kwan can say or do to affect my mood I am on cloud 9. After last night they can harp all they want on 3-3s, spins, cheoro, ect. it doesn't matter to me anymore. 8 national titles and all of them EARNED!!! can't argure with that no matter how dullisional, they are about Kwan, her accomplishments, and what she means to this sport.

  10. #10
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I have never, never seen Michelle skate anything as energy filled and with such speed as the last 1 minute of Tosca. I might like to see some of the movements between minute 1 and 2 a little busier-live it seemed a little slow and bare at that point. But also, dramatically, the calm before the storm minutes 2 to 3 are definitely, definitely needed.

    dpp

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    I hate Tosca for figure skating!!!!

    But she did it well. She used the essence of a distraught diva to ponder what is life all about when one only lives for art and love and not politics.

    She didn't do 3 acts of Tosca which only Callas can do. Just the essence, please. MK did just that. And she did it with a whole lot of technical skating missing!! which in my view, I forget about anyway.

    Joe

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    Well myth or no myth, this Kwan fan would like to see more detail. And I'm not alone. Even Artunian says so:


    In Brennan's USA Today article he's quoted as saying:

    "We are going to have a serious conversation after the world championships," he was saying. "If she decides to skate (at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, which she has said is very likely), we will make plans and talk about trying to get new stuff into the programs, like combination spins and new positions and other things like that, if she really wants to get better and compete with the up-and-coming skaters.

    And in another article (I can't find the link) here were excerpts on some other comments:

    Her new coach, Rafael Arutunian, was pleased with the victory but not swayed by the emotional reaction Kwan had evinced from fans who dote on her. He and Kwan know she must do more in her programs, even if the only thing that may be added by the world championships in late March is a triple-triple jump combination.

    "We have had no time to change anything,'' said Arutunian, who became Kwan's coach less than two months ago. "After worlds, if she will decide to skate (next season), we will make plans.''

    "We must make new stuff_new positions between spins, more complicated things between (jump) elements, maybe other triple jumps_if she wants to get better and compete with skaters coming up.

    "Everyone wants to beat her. If you will not develop, someone will come and beat you.''

    I'd say she's in good hands!

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    Obviously MK had a brilliant performance and a well-deserved win. The things I liked were her energy and speed and the solid jumps.

    However, I'm not sold on this program for Kwan. First, I'm not thrilled with Tosca, I find it overused. Second, I do think the choreography is fairly empty. I hear all that you're saying, and it's not a terrible program, certainly, but I would like to see more detail and in-betweens for someone of Kwan's calibre. As a fan who wants to see her do well in the future, I think she'll need it with COP. I also think she needs to work on her spins. I'd like to see some variations on position to spice things up, but mainly I'd like to see more speed, which I found noticeably lacking. I think she's headed in the right direction with her new coach, but these are some things they can look to improve.

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    In betweens or not, from a performance standpoint she was brilliant. I loved the pink dress (it looked pink to me anyway ) I think it was uplifting. Black or gray would have been too drab.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I'm with Arturian - She is going to face the CoP soon and if there is a lack of technical elements, she will be in trouble. Hopefully, she listens. I did hear from fans watching the practices on the previous Sundays saying that she was hitting 3x3s regularly.

    Still, she needs them in competition.

    Joe

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