Every time Sandra Bezic is a commentator she gets all wrapped around the skater living the part, showing the angst of the music, feeling all the wrongs of the world, etc. Heck - I just see figure skating. Guess that's why she's a good choreographer. I wish I could remember the exact words she said when Charlie and Meryl skated Nats but it was something to the effect that throughout the program they would show the trials of life. I think those intangibles sort of escape the average fan.
Well, yes, Quasimodo is deformed and Esmeralda is about to be hanged as a witch. I'd say they had their share of the "trials of life".
Desperate Mouse Killer
Boy howdy - it's VERY difficult for me to look at Charlie White and think Quasimodo.....
I think it's okay to pick commonly used music as long as you have an AMAZING program to it. Sasha Cohen was a frequent violator of overused music but right this moment, I can't think of a single program dud from her. Carmen, Malaguena, Swan Lake (2 versions!), Nutcracker, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, R&J, etc. She always had beautiful, well put-together programs. I remember being rather amused at her music selections because it was always, what overused music will she pick next? Ha!
But seriously, how long is Carmen? You can skate to Carmen without skating to Habanera or March of the Toreadors. Michelle Kwan had a great Carmen SP--she took lots of lesser known Carmen pieces and it was beautiful and fresh. Most would not have recognized it as Carmen until the very end. I particularly remember her straight line footwork because it was all percussion and I'd never seen that before. Daisuke Takahashi also had an amazing Phantom LP, again with several cuts of lesser known pieces so it made the very well-known pieces easier to stomach.
Lately, I feel like skaters (and coaches/choreographers) have been lazy about picking music. It's easier to pick a "character" and skate as that character versus just skating to music as yourself and knocking it out of the park. Does anyone else see this?
Michelle Kwan's Lyra Angelica is holy to a lot of skating fans, myself included. She spent a lot of time in character--Salome, Desdemona, Scheherazade to name a few. All of those were marvelous programs but it makes Lyra Angelica stand out even more in contrast. She wasn't "in costume" and wasn't trying to portray anyone in particular--rather, it was a feeling she gave you. For Lyra, she was always in a very simple dress, very simple hair and make-up and I remember Peggy Fleming saying something like "she takes you on a journey of emotions" and it was so true. You weren't passively sitting in the stands or at home, watching her flit about as Salome--you were actively invested and being drawn into the uplifting quality of her skating in tune with that amazing music. East of Eden and Dante's Prayer come to mind next, even Red Violin.
I wish skaters would return to that. Too many characters running about lately--I feel like we all need a detox. It's like film--being a character puts up a 4th wall so it's hard to break that down and make connections with the audience. I think V/M's Carmen was a victim of this.
I'd like to see several top skaters put out something really different and not character-based next year. That would be really cool.
I must confess that I love Carmen. Yes, its overused but that makes its interesting to see how different skaters interpret it. I wonder whether Kostner or Yu-Na would do a good Carmen. Not sure whether it would suit Asada..
Wednesday, One of the great Carmen's, Rise Stevens, died at the age of 99. During the 20 years she was at the Met, she practically owned the part.
Here is a the card song