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Thread: Dr. Zhivago and Weir's interpretation

  1. #1
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    Dr. Zhivago and Weir's interpretation

    Since I've never seen Dr. Zhivago, can someone

    a) tell me a little about it, including a synopsis, and
    b) give your opinion on how Johnny Weir or other skaters have interpreted the music. I can't decide myself until I know a little more about the movie's setting, characters, and plot.

    Thanks,
    InsecureEdge

  2. #2
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Re: Dr. Zhivago and Weir's interpretation

    Originally posted by insecureedge
    a) tell me a little about it, including a synopsis, and
    Well, first of all, it is first and foremost a wonderful novel by Boris Pasternak, which won him the Nobel Prize for literature. The novel was then terribly simplified and Americanized for the purposes of a movie. Here is a [URL=http://www.bookfinder.us/review7/0679407596.html]Website[/URL] with a decent synopsis. Really, though, it is one of those books you have to read to understand what it's about.

  3. #3
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    insecureedge:

    You really should see the movie - you will never forget it!!

    The music score is wonderful. I don't recall any particular skaters using the music, but I could imagine Kurt Browning or Jeffrey Buttle interpreting the music well. The music is very lyrical and would need an artistic skater to give it justice.

    Of course, reading the book would give you the whole story, but I highly recommend the movie. Great cast - how could you miss with Sir Alec Guiness?

    Some of the scenes were shot here in Canada - in the Rockies. It's one of my all time favorite movies. I cry at the end every time.

    Based on a book written by Boris Pasternak that was banned in Russia. Dr. Zhivago is a decent man thrust into the depravity of the Russian revolution. He’s pushed around by the illogical revolutionary system. It’s chaos in Russia and Dr. Zhivago tries to separate himself from it and raise a family in an attempt to regain some normalcy. Reviewed by Mark Caldwell

    Last edited by Ladskater; 01-28-2004 at 12:36 AM.

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    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    I thought that Nicole Bobeck's 95 LP was great, but I don't think that she was playing a character or literally intertreting the plot. I just think that she was skating pretty in response to pretty music. JMHO.

    I haven't seen Johnny's, but I've read what he has to say about it and I don't think that knowing the story will help you any with his program. He said that it was all about icicles. Well, a lot of the story takes place in Siberia. It's very cold. I honestly don't think that knowing about the Doctor, his wife, his son, his mistress, his brother, his lost illegitmate daughter etc.. will help you understand about "icicles".

  5. #5
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    It's a David Lean film (British). Lean was famous for his sweeping look at the colossal movies he made, e.g., Zvago; Bridge on River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia.
    It's also a very popular book of the 60s which was very controversial in the former USSR.

    Johnny's interpretation is just of the music. He does it well.

    I believe the skaters are going back to interpreting the music as they feel it without reference to a previous story. For myself, I prefer that.

    Sasha is interpreting a swan and not necessarily in the Swan Lake story.
    Michelle is interpreting a very dramatic lady from a heavy piece of music, albeit lyrical, and not going bananas atop the Castle Gondalfo.

    Making a 4 minute story out of a program does not go well with me. Just my taste. Others can feel differently. No problem.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 01-29-2004 at 07:53 AM.

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    I loved Nicole Bobek's '95 LP. I think it was her best program. Renee Roca did a fabulous job with the chorography. I liked the music edits & Nicole wore one of my fave skating outfits ever.

    I don't think she was interpreting a character, moreso the mood of the music. One of the best film scores of all time.

    I like Johnny's icicle motif. It's different. The snow & cold are an important aspect of the movie, and I guess it's better than not interpreting anything from the movie. I think he does a great job with it and I can't wait to see the things he wants to add to the program between now & worlds.

  7. #7
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    insecureedge:

    I don't think the essence of the story could be captured in a skating solo. The story is of epic proportion. Perhaps, the love story between Zhivago and Lara could be interpreted - Jamie Sale and David Pelletier could pull it off - "Somewhere My Love." In fact, I think the music would better suit a pair.

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    Thanks for the opinions, all. It does sound like quite an interesting story and a deeper read than A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch sp?. Alas, time constraints would make the movie my first choice. I'll leave the book vs. movie adaptation controversy for another day (or for the Lord of the Rings fans). I asked about the storyline because it was the first time in a year that Weir was televised on US television, so I was wondering whether that his rather introspective skating was due to the film's theme, whether it was his preferred style, or whether it was the nerves of the prospect of winning US Nationals after a disastrous LP at last year's event. While I agree with Joesitz and Ladskater that the complexity of nearly any good long work (movie, opera, ballet) precludes deep attempts at bringing the intricacies of characters and their situations to the ice in 4-5 minutes, I still think that knowing the backstory can and often does lead to a greater appreciation of the skater's performance, if only by what you yourself add to it by that prior knowledge.

    InsecureEdge, ending in a very awkward last sentence

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    insecureedge:

    Very well stated!!! I hope you do see the movie - it's one of those "must sees."

  10. #10
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    I personally have to disagree with "Dr. Zhivago" being an unforgettable movie -- I saw it several years ago and quite honestly cannot remember hardly one thing about it except for this one shot with a bunch of yellow flowers (I think they were yellow) against the snow and this house that was all frozen over.

    As for Weir's program -- I know I'm in a major minority here -- but it just left me cold. It was well done, it was well choreographed, but it just didn't work for me and I'd be hard-pressed to tell you specifically why. I did like Bobek's version in '95.

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