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Thread: Is Romeo and Juliet working for Ashley?

  1. #16
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    I was not being shady. I meant it. She should do something that set her apart.

  2. #17
    Custom Title Rachmaninoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icey View Post
    No, she is badly miscast as Juliet. True she could (and possibly does) skate the music and not the character, but when one knows what the music is, there is the expectation the character is being portrayed.
    Expectation by who? I certainly don't expect that a skater has to be portraying a particular character whenever they skate to music from a well-known movie/ballet/opera/musical/whatever. I expect that they'll express the mood and character of the music and story, sure, but it doesn't necessarily occur to me that Ashley Wagner is supposed to be Juliet and Yuzuru Hanyu is trying to be Romeo. (Or that Akiko Suzuki is supposed to be Christine Daae, or that anyone skating to Les Mis is supposed to be Fantine or Jean Valjean...I could go on.)

    I like the program more than I did when I first saw it. It's still not my favourite program of hers, but I do think it's good enough for an Olympic medal if she skates it well.

  3. #18
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    I agree, her fs music is not inspiring at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachmaninoff View Post
    I expect that they'll express the mood and character of the music and story, sure, but it doesn't necessarily occur to me that Ashley Wagner is supposed to be Juliet and Yuzuru Hanyu is trying to be Romeo. (Or that Akiko Suzuki is supposed to be Christine Daae, or that anyone skating to Les Mis is supposed to be Fantine or Jean Valjean...I could go on.)
    Based on his costume choice I would say he is trying to portrait Julia...

  4. #19
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    I've been saying all season that Ashley skates like a robot. I felt somewhat vindicated when - although they said it more nicely - that Johnny and Tara agreed. She doesn't connect with the music and the crowd. There is little emotion on her face. I don't think this cut of this music suits her well.

    But for those of you who are saying a skater doesn't have to portray the character from the music - what about Lipnitskaya and her Schindler's List? I would agree if she wasn't wearing "the red dress!"

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    But for those of you who are saying a skater doesn't have to portray the character from the music - what about Lipnitskaya and her Schindler's List? I would agree if she wasn't wearing "the red dress!"

    What I meant was that there is more than one way to interpret the music. Some people seemed to be miffed that she was not portraying Juliet the way that they imagined her to or wasn't portraying Juliet "enough"--and I don't agree with that. I don't think literal interpretations work for everyone, but if they do, more power to them.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftertherain View Post
    What I meant was that there is more than one way to interpret the music. Some people seemed to be miffed that she was not portraying Juliet the way that they imagined her to or wasn't portraying Juliet "enough"--and I don't agree with that. I don't think literal interpretations work for everyone, but if they do, more power to them.
    Definitely agree with this. Telling a story in a program can be really effective, but it's not the only way to skate to a piece of music (and sometimes the really literal programs go too far and seem hokey to me). Caro regularly skates to classical pieces that don't come with a built-in story or character, and she has arguably the best interpretation skills in the business. I like Ashley's Juliet, and appreciate that she displays strength that a lot of others lack. It's not my favorite program for her but if she can do it clean, I think it'll do the job.

  7. #22
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    it's a beautiful cut of music, but I'm not sure she's doing all she can with it. The sweeping slow section is the real highlight and she needs I think a more definitive choreographic statement here to make it memorable.

  8. #23
    Custom Title Sasha'sSpins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koatcue View Post
    the Black Swan looks best for her, imo. This program is average. Julia's is better..She should go back to the BS w/o doubt!
    ^^^
    THIS! I wish Ashley would go back to "Black Swan" for her FS. Imo she has no connection to R&J except that she's trying to put on some soulful looks here and there. Sorry to those who disagree but she is just not believable as a Juliet. She is doing well PCS-wise so I suppose that she should keep it but this to me is not an 'Olympian' program like "Black Swan" could have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    I've been saying all season that Ashley skates like a robot. I felt somewhat vindicated when - although they said it more nicely - that Johnny and Tara agreed. She doesn't connect with the music and the crowd. There is little emotion on her face. I don't think this cut of this music suits her well.

    But for those of you who are saying a skater doesn't have to portray the character from the music - what about Lipnitskaya and her Schindler's List? I would agree if she wasn't wearing "the red dress!"
    ITA. I thought Johnny said it best too during the GPF coverage. Glad to know I wasn't the only one that thought this program is just not the best fit for Ashley. Even if she doesn't have to portray Juliet to skate the music (although I believe she has stated that she IS skating as Juliet - just not the victim Juliet but one who fights for love or whatever) I just don't see the connection between her and the music. She could be skating to anything imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by aftertherain View Post
    What I meant was that there is more than one way to interpret the music. Some people seemed to be miffed that she was not portraying Juliet the way that they imagined her to or wasn't portraying Juliet "enough"--and I don't agree with that. I don't think literal interpretations work for everyone, but if they do, more power to them.
    But Ashley herself, as I said above, stated that she IS portraying Juliet - I think in one article (I'm trying to find it) she said that at first she was playing Juliet as victim and then she decided to play Juliet as triumphant with love or something along those lines and it's just not coming through for me anyway quite frankly with all the soulful looks, etc.

  9. #24
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    Ashley always struck me as someone who does better with something sort of quirky, like the Black Swan. Romeo and Juliet is too conventional and balletic for her. She should think about changing it, although it may be too late.

  10. #25
    Custom Title Sasha'sSpins's Avatar
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    I very much doubt that Ashley is going to change her LP at this late stage of the game - but I sure wish that she would.

  11. #26
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    Everytime I watched Ashley Wagner's free to Romeo and Juliet, I ended up thinking "maybe I'll like it more after having seen it a couple more times". But I'm fairly sure by now I just don't like the music arrangement.
    I know that the skaters want to have original music, so for such a popular theme, that can mean picking pieces that have not been used in the past, but here, I can't help but feel: "they haven't been used for a reason!"
    It's like "Romeo and Juliet - the worst of": just the gloomy pieces, almost none of the melodic stuff.
    Prokofiev's and Nino Rota's R&J are obviously vastly different, but have a look at Susanna Pöikio's R&J and tell me how it compares for you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Fdc0J81gI (seriously, it's beautiful, take a look if you don't know it!)

    Since developing a new program and "getting comfortable with it" at this point would take too much focus off the regular practice (keyword being: triple-triple!), the only realistic chance IF she decided to switch would be to go back to a previous program. Then, as I believe almost everybody here, I'd hope it would be Black Swan, which was her best imo.
    From all her programs over the years, I really think this SP to Pollock from 2 years ago - and the overall mood - suits her best:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeRTxltdMQc
    I just prefer this style where she has a "rascally" smile rather than this hugely exagerated "looks-like-in-pain" facial expression at the beginning of Romeo and Juliet or Sheherazade. The music does make you smile too, it's just light and "sophisticated/clever".

  12. #27
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    No nothing works on her

  13. #28
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    [QUOTE=aftertherain;802816]Okay, Ashley is clearly not Juliet because:

    (1) She is not thirteen.
    (2) Ashley should not be portraying an angsty barely-teenager. She is more than twenty years old.
    (3) This is her own spin on things. I honestly don't want to see overtly-literal portrayals all the time.

    Re not being 13: Very few, if any actresses, who have played the role, especially on the stage, have been thirteen. Vivien Leigh was in her mid-twenties , I believe, when she played the role on Broadway with Laurence Olivier. Thirteen was not that young when life expectancy during the time was so low compared to today.

    If it is her spin on things, what is the spin, especially when she was implying she was stabbing herself in one of the performances?
    Maybe the problem is Ashley does not clearly understand what she is doing with the program.

    Both Tara and Johnny sent her a message she needs to hear---and soon.

  14. #29
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    I don't think it's realistic for Ashley to scrap the program and I don't think it's necessary. The middle section could be improved. Is there any chance she might re-edit some of the music cuts to include Dance of the Knights? It feels like there's very little going on from Ashley's sit spin combo (when the music becomes slower) to when she does her layback. I realize there are a bunch of triple jumps in that section and it feels like a jump drill. That part is especially boring because it seems to not really fit with the music- she chooses some of the softest and most delicate music to spend on her jump elements while the more bombastic parts are where she's doing the majority of her choreographic/ emotional work. I think that's partly why the music feels so big and she seems less connected to it than she should be.

    If there was a way to move the soft section forward so that it overlaps with her step sequence and then include Dance of the Knights in the section where she does all the jumps and then have that transition into her final choreographic sequence with the camel spin/ stabbing herself, she might have a more coherent program. I guess it would involve cutting some of the music she uses from her first triple salchow to the sit spin, but I don't think that would be a big loss.

  15. #30
    Custom Title Sasha'sSpins's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Icey;805583]
    Quote Originally Posted by aftertherain View Post
    Okay, Ashley is clearly not Juliet because:

    (1) She is not thirteen.
    (2) Ashley should not be portraying an angsty barely-teenager. She is more than twenty years old.
    (3) This is her own spin on things. I honestly don't want to see overtly-literal portrayals all the time.

    Re not being 13: Very few, if any actresses, who have played the role, especially on the stage, have been thirteen. Vivien Leigh was in her mid-twenties , I believe, when she played the role on Broadway with Laurence Olivier. Thirteen was not that young when life expectancy during the time was so low compared to today.

    If it is her spin on things, what is the spin, especially when she was implying she was stabbing herself in one of the performances?
    Maybe the problem is Ashley does not clearly understand what she is doing with the program.

    Both Tara and Johnny sent her a message she needs to hear---and soon.
    It is true that very few actresses (if any?) were 13 when they portrayed Juliet. I think that on film Olivia Hussey was one of the youngest actresses to portray her. In 1968, when "Romeo & Juliet" came to movie theatres she was 17 so I'm assuming she was perhaps 16 years old during production.

    I'll still keep dreaming that Ashley goes back to "Black Swan" for the Olympics. It was her best LP ever imo.

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