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Thread: Seeing skaters live

  1. #1
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    Seeing skaters live

    This was inspired by Rgirl's post of seeing Oksana Bauil skate live at Madison Square Garden.
    What are some of your favorite memories/impressions of seeing skaters live?
    Have you changed your opinion of a skater after seeing them live?
    I have never seen elite skaters live, and there are so many skaters I wished I had the opprotunity to see live, Gordeeva and Grinkov, Rodnina & Zaitsev, Mishkutienok & Dmitriev, Gritchuk & Platov, Midori Ito, John Curry, and so many more...

    ETA: of course there are many current skaters I would like to see to, but these skaters are no longer skating or no longer with us. So I have a special regret about never seeing those skaters skate live and in their prime.
    The only ones still skating(IIRC) are Ekaterina Gordeeva and Artur Dmitriev.
    Last edited by lulu; 02-03-2004 at 09:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Ice Angel
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    After 2002 Olympics, I watched Plushenko's skating at COI tour. I felt he was a much better skater than Yagudin. But somehow he did not win the gold.

  3. #3
    Master Procrastinator
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    I liked Irina Slutskya so much better after I saw her live a few years ago. Still not my favorite, but I was able to see a lot of qualities that do not come across on television.

  4. #4
    Michelle Kwan Fan
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    at Madison Square Garden.
    OMG! That's the same place I saw Michelle Kwan, for the second time live, overall. Her "Tosca" was amazing, magnificent, and Kwanderful! I loved it so much.

    Three years in a row at SOI, I also saw Paul Wylie (among others) live, and got to meet him once. That was awesome too! :D

  5. #5
    PATCH NJSk8Fan's Avatar
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    I've been going to SOI and COI since the '94-95 season, and also went to Scott's show in October '02 and Kristy's show in Nov '03, as well as a pro-am comp in '95 and some of the US Nat's in '98, all in Philadelphia.

    One of the things that impressed me was realising just how fast the skaters move across the ice. And I feel a certain thrill when I hear the blades making the different noises they make on the ice.

    Altho Michelle Kwan is not a personal favorite of mine, I've found that I definately enjoy seeing her live much more than I do seeing her in competitions/on tv.

    One of the performances I enjoyed most was in '96 SOI when Kurt Browning skated to "Brick House", the arena really rocked and it was such fun and exciting.

    Last year, Philippe Candeloro's performance to "God Bless the USA" in COI was THE MOST moving skating experience I was ever a part of.....it wasn't so much just his performance as it was the emotions that went thru the arena in the crowds....people stood up before he was even half thru skating, they were clapping, whistling, yelling, singing the lyrics to the song, stomping their feet and I bet at least 1/2 the crowd was crying...I know I was. It was something I will never, ever forget and still get tears when I retell the story. I am soooo sorry that COI was not aired on tv last year so that I could have a tape of that performance for a keepsake.
    Last edited by NJSk8Fan; 02-06-2004 at 06:51 PM.

  6. #6
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    I like them before I saw them, but I couldn't really see the flow, edging, and blade control of the the Finnish women -- Drei, Poykio, and Kettunen -- until I saw them live. Same with Kristoffer Berntsson and Ana Persson of Sweden.

    Denkova/Staviyski became immediate favorites during the Tango Romatica CD at Malmo; she looked like she was about to devour him. It was clear how they used their whole bodies, how beautifully they relate to each other on ice, and how tight their feet are. Their dramatic range was extraordinary -- from tango to the dignity and style they showed in their barrocco OD to their walk-like-an-Egyptian FD last year.

    I couldn't believe how much speed out of nowhere Delobel/Schoenfelder could generate, and how controlled and flowing their dancing is. His physical presence is commanding in a strong/silent-type way; he uses his height well. I feel like they have equal stature, the feeling I got from Miskutienok/Dmitriev in pairs.

    I really loved Totmianina/Marinin's Peer Gynt short last year, but until I saw it live, the flow and drama didn't come across on TV, nor did her amazing toepoint, carriage, and edge and flow out of throws. Even though I really don't like their Cotton Club LP, it was really a lot better in person, because their technique is so much fun for me to watch. I know this doesn't rock everyone's boat, but I love great technique.

    I always loved Julia Sebetsyen, but I didn't know how much "boom" she has in her Lutz and Flip until I was there in person. In Malmo her Flip looked like her feet were higher than the boards. She also gets a lot of speed from her blades without much visible effort and uses the whole rink very well, something that's impossible to see on TV.

    The height effect I also noticed when I saw Yagudin perform a 3A and Slutskaya perform a 3R -- both corkscrewed towards the ceiling. Also Andrejs Vlacenko's flying sit spin really flies.

    I like Plushenko a lot more in person, because there's something very vivid and palpable about his energy and command. He doesn't seem nearly as over-the-top in person as on TV. Cohen is another skater who looks very different on TV than in the rink. In person she's so tiny. I sometimes think that on TV, she looks like a ballet dancer or actor from the 10th row -- overly made up and straining. Seeing her in person is like seeing her from the center of the first tier -- blended and modulated.

    Klimkin's and Joubert's style and energy come through on TV to me, but they also are so much more vivid in person. Both have charisma, but in opposite temperatures.

    On TV I never watch Sikuharlidze, but in Stars on Ice recently, I couldn't keep my eyes off of him. I know they'll forever be joined at the hip of skating lore, but the best pair, I think, is Sikuharlidze and Pelletier, who are delightful in the group numbers together.

    One of the great things about seeing live competitions is exposure to a lot of skaters that are normally just names on results lists. There is a gap, especially in pairs, between the top skaters/teams and the next tier, but among the lower-ranked skaters, even those who don't qualify, it's not the splatfest one might expect, especially from the technical 3's and the ridiculous matching pre 3's that show up on IceCalc. There are a lot of skaters with beautiful qualities, who can do some moves with the best of them -- Karamedir's COE spiral, one of the Eastern European Ladies' Biellmanns on each leg, that just float to the overhead position without strain or slowing down and have complete control transitioning from leg to leg -- and have interpretive skills that are top-notch, like Mexico's Ana Cecilia Cantu. But without Eurosport, the only way to see them is to show up for 4C's, Euros, or Worlds.

  7. #7
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I have been to quite a few shows and fluff events. But what really blew me away was the first time (and only time so far) that I went to a serious competition over several days. This was Skate America in 2002. Among my most poignant memories:

    Michelle Kwan practicing. She didn't so much practice as hold court. All eyes (and there were quite a few spectators there, first thing in the morning) were on her. Even though there were five other top flight skaters on the ice, it seemed like it was just Michelle. She seemed very much aware of the fact that, although it was just a practice session, she still had an obligation to the audience to give them their money's worth for coming out to see her.

    Vahktang Murvanidze. What a showman! He reminded me of a combination of the youngest son of a deposed royal family of Europe, and P. T. Barnum. He flirted shamelessly with the audience, all the while landing big triple Axels and other impressive elements. There was a recent article that said his national federation (Republic of Georgia) had run out of money to support his training, so he moved to the U. S. Whatever his success as a world competitor, one of the top shows should grab him up.

    Watanabe and Kido. I never cared much about ice dance before, although I did try to follow the career of Fusar-Poli and Margaglio for a time. I don't know why, but this couple just charmed my socks off. They weren't in the medal hunt, but somehow this just made them seem all the freer in their expression.

    Ann Patrice MacDonough. In person, this is the prettiest girl you have ever laid eyes on. In practice she stayed on the ice after everyone else had left and went all the way through both of her programs (practicing two different endings of Madame Butterfly, with and without stabbing herself). She was the only skater on the ice for about 10 minutes, and she put on an amazing show.

    The other thing about attending these multiday competitions live is that if you hang out at the hospitality suite, or wherever, you get to meet the skaters. There are regularly schedule autograph sessions, plus you might be lucky enough just to run into them. I got to meet Jenny Kirk and her sister Emily, who is just as pretty and just as nice as Jenny. That was a high point of my trip.

    http://www.freep.com/sports/otherspo...5_20021025.htm

    Mathman

  8. #8
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    lulu:

    I have too many to list here. All I can say is seeing skaters live, just inspired me more to skate.

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    I can remember as a little girl we'd go to Ice Capades. All I can remember as far as performances was the comedy acts, and the huge group acts ( how the girls in the big costumes moved their feet,made them look like they were floating).

    As an adult, my best memory ever will always be seeing Michelle skate FOG in COI. I am so thrilled that I actually got to see it live! I remember being so nervous that the people sitting next to me might not appreciate me standing up at the end (as in standing ovation). We hadn't had our computer all that long, and I had no idea how much some people didn't like Michelle (learned from reading message boards, etc), and I had my attitude on-I was not about to hide my admiration, or be intimidated. As it turns out I had nothing to worry about. I stood up first, but they were right behind me.

  10. #10
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I wondered about that, too, Pati. Every time Michelle performs the whole audience is jumping out of their seats for her. So where are the people who rush to the Internet to make their snide criticisms and to gloat over her few competitive disappointments? Hearing no chorus of boos when Michelle is introduced, I can only conclude that the trolls are more polite in person than under the cloak of the Internet.

    Mathman

  11. #11
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jesslily
    After 2002 Olympics, I watched Plushenko's skating at COI tour. I felt he was a much better skater than Yagudin. But somehow he did not win the gold.
    he got silver after falling on his keester, what more do you want? LOL

    seriously though I've been to two ice shows, both headlined by Scott Hamilton... and they were good

    Walt Disney on Ice back in 89 I was three... don't remember much, but I liked Scott enough to start watching figure skating

    in 1999 Scott and Katarina co-headlined a tour and it was awesome, I LOVED IT!

    Scott -- was Scott, skated to "One Week"(one of my favs) and "Keepin the Customer Satisfied"(I think I was the only one in the audience who didn't care for it LOL) he was great, spot on in the jumps, and a total clown!

    Brian Orser -- skated to "Ebb Tide" and "Rootbeer and Licorice" I never really appreciated Brian's skating(I was a fan but...) until I saw him skate live... he seems so slow and "heavy" on TV... but he just floats across the ice. I wanted to see 30 programs by him! LOL

    Josée Chouinard -- "Rose in the Wind" and "Prima Donna" two of my favorite Josée programs! She didn't have the best night, she fell a few times, but it didn't matter... she just lights up the arena and is just so cute... she speeds across the ice

    Steven Cousins -- "Belfast Child" and "Invisible Man" I fell in love with Stevey during the show... need I say more?

    basically the 1999 show renewed my love of the sport

  12. #12
    Joey Votto Fangirl KwanFan1212's Avatar
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    A few observations from my random skating adventures in the last few years....

    *Pairs skating became my fave discipline after seeing it live first at COI and then at the Hallmark Skaters Championship both in 2002. Those ladies are totally fearless and its downright SCARY how high they are at some points! A great pairs team can leave me completely breathless. I think this is why I love SOI so much right now.

    *I like Plushenko better live than I do on TV. He has such a nice presence live but I don't get that from the TV performances. :D

    *Seeing Michelle Kwan skate live is absolutely amazing. Being in the audience after she's skated her heart out and won Nationals for the 8th time is absolutely BREATHTAKING. It really is something that I can't put into words. That was an experience I will never forget. :D

    *After seeing (and meeting) a lot of the ice dancing duos at US Nats, I have a HUGE new appreciation for that discipline. Its still not my fave but I certainly can enjoy it a lot more than I ever did before. Those steps and spins and everything are NOT that easy!! LOL

    *Yuka Sato and Angela Nikodinov are two of the BEST skaters I have ever seen live. You can't hear a THING when they skate. They have mastered using their edges so well. Its just incredible. And Angela's layback is even more beautiful in person. :D

  13. #13
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    Well said, KwanFan1212! I was in Atlanta too and that was an experience that would be difficult to describe. Here is my list:

    Michelle Kwan (SURPRISE!): Okay, I knew she was sublime on television, but I never expected to be so surprised at her ability to command the entire ice surface...even in a warm-up! LOL, I was happy enough just watching her warm-up! The experience in Atlanta was more than I ever expected.

    Jennifer Don: She isn't that well known, but I do remember seeing her on television some time ago and not taking any notice. Jennifer Don is a completely different skater to see live. She has confidence and command as well (even with mistakes). I found her to be incredibly appealing live.

    Sasha Cohen: Her spins are so amazing to see live, as well as her line and carriage, etc. I'd really love to see her let it go...and be there live for it!

    Now, I just need to go to an international competition to see the other skaters!

  14. #14
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    skating live

    I was never a ice dancing fan until I went to Nationals in 2000. Naomi and Peter were exciting to watch. I even got their autograph when we went to the Hard Rock for lunch. They were both very gracious. Jamie and Justin were awesome too. It's too bad they ended their partnership.
    I also thought that Alexi is great to see in person. His speed, jumps, footwork are worth every penny of a ticket to SOI.
    Of course, there is Michelle! She gives me goosebumps to see her in person. At 2000 Nationals she skated to Hands. I was balling like a baby. She justs draws you in with her and you feel her every movement. It's brillant and breathtaking!

  15. #15
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    One thing to remember when comparing live with TV is that the skater is out there in the space of an entire arena whereas on TV they are focused on the camera. This is a big difference. The tricks you see live are not as impressive, imo. However, beautiful basic skating to the music is quite obvious Even when a skater falls, one can still sense that the skater is special

    for example, at US Nats, Bebe had a bad day, more than likely due to that hip problem but she skated basics better than, well I won't say who. She got what she deserved in scores and placing, but one had to marvel at her flow, musicality, deep edges, etc., and look forward to her next skate sans injury.

    There is a big difference between Live and TV and for me, it is the Whole Package which is more obvious Live than on TV.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 02-06-2004 at 07:05 AM.

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