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Thread: Polina Edmunds

  1. #61
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    Polina Edmunds

    In a world of very short men and tiny little women, it is refreshing to see someone like Polina. While many skaters exhibit sharp, angular, almost aggressive arm movements, hers are reminiscent of a "prima ballerina".
    Last edited by sgsmozart; 03-29-2014 at 02:15 PM. Reason: Capitalization

  2. #62
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    I was very impressed by her. I think she's brimming with potential.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgsmozart View Post
    In a world of very short men and tiny little women, it is refreshing to see someone like Polina. While many skaters exhibit sharp, angular, almost aggressive arm movements, hers are reminiscent of a "prima ballerina".
    Polina and the Problem of Style

    Polina Edmunds had the highest technical score at the Ladies Free Skate save for Anna Pogorilaya, yet her component scores lagged far behind the other elite skaters. How could this be? It isn't as though she did nothing other than those impressive jumps and spins. They were fully integrated into an almost perfectly executed program of stunning artistry. Why then weren't her component scores much higher?

    I think sgsmozart has touched upon the real reason, in that Polina simply skates in a way that is different from most other skaters. In conventional figure skating, the arms are employed for balance and thrust. There can be many variations to their movements, and some can and are used to reflect the music being skated to, but their essential function means that they will necessarily be sharp and angular. Consequently, they provide a relatively limited vocabulary to translate music into movement.

    Polina is a figure skater who has superb jumping and spinning technique. She is a dancer as well, however, who uses her arms and hands as a dancer would, giving expression to feelings and thought through gesture. Consider her Grieg program: a hand to the breast in remembrance, hands and arms drawn past the face in anguish and despair or thrown upwards in yearning, or the arms in movement as the wings of a bird; that is, as the heart is given flight. In this way she illuminated the music and transcended mere athleticism for something deeper and more meaningful.

    Other skaters have added elements of the dance to their performances, but not to the same extent. For them, it is an applique. For Polina, it is something which comes from within. Thus, in her performances, there is an essential coherence between dance and skating which is new, but which the judges have not yet recognized or rewarded appropriately. They understand the driven, often strident quality of the other performances, yet the romantic lyricism of Polina's program seemed to elude them. I've noticed the same perspective in comments to this forum, that she wasn't "fast" or exciting enough, or even that she was "rough," which may simply mean that there was something about her they didn't get. I would hope, however, that judges and fans alike will come to understand that, if this is not what figure skating has been, it is what it should become. At the very least, it is something which should be appreciated for offering new artistic possibilities.

    The challenge for Polina and the excellent people around her is to appeal to aspects of figure skating as it is without compromising this special gift she has for the dance, and for its revelation of the human heart.

  4. #64
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    Polina's style definitely opened a fresh air to normal audiences and there are so many folks have no clues about Figure Skating, but after watching Sochi skating event, they loves Polina's presentation. She could form her own style in near future which will definitely help her greatly on her PCS scores.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parsifal3363 View Post
    Polina Edmunds had the highest technical score at the Ladies Free Skate save for Anna Pogorilaya, yet her component scores lagged far behind the other elite skaters. How could this be? It isn't as though she did nothing other than those impressive jumps and spins. They were fully integrated into an almost perfectly executed program of stunning artistry. Why then weren't her component scores much higher?

    I think sgsmozart has touched upon the essential reason, that Polina simply skates in way that is different from other skaters. For example, in conventional figure skating, the arms are employed for balance and thrust. There can be many variations to their movements, and some can and are used to reflect the music being skated to, but their essential function means that they will necessarily be sharp and angular. The cost is that they will provide a relatively limited vocabulary to translate music into movement.

    Polina is a figure skater who uses her arms as other skaters do, or else she would not be able to execute those jumps and spins. She is a dancer as well, however, who also uses her arms and hands as a dancer would, giving expression to feelings and thought through gesture. Consider her Grieg program. A hand to the breast in remembrance, hands and arms drawn past the face in anguish and despair or thrown upwards in yearning, or the arms in movement as the wings of a bird: that is, as the heart is given flight. In this way she illuminated the music and transcended mere athleticism for something deeper and more meaningful.

    It is something new and as yet the judges have not recognized or rewarded it appropriately. They understood the driven, often strident quality of the other performances, yet the romantic lyricism of Polina's program seemed to elude them. I've noticed the same perspective in comments to this forum, that she wasn't "fast" enough or that there was something about her that they just didn't get. I would hope, however, that judges and fans alike will come to understand that, if this is not what figure skating has been, it is what it should become. At the very least, it is something which should be appreciated for offering new artistic possibilities.

    The challenge for Polina and the excellent people around her is to appeal to aspects of figure skating as it is without compromising this special gift she has for the dance, and for its revelation of the human heart.

  5. #65
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    Polina will be performing at nine of the Stars On Ice tour dates!
    http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2014/04/03/70803048
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 04-05-2014 at 02:15 AM.

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    Polina's Progress

    As Polina Edmunds left the ice after her freeskate at the worlds, the IceNetwork feed picked up the voice of David Glynn, who coaches her along with her mother, Nina, saying, "Fantastic...what a year."

    The skate had been fantastic. It was light, lyrical, and almost perfectly realized. Or as one of the commentators for British Eurosport exclaimed as she finished, "Quite fabulous!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OWODMzKITc.

    As for the year, it had also been fantastic, though astonishing might be another word to describe it. Her silver medal at the U.S. nationals in January had seemingly come out of nowhere, though she had won the U.S. junior championship a year before and golds at ISU junior grand prix events in Mexico City and Belarus after that. She'd finished a disappointing fourth at the junior grand prix finals in December, however, and few gave her a chance of medaling at the nationals, in what would be her senior debut. Most writers to this forum and others picked her for eighth or ninth or perhaps fifth or sixth. Many didn't rate her at all.

    She'd learned much during that year, however. The pretty program she used to win the junior gold at the U.S. nationals, set to a theme by Nino Rota for the Franco Zefferelli film of "Romeo and Juliet," had been succeeded by a more mature one, using excerpts from Grieg's "Peer Gynt" suites. It offered the possibility of a much deeper emotional involvement, though at first, in the early ISU competitions, it was mostly a showcase for her virtuosic jumps and spins. Gradually, though, the bold outlines of the program were filled in with line and color, in the steps and gestures of the dance with which she ornamented the skating set-pieces. By the end, the commitment was complete. She no longer skated to the music, she became the music.

    Experience had also revealed a depth and strength of character. Her short program at the ISU junior grand prix finals had begun badly with a fall and she struggled through the rest of it. She gathered herself together, though, and her freeskate was clean and second best of the day. Her short program at the worlds also began with a near fall, as she put a hand down after the second triple of her opening combination to save her balance. After that, however, she skated beautifully. And her freeskate was, indeed, quite fabulous. What she exhibited, in will and courage, had always been there, only waiting for her to draw upon it.

    Her technique has been described as pure and gorgeous. What sets her apart from other skaters, however, is a marvelous ability to express music in the language of dance. As with the Grieg program, with its poignant yearning and joy, she brings such grace to her performances as to transcend sport for art. Whether this promise will be fully realized remains to be seen. What is more certain, however, is that the radiant young skater who concluded a marvelous year in Saitama, Japan is poised on the brink of wonderful possibilities.

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    Music for Polina

    During Polina Edmunds' freeskate at Sochi, Tara Lipinski commented that she had really held her own in the short program, with its peppy choreography, but that her true talent was revealed in the long program.

    Polina had made a sensational senior debut at Boston with her short program. Skating last that evening, many spectators were soon clapping in unison with the music, while the little sweeper girls could be seen dancing behind the barrier and imitating Polina's moves. When she finished, it was to the greatest ovation of the night. No one had expected that.

    The short program was set to a medley of cha-cha tunes by Ballroom Orchestra. It was quite fun and showed off her technical skill and dancing ability to advantage. Ms. Lipinski was correct, however, as to the long program. Set to excerpts from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt suites, it was lyrical and almost achingly romantic. In this, it seemed to give expression to qualities that are becoming more and more apparent as Polina matures. In interviews, she is very much like any girl her age, if more serious and better spoken. There is an impression of reserve and self-reflection, however, and her face is shadowed by an emerging awareness. The performances themselves suggest that they are not merely the product of hours of practice and repetition, but something found within, just then, something that is new and beautiful.

    The music was especially well chosen and arranged for this, with the poignant longing of "Solveig's Song" leading to the growing exultation of "Morning Mood." Interestingly, the order of the pieces is reversed from how they are presented in the suites, where "Morning Mood" is the first piece of the first suite and "Solveig's Song" is the last piece of the second suite. This created a wonderfully cathartic effect, as in the lines from the Psalm, "Weeping endureth for a night, but joy comes in the morning."

    Polina performed these short and long programs for the last time at the World Championships in Saitama, Japan in March. Almost certainly she is practicing now the ones succeeding them, with the competitions later this year in mind. If they follow the pattern of her breakthrough programs of the past two years, the short program will be fast and fun, while the long program will be deeper and more lyrical. The contrast will allow her to better demonstrate her technical skills and musicality, but as she becomes more and more the woman she will be, and is more and more able to reveal the music, she more and more reveals herself. It is the source of her enchantment with the music she dances to.

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    More Music for Polina -

    The Short Program


    This posting would be quite tardy, if it was intended to influence the music chosen for Polina's upcoming programs, while as prognostication, there would be better odds of being struck by lightning. Even so, it is offered as a suggestion for what could be done in the future. And certainly others should join in with their own thoughts.

    Polina's breakthrough performances this past year offered light and fast musical pieces for the short program and something more sweeping and lyrical for the freeskate, and this seemed to work very well. Many skaters use the same sort of music for both programs, so that while there may be consistency in their performances, there is little artistic variation between the two. The long program becomes an extension of the short program, with no more emotional depth revealed, save through repetition.

    But Polina is still a young woman, just turning 16, with all the gaiety and innocence of that age. She's filled with love for her family and friends and for her school, and she's enthralled by the possibilities opening up before her. In exhibitions now, people sense the great joy she brings to her skating.

    So even though she has an astonishing way of expressing romantic yearning, as she did in the Grieg program, she also wants to share this special joy that she's found. The short program seems the perfect place for this.

    There are all sorts of music that could serve that end, but here's a suggestion: Pink Martini. It's hard to characterize the music of this remarkable group, with its eclectic mix of Latin-oriented dance music, songs from old Hollywood movies, ersatz cabaret tunes, or just about anything else that captures their fancy, other than that's it's entertaining and done extremely well. A friend likes them immensely and assured me that they were "very Ricky Ricardo." They're that, certainly, and other things, too. The leader of the band, pianist Thomas Lauderdale, has provided great arrangements, and the lead vocals by China Forbes are terrific. If it's true that the ISU is going to allow the singer's voice as an accompaniment, China's would be especially fetching. And Pink Martini's sense of fun would certainly complement Polina's.

    Here is a taste of some of their tunes:

    "Dosvedanya Mio Bombino"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGYbq8JQ1hQ

    "Sympathique"
    (Pink Martini's first video)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLaY4aksfRo

    "Brazil"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIKs8KSrGXM

    Pink Martini, then, for the short program.

    Are there other suggestions?
    Last edited by Parsifal3363; 05-16-2014 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Correction to website citations.

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    Felicitations on the Eve of a Birthday

    At the beginning of every program, there is a moment when the skater pauses at center ice, gathering herself for the challenge. It is a nexus between hope and realization, where the ethereal is suspended before the lapsed graces of this world. Much rehearsal had brought her to this place, the countless repetitions with their variations, the joy shadowed by uncertainty. The silence waits, yearning to be filled. The moment passes, the music begins, and with movement and gesture, she makes anew her argument against the darkness.

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    Felicitations on the Eve of a Birthday

    At the beginning of every program, there is a moment when the skater pauses at center ice, gathering herself for the challenge. It is a nexus between hope and realization, where the ethereal is suspended before the lapsed graces of this world. Much rehearsal had brought her to this place, the countless repetitions with their variations, the joy shadowed by uncertainty. The silence waits, yearning to be filled. The moment passes, the music begins, and with movement and gesture, she makes anew her argument against the darkness.

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    More Music for Polina -

    The Long Program


    Polina's long program has been a continuing demonstration of her growth as an artist and a skater. Her long, elegant lines and clarity of movement have illuminated whatever music she skates to, but the breakthrough success of her Grieg program this past year suggests that her musicality and gift for the dance will find best expression in pieces that are lyrical and flowing.

    There are many works that would be appropriate, but she would want something that is accessible yet not overly familiar. One writer to another forum thought that Debussy's "Claire de Lune" would be especially well suited for her, and surely it would be, with its delicacy and suggestion of a heart in its contemplation. This performance by Mattia Bonizzi suggests its charms:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG9aWvSxtMU

    Other similar pieces would be Antonin Dvorak's "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka, "Le Cygne" from Saint-Saen's Carnival of the Animals, and Tchaikovsky's "None but the Lonely Heart." Joshua Bell has offered some delicious violin transcriptions of them in his "Voice of the Violin" and "Romance of the Violin" collections.

    One composer of note who has not often been used for accompaniment is Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Alissa Czisny skated to excerpts from his "Violin Concerto in D" some years ago, but I'm not aware of any other examples.

    Korngold was a prodigious talent some compared to Mozart. When the political situation in his native Austria forced him to flee in 1935, he found himself in Hollywood, composing acclaimed scores for such rousing swashbucklers as "Captain Blood," "Adventures of Robin Hood," and "The Seahawk," as well as for such notable films as "Anthony Adverse," "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex," and "King's Row."

    There was one piece, however, that he took such personal pleasure in that he assigned it an opus number, the only one of his Hollywood works to receive this distinction. "Tomorrow," opus 33, was the great tone poem he composed as part of his score for "The Constant Nymph," Edmund Goulding's film of the novel and play by Margaret Kennedy. The story is about a young girl with not long to live who falls in love with a troubled composer. The performances are superb, especially by Charles Boyer as the composer and Joan Fontaine, whose Tessa is an astonishing achievement.

    Korngold was much involved in the development of the story line, especially in how the composer's growing enlightenment is mirrored in the dissonant, atonal music he is involved with at the beginning and the sweeping, romantic work which concludes the film. The contrast reflects Korngold's own struggles, when the critical tides seemed to be sweeping away such romanticists as himself.

    "Tomorrow" may be the accompaniment for Polina's long program, if not now than in another tomorrow of her own, as her heart turns increasingly towards the depth and passion it conveys.

    The work was recently performed by the Australian International Symphony Orchestra, a group of young musicians under the baton of Jeffrey Schindler, with the American mezzo-soprano Bonnie Snell Schindler as the soloist:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWgAaqd6eAo

    There is also the concert overture for "The Constant Nymph," in a version conducted by Charles Gearhardt with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, in which the "Tomorrow" theme appears at 6:20:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo3BvRzuvaM

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    Polina just made a surprise appearance on Portland's Star on Ice. It was so unexpected. She was not even announced in the beginning of the show and then all of a sudden she entered the ice and delivered two very clean and energetic performances. It was such a nice bonus!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CezarMart View Post
    Polina just made a surprise appearance on Portland's Star on Ice. It was so unexpected. She was not even announced in the beginning of the show and then all of a sudden she entered the ice and delivered two very clean and energetic performances. It was such a nice bonus!
    I assume that one of the programs was 'Uptown Girl', what was the second?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mandykane21 View Post
    I assume that one of the programs was 'Uptown Girl', what was the second?
    Yes, Uptown Girl was one. And crap, I don't remember the music to the other one!

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    Would just like to wish a Happy Birthday to Polina!! I think she has a bright future ahead of her; and can't wait to watch where she goes over the next quad!!

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