I'd like to add:
Savchenko - Sholkowy - Pina https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4a5FDDgtVg, the mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFrC6QZf5pE, 2013 GPF LP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx_VQA9aEVU, Sned in the Clowns SP - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-BS1rqwkXY
Yulia Lipnitskaya - Shindler's List
Carolina - Bolero at the Sochi Olympics
Berezhnaya - Sikharulidze - City Lights 2001 LP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fayQzTC0nk , Lady Caliph - SP at the 2002 Olympics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAJUcgMZMO4
Annisina - Peizerat - 2002 Olympics OD Flamenko https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bewtUDrpaI
Mishkutyonok - Dmitriev - 1994 Olympics LP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNDqZuQVcQg , 1992 Exhibition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZQC34u4AfQ
Gordeeva - Grinkov - Westside Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qWW-Ok4V0E
Mao Asada - 2010 SP on Masquerade Waltz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INlNc8nMp2E and 2014 SP - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAgVw2CFOqY
Oksana Baiul - the Swan Exhibition
Virtue - Moir - Pink Floyd 2009 FD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7vsQKRIP2M, 2010 Olympics FD
Davis - White - Samson and Delilah
Shen - Zhao - the Nutcracker LP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdmxW2hmVmI
Denkova - Staviskiy - 2004 FD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJuCv07i0LA and 2007 FD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQO8bYFgJSo
Bourne - Kraatz - Riverdance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZxdCZUAPjo
Krylova - Ovsyannikov - Malaguena Exhibition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwiQi9Wdt-A and Cleopatra Exhibition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDgBQhixkT0 - Superb!
Drobiazko Vanagas - Phantom of the Opera https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9VXQbbMGhg
From Olympics/Worlds 2014:
- The entirety of Mao's Sochi LP, from that triple axel to the final moments when she burst into tears. Dammit, I know it's impossible no matter how they scored it, but I wanted to give her a medal so badly for that.
- Plushy's Team LP--the moment when Scheherazade sounded. Ah, the memories...
- Yulia's Team SP--as she traces the heart into the ice in the beginning.
- Yuna's Olympic SP--her jump landings. Seriously, does she have wings or something? They're so light!
- V/T SP
- Yuzu's Olympic SP and Worlds LP, for vastly different reasons. The first was confident, easy, and flawless. The second was a struggle--but darn did he hang in there for every jump! It's something I feel like I've been missing under COP--either the jumps are perfect or they go down. The art of saving jumps seemed lost... until Yuzu and Machida's LPs at Worlds, where they both fought like warriors.
- Carolina's SP at Worlds--unlike at the Olympics, I felt a genuine connection with her performance.
Past seasons: I tried not to make it "my favourite programs" and instead tried to pick out moments that gave me chills. Then I realized that my favourite performances... were simply the ones with moments that gave me chills. So, I guess I'll try to point out those moments, to separate this list from simply being favourite performances.
- Evgeni Plushenko, Tribute to Nijinsky (Russian Nationals 2004): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEJXkfMYTX4 -- Not any of the (stellar as usual) jumps, but the beauty of the movements. 1:27 and 4:19 specifically. And the spin at the end. Simply divine.
- Michelle Kwan, Tosca (US Nationals 2004): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWQSoIEAxns -- No other skate with such command, such "This is my title, and none of you will take it from me!" The piercing look at the beginning. The step sequence at the end.
- Alexei Yagudin, The Man in the Iron Mask (2002 Olympics): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqiIHxaMKK4 -- The choreography at 2:00. I actually like that he stopped skating for a moment to tell a story.
- Daisuke Takahashi, Luv Letter (2010 Olympics exhibition). Full gala here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKKdoodCaJw (at 21:50). -- As is the usual with Dai, every movement is precise and beautiful. But what really got me was that spin at the end, with the camera shooting him from above. His position is simply fantastic. And I like how the spin wasn't going at breakneck speed--it instead went with the music and highlighted his wonderful position.
- Mao Asada, Bells of Moscow (Worlds 2010): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsCZCM8AKCU -- I know many people think it's too dark and heavy. But that step sequence at the end!
Now, for a weird and unconventional pick, which gave me chills despite not being a very good performance:
- Elvis Stojko, Dragon (2002 Olympics): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jxl_c_Z0Mw -- Why this flawed performance, and not the one back in 1994 that some (not me) argued deserved Olympic gold? Well, to be honest, it took me many years to appreciate Stojko. I started watching figure skating near the end of his run, where he seemed kinda clumsy compared to Plushenko and Yagudin. Didn't like his style at all. But as I grew up, I started to appreciate what he did to push the sport forward, and how he fought on during the last few years. I looked back on his performances recently. I'm still not a huge fan of his style. But I appreciate that he did his own thing, and I became part of the "Stojko had his own style" camp instead of the "Stojko has zero presentation" camp.
All these years later, this performance in Salt Lake actually became quite... touching. Despite being past his prime and way out of medal contention, he did his best out there: did two quads (!), fought and struggled for every jump regardless of how flawed they were, and never gave up on the performance. Back in 1994, I feel like he skated the Dragon program like a regular Bruce Lee fanboy. The 2002 version, on the other hand, felt like it was skated by a man who understood hardship and pain. Okay, maybe I'm projecting things. This is a seriously weird video suggestion, but a thread like this is probably where it belongs (rather than "favourite programs")
I'll just borrow someone else's post from another thread I started.
Originally Posted by blue_idealist
I originally watched this one on a different network, but I remember it because of the commentators gushing over her spins (as they likely do on this one too).
Some Favorites Include: (I tried to post different ones than other individuals have...so some of my favs are missing bc they're already on here.)
2012/2013 FD - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkLwFvvu6fE
2013/2014 FD - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrFwokp3z48&app=desktop
Gala/Ex "Fade Into You" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlWAYa47wHA --> This is one of my fav. versions of this exhibition. There's something about the music and the program that I just really love, even if it is just an exhibition.
2008 FD - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRjqNbM9RHM
Gala/Ex "Stay" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ixEbXhpC7Q --> Has a great intro about the storyline and such by them!
2013/2014 SD - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1XXRFTG_bI --> I like this version, but prefer the Sochi version...couldn't find it.
Scohi SD and FD … But I can’t find video links right now
I finally braved the cruddy video editing and the sound-coming-from-one-ear thing to rewatch those videos. Can't remember if I even got through them the first time due to the sound (apologies to anyone who read the Plushenko fan thread, where I already complained about the sound). I can see where you're coming from. There is more ballet, more dance here. I especially liked the extra choreography in the beginning--dunno why that was taken out, it's not like it took a lot of time or was very fast/tiring.
But there are still things I prefer from the RN2004 version: the moment at 4:19 I pointed out, the insane final spin, and the fact that the spins and step sequences were better timed to the music (imo). I guess it comes down to how the RN version is so familiar to me, I love it so much, and thus, while I can appreciate the merits of the original, it's... I dunno, difficult to get used to it? It's kinda weird to realize this step sequence was the original. I associate Nijinsky so much with the RN2004 step sequence. Anyway, I can totally see why you prefer this version, I think perhaps this version is a more "complete" dance, but the RN version had these moments that really floored me in a way that no other performance did.
The spins are, of course, phenomenal. I... can't bring myself to agree with Dick Button regarding her arms. They make me rather uncomfortable. Too floaty? Or maybe it's just that she's so thin and lanky? I can watch her spin all day, but I'm not quite sure about the performance as a whole.
Just want to add, after Yulia's LP in the Team Event...when she picks up the Russian hat and puts it on her head.
And of course Yuzuru's 2012 Worlds FS which I can never watch without being immensely moved. It has parallels with his 2014 Worlds FS: saving through sheer willpower and nearly impossible skill his 3Lz (2:03), which, like his 4S at his 2014 LP, was landed with his skate tilted at a 45 degree angle, and how he looked totally spent at the end, after giving everything he had. The final step sequence after his primal scream (3:58) was just...wow! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mwoR7YSkSM&app=desktop.
Some skating performances are beautiful not only because of the choreography but because of the difficulty faced by the skaters.
Here are some that have some deep meaning.
Rudy Galindo, 1996 US Nationals
Rudy was not the judges favourite, being gay and all. Based on a book I read the judges had already decided he was not going to medal (maybe bronze). However after this performance, they could only shut up and give him the title.
Midori Ito's LP at the Calaragy Olympics in 1988
Midori was not the fav, Witt and Thomas were the medal contender. However among the ladies, this is the performance that I always like to watch. Maybe she is a bit rough around the edges, but she is amazing.
Natalia Mishkutenok-Artur Dmitriev's LP in 1994 Lillehammer Olympics
probably the best stake of their entire career. They had a tough time during their pro-career and decided to compete at this Olympics.
Ekaterina Gordeeva and Ilia Kulik skating to Casi un Bolero in 1999/2000
This is probably one of the best ice dance performance, perfomed by non-ice dancers.
Gordeeva who used to be a pair skater with her late husband Sergey Grinkov, started to date Ilia Kulik four years later. This performance is about them.
And finally, Gordeeva skating to Mahler - Symphony No. 5 during "Celebration of a Life" in 1996
Here Gordeeva skated her first solo performance after Sergei's death.
"The crowd rose and clapped, then stopped and was transported. For the next five minutes, to the haunting strains of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5, Gordeeva exposed her soul with such gentleness and pathos and strength that no one watching could remain unmoved. This was a rarity: sport, art and tragedy fused into one"
All these performances are available on youtube. Please watch them if you haven't done before.