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Thread: True Actresses/Actors on the Ice

  1. #16
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    My first reactions (though already mentioned): V/M, Buttle, Daisuke. I'll add Zhiganshina/ Gazsi - those two definitely put their all into their characters!

  2. #17
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    Volosozhar and Trankov, Shen & Zhao, Lambiel, Cohen, and Hamilton were/ are good at capturing me in the moment.

  3. #18
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    Hmm, the way I see it, actor/actress is one style of skating--the style where you portray a character or story. It's a style I like a lot, for sure, but not a judgment of quality, imo. In light of this:

    Virtue/Moir - Carmen and Funny Face definitely channelled some acting! The LP this year had the story part, though the characters they played were themselves.
    Plushenko - Especially early on in his career, he did many programs when he's take on a character--Dark Eyes, MJ Medley, Tribute to Nijinsky, ect. Dialled up to 11 in his exhibition pieces, of course.
    Yagudin - Big movie character! Dramatic! Not the best range, but he really gets into the serious characters he portrays.
    Kurt Browning - Less so early on in his career. But Casablanca and pro programs like Singing in the Rain really prove he can act.
    Anissina/Peizerat - They get deep into their characters for both OD (Flamenco) and FD (Romeo and Juliet, ect.)
    Oksana Baiul - I agree with Kwanatic: She gets so deep into the character it's scary. Her pro performances are breathtaking.
    Yulia Lipnitskaya - Maybe too early to call, but her LP and SP this season both show that her strengths lie in character and story. I hope she keeps building on those strengths in the future.

    There are many skaters who I consider wonderful artists, but I don't really see them as actors/actresses per se. Michelle, for instance, can act when she chooses to (see: Salome), but she spent most of her career focused on pure emotion/musicality rather than character or story. Takahashi, same thing--as Gallavich said, he's a wonderful interpreter but it's always him. Yuna, much like Michelle, shows her acting chops in certain programs (Bond Girl! and to some degree, Arirang and Kiss of the Vampire as well) but she mainly sticks to just being herself.

  4. #19
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    I agree with Olympia about the facial and body expressiveness and dramatic flair of Mao Asada particularly in Bells of Moscow, Caprice and Roch 2. Her Sochi LP was the quintessential storytelling LP for me. I am also really impressed with the dramatic portrayals of Kristi Yamaguchi and Yuzuru Hanyu, particularly at 2012 Worlds, where he reminds me of the main male character in a wild, whacky, comedic and dramatic Japanese film called Love Exposure, which I really love. He doesn't pull off the comic part of the movie though, but then again he only has four minutes. I also think the Russian rivals Plushenko and Yagudin enact a lot of passion and bring characters alive on the ice.

  5. #20
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    Kurt Browning - without a doubt!!!! His comedic timing, he ability to transform a dramatic piece on the ice, his musicality, everything!!! No one better!

    Some skaters are one dimensional in my opinion - Takahashi, for example can do dramatic but I don't see him doing comedy. Being expressive in your face is not enough! So some of the other skaters mentioned here don't fall under the "actor" category to me.

  6. #21
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    Here I'd have to disagree. What you're saying is that K/P don't have range, which is true of many actors. For example, Garbo didn't really have wide comedic range (her funny performance in Ninotchka was more because she functioned as the "straight man" to the other characters), but you couldn't beat her when it came to drama. A great actor doesn't have to be great in every style, though some certainly are. I'd say that K/P were marvelous actors in terms of conveying romantic, lyrical, or tragic emotions.
    I would describe K/P just like Sandpiper described Kwan
    There are many skaters who I consider wonderful artists, but I don't really see them as actors/actresses per se. Michelle, for instance, can act when she chooses to (see: Salome), but she spent most of her career focused on pure emotion/musicality rather than character or story.
    For me they were a very musical pair, who showed lots of emotions on ice, but I'm not sure if I could call them great actors. But we don't need to agree.

    Even more impressive were their predecessors, Bestemianova and Bukhin, especially Bestemianova. She had a plain face with rather outsize features, which she used to great effect especially in some of the couple's professional programs. One where he portrayed Rasputin and she played the young Tsarevich was simply beyond description. The way she conveyed the boy's fear of Rasputin's power was haunting in the extreme and would have looked good on any movie screen.
    In my opinion their acting was very over-the-top.

    At the moment these skaters come to mind as good actors: Browning, Pluschenko, Petrenko, Yagudin, Witt, Anissina/Peizerat, T/D, Denkova/Staviski, V/M. But I'm sure there are many more.

  7. #22
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    Ashley Wagner and Elena Radionova!!!

  8. #23
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    Stephane Lambiel without a doubt!

  9. #24
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    Being an actor on ice and being an artist on ice is not necessarily the same thing. I'll focus on the actors:

    For me, the best on-ice actress in recent years is Nathalie Pechalat. I also think that Hurtado/Diaz are very good. Faeilla and Scali were excellent storytellers, him especially. Among singles skaters at the moment, I'd go with Takahashi, Fernandez and Amodio, though the latter has had horrible material. Volosozhar/Trankov are pretty good in this regard as well.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    Kurt Browning - without a doubt!!!! His comedic timing, he ability to transform a dramatic piece on the ice, his musicality, everything!!! No one better!

    Some skaters are one dimensional in my opinion - Takahashi, for example can do dramatic but I don't see him doing comedy. Being expressive in your face is not enough! So some of the other skaters mentioned here don't fall under the "actor" category to me.
    Totally agree on Kurt being the best and the most versatile, bar none. It seems to me his Casablanca started the theme/story/character based skating. The Duchesnays pioneered story telling in Ice Dance. Candeloro and Fernandez are great entertainers playing iconic characters. My favorite actresses on ice are Lu Chen and Oksana Baiul. Lambial, of course, can melt hearts with his artistic expression of emotions. I love also Oda's Chaplin and Swayer's Mad Hatter.

  11. #26
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    Akiko Suzuki? Her range is pretty impressive, from West Side Story to Kill Bill to O...

  12. #27
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    I think you can interpret the music without being a great actor......

  13. #28
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    Katarina Witt, Yuna Kim, Elena Radionova

  14. #29
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    Jane Torvill. For someone who, in day to day life, is rather nondescript (but hey, aren't most of us?), on the ice she could be comedic, tragic, flirtatious, dramatic. Everyone raves about Christopher Dean's choreography--and rightly so--but Jane really could perform.

    Sorry but for me Plushenko was, is, and will always be a ham and cheese sandwich. I know lots of people eat that kind of thing up and ask for seconds, but mostly I just find it cringe-worthy. Same with Philippe Candeloro and (especially) Scott Hamilton. Amodio and Fernandez are very very close to joining the Ham and Cheese Club. They're the Mickey Rooneys of ice skating. Not my cuppa at all.

    I have a special place in my heart for Isabella Tobias. She just goes out there and Sell Sell SELLS that performance like the landlord is banging on the door with the eviction notice, even as she struggles to get those twizzles around. Marissa Castelli is like that. I would just ignore the stone-faced cyborg and focus on her. Always so entertaining.

    Madison Chock. She's even getting Evan Bates to spice it up.

    Elena Ilynikh. You can knock the programs and choreography for being "full of sound and fury signifying not as much as you think," but you can't knock her performance. Uber charisma.

    One last one for now: Michelle Kwan. I am still convinced that she won her first WC for two reasons: that final triple jump and, just before it, this absolute look of doom she, as the doomed Salome, gave the judging panel as she glided past them. And she was 15. 15. Unreal. I still get chills when I see it.

  15. #30
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    I'll add Kurt (how could I forget him?) & Dan Hollander.

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