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Thread: Americana vs. European

  1. #1
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    Americana vs. European

    From reading various post on GS, why are Americana programs not as respected as a European theme program? I see nothing wrong American skaters creating programs around American music. Is euro-folk dancing better than our jitterbug?

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    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    I think your impression of GS is just wrong.

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    Re: Americana vs. European

    Originally posted by April
    From reading various post on GS, why are Americana programs not as respected as a European theme program? I see nothing wrong American skaters creating programs around American music. Is euro-folk dancing better than our jitterbug?
    It could be that most Americans tend to have programs absent of choreography and transitions (see almost all of the US ladies). Europeans OTOH tend to be more unfinished, but have superior programs in terms of transitions and choreo. Maybe that's what you're seeing?

    TV

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    Quote.........
    From reading various post on GS, why are Americana programs not as respected as a European theme program? I see nothing wrong American skaters creating programs around American music. Is euro-folk dancing better than our jitterbug?. Unquote

    I'm not quite sure what you are driving at. You may have a point by I do not see it. Can you point out the GS posts which led you to believe this?

    A waltz in vienna is not the same as the waltz in Tennessee or the one that is done by that in Madrid. It would be fair to say that their are cultural differences betwen continents as well as countries, and indeed, some cities within the same country. It shows up in judging when one can detect that a group of judges united in a common language have the same subjective view while judging. The secrecy in present day judging has not shown that as it did in the past.

    Sasha Cohen did a very nice job to Swan Lake without interpreting the ballet. Oksana Baiul mimicked 4 acts of Swan Lake in 4 minutes. Pick your choice.

    Michelle Kwan did a very dramatic take on Tosca but did not follow the opera. Irina Slutskaya did at the last Olys and it proved her down fall with that 'headache' scene. Pick your choice.

    Michael Weiss does character work on American Jazz, Toreadors, and recently as a civil war soldier. Pick you choice.

    Philippe Candoloro interpreed many charcters on ice and he so very well.

    Plushenko mimicked Njinsky with his poses but not his immortal dancing and certainly not his life or his ballets.

    Oh, yues, Amber Corwin did a very nice rendeition of Holly Golightly this past season, costume and all.

    Again, it would be nice to read your source of GS posts that laed you to this conclusion.

    Cheers - Joe

  5. #5
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    Driving home

    Americana music a.k.a programs vs. European music a.k.a. folk style program, and hello, this is what I am driving at. The question again is that some people, not everyone, have said that judges and european audience don't get American themed programs, why?

    Examples:

    Belbin and Agosto Elvis program vs. any Russian folk dance,
    Michael Weiss Patriotic meledly
    Any broadway music

    If you find this question true or false, please say so I am just trying to get more than one perspective, thanks.

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    Quote.........
    From reading various post on GS, why are Americana programs not as respected as a European theme program? I see nothing wrong American skaters creating programs around American music. Is euro-folk dancing better than our jitterbug?. Unquote

    I'm not quite sure what you are driving at. You may have a point by I do not see it. Can you point out the GS posts which led you to believe this?

    A waltz in vienna is not the same as the waltz in Tennessee or the one that is done by that in Madrid. It would be fair to say that their are cultural differences betwen continents as well as countries, and indeed, some cities within the same country. It shows up in judging when one can detect that a group of judges united in a common language have the same subjective view while judging. The secrecy in present day judging has not shown that as it did in the past.

    Sasha Cohen did a very nice job to Swan Lake without interpreting the ballet. Oksana Baiul mimicked 4 acts of Swan Lake in 4 minutes. Pick your choice.

    Michelle Kwan did a very dramatic take on Tosca but did not follow the opera. Irina Slutskaya did at the last Olys and it proved her down fall with that 'headache' scene. Pick your choice.

    Michael Weiss does character work on American Jazz, Toreadors, and recently as a civil war soldier. Pick you choice.

    Philippe Candoloro interpreed many charcters on ice and he so very well.

    Plushenko mimicked Njinsky with his poses but not his immortal dancing and certainly not his life or his ballets.

    Oh, yues, Amber Corwin did a very nice rendeition of Holly Golightly this past season, costume and all.

    Again, it would be nice to read your source of GS posts that laed you to this conclusion.

    Cheers - Joe

    Because I am lazy, I will just point out that Belbin and Agosta have a "Green Acres" exhibition program and some one said that Europeans judges and the like want "get it." The comments are subtle, but why want Europe get it ?

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    Hello, Shine

    Originally posted by shine
    I think your impression of GS is just wrong.
    It is not an impression but a subtle implication that Americana theme programs, think broadway, patriotic music, and jazz don't reach the eurocentric crowds, in theory. The question is why Americana centered programs may not sit well with European judges and audiences. I really thought this was a simple question, please share your answer to the question, I'm just trying to get a better perspective.


    There are not dumb questions, just dump answers-- a wise old person quote.

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    I still don't see how American theme is not favored by the judges. If you are talking about Weiss's program, it's not because it's of American theme, it's just because it's over-the-top, blatantly partiotic and very cheesy, and the choreography just sucks. I'm not sure how much the judges appreciate it, but the majority of fans on the internet certainly don't.
    Kulik won Olympic gold skating to American music. B/S skated to Chaplin in 2001 and it was highly successful with the judges and a total crowd pleaser. N/K got a gold this year skating to Pink Panter. How is American theme SO unfavored? Not to mention the countless Hollywood soundtracks that have been used by skaters forever.
    Maybe instead of being lazy, YOU should give a few specific examples so we can have something to refer to in this discussion.
    Last edited by shine; 04-11-2004 at 09:30 PM.

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    Re: Driving home

    Originally posted by April
    Examples:

    Belbin and Agosto Elvis program vs. any Russian folk dance,
    Michael Weiss Patriotic meledly
    Any broadway music
    While I agree with the example of Weiss, plenty of people (see Baiul) have been successful using musicals. And B/A moved up 6 spots in the world rankings using Elvis, which they couldn't have done had European judges not "gotten" it.

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    Okay

    I have enjoyed figure skating for some time. I watch it on ABC and whatever. I have heard this subtle comment from a few commentators, such as Suzie Wynn, about how skaters, Americans skater who skate to Americana themes may have been subject to being under marked. Maybe this is a topic of the past, b/c with the CoP, I don't see this happening ever again. Anyhoot, in the past, there have been some comments about skaters skating to American themes, such as country music and etc. I don't think music should matter if the s

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    Okay

    I have enjoyed figure skating for some time. I watch it on ABC and whatever. I have heard this subtle comment from a few commentators, such as Suzie Wynn, about how skaters, Americans skater who skate to Americana themes may have been subject to being under marked. Maybe this is a topic of the past, b/c with the CoP, I don't see this happening ever again. Anyhoot, in the past, there have been some comments about skaters skating to American themes, such as country music and etc. I don't think music should matter if the skaters have a good program. I am just trying to learn if this a true issue is figure skating. Check the competition forum about the Marshall exhibition, that the forum that sparked my curiosity on the subject. Thanks.

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    CHILL

    Originally posted by shine
    I still don't see how American theme is not favored by the judges. If you are talking about Weiss's program, it's not because it's of American theme, it's just because it's over-the-top, blatantly partiotic and very cheesy, and the choreography just sucks. I'm not sure how much the judges appreciate it, but the majority of fans on the internet certainly don't.
    Kulik won Olympic gold skating to American music. B/S skated to Chaplin in 2001 and it was highly successful with the judges and a total crowd pleaser. N/K got a gold this year skating to Pink Panter. How is American theme SO unfavored? Not to mention the countless Hollywood soundtracks that have been used by skaters forever.
    Maybe instead of being lazy, YOU should give a few specific examples so we can have something to refer to in this discussion.
    YO I'M ASKING YOUR OPINION, NOT ASKING FOR AN ESSAY, IF YOU WANT PROOF FOR YOUR OPINION, DO IT YOURSELF. I AM ASKING A QUESTION, OKAY. I already gave you my question, now I will ask you again, nicely. First, let me state that a question stands alone, not factual just a theory, so my question is not what I believe personally, so the question to you is do you think American skaters may be marked down b/c of their Americana music selection. I ask this question b/c of the Marshall Competition discussion, look for the one about Belbin and Agosto doing "Green Arces." YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER MY QUESTION LIKE I SAYING IT IS ALREADY TRUE; I AM DRIVING AT A SYNTHESIS, THANKS.

  13. #13
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    Okay, don't take this personally, April, but your first question wasn't worded well, and that confused some people, and then you sounded (whether you meant to or not) a bit snotty after that. But, I will try to answer what I think your question is.

    First of all, Elvis is known around the world, so B/A using Elvis didn't really hurt them that much. He's an international icon. HOWEVER, Green Acres is a distinctly American show watched by Americans. I lived overseas for 10 years, and I've never seen Green Acres on European television. So the cultural reference for Europeans won't be there if B/A go with this program next year. The costumes won't help, either, unless you know what hicks in America are supposed to dress like.

    Now, Alexander Abt's SP for the last two years was a very well known song in Russia, but it translated well internationally because of the costume and his brilliant interpretation. The costume was clearly one of a sailor.

    Mike Weiss' program might've worked better if it was done before the US decided to unilaterally depose Hussein. Whether you think it's right or wrong that the US did that, the majority of Europeans do NOT agree with the US' actions. So his program smacks of arrogance, to me, though I don't think he meant it like that. But it's not a good year for an overly patriotic American program.

    I'm very tired, and I'm probably babbling, but that's the best I can do right now.

    Laura

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    Originally posted by shine
    Kulik won Olympic gold skating to American music.
    Yes, and he also won Junior WC and Europeans Championships by skating to Gerswin´s "An American In Paris". And Word silver with "Aladdin".

    Originally posted by PrincessLeppard
    HOWEVER, Green Acres is a distinctly American show watched by Americans. I lived overseas for 10 years, and I've never seen Green Acres on European television. So the cultural reference for Europeans won't be there if B/A go with this program next year. The costumes won't help, either, unless you know what hicks in America are supposed to dress like.
    Laura
    Well, I have seen Green Acres on our cable TV years ago. You are speaking of the show with Eva Gabor?

    Generally speaking, like already pointed out, great performances even with an unknown thema will be appreciated, if the music is interpreted well. One does not have to know about any themes...

    Marjaana

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    It could be that most Americans tend to have programs absent of choreography and transitions (see almost all of the US ladies).
    Not necessarily true. Cohen's LP at Worlds for instance, was totally absent of choreography but if you look at the Trophee Lalique version, it was packed with inbetweens including a nice serpentine footwork section, a creative and difficult final combination spin with her arms held behind her back throughout and elements before practically every jump. The dumbing down of that program was very disappointing.

    Kwan's current programs are fairly sparse, but from '96-'99 that certainly was not the case.
    Last edited by Ogre Mage; 04-12-2004 at 03:49 AM.

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