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Thread: who should skate to SWAN LAKE?

  1. #31
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Great point, VIETgrlTerifa. There is a reason why the same few peices of music get recycled over and over.

    RTureck, that was an interesting and balanced analysis. To me, the point about Sasha doing "both swans" refers mainly to her costume, not so much to her choreography or execution. I thought the black and white outfit was a knockout. But I can't say that she skated half of the program "good" and the other half "evil."

    Now that I think of it, it is pretty rare for a program to try to interpret evil. Alexei Urmanov did an appropriately sinister Phantom of the Opera. Elvis Stoiko did a cool Winter Warlock in a special with Dorothy Hamill and Tonya Kwiatkowski a few years ago that stuck in my mind.

    I would like to see Chait and Sakhnovsky interpret Dracula, with him as the Count and her as the beautiful innocent victim.

    Or maybe someone will do "Wicked on Ice," after the Broadway musical, LOL.

    Mathman

  2. #32
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    One of the things about the "two swan" costume and Sasha's TT Swan Lake that always bothered me was the lack of character interpretation. There was SUCH a wealth of drama there that was never even touched on--the sad white swan, in love with the Prince and yearning to be free of the sorcerer, the evil black swan seductress who foils her escape, the tragic ending. The beaming Sasha as she struck a pose in her spiral didn't seem to belong to any character at all.

  3. #33
    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa
    The reason why Swan Lake, Turandot, Carmen, etc. are so overused is because they are soooo easy to skate to. You get to be dramatic, angsty, cliched, etc. with music that's easy on the ears in the background, and the judges will claim that you are a true artist.
    Great point.

    But OTOH, some skaters can always bring new things to a supposed over-used piece.

    Have to agree with Mathman, too. It is really quite funny seeing some fans argueing for Cohen's Swan Lake being so great for the reason that "Sasha portrays both swans" when only her costume is actually doing the work.
    Last edited by shine; 06-25-2004 at 11:29 AM.

  4. #34
    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Great point, VIETgrlTerifa. There is a reason why the same few peices of music get recycled over and over.

    RTureck, that was an interesting and balanced analysis. To me, the point about Sasha doing "both swans" refers mainly to her costume, not so much to her choreography or execution. I thought the black and white outfit was a knockout. But I can't say that she skated half of the program "good" and the other half "evil."

    Now that I think of it, it is pretty rare for a program to try to interpret evil. Alexei Urmanov did an appropriately sinister Phantom of the Opera. Elvis Stoiko did a cool Winter Warlock in a special with Dorothy Hamill and Tonya Kwiatkowski a few years ago that stuck in my mind.

    I would like to see Chait and Sakhnovsky interpret Dracula, with him as the Count and her as the beautiful innocent victim.

    Or maybe someone will do "Wicked on Ice," after the Broadway musical, LOL.

    Mathman
    Oh Mathman, I was always partial to Chait and Sakhovsky skating to "Edward Scissorhands" He doesn't even need the makeup that Johnny Depp did


    About "Wicked on Ice" Ohh...I can see it now! Glinda needs to be perky and fun but with depth, and Elphaba needs to be dark and a bit emotionally distant.
    Hmmm...Tanith Belbin as Glinda and...Galina Maniachenko with dyed black hair as Elphaba aka the Wicked Witch of the West? lol. I doubt they would be interested, but you never know.
    Hmmm, if Dick can't skate anymore...maybe Toller Cranston as the Wizard...and Carol Heiss as Madame Morrible.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 06-25-2004 at 11:48 AM.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa
    The reason why Swan Lake, Turandot, Carmen, etc. are so overused is because they are soooo easy to skate to. You get to be dramatic, angsty, cliched, etc. with music that's easy on the ears in the background, and the judges will claim that you are a true artist.
    I completely disagree. They use them because everybody (including judges and audience) knows them and so they will have a clue of what is attemped to be portrayed. If they are successful in their interpretation, maybe it can be called a masterpiece. But if they're not successful, people are able to tell that very easily as well and will rip them apart because it had nothing to do with the piece. Almost every skater used Carmen in their career. And how many were considered masterpieces or even very good programs?

    It's not easy to skate to well known music, it's in fact a risk IMO. You risk being compared to others who did a great job with that music, you risk that judges and the audience think your interpretation was bad because they know better what the piece is about... It is definitely much easier IMO to skate to an unknown piece of music because since the public has no references, anything you do with it will look good.
    Last edited by RIskatingfan; 06-25-2004 at 12:42 PM.

  6. #36
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    The Russian Dance team back in the 90s... oh shoot can't remember their names... they were good friends of G&G I think they won gold (or maybe just silver) at the 92 Olys??? anywho not one of my favorite teams, obviously, but they skated to a Mozart(?) piece in a pro competition with this black scarf that portrayed the disease of his dying love it was really neat and I think it portrayed a sort of evil very well... wish more skaters would take the risk.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman

    I thought the black and white outfit was a knockout.
    I haven't quite develop an appreciation for swan head, duck tail kind of costumes ala AP, and Cohen yet. I think Arakawa's is the best swan lake among the 3. So congrats MM, you have acquired taste.

    IMHO, the plunging nedkline in the original SL outfil does not suit Cohen at all.

    Now that I think of it, it is pretty rare for a program to try to interpret evil. LOL.

    Mathman
    I think artists who are willing to take the risk and portray the wicked from time to time are among the highest order. Take for example Fischer- Dieskau who sang one of the most memorable count role in WAM's le nozze di figaro, and he could be equally at ease and stellar being the righteous Elijah in FMB's Elijah.

  8. #38
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm
    One of the things about the "two swan" costume and Sasha's TT Swan Lake that always bothered me was the lack of character interpretation. There was SUCH a wealth of drama there that was never even touched on--the sad white swan, in love with the Prince and yearning to be free of the sorcerer, the evil black swan seductress who foils her escape, the tragic ending. The beaming Sasha as she struck a pose in her spiral didn't seem to belong to any character at all.
    I found Sasha's progame to the music of Swan Lake quite refreshing. For me she never attempted to show the dual role of the character. She seemed to me to be interpreting the music in her own way without recourse to fable. Her Campbells for me was stunning.

    I take it, Chuckum, you are a balletomane or at least you understand the dual role in SL. Your post is correct, but the question arises as whether a skater who uses these warhorses are obliged to interpet the stories behind the music. No one really interpets Basilio or Kitri in Don Q but John Curry did an excellent job of doing his own thing. Same thing with Rudy Galindo who did his own thing to SL. At Worlds, Ilia Klimkin (so sorry he withdrew) did the character of van Rothbart in SL but it was his own - not the story - just the sinister character out of any memodrama. He did it so well.

    Maybe the boys are better at interpreting music than the girls. I remember Irina Slutskaya's histrionics in Tosca - not at all like the opera/. MK did her own version but for me it was about 70 percent of the mood I would want. And Kat's over-the top version of Carmen was for me totally unseductive. I know young fans will think she was just so innovative but not the older fans. They know many Carmens and she was no Callas.

    I am not writing about Technical here. Just the interpetation of the warhorses which I think should come from the heart and not the story.

    Swan Lake is a long ballet and the main character appears in 3 of the 4 Acts. If posters are not balletomanes and have never seen the complete SL, I would suggest they get a tape of it on loan from their local dealer. You will understand why I say that it is quite compelling on stage rather than on ice.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 06-25-2004 at 05:45 PM.

  9. #39
    A. Y. & E. P.: Tzars Of The Ice, Lords Of The Rink anya_angie's Avatar
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    I'm glad Marsha and I are not the only ones who thinks that Sasha's program is untrue to either character let alone both. The costume does the work, along with the music. To me, it seemed like she was playing a skater who was skating to SL.

    Trying to win this argument with skatepixie is impossible, but then again she hates all elegible ladies but Sasha. I'm thinking to myself, Jealous, are we? At least I like other elegible men besides Plushenko LOL.

    Off topic, there's a beautifully sad episode of Angel in which a ballerina is cursed by a demon of some sorts to dance the same performance of Swan Lake every night for a century until Angel comes along. The key to breaking the curse, change the ending. So she simply adds a few steps, then does the ending. Then she's free to rest in peace.

    I love evil programs, and yes you don't see them often enough, which is a shame.

    I have programs to The Ten Commandments, and The Prince of Egypt is coming soon, and both of these portray the evil Pharoah Rameses instead of Moses.

  10. #40
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    Don't Care

    I don't care what anyone skates to (including Swan Lake) as long as it is not some tuneless meandering thing from "The Petrified Forest" that makes me start to compose my grocery list in my head or clean my nails while I wait for the pain to stop. I don't even care if they skate to Swan Lake AND flap, as long as it doesn't make me laugh out loud. If a skater "sells it", I'm a happy observer.

    Mathman, ditto about Michelle and the Lori Nichols choreography and music. Together, they had the "it" factor going for a long time.

  11. #41
    Resident Kristi Fan purplecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle
    The Russian Dance team back in the 90s... oh shoot can't remember their names... they were good friends of G&G I think they won gold (or maybe just silver) at the 92 Olys??? anywho not one of my favorite teams, obviously, but they skated to a Mozart(?) piece in a pro competition with this black scarf that portrayed the disease of his dying love it was really neat and I think it portrayed a sort of evil very well... wish more skaters would take the risk.
    That would be Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko and the program was Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony. I LOVE that program! I was fortunate to see it done live at the 1992/93 Challenge of Champions!

  12. #42
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    =Mathman To me, the point about Sasha doing "both swans" refers mainly to her costume, not so much to her choreography or execution. I thought the black and white outfit was a knockout. But I can't say that she skated half of the program "good" and the other half "evil."
    Then you obviously weren't watching. Mostly, the good swan would start out the program, landing 5 clean triples, then the evil swan would take over and 2 foot the last flip or stumble out of a simple Salchow. Sasha's skating has always been a death-match between good and evil. Even the season as a whole took on the overtones: good Sasha winning GP events, evil Sasha having train wrecks of performances at nats and winter cheesefest. One doesn't need a two-tone outfit in order to see Sasha and her evil twin sister batteling it out on the ice for 4 minutes.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthes ghost
    Then you obviously weren't watching. Mostly, the good swan would start out the program, landing 5 clean triples, then the evil swan would take over and 2 foot the last flip or stumble out of a simple Salchow. Sasha's skating has always been a death-match between good and evil. Even the season as a whole took on the overtones: good Sasha winning GP events, evil Sasha having train wrecks of performances at nats and winter cheesefest. One doesn't need a two-tone outfit in order to see Sasha and her evil twin sister batteling it out on the ice for 4 minutes.
    That's not nice but pretty funny.
    I guess Sasha's problem is still a mental one. During the 04 World, she prepared a long time to get to the starting pose, with a smile on her face which to me very artificial and forced although the commentator said "I already have a good feeling about Sasha just look at her face". The moment she start moving, actually before her head turned away from the camara, the smile was gone along with her peace of mind if it was ever there. She could be such a beautiful skater if she is not with the nerve, as she was in the exhibation.

    Back to Swan Lake, I believe it is not easy to skate to a very famous piece of music. Think about that Miki Ando's Carmen. I believe it would be good to skate to something less overused.
    Last edited by hongligl; 06-26-2004 at 11:16 AM.

  14. #44
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    Miki Ando skated to "Firebird" (Stravinsky) not "Carmen" (Bizet). "Firebird" is a terrific piece of music, and the choreography was very good, but Miki lacks the musical sense to make the most of it.

  15. #45
    http://p068.ezboard.com/bstrawberrycanyonfsc
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    if someone skates to swan lake, please please please portray the black swan. im tired of just seeing the white swan, or both black and white swans...for once, someone portray the vixen.

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