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Thread: Please gush over Toller Cranston!!!

  1. #1
    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    Please gush over Toller Cranston!!!

    Today, I, for the first time, got to see Toller's skating to his 1975 short program Strauss's Graduation Ball-March (one of my favorite "skating" music). All I can say is that I felt like slapping myself for having waited all these years before finally getting to know such an amazing skater and his skating.
    I felt chills watching those big moves and daring stroking, all done with such regal elegance. It was skated with musicality that I could have only dreamed of. Toller Cranston skated like a king (or shalI say, a god?). Now that's a tape for skaters who desire to learn to look totally elegant without appearing feminine at all. Dick was getting quite excited and gushed all over him, and I decided that I wanted to hear yet even more gushing. So please do!

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    I love Toller for the sheer fact that he made Christopher Bowman look good when he was under his tutelage.

    Plus Toller looks absolutely fantastic for his age.

  3. #3
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    I've been fond of Toller for quite some time - outspoken, avante-garde and that remark he made once about "inventing skating" cracked me up.

    I wasn't able to see many of the earlier programs until I started tape trading. I've been fortunate to get his short program from 75 Skate Canada, the 76 Olympic short and free programs, and the '82 "Strawberry Ice" CBC broadcast program is one of my favorite skating things ever! He wasn't afraid to experiment and march to his own drum - and he could do it with his own brand of style and grace (the man had incredible extension). This is one of my all-time favorite skaters.

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    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    He definately had an interesting style

    he's like Christopher Walken to me... he scares the crap out of me!

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Shine:

    I had the privilege of seeing the "Maestro" Toller skate many times - especially early in his career when he stepped up the men's discipline a notch or two with his wonderful artistry. He simply amazed us all. When Toller left the building - as it were - it was a sad day indeed. He did however influence many of the male skaters especially here in Canada - Kurt, Brian and other skaters have all been inspired by Toller at one time or another. My favorite Toller program is the one he skated to the music from Nicholas and Alexandra - "Too Beautiful to Last." I play that piece on the piano and always images of Toller skating to the music come to mind. It's such a haunting piece and Toller skated it with such flow and artistry. There will never be another Toller!

    - Enough gushing? :D

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    Shine - which competition is that from? 1975 Worlds? Or '76 Olympics?
    ITA with everything said here. Toller was just such an amazing skater who performed with such belief in his style. Amazing to watch. But why did Curry and Cranston have to skating in the same era? Toller was a better skater than his amateur results might suggest. Apparently his 1974 Worlds performance is legendary and really made his career but I've never seen it. So keep looking guys!!!!

  7. #7
    Skating Freak Barbie
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    Toller always had such a wonderful style, and really had an impact on figure skating, IMO. I think his uniqueness opened doors for more avant garde, less classical, styles to be accepted and even embraced in figure skating.

    Kasey

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    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    The Midas Touch

    Toller definately passes the "Button Test": having left the sport different than it was before you entered. He was truely one of the great innovators and I'm so glad that he's still involved, rather than just walking away and becoming soley a painter or something.

    What a breath of fresh air in an all too often stuffy sport!

    It's unfortunate that Toller, like us all, was his own worst enemy. He had no control over the juding, but what he did have control over was improving his nerves and his figures. It's a real shame that such a once-in-a-lifetime skater couldn't have mastered figures, so that the SP and LP weren't so important to make up so much ground. If Denise Biellmann could go from 12th in figures in 80 to winning gold in 81, anythting is possible. It's also a shame he sometimes "choked" (by his own admission) 72 worlds and 76 Olys come to mind.

    IMHO, we need "the next Tara" like we need a hole in the head, but where's "the next Toller"? Oh, that's right, he was truely one of a kind!

  9. #9
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Please gush over Toller Cranston

    Hi
    I am so glad to see a thread about Toller. I am an older fan and he has always been one of my long time favorites. I was lucky and have seen him skate live quite a few times in Ice Capades, Minto Follies and his own show the Ice Show. I always felt he was way ahead of his time and am glad that he kept pushing and doing it his way with artistry. He was finally accepted and given the marks he should have. I consider him a pioneer in skating and we have wonderful artistry in men's skating to-day because of his pushing the bar higher in his competative career.
    I am also fortunate to have much video on him as I was fortunate to have a vcr from 1978 and have recorded everything he did on tv . I love his tv specials they were all unique and different. He is well remembered even though he never became a world champion . He gave much to the world of figure skating
    I loved his commentating fo cbc you could always count on him to say exactly what he thought regardless of the consequences and was not above admonishing the judges on air if he thought their marks were out of line.
    Kudos for him
    jfdw
    Last edited by jfdw; 07-14-2004 at 08:12 AM. Reason: spelling error

  10. #10
    Rinkside
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    His choreo for Lu Chen was out of this world IMO

  11. #11
    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate
    Shine - which competition is that from? 1975 Worlds? Or '76 Olympics?
    ITA with everything said here. Toller was just such an amazing skater who performed with such belief in his style.
    Floskate - it is from the 1975 Skate Canada that was shown on ESPN Classic in Canada from a while back. I think it is an amazing program in that he totally skated to the essence of the waltz/march music and made what could have been "just another Strauss" memorable. The diagonal steps down the length of the rink with the commentator calling "he's gone, he's gone!" sent chills down my spine - literally. ITA with the person who said that Toller is a skater ahead of his time.
    I think I might have just found my eptiome of male skater.

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    A Master

    I started skating in 1980 and he always use to appear in some show. My favorite program was his disco firebird program he did for some special. He had the best camel spin ever. He could sit on an outside edge and just hold it forever.

    The Irony of this great skater like Janet Lynn is that they both sucked at figures.
    Go Figure!

    I always said one thing has nothing to do with the other. Edge flow comes from the soul not from constant repetition of a circle.

  13. #13
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    Other-worldly Cranston

    Toller DID invent a certain kind of skating in a way: the skater as "artiste" I feel like every singles man before him "performed" something put together by someone else so that it would have all the necessary elements for whatever program or venue it was to address. I know that Curry felt strongly about his own choreography, but I also know that Fossi was fairly rigid about things and so I don't know how far his own imprint on his performances were allowed to go. But Cranston WAS like he came from another world at that time. You KNEW this was "not your father's Oldsmobile" when you saw Toller skate. There was no question (in my mind) about whose choreography he was doing. He even designed his own costumes, I think. And, am I not correct in thinking that Toller designed all of Roz Sumners pro and tour costumes?

    But, I do agree with Tonichelle about the Christopher Walken thing. I ran into Toller at a rink one time. I didn't know it was him until I talked to him. He was walking over the ice in "ugs", wearing a rumpled sweater full of holes and splattered with paint. I thought he was a janitor! He said he was scanning the ice for impediments, but he seemed a little weird and detached---off in that other world. Once I talked to him, he connected OK. But, yes, just to see him, he does seem to be in a world apart. I heard a few years ago that he was living down in Mexico somewhere, devoting his life to painting. Does anyone know if this is true? If so, is he still there? Where is his art sold? Has anyone ever seen any of it?

  14. #14
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipsqueak
    I heard a few years ago that he was living down in Mexico somewhere, devoting his life to painting. Does anyone know if this is true? If so, is he still there? Where is his art sold? Has anyone ever seen any of it?
    Yes, it's a well established fact tha t Toller lives in Mexico. He talks about it a lot in his books and even includes pictures of the house with apinting studi addition he built. His painting aparently sell well, but I don't remember who represents him now. His books are pepperd with stories from various exhibitions over the years. A google scan will probably uncover a few, but they aren't that hard to find. Thre was a fluff piece during the 76 Oly broadcast that included many of his paintings of that era.

    Edited to add: here's a link to Toller.com with some of his painting shown: http://www.tollercranston.com/index.html
    In case you didn't know, Toller has always considered himself a painter who happend to also skate. He's painted since day one. Although he says this, I think that his dedication to the sport is evident through his actions. I think he had a much great impact on skating than he has had on painting, and I also think he made more money from it.
    Last edited by berthes ghost; 07-19-2004 at 04:52 AM.

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    another thing

    Did you guys know that he never really practiced his program. He once told Dick Button that he skates in his head, he didn't need to skate everyday.

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