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Thread: Which Sasha? Fiery/Attitude or Graceful/Beautiful?

  1. #16
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana
    About lyrical Sasha, I seem to remember some piano music (?) that she skated to in US Nationals years ago? As far as I remember that was a lyrical Sasha and that was what won me over to become a fan. Marjaana
    It may have been a lyrical piece of music but that doesn't mean it was well skated. If a dancer or a skater are accenting their technique, they are attempting to be virtuosos. If a skater is involved with the flow of the music rather than the tricks they are attempting lyricism.

    Nothing wrong with being a virtuoso or a lyrical skater. In Sasha's case I believe the virtuoso path is the way to go. It's also the path that gets audience reaction and that can have some influence in the judging. Bebe Liang is another example of virtuouso skating.

    Other than MK, Yukina Ota is easily seen as a lyrical skater. The skating becomes part of the music rather than the tricks. Muscle memory is very important for this type of skater because some lyrical skaters get lost in the music and they falter on difficult tricks.

    After Aranjuez, I now believe MK is both lyrical and virtuoso. She is what we call in ballet, a Prima Ballerina Assoluta.

    The lyricism in Sasha's skating for me is fair to midlin. That will improve in time but for now she remains, imo, the top virtuoso in figure skating.

    Joe

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    It may have been a lyrical piece of music but that doesn't mean it was well skated. If a dancer or a skater are accenting their technique, they are attempting to be virtuosos. If a skater is involved with the flow of the music rather than the tricks they are attempting lyricism.

    Joe
    Oh, I would say that that Sasha´s short programme (a few years ago) was just wonderfully skated and interpreted. Definetely she was involved with the flow of the music. Hmm, about tricks and skaters, that is again one of those things depending on the eye of the beholder, LOL.

    Marjaana

  3. #18
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana
    About lyrical Sasha, I seem to remember some piano music (?) that she skated to in US Nationals years ago? As far as I remember that was a lyrical Sasha and that was what won me over to become a fan.
    I don't know the 1st thing about music, which is why MKF and GSF are so informative for me, there are a lot of musicians on both boards.

    Jaana, did you mean "My Sweet and Tender Beast" By Doga SP from 00-01 and 01-02, or "Violin Concerto" By Mendelsson LP from 99-00, or "Barouqe Selections" By Vivaldi & Albinoni SP from 99-00? None seemed especially lyrical to me, except the Doga piece.

    I tend to agree with Joe. I think that the "bravura" he speaks of is the same thing people talk about when they keep complaining that Sasha's delivery is too "ta da!" or "Hey everyone, look at me!" . I'm not saying that it's a bad thing that she's not "soft", I just think that either she's on or she not, but either way it's always meant as a more firery interpretation.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthes ghost
    I don't know the 1st thing about music, which is why MKF and GSF are so informative for me, there are a lot of musicians on both boards.

    Jaana, did you mean "My Sweet and Tender Beast" By Doga SP from 00-01 and 01-02, or "Violin Concerto" By Mendelsson LP from 99-00, or "Barouqe Selections" By Vivaldi & Albinoni SP from 99-00? None seemed especially lyrical to me, except the Doga piece.
    I don´t remember what it was called, it just remained in my mind as a beautiful and lyrical performance. She may have had a white costume and it definetely was a short programme. Sasha got silver medal in US nationals that year, I believe. As far as I remember she won with that short programme over Kwan. Next season she was injured and did not participate in US Nationals.

    Marjaana

  5. #20
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana
    Oh, I would say that that Sasha´s short programme (a few years ago) was just wonderfully skated and interpreted. Definetely she was involved with the flow of the music. Hmm, about tricks and skaters, that is again one of those things depending on the eye of the beholder, LOL. Marjaana
    I don't remember the skate but if she did have a one time fling with lyrical passages, I haven't seen it. Her R&J was strictly by the numbers for me.

    Tricks and skaters are not dependent on the eye of the beholder. Tricks are evaluated, and with crisp definition accomplished they are virtuostic (is that a word?).

    In the dance world, the ballerina who executes her tricks brilliantly is called a bravura ballerina. She is the very essence of Russian Ballet. The ballerina who flows with the music and understates the difficulty of the tricks is a lyric ballerina. She is the essence of Italian Ballet.

    There is nothing wrong with either style but I notice that some fans of SC get so worked up over others calling her a non lyric skater. Sasha's vituosity is a credit to hard work and deserving of praise. Her lyricism will come later in her career. Just moving arms in a ballet like fashion does not make a lyric skater. A skater must execute her tricks without fanfare and flow flow flow inside the music.

    A lyric skater gets a huge applause after he/she completes his/her program while a bravura skaters gets 'wows' during the program.

    Joe

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana
    I don´t remember what it was called, it just remained in my mind as a beautiful and lyrical performance. She may have had a white costume and it definetely was a short programme. Sasha got silver medal in US nationals that year, I believe. As far as I remember she won with that short programme over Kwan. Next season she was injured and did not participate in US Nationals.

    Marjaana
    Kwan fell on her triple toe in that competition. The piece was commonly called Albinoni's adagio (more accurately Giazotto's adagio) In 1945 Remo Giazotto discovered a music fragment from Albinoni in the Dresden State Library while he was working on a biography. Based on this fragment Giazotti composed the adagio

    I think that was the only time I sensed that Sasha skated with some soul, since then all her programs came across rather cold.

    I do not believe in bravura vs lyricisim. IMHO true bravura performers have PERFECT technique, and there are only rare few who have perfect technique. IMHO Sasha does not have perfect technique to qualify to be bravura. To me perfect technique is not important, soul and humanity are the key. Heifetz may qualify to have close to perfect technique. Sometimes he forgot to put in the soul, and his bravura left me cold, but when he was soulful e.g. Bruch's violin concerto and Bruch's Scottish fantasy (some of the technically easiest pieces) the music was out of this world beautiful.

    It is not a matter of lyricism either. One of the greatest performace in my book was Oistrakh's interpretation of Shostakovich violin concerto. He was not particualarly lyric, but Oistrkah put his soul into the piece, and you can hear him sweating blood, with close to perfect technique to boot. Contrast that to Hahn's interpretation of the DSCH violin concerto, where she executed with superb technique, and leaves me cold asking where is the soul, where is the humanity?

    To me therefore, it is not a choice of bravura or lyric, but whether a performer is willing to sweat blood for the soul and humanity to add to the lyric or bravura.

    Back to Sasha, it really is not that important whether she is fiery or lyric, skating is still a sport, it is still about edges, jumps and spins.
    Last edited by rtureck; 08-23-2004 at 02:23 PM.

  7. #22
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    I thought Cohen lyrical in her World quali performance of Swan Lake. I think Wagner's changes to the choreography emphasized edges and blade speed, and I saw quite an improvement, which didn't come through when she froze and reverted in the LP. She has beautiful spins, and except for the flutz, superb jumping technique. Her flow is consistently fine out of her single jumps. (She goes a bit dead in her jump/2T combos.)

    I quite liked Hahn's performance of the Shostakovitch Violin Concerto. I don't think it's her final say -- she's was only 23 or 24 when she recorded it. I think it shows a more intellectual soul than other performances I've heard, but I didn't think it was soulless nor technique for technique's sake, which is my impression of most of Heifetz' work. JMO.

  8. #23
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    RTureck, I have to say "BRAVA!" to that post.

    Mathman

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    I quite liked Hahn's performance of the Shostakovitch Violin Concerto. I don't think it's her final say -- she's was only 23 or 24 when she recorded it. I think it shows a more intellectual soul than other performances I've heard, but I didn't think it was soulless nor technique for technique's sake, which is my impression of most of Heifetz' work. JMO.
    I hope it is not Hahn's final say on the DSCH violin concerto. For my taste of the DSCH, maybe unfairly comparing everyone to King Daivd (Oistrakh) I prefer more humanity. Intellectual soul, OK good for the fast movement, she was lyrical with the nocturne, but I think her Passacaglia could use more soul, does not mean she was souless. Come on this is Shostakovich VC #1. (BTW, I am a HUGE HH fan) I think it is good for her to try a piece like DSCH VC #1, I think with more maturity and committment, she will be great with this piece.

    Heifetz put his soul into the Wienawski, Bruch and Korngold, and these pieces are out of the world beautiful. Interestingly these are easier (technically speaking) pieces.

    Skating is a sport, so it is still the jumps, spins and edge that count. JMHO, Cohen is probably middle of the road in this bravura ------ lyric spectrum. IMHO, Sarah who was also coached by Robin is more soulful than Cohen.
    Last edited by rtureck; 08-24-2004 at 12:56 PM.

  10. #25
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    I always wondered why Cohen seemed to receive more hype than Stellato. If there was one skater who could be both "bravura" and "lyrical" at the time, it was Deanna. She was totally brilliant in all her technical elements, but skated with a sensitivity to music far beyond what Cohen had ever done. Too bad she quit.
    To me, Cohen just doesn't have it in her to be a lyrical skater. Her body doesn't have that supple quality. All I see is tention, stretch and more tention and stretch. Sure her technical elements leave little room for criticism beside the flutz (which is why I think she will have an edge over Kwan and Arakawa), and she can wow everyone with her extra effort to make every element look spectacular. But in terms of intepreting the music, I still say she's better suited for Carmen, Malaguena and all the other rhythm-oriented, attitude requiring pieces; and I'd have liked that she left Rachmaninoff alone, because her drama and attitude didn't work there.
    In a way she reminds me of Plushenko. Only that Plushenko has much more power and flow on that ice.
    Last edited by shine; 08-24-2004 at 12:36 PM.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine
    Sure her technical elements leave little room for criticism beside the flutz (which is why I think she will have an edge over Kwan and Arakawa), .
    I think Kwan and Arakawa have EDGES over Cohen, Sasha has spins over them.
    Last edited by rtureck; 08-24-2004 at 01:01 PM.

  12. #27
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    I couldnt do without either of them. Personally, I think its best when she has one of each, which she usually does.

  13. #28

    sasha

    I personally am very curious to see her Nutcracker program choreographed by Zueva. I think that is a match to watch- because Zueva can put depth behind quiet music. And it's good for Sasha, I think, to try different things. If she played Carmen every season, it would get tiresome. A full reportoire never hurt anyone!

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