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Thread: Chinese Artistry

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    Chinese Artistry

    I couldn't help noticing how well choreographed the Chinese ladies' FX were in the Olympics. All of the moves were choreographed with the music in mind, the music was great and the girls had such flair. In addition , the girls were very young.

    I can't help but wonder why the Chinese lose points for their artistry in figure skating. Shen and Zhao have taken years to become artistic , the other pairs aren't very artistic, and the Chinese men have always had the quads however they were buried in the pack b/c of their lack of presentation skills.

    Obviously the Chinese have it in them to choreograph great programs for gymnastics, why is this not coming through in their skating program?

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    Actually Pang & Tong have better artistry than any other Chinese pair, including S&Z. Chen Lu was one of the most artistic skaters. I belive that the Chinese coaches are emphasizing the big tricks at the cost of artistry. The whole thrust of the Chinese pairs is throwing high and far, completing more revolutions in jumps. They don't even seem to work on artistry until they become medal contenders. Pang & Tong are an exception to that. Tong in particular is very good.

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    Chen Lu was artistic, but I never really count her b/c her programs were choreographed by Western choreographers (Bezic and Cranston). I know the other chinese skaters use western choreographers as well but somehow they aren't very artistic (the men are especially penalized even though I think they get a bum rap (they aren't worse than Goebel)). However I think the Chinese exclusively choreograph for the gymnastics team and the girls had a lot of style on the floor (at least the two that I have seen). Why don't/can't the Chinese choreograph for their skaters?

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    Tong has an excellent posture.

    S&Z did have Chinese choreographers in the beginning. When they were not winning, they hired (or their fed did) Leeann Miller. That seemed to work, so they continued with western choreograhers. I think the reason the chinese choreo works in gymnastics but not in FS is that gymnastics depend mainly on athleticism, and the chinese are good at it.

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    The thing that stood out in the Chinese girls' programs wasn't so much the tumbling but how their dance elements really matched with the music. There were peaks in the music and the girls' would really match the peak with an emphatic movement. Skating is pretty athletic in that the chinese can put leaps and spins to match the music but somehow they don't have that subtlety in their programs like the girls did in gymnastics.

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    One reason I believe there might be some geographyc or cultural diff behind it. Because of some historicall reason, southen china has more of western cultral influence, and people live there tends to have smaller body frame. Most chinese skaters (may be all of them)are from northen part of china (basically north of Peking). While most top chinese gymnastists are from southern china. So these girls may have some natural sense of musics.

    Chinese are good at athleticism because these elements, which composed much of gymnastics, diving, FS elements, are much similar to traditional chinese Gongfu, WuShu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    Actually Pang & Tong have better artistry than any other Chinese pair, including S&Z.
    I think that's the first time I've ever see someone making this kind of comment about them. I've seen many compliments on their technical elements, throws, etc, but not on artistry. Maybe their presentation isn't as bad as most people say, but that their are artistic... surely skating is a very subjective sport.

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    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    I second Vash re: Tong. P&T might not have S&Z's polish, but in terms of raw performing ability and musicality, I do think they've always had an edge over S&Z.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shine
    I second Vash re: Tong. P&T might not have S&Z's polish, but in terms of raw performing ability and musicality, I do think they've always had an edge over S&Z.
    Tong may be, but not Pan. Pan's expression and performance always looks a little forced and stiffed.
    Last edited by mzheng; 08-25-2004 at 03:10 PM.

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    The book about the pairs competition in Salt Lake City, The Second Mark, has some really interesting information about the history of pairs skating in China. I strongly recommend it. It talks about how Shen and Zhou progressed through the intl figure skating ranks- initially focusing on huge technical skills in part because they believed they could never get the artistic scores from the international judges- they could gain respect and recognition only by doing skills that were bigger and riskier than anyone else. It talks about their transition from working with only Chinese choreographers to working with Western Choreographers, and their struggle to incorporate Western ideas of artistry and expression into their programs.

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    Procrastinating b/c of Worlds
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    Actually Pang & Tong have better artistry than any other Chinese pair, including S&Z. The whole thrust of the Chinese pairs is throwing high and far, completing more revolutions in jumps. They don't even seem to work on artistry until they become medal contenders. Pang & Tong are an exception to that. Tong in particular is very good.
    I must disagree. Out of the top 3, I find Pang and Tong the least artistic. They never skate to the beat leaving a sense that they are completely disconnected to the music. I don't know how they can be "artistic" when they can't even skate to a simple beat. I also find their moves sloppier than S&Z and at times, Z&Z. At least Z&Z can manage to skate to the beat, which gives them a basis over Pang & Tong in even coming close to interpreting music.

    TV

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    Ice Angel
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    Tong and Pang are very stiff. They can do some dance on their arms, but their legs don't have any extention. They are very slender so the jumps and throws are easy for them.
    Even though there are some top pair skaters in China, acturally the field is not as deep as in US. Not many people doing the coaching and choreography with artistic personlity. They can rely ballet companies to help, but these dancers don't know much about figure skating. Actually there are many Chinese dance pieces are well choreographed. I f they know skating moves, they can help the skaters tremendously.

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    Go NJ Devils
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    I think Pang and Tong look better on TV than in person. At Dortmund, they looked like they were cutting the rink short and rushing quite a bit, which, to me, looked a bit more frenzied than fast. However, they're still quite young and have enormous potential. They've only been working with Lee Ann Miller for a year, were coached in a vacuum by Tong for a while, and lost a lot of practice time due to the SARS outbreak.

    I really like Zhang/Zhang, because they look very comfortable together on the ice. I think they could surpass Pang and Tong with better choreography, but I don't think they'll be allowed it anytime soon, because it would affect the current pecking order.

    With Totmianina/Marinin in the mix, and Obertas/Slavnov as an up-and-coming contender, I don't see a sweep for China in Turin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    They've only been working with Lee Ann Miller for a year, were coached in a vacuum by Tong for a while, and lost a lot of practice time due to the SARS outbreak.

    I really like Zhang/Zhang, because they look very comfortable together on the ice. I think they could surpass Pang and Tong with better choreography, but I don't think they'll be allowed it anytime soon, because it would affect the current pecking order.
    .
    Both Pan/Tong and Zhang/Zhang use Zuline as their choreographer this season, and I think this is the first time the froeign choreogrpher dose chore for both team. Both of them will have new LP, while keep their old SP, the latest report from chinese disscussion board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    I think Pang and Tong look better on TV than in person. At Dortmund, they looked like they were cutting the rink short and rushing quite a bit, which, to me, looked a bit more frenzied than fast. However, they're still quite young and have enormous potential. They've only been working with Lee Ann Miller for a year, were coached in a vacuum by Tong for a while, and lost a lot of practice time due to the SARS outbreak.

    I really like Zhang/Zhang, because they look very comfortable together on the ice. I think they could surpass Pang and Tong with better choreography, but I don't think they'll be allowed it anytime soon, because it would affect the current pecking order.

    With Totmianina/Marinin in the mix, and Obertas/Slavnov as an up-and-coming contender, I don't see a sweep for China in Turin.
    Actually I saw Pang & Tong skate live in the 2002 Olympics and they were very good there. I had not liked them on TV at all.

    T&M would be a factor in Torino. However, I don't see Obertas & Slavnov being a factor unless Slavnov corrects his sloppy posture. He looks like a junior level skater. It is particularly painful to look at him because Yulia is such a beautiful skater.

    For any country to sweep, a lot of things have to happen. I find it offensive that people are even talking about a Chinese sweep in 2006 when the reigning world champions are from Russia. Even when USSR/Russia was at the very top in the 1980's and 90's they never swept the podium. Their best finish was 1-2-4, when others were not even serious contenders. There is always a finite probability that the Chinese could sweep but a lot of things will have to go wrong for all the Russian pairs and the top Canadian and US pairs (and I have not even considered European pairs like Zagorska-Siudek who I expect to make big improvements).

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