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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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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I don't think it took years for S&Z to get artistry. They already had artistry with the Chinese choreographers. It wasn't until Leann Miller Europeanzied them that the European judges began to notice them. It was a 'you must conform to our standards'. 'we don't recognize your cultural'. Oh, the sport is so subjectively biased.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    I don't think it took years for S&Z to get artistry. They already had artistry with the Chinese choreographers. It wasn't until Leann Miller Europeanzied them that the European judges began to notice them. It was a 'you must conform to our standards'. 'we don't recognize your cultural'. Oh, the sport is so subjectively biased.

    Joe
    That's my sentimental exactly. But now when they got recognized by western standard that they finally decided going back to chinese cultural. They choose chinese music this season. Introduce the chinese cultral and style to the FS in world stage always has being BinYao and S&Z's goal.

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    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    I'm wondering about what 'artistry' before they went to Miller that Joe and Mzheng are talking about. For example, I saw a ton of that Chinese flair in Lu Chen's "Butterfly Lovers", even though Lu has always been working with western choreographers. I loved the program because in it Lu epitomized that distinct lyricism and passion of the Chinese culture (at least what I recognized). But I never saw the same lyricism in S/Z even before they got supposedly "westernized". So I don't believe that their "chinese artistry" got "transformed" into something western, because they didn't have much of that to begin with. All I saw was athleticism and more athleticism. Miller and others IMO just gave them a polished international look, and the style that they have now is certainly NOT what I'd call "European".
    Last edited by shine; 08-24-2004 at 12:23 PM.

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    S&Z took a long time to build up their artistry and style. Maybe it's unfair of me to pick on their early artistry b/c unlike the Russians who have lots of pairs teams (therefore the cream rises to the top), S&Z did their polishing on the world stage verses developing it before going to worlds. However S&Z had horrible times synchronizing their spins and other elements when they first started competing. It is only now that they have really come into their own and are skating as a team.

    One question, why don't the Chinese recruit the lady skaters from the South (where they get their girl gymnasts)? I think it's kind of odd how the chinese pairs ladies are taller than their Western counterparts and it's not really healthy to force a 5'7 skater to weigh 100 pounds. I know the training center is in the North, but surely they can recruit a few girls to move away from home.

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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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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    As a rule in figure skating, pairs take a long time to really develop artistically and it took the Chinese a long time to develop in this area. Something they had to work on and they did. Even North American, Russian and European pairs don't hit their stride artistically over night. It takes a tremendous amount of work.

    As for Lu Chen. Her lovely program choreographed by Toller was skated to a Chinese theme. Even her arm movements were based on her culture.

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    S&Z certainly don't have the classic form or the traditional artistic style of the famous Russian pairs, but I find them much more exciting and moving for other reasons. They've improved nearly every aspect of their skating so much, but they've retained and even improved upon their ability to display so successfully exactly how they are feeling on the ice. When they are flying high and skating a perfect program...you can always see it in their faces (and movements, etc.). So many of the Russian pairs worked/work so hard in maintaining that classic image that sometimes that extra emotional charge is missing. I look at so many of the Russian pairs and say, "Wow...how beautiful!". I often look at S&Z and say "Wow....how beautiful....and exciting!" This is all my humble opinion and a bit simplistic, but that is the best way I can describe what a clean, emotionally super-charged S&Z can do for me. So...if this is the "Chinese" style...I definitely would love more!

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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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