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Thread: Michelle skating to Bolero - good or bad choice?

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    I'm still listening. Now that Joe has put into my head the idea that this music is for all the dancers to come out one by one for their bows, I can't seem to rid myself of that interpretation. Yes, the music starts soft and gets louder, but does it really "build" to anything, besides loudness? If Michelle can make something of it, like Show42 says, my hat is off to her.
    Bolero was meant by Ravel to reflect the relentlessness of machinery, quite a common theme of turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) art. I think the reasons it worked so well for Torvill and Dean in 1984 are:

    1. They are ice dancers, and ice dancers do not need music to reflect the build-up entries into jumps (Klimkins 3S out of camel spins not withstanding), the long standard entries into throws, the contrasts of height needed for twists and other overhead lifts, or fast spins with multiple changes of positions.

    2. Ice Dance in 1984 had more restrictive rules for how long a couple could be apart, the types of lifts they could do, etc. Since Torvill and Dean were pushing the envelope in general, it was a bit of a metaphor for them to use changes of edge and direction, constantly intertwining arms and upper bodies, and imaginative (low) lifts against the intentional drone of the music.

    It will be interesting to see what Kwan's choreographer can make of a piece of music that doesn't have a natural arc and flow for the meat of singles or pairs skating moves.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    Bolero was meant by Ravel to reflect the relentlessness of machinery, quite a common theme of turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) art.

    And remember Jean Renoir's A Nous La Liberte?

    It will be interesting to see what Kwan's choreographer can make of a piece of music that doesn't have a natural arc and flow for the meat of singles or pairs skating moves.
    ITA!!! Anyone have any idea who Kwan's choreographer is?

    Joe

  3. #78
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for that analysis, Hockeyfan. That helps me come to grips with what I am feeling about this music.

    Mathman

  4. #79
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    Going back to original question is Bolero a good / bad choice. I think neither. It has the potential to be good, and poetential to be bad. Using this piece -> high reward and high risk. It was high risks for even T&D or dance.

    So far this is just rumors, but if Michelle is skating to Bolero, I think MK is smart enough to know the risks. I speculate that she knows the reactions from detractors about she does not have a sense of skating history, or no matter how well she skates to it they won't enjoy it blah blah.... So I am wondering why make this choice. Maybe she is not even aiming at medals and marks as the only reward. This piece is stated by many as a huge challenge for a single skater (or for dance prior to T&D ). If any skater who can afford to take some risks at choosing an almost unskateable piece, should be Michelle.

    Even thugh I am not exactly fascinated by the music value of Bolero, it is not an offensive piece either. Many people love this piece for different reasons. IIRC Karl Haas in one of his adventures in good music comment on the fascination with Bolero is the building up to a crescendo, with no variation of the theme at all, and listeners look for a release / resolution from the build up.

    According to the naxos liner note on the cd Bolero and other Spanish favorites: "Boléro's two thematic elements are linked by the continuing percussion rhythm that gives the work its hypnotic fascination."

    So I think MK chooses Bolero for the main reward of pleasing some of her die hard fans. Will her fans be elevated to 7th heaven with hypnotic fascination? Will her fans be having an out of body experience of crescendo resolution? or both?

    Off topic:

    I guess technically there is no variation in terms of genius tricks e.g. Beetrhoven's Diabelli variation, JS Bach's Goldberg variation, Rachmaninov's variation on a theme of Paganini, or Brahms variation on a theme of Hadyn. Ravel's variation using this term loosely is on the orchestration color. Evidently it works for some listeners very well.
    Last edited by rtureck; 09-06-2004 at 04:49 PM.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtureck
    Will her fans be elevated to 7th heaven with hypnotic fascination?
    Yes.
    Will her fans be having an out of body experience of crescendo resolution?
    Yes.
    or both?
    Yes.
    Maybe she is not even aiming at medals and marks as the only reward.
    I think this is true. I think we will look back on this period of Michelle's career (starting in 2003) as the blossoming of her artistic maturity.

    Mathman

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    Some random comments from reading through this thread, apologies in advance if anything had already been answered.

    First off, no, I can't say for certain who the choreographer was for Michelle's programs. I'd remove David Wilson from the speculation list, though, with pretty much 100% certainty.

    Joe- Abt skated to Bolero when he was with Zhulin, not Artunian.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyCoop
    I feel that in general if one is going to skate to "Bolero", better to use it as a long program and don't even go there with a short program. The appeal of "Bolero", musically, is that it builds on itself and builds on itself to the climax, and one has a better chance of translating this aspect of the piece in 4 minutes rather than 2 1/2. Every short program I've seen of "Bolero" gives the impression that they started in the middle (which they did) and I don't think it's a good effect overall; it just seems disjointed.

    As for Michelle using it -- in part it will depend on who's doing the choreography.
    Plushenko did quite well using Bolero for his SP. I think MK could do it, but I prefer to see her use original music, the way she did in her Lori Nichols days.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    I prefer to see her use original music, the way she did in her Lori Nichols days.
    Me, too. But I think it was Lori Nichol who was the creative genius in that collaboration.

    It's really too much to ask of a teenage or early-twenties athlete that she already have a mature sense of musical appreciation. Nichol was known for searching long and thoughtfully for music whose possibilties only she could see. Sometimes Michelle fought the choice, as for instance for Lyra Angelica and Song of the Black Swan, and it took her the whole seaon to really get into Lori's vision.

    Mathman

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    Skating to Belero

    I watched Torville and Dean skate to Belero today. Is this the same music Michelle will use? I find that music boring and it seems to just repeat the same thing over and over. I cant imagine that music being used by a single skater. I sure hope this isnt true. Can anyone verify the music for sure and if this is the version she will use? thanks

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    I find it interesting that ever since Michelle left Lori Nichol she has been using well known music skated to by other skaters (Scheherazade, The feeling begins, Aranjuez, Tosca, etc.). It is not a big surprise if she is going to skate to Bolero. T&D were the most famous but not the only skaters to have used it. There is no reason why Michelle should not use it.

    Vash

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by cianni
    I watched Torville and Dean skate to Belero today. Is this the same music Michelle will use? I find that music boring and it seems to just repeat the same thing over and over. I cant imagine that music being used by a single skater. I sure hope this isnt true. Can anyone verify the music for sure and if this is the version she will use? thanks
    It has been verified by a very reliable source that it is Ravel's Bolero.

    lol, the music IS repeating over and over. Fully 18 times to be exact. I must be the only one who loves the monotony.
    Last edited by thvudragon; 09-11-2004 at 09:02 PM.

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    Bolero: Good or bad? Well, I guess we'll have to wait and see. I thought Scheherazade, SOTBS and Tosca were all bad choices when I initially heard about them. However, Michelle gave them all something special and made me respect the selections (and in some cases I actually began enjoying some of the music). If she is comfortable with the music and it allows her to reach that "zone"....I say skate to anything damn thing you like, Michelle! (YES...even the horrific, dreaded "Swan Lake", LOL!)

    I also could care less whether Michelle skates to unique pieces or not. She's already shown she can skate well to overused pieces and lesser known selections. She is an adult now and has every right to make her own decisions (lol, or at least decide who is the best person/team to choose for her). Whatever the case, I can only expect that Michelle will bring the same fire and intensity to "Bolero" that she has brought to every other program she has skated.

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    I did not care for the Scheherazade music for Michelle. I did not feel it suited her skating style, regardless of how she skated (completed jumps, etc.). However, The feeling begins and Aranjuez worked very well for her. I have mixed feelings about Tosca. She skated well to it but the program was choreographically empty till the last part. I think Bolero can work for her, either as SP or LP, but SP would be better (as it was for Plushenko).

  14. #89
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    When I first heard this I was like OMG NOOOOOO!

    But the more I think about it, the more it intrigues me how she's going to pull this off. She is capable of amazing musicality and choreography IMO but hasn't really tapped into these areas over the last few years. That said, this music requires mesmeric skating that just builds and builds and Kwan can pull that off. I'm quite psyched by it now, although if it were to turn out to be the Moulin Rouge Bolero I'd be even happier

    But with Amber seemingly changing her music, it does seem more and more likely that Ravel will be the one.

  15. #90
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    You took the words out of my mouth, Floskate!

    Mathman

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