Michelle Kwan is a true superstar celebrity from the figure skating world, as famous as Peggy Flemming or Dorothy Hamill. However, Michelle is known for her skating career and being a world champion skater who is chic and part of the glitterati. Peggy is known for being the first commercial American Ice Queen, and Dorothy was known for her haircut (sad, but true to people who don't follow skating or the Olympics in WInter).
There are superstars from other fields, like music and the movies, who have had long careers. Retrospective looks reveal patterns and phases in their bodies of work. For example, Madonna had the early Eurotrash years followed by the "virgin" phase, followed by the Sean Penn phase, the buff phase, the single mother phase, the political phase etc. etc. etc. Tina Turner had the Ike and Tina Review phase, the Ike is doing cocaine phase, the Ike is addicted to cocaine phase, the Ike is a woman beater phase, the cover band phase and the final "Private Dancer" phase. Meryl Streep has similar phases beginning with heavy melodrama, then suspense, then comedy.
Michelle Kwan has seen many phases of development. Her programs over the years create a body of work with something for everyone. A DVD compilation with her programs is like a Greatest Hits album of Ladies Skating. She has done so many different types of programs.
There is the early phase with excitement in jumping, the early Lori phase with the transformation through to Nagano, the Artist/Lori phase from 1999-2001, the post Frank phase alone and with Scott Williams, and now the more athletic Arutunian phase.
What is you favorite Michelle era/phase? Her programs have definitely changed over the years, and she has skated to many different types of pieces.
My favorite is the 1999-2001 phase with Arienne, Desdemona, Fate of Carmen, Red Violin, Song of the Black Swan, Dante's Prayer, etc. This is the "artist" Lori Nichol phase with terrific, exciting programs. Her style has changed to a more "Boitanoesque", minimalistic style since Aranjuez, and she is only now coming out of it.
I think my actual favorite program of all of her's is Dante's Prayer. It has flow, beauty, seamless choreography, difficult triples (lutz), gorgeous moves in the field with strong edges, etc. etc. and she felt the music. This number is from this phase in her career.