I'm sure now that we've all gone over the "bright spots" in skating history...Rudi's win at Nats, G&G's Olympic Skate, John Curry in Innsbrook they are have one thing in common...GREAT CHOREOGRAPHY!
So, for a summer discussion that actually focuses on skating, I thought of this one as I watched a replay of Jeff Buttle's Candadian Nats. skate. It was my favorite piece of choreography out there for last year's season and, if he had skated his nats. skate at world he'd be the reigning World Champ with a skate that would go down in memory.
The piece itself (for those who haven't seen it) was choreographed by David Wilson. It was a Phillp Glass compostion named "Naqoyqatsi " (for an explaination of why this piece is so compelling and complex ...http://www.jeffbuttle.ca.tc/ )
The absolute sheer beauty of Jeff's skating is one thing (he has that Kurt Browning/Yuka Sato/Carolina Costner/Janet Lynn/Oksana Baiul quality of "oppositional skating" while seeming to float over the ice) Howver, this choreograpy exploits (in a good way) every strength he has as a skater.
Wilson has explained that he embraces the CoP system becuase he thinks it places much more importance on the choreography as a seamlessly integrated element of a successful program; the same as jumps and spins.
The beauty in this particular program is that Jeff hits so many poses, edges, and jump exits on a crecendo or on a beat. That means he has to commit to his actions at the particular point in the music rather than when he "feels it" in his body.
Sandra Bezik pointed out during the Olympics coverage that skaters often choose music that is etheral and orchestral to avoid having to hit movements on precise beats. She followed that it was a sign of a good skater who could perform a piece this way. (I think she was commenting on Sarah's music and why skaters made choices such as hers...Ravel, etc...)
The Naqoyqatsi program never stops; there seems to be continuity of movement throughout the piece. I also love that it is chocked full of interesting spins, movements in the field, variety of edges and, once again that wonderful oppositional skating where there is so much lean into the edge because it so secure and the transition can be dramitic because of the edge control...think of Boitano's ability to skate the Olympic Rings pattern in one of his routines. Just amazing!
I won't go through a blow by blow account of every shimmering wonderful detail about why I love this skate, but what about you? What skate do you remember that you loved becuase of the choreography, and why? Is it Irina's "Shiendler's List" , Torville and Dean's "Barnum", ANY of 'Shelly Kwan's (now theres an endless font of resources, ) I look forward to hearing who's programs you love and why.