Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
Can you point me to the place in the PCS overview where it says "all programs must have an easy to understand concept"? It's exactly this kind of approach that gets us all these Carmens and Swan Lakes - oh noes, if the music's not familiar it'll be too difficult for people to understand.

I've stayed out of this thread, as I don't want to criticize Ashley Wagner, a skater I admire, just because I like Akiko Suzuki better. But I think Akiko has challenged herself far more than Ashley has in terms of expanding her range as a performer and choosing diverse pieces of music and program concepts. Yes, it's easier for the audience to understand that Ashley was the Black Swan; it was made so obvious in the program that it would be hard not to. Some of Akiko's programs are more subtle and less obvious, but this does not make them lacking artistically (I liked Morozombie's take on her O program from this season). Where you got juniorish, I have no idea; you could say that about Mao's SP this season, maybe, but Akiko's? Of all the critiques that can be made about her, and there certainly are some, that one shouldn't even be on the list.

Both Wagner and Suzuki are wonderfully committed to their programs and choreo; for me, it comes across as more genuine in Suzuki's case, but I like seeing that kind of enthusiasm in any skater. I respect both ladies for sticking it out in the sport despite challenges and disappointing results along the way. Suzuki is still dealing with the challenge of not being her country's #1 skater, which certainly doesn't help her scores. She has been an underrated skater for years.

To suggest that Gracie Gold has a more polished look than Akiko Suzuki is laughable. Gold is a promising young skater, but she still has a way to go when it comes to presentation, polish, sophistication etc. She shouldn't even be part of this discussion. Maybe a few years down the line she'll be where Suzuki and Wagner are today.
Nicely said. It's good to have a story behind a program but I don't see it as a requirement in singles skating, especially when you're skating to something that didn't come from a ballet or musical which tend to have the story built-in. I fully believe that music can inspire movement and that there doesn't have to have an underlying story or deeper meaning...

The music has a light and delicate quality that Akiko and her team obviously connected to the idea of a bird in some way. The music builds and then soars at the end...you could also relate that to a bird in flight if you just have to have something to tie everything together.

Art can be abstract and, for me, it's what makes this program stand out from the rest of the Black Swans, Carmens, Les Mises, Delilahs and other oft-used pieces that come with a ready-made story. If you need to grasp a concept to understand or, at the very least, enjoy a program like this then it's obvious you don't get it and that's fine. But just b/c you don't understand it doesn't make it less than what it is.