Daniil Gleikhengauz choreography

lappo

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
I know many of you will expect the usual bashing from the neutral title I choose. However this is not quite my point but rather talk about Daniil Gleikhengauz choreography, with all its positive and negative qualities.
While Daniil might not be the reincarnation of Marius Petipa, I think he has done pretty well in giving most of TT students workable choreography, some of them better some of course worse.
Positive qualities:
- Daniil (and TT as a whole) knows the scoring system and how to work and maximize it to garner the most possible points; he (and TT) have also shown herself super adaptable to changes (such as when the backloading was limited, they simply switched strategy on the spot and the girls were immediately ready for the next season). I know many criticize him (and TT) for designing programs to score points but this puzzle me quite a bit: what should they do other than trying to give their students the best possible chance to garner points, according to the current skating system?
- also, for the most part, Daniil works with the girls all day and clearly knows their strenght and flaws: most programs (not all) he produced were very apt for the skaters and their personalities (Sasha two SP in her junior career; Anna SP and LP last year; Alena SP last year; just to mention some of them). I think being able to work with them on daily basis is a luxury that many other skater-choreographer team do not have and it can result in improving and polishing the program throughout the season.
Negative (or partly negative) qualities:
- Daniil is known for his use of leg kicks across the programs, they are a signature that makes his programs immediately recognizable even if you don't know that he made them. Sometimes they work pretty well for the programs (Maiia SP this year) sometimes they work less well (Kamila SP last year, IMO).
- Daniil is also known for some unispiring programs: I do agree that not all of his programs are as successful and I'm very disappointed when it happens with a skater that I personally root for (Kamila LP this yeas, for example, but there are many other examples). However, I do understand that he creates many programs every year and, as it happens to everybody, some of them results in hits, some of them results in misses and some are viable, not particularly inspiring works. I do not know a choreographer whose entire catalogue I fully liked, even Tom Dickson and Kenjii Miyamoto who I adore have had their share of bad programs.
- Danii recycles among programs (transitions, spins and jumps placements, part of step sequences): sometimes I wish for more variety as well but I do understand that this is not just a creative matter but also a decision to keep the program stable and workable for the skaters and not have them lose their consistency.
- Daniil, IMO, is a better SP choreographer than a LP choreographer (maybe because the program is shorter and there are less elements it is easier to create).

Favourite program among Daniil catalogue so far: Sasha's "Kill Bill" and "Big Spender" SP (yes, I know that many consider the music inappropriate for a young skater but if you don't focus on the source material, the program showed a playful and smiling Sasha; bonus for her "Unstoppable" EX; Anna"s "The Dreamcatcher" and "Perfume" (I also quite liked "The Firebird" LP, that I had the pleasure to see in person at its first outing); Alena's "Angel" SP; Kamila's "Storm" SP; Maiia"s SP this year;
Alina's "Don Quixote" (though Daniil's mom and Eteri also got big credit for this).
Many others I don't particularly like or I strongly dislike but I will only mention one: Kamila's Bolero this year! Please Daniil, just rework the program to give it the crescendo that was always intended for this piece of music, so the entire program will look less frantic and Kamila will be able to jump more comfortably in a slower first half (cue the structure of Carolina Kostner "Bolero).

What are your thoughts? What are your favourite and less favourite Daniil's programs?
 

flanker

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
I don't agree with some points but I appreciate the honest and impartial attitude here.

When it comes to choreos, it is very much about personal preferences and when there is a comparison, at the end it is much more about what a person likes or dislikes. As I've admitted several times, those were precisely Eteri's skaters and their programs (so from the big part Daniil's programs) that made a figure skating fan of me, so there is obviously something that attracts my attention. Not the programs of some of the acclaimed choreographers. Maybe it's precisely the thing (or several things) that many people condemn, like that the programs are busy, but I don't think it's an end in itself. It gives the opportunity to show variety of moves and for me it is always very complex, not just the moves necessary for jumps and spins, you can see the involvement of the whole body.

Of course not every program is perfect, sometimes they are truly similar (like Dasha's SP and FP from the last season) or "recycle" things (but honestly that's a general matter, not just his matter, just TT programs come much more under the magnifier).

Favourite programs to me are practically all Alina got, incl. the "condemned" POTO :), but Black Swan would be above all, probably. Others would be Anna's 2018/19 SP "ice fairy, 2019/20 both SP and FS, this season's programs are maybe not so distinctive, but still above average. Sasha's programs: I'm on a thin ice but I liked Big Spender :) and also In the Hall of the Mountain King. Aliona: Stella's Theme (Adios Nonino was Eteri's work I think). Leftover was also good but for me not enough for two seasons. Kamila: Girl on the Ball is mostly Eteris program so from the others I liked 2019/20 FS, this year's SP (about Bolero there will be much talk in the future yet :) ) and also the programs for the shows she had in Germany. Maiia's SP from this season is perfect and I don't even like this musich genre :) . I like most of Sofia's programs so far, Daria's SP and even FS that was condemned after the first showing at the test skates (interesting how sometimes it is allowed and sometimes not :devil:).
 

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
What are your thoughts? What are your favourite and less favourite Daniil's programs?
Favourite:
Light of seven - Tsurskaya
Departure - Kostornaya
Black swan - Zagitova
Fly/Experience - Tarakanova
Big spender - Trusova
A comme amour - Shcherbakova

Less favourites:
Kill Bill -Trusova
POTO - Zagitova
All free programs except Stella (Kostornaya) and sarabande suite (Tarakanova).

He is indeed more a SP than a FP choreographer.

Danii recycles among programs (transitions, spins and jumps placements, part of step sequences): sometimes I wish for more variety as well but I do understand that this is not just a creative matter but also a decision to keep the program stable and workable for the skaters and not have them lose their consistency.
I think that's more an Eteri decision than his. Medvedeva was working with Averbukh and Zhulin but did the same programs for 4-5 years.
 
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lappo

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
I completely forgot about his Light of the Seven SP, which I absolutely loved...I still remember Polina's amazing 3-3 opening jumps with the delayed rotation. :love:
I also liked Anna's A comme amour and this season Akatieva's programs.
 

Lamente Ariane

Record Breaker
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
I agree that every choreographer has some misses along with the hits and the more work they get the higher the chances are proportionally of some programs not being up to standard. However, I have to say that Alina Zagitova's Phantom of the Opera SP is astonishingly bad. Like, most choreographers and music editors can only dream (in their nightmares) of collaborating on something that fails their skater that completely on every level. My jaw literally dropped when I saw (and heard) it for the first time. Especially when you consider it was for the newly minted Olympic Champion, and therefore it's hard to imagine he didn't actually sincerely think he was creating a masterpiece. Which is so much worse than just phoning it in and giving a skater something that's a lukewarm echo of a better program someone else once had (hello, much of Lori Nichol's failures).
 

WeakAnkles

Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Full of sound and fury signifying not all that much. It's like the equivalent of paint by numbers: choreography by points. Not my cuppa.
 

lopsilceci

Her DOG has a Wikipedia page!
On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Country
Mexico
I feel like with Daniil's choreo, we have to keep in mind that he produces so many programs each season and for a team whose skaters are the most successful in their field and therefore more heavily scrutinized than other skaters.

The advantage of him working only with skaters he sees eveyday in training is that he gets to know their individual strenghts, weaknesses and personalities very well and is able to incorporate that knowledge into his work with each of them.
The disadvantage is that, because he makes so many programs and for the same group of skaters every season, obviously some of the programs will be better than others, and if the programs are successful, he will start to repeat some patterns and the skaters might look too similar to each other and to themselves in previous seasons.

I feel like a good solution to this could be to let the younger skaters work exclusively with Daniil, but also allow the older, more experienced skaters to get at least one program every season from a different choreographer, which could help them expand their range and try new things while reducing the workload for Daniil.
For skaters like Alina, Anna, Elizabet, Moris, maybe Daniil could do the SP's and they could invite an external choreographer to do the FPs.

I feel like Daniil is generally a good choreographer and he has produced some masterpieces but having to do so many programs every season for the same skaters can be creatively counterproductive for him, as would be for any choreographer in his place.
 

chasingneverland

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
I know many of you will expect the usual bashing from the neutral title I choose. However this is not quite my point but rather talk about Daniil Gleich choreography, with all its positive and negative qualities.
While Daniil might not be the reincarnation of Marius Petipa, I think he has done pretty well in giving most of TT students workable choreography, some of them better some of course worse.
Positive qualities:
- Daniil (and TT as a whole) knows the scoring system and how to work and maximize it to garner the most possible points; he (and TT) have also shown herself super adaptable to changes (such as when the backloading was limited, they simply switched strategy on the spot and the girls were immediately ready for the next season). I know many criticize him (and TT) for designing programs to score points but this puzzle me quite a bit: what should they do other than trying to give their students the best possible chance to garner points, according to the current skating system?
- also, for the most part, Daniil works with the girls all day and clearly knows their strenght and flaws: most programs (not all) he produced were very apt for the skaters and their personalities (Sasha two SP in her junior career; Anna SP and LP last year; Alena SP last year; just to mention some of them). I think being able to work with them on daily basis is a luxury that many other skater-choreographer team do not have and it can result in improving and polishing the program throughout the season.
Negative (or partly negative) qualities:
- Daniil is known for his use of leg kicks across the programs, they are a signature that makes his programs immediately recognizable even if you don't know that he made them. Sometimes they work pretty well for the programs (Maiia SP this year) sometimes they work less well (Kamila SP last year, IMO).
- Daniil is also known for some unispiring programs: I do agree that not all of his programs are as successful and I'm very disappointed when it happens with a skater that I personally root for (Kamila LP this yeas, for example, but there are many other examples). However, I do understand that he creates many programs every year and, as it happens to everybody, some of them results in hits, some of them results in misses and some are viable, not particularly inspiring works. I do not know a choreographer whose entire catalogue I fully liked, even Tom Dickson and Kenjii Miyamoto who I adore have had their share of bad programs.
- Danii recycles among programs (transitions, spins and jumps placements, part of step sequences): sometimes I wish for more variety as well but I do understand that this is not just a creative matter but also a decision to keep the program stable and workable for the skaters and not have them lose their consistency.
- Daniil, IMO, is a better SP choreographer than a LP choreographer (maybe because the program is shorter and there are less elements it is easier to create).

Favourite program among Daniil catalogue so far: Sasha's "Kill Bill" and "Big Spender" SP (yes, I know that many consider the music inappropriate for a young skater but if you don't focus on the source material, the program showed a playful and smiling Sasha; bonus for her "Unstoppable" EX; Anna"s "The Dreamcatcher" and "Perfume" (I also quite liked "The Firebird" LP, that I had the pleasure to see in person at its first outing); Alena's "Angel" SP; Kamila's "Storm" SP; Maiia"s SP this year;
Alina's "Don Quixote" (though Daniil's mom and Eteri also got big credit for this).
Many others I don't particularly like or I strongly dislike but I will only mention one: Kamila's Bolero this year! Please Daniil, just rework the program to give it the crescendo that was always intended for this piece of music, so the entire program will look less frantic and Kamila will be able to jump more comfortably in a slower first half (cue the structure of Carolina Kostner "Bolero).

What are your thoughts? What are your favourite and less favourite Daniil's programs?
Thanks for the well thought-out, fair post. I don't like all of Daniil's programs - although that can be said for any choreographer - but I definitely do appreciate several and can say that he has choreographed some stunning programs. Thanks for taking the time to clearly articulate your points! I found myself agreeing with you even if I'd never taken the time to really consider what I thought about them before.
 

kevinVchicago

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Not everything is a hit, but he's definitely one of the best choreographers working today. So many amazing pieces have been created by him! I absolutely love Shcherbakova's programs from last year -- especially "Perfume." Trusova's "Fifth Element" was pretty amazing and so was Kostornaia's "Leftovers" along with Panenkova's "Ne me quitte pas" and Tsurskaya's "Light of the Seven." All of these programs suited the skaters beautifully. Also, of course, Alina's Olympic programs are perfect and so is Zhenya's "Anna Karenina." I didn't like any of Alina's post-Olympic programs however -- they just didn't suit her.

Brave of you to create this thread considering the heavy anti-Russian bias on this forum. <3
 

kevinVchicago

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 13, 2016
Not everything is a hit, but he's definitely one of the best choreographers working today. So many amazing pieces have been created by him! I absolutely love Shcherbakova's programs from last year -- especially "Perfume." Trusova's "Fifth Element" was pretty amazing and so was Kostornaia's "Leftovers" along with Panenkova's "Ne me quitte pas" and Tsurskaya's "Light of the Seven." All of these programs suited the skaters beautifully. Also, of course, Alina's Olympic programs are perfect and so is Zhenya's "Anna Karenina." I didn't like any of Alina's post-Olympic programs however -- they just didn't suit her.

Brave of you to create this thread considering the heavy anti-Russian bias on this forum. <3
Also, Usachëva's "One Day I'll Fly Away" program is _p e r f e c t_ . I am so sick of anything Moulin Rouge, but this got me.
 

Dogo

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Well, he has hits and misses, like any other good choreographer. And I think that working so closely with Eteri has benefits and negative consequences on his programs.

For instance, "Leftovers" is a program that I very much enjoy, but I can't give him the full credit on this as I see Eteri's great eye on packaging this program for someone like Kostornaia. When I first saw this, I thought that maybe he was able to see how greatly matched this program could be to someone like Alena. But watching how, in other previous instances, he creates a program piece and works hard to make the skater fit into his idea of what the program should look like (like Evgenia's original take on his "Leftovers" or Aliona's training side by side with a VERY engaged Daniil dancing to "Lovely"), makes me think he sometimes delivers more self-centered pieces with little care of whether they are inspired by the qualities of a skater or not. A current example for this is Daria' Romeo & Juliet program, where she clearly was musically disconnected and probably both Eteri and Daniil had to work hard to drill this image on her. Eteri works hard to not let a program fail and you can tell, she brings out all of this nuanced movements details in Daria to project the image of a sorrowful Juliet. And Daria does a tremendous job hitting most of the music now, but even with Eteri's great eye for packaging I would say that the skater still lacks some sort of "full engagement" with this music. And that's where one can feel that this was not prepared "with her in mind", but "for her to accomplish". Same with Kostornaia's "Letfovers", where the skater did a heck of a job mastering the piece plus Eteri immensely assisted the music with great packaging. Another example, Alina's Black swan which was done "for her to deliver" compared to Alina's Me Voy which was done "with her in mind". All in all, I'm happy to see great programs created by him, more so if he takes out the leg kicks, and let's the programs breath in a bit between that many transitions. But it is hard to create good pieces when working with Eteri demands producing an increased amount of programs and, understandably so, the need of recycle portions here and there.
 
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lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
I loved

Trusova’s 5th element and Drakarys
Valieva’s Girl on the Ball
Usacheva’s Je Suis Malade
Tscherbakova’s Perfume
Zagitova’s Don Quixote

I particularly dislike:

Valieva’s Bolero
Usacheva’s Moulen Rouge
Samsonov’s SP last year
 

lesnar001

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
I loved

Trusova’s 5th element and Drakarys
Valieva’s Girl on the Ball
Usacheva’s Je Suis Malade
Tscherbakova’s Perfume
Zagitova’s Don Quixote

I particularly dislike:

Valieva’s Bolero
Usacheva’s Moulen Rouge
Samsonov’s SP last year
I thought that Eteri choreographed Don Quixote?
I would say Black Swan was a masterpiece - especially the use of the "Moonlight" music in the middle of the program.
 

lappo

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
I thought that Eteri choreographed Don Quixote?
I would say Black Swan was a masterpiece - especially the use of the "Moonlight" music in the middle of the program.
I think she did the most of it, even though Daniil is credited as co-choreographer somewhere. This is an old interview with Daniil and the translation I made with Google seems to say that Eteri did Don Quixote and Daniil did Black Swan: https://www.sports.ru/tribuna/blogs/allresp/2551370.html?sl=1
Here is the part, if some Russian speaker could confirm it would be amazing: Но по-настоящему Глейхенгауз раскрылся, конечно, в олимпийский сезон – одновременно с Алиной Загитовой. Если постановкой «Дона Кихота», сохраненного из юниорского сезона, руководила еще Тутберидзе, то короткую для Пхенчхана-2018 собирал уже Глейхенгауз – того самого «Черного лебедя», отвергнутого Липницкой.
However, Alina also credited a lot Ludmila Shalashova (Daniil's mom) for helping her with her movements in both her Olympic programs.
 

lappo

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Not everything is a hit, but he's definitely one of the best choreographers working today. So many amazing pieces have been created by him! I absolutely love Shcherbakova's programs from last year -- especially "Perfume." Trusova's "Fifth Element" was pretty amazing and so was Kostornaia's "Leftovers" along with Panenkova's "Ne me quitte pas" and Tsurskaya's "Light of the Seven." All of these programs suited the skaters beautifully. Also, of course, Alina's Olympic programs are perfect and so is Zhenya's "Anna Karenina." I didn't like any of Alina's post-Olympic programs however -- they just didn't suit her.

Brave of you to create this thread considering the heavy anti-Russian bias on this forum. <3
Well, I can't speak for other members but I love the Russian ladies...I mean, what's not to love?
 

Supernovaimplosion

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
One thing: He's really good at hitting the "on music" GOE bullet for jumps.
One thing that bothered me about Alina's POTO is that she often missed the "glass breaking" choreography. Like, if you're going to have that in there, you have to hit it! :laugh:

I think that Alina's Swan Lake is a really good program. Its interesting, because much of the music is actually from Moonlight, but it went together so well and was so innovative and unexpected. And Alina performed it so well. I like most of his SP's :shrug:

Every choreographer has bad programs. Shae Lynn won best choreographer but she has some bad programs this year
 

Dogo

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Brave of you to create this thread considering the heavy anti-Russian bias on this forum. <3
I fully agree with lappo on this! 🙂

What's there to not love the Russian skaters? Many of the Russian ladies have won our hearts with breathtaking performances. Supporting great skaters (who happen to be Russian) exhilarating jumps, and amazing performances travels across countries and goes beyond nationalities 😊

Now, talking about schools, training approaches, and the bureaucracy behind it it's a whole other animal of a discussion... And I find that people get triggered when talking about a few Russian coaches that, if they are critiqued in -any- way, somehow this is anti-Russian sentiment(???) 😐 Which is far from the truth.
 
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yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
One thing that bothered me about Alina's POTO is that she often missed the "glass breaking" choreography. Like, if you're going to have that in there, you have to hit it! :laugh:

I think that Alina's Swan Lake is a really good program. Its interesting, because much of the music is actually from Moonlight, but it went together so well and was so innovative and unexpected. And Alina performed it so well. I like most of his SP's :shrug:

Every choreographer has bad programs. Shae Lynn won best choreographer but she has some bad programs this year
Well, i talked about jumps. The placement of her 3F was good and when she wasn't late on the music it was a wow moment.
 
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