Toller Cranston

dorispulaski

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Toller Shalitoe Montague Cranston was born in Hamilton, Ontario, April 20, 1949, and died in San Miguel, Mexico on January 24, 2015. Cranston was a Canadian figure skater and painter. He was the six time Canadian figure skating men's champion (1971–1976), the 1974 World bronze medalist, and the 1976 Olympic bronze medalist. Despite never winning at the World Figure Skating Championships, due to his poor compulsory figures, he won the small gold medal for free skating at the 1972 and 1974 World Championships. Cranston is credited by many with having brought a new level of artistry to men's figure skating.

Toller Cranston also created some of the most creative skating television shows ever made, including Strawberry Ice, Dreamweaver, and Magic Planet, and pro ice shows, including The Ice Show.

Toller's official website
https://www.toller-cranston.com

Toller's wikipedia entry
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toller_Cranston


VIDEOS

1997 Charity Ex in Nagano to "The Swan" by St. Saëns
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjsTVpM2EKM

1994 Vail Figure Skating Special - "Toller's Tango"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MH33KkQ-4Q

1992 Canadian SOI "Vienna, City of My Dreams" by Rudolf Sieczyński; performed by Richard Tauber
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-J1Ns-s__4

1989 "Tales From the Vienna Woods" by Ödön von Horváth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vea3ne0UN0

1988-89 "Le Corsaire" by Adolphe Adam
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_286dtRydao

1988 World Pro Artistic Program "They Are Coming to Get You Barbara" from the Night of the Living Dead soundtrack
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9NARUizht0

1985 World Challenge of Champions- I Pagliacci: Act I: Recitar! Mentre preso; "Vesti la giubba;" by Ruggero Leoncavallo, performed by Placido Domingo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4HmdJiceVk

1984 Evening of Championship Skating at Harvard- three numbers. The third is "Graduation Ball" by by Johann Strauss II and arranged by Antal Doráti.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QrhjR1iVvc

1984 World Pro "Waltz Triste" by Jean Sibelius
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWvc2-f6YA0

1983 Professional Figure Skaters Championships "The Firebird" by Igor Stravinsky
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cf_zI9Xo9o

1982 Pro Team competition, "The Firebird" by Igor Stravinsky
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc0gCtyw_Gc

1982 Toller plays Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet on Ice, a TV movie. The music is by Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=032DwlgcNHo

1981 World Pro Artistic Program, "La Rondine" by by Giacomo Puccini
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otH4Ed1IjUQ

1979 Pro Ice Spectacular 79; "Malagueña" by Ernesto Lecuona
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yCZhPGR868

1978 Superskates benefit - Nocturne in D Flat Major by Frédéric Chopin, violinist Leonid Kolgan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2HP14semJ0

1978 Holiday on Ice - montage of his numbers in this show
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tljm1hMVru0

1977 The Loneliness of War -( The Bolt, Op. 27a: IV. Koselkov's Dance with Friends,performed by Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, and "Bound Dream" by Yorghos Hristodoulou, from History of Bouzouki Recordings 1960 - 1965 Volume 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IglCaWXULZs

1976 Worlds LP (partial) - Le Papillon" by Offenbach, "Oneiro demeno" - Instrumental by Stavros Ksarxakos, "Le reveil de Flore" by Drigo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSJAaFl6msY

1976 Olympics Short Program - "Graduation Ball" by by Johann Strauss II and arranged by Antal Doráti.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD5VNcWh79Q
1976 Olympic Free Skate - "Le Papillon" by Offenbach, "Oneiro demeno" - Instrumental by Stavros Ksarxakos, "Le reveil de Flore" by Drigo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs1pctlpfi0

1975 Moscow News EX - I Pagliacci: Act I: Recitar! Mentre preso; "Vesti la giubba;" by Ruggero Leoncavallo, performed by Placido Domigo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AGzo1lrl4M

1975 Skate Canada SP "Graduation Ball" by Johann Strauss II and arranged by Antal Doráti.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGDW0yNQDiY

1975 Worlds SP: "Sabre Dance" by Aram Khachaturian
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M83RfwpaOaA
1975 Worlds LP: Cinderella ballet by Sergei Prokofiev
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCF7zBOlIkg

1974 Worlds SP and LP
SP: "Sabre Dance" by Aram Khachaturian
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7AZboQ0R08
1974 Worlds LP - "Le Papillon" by Offenbach, "Oneiro demeno" - Instrumental by Stavros Ksarxakos, "Le reveil de Flore" by Drigo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9J4EJVoe-w
1974 Worlds EX
Toller is the bronze medalist, but he is called for not just his Ex, but TWO encores:

Satschem nje tebla polubil by Ivan Rebroff
And
I Pagliacci: Act I: Recitar! Mentre preso; "Vesti la giubba;" by Ruggero Leoncavallo, performed by Placido Domigo
And
"Bound Dream" by Yorghos Hristodoulou, from History of Bouzouki Recordings 1960 - 1965 Volume 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYjmVYFCihg

1973 Skate Canada SP Polovtsian Dances by Alexandef Borodin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w9hi2AdP0Y

1973 Worlds EX
I Pagliacci: Act I: Recitar! Mentre preso; "Vesti la giubba;" by Ruggero Leoncavallo, performed by Placido Domigo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvP0m7AOC3w

1971 Canadians LP (His first championship) - "Hungarian Rhapsodies"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC7fizOwrDI

Toller in the 1960's (fancam)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2RvKaC_SPM

SHOWS

The whole Strawberry Ice Show
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbnfL0CKdM

The whole of The Ice Show
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgt9hd6ZfqY

Magic Planet Part 2 (Toller arrives)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2o1tl2ji9E

Toller Cranston Video Compilation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTEnJf4x4rE

Whole Toller Tribute Show
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRilAGEzY8

INTERVIEWS, DOCUMENTARIES

Ellen Burka, his coach, is interviewed about Toller
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOs7v-_oOl8

Interview with Edmonton TV
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLzzxkRE9XM

2007 Full Documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URKahEXUdsU

2006 Toller Cranston, Best on Ice Part One
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NyCTKltCe0

A Week With Toller in San Miguel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGN2cNeXdG8



COMPETITIVE RESULTS




Books by Toller

Zero Tollerance : An Intimate Memoir by the Man Who Revolutionized Figure Skating
https://www.amazon.com/Zero-Tollera...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-1

When Hell Freezes Over: Should I Bring My Skates?
https://www.amazon.com/When-Hell-Fr...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Ice Cream: Thirty of the Most Interesting Skaters in History
https://www.amazon.com/Ice-Cream-In...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-5

Toller by Elva Oglanby and Toller Cranston (a coffee table picture book)
https://www.amazon.com/Toller-Elva-...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-7

A Ram on the Rampage (a book for children)
https://www.amazon.com/Ram-Rampage-...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-4

THE TOLLER CRANSTON COLLECTION 2008 (THE AUTHORS PUBLISHED BOOK OF HIS DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS.)
https://www.amazon.com/TOLLER-CRANS...ller+cranston&qid=1557211261&s=gateway&sr=8-8


Toller's TV Commentator, Coach, and Choreographer Careers

Toller, coached Christopher Bowman after Frank Carroll gave up on him, and did choreo and costume design for Chen Lu one season, 1994-1995. This site discusses his choreo for her at length.
https://morozombie.blogspot.com/2012/03/chen-cranston-genius.html


Chen Lu 1991 Worlds SP Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1:
https://youtu.be/B1i0T3GA720


Chen Lu 1991 Worlds FS The Last Emperor
https://youtu.be/ARd8UsQj_Ag


Toller produced choreography for Canadian ice dance champions Jacqueline Petr and Mark Janoschek. Here is their World debut fd to of all things, Peewee's Big AdventureAdventure, choreographed by Toller.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRgLOWLrJGE&app=desktop


After the Bowman debacle, Toller moved to San Miguel Mexico, which precluded further coaching activities

Here Toller is interviewed as is Christopher, followed by Christopher's LP.
Chris Bowman 1991 Worlds LP
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNg7yvh4Rfo&app=desktop

I really enjoyed Toller's commentary for Canadian TV back in the day. CTV fired him for giving truthful commentary, which CTV said was negative to Canadian skaters. Toller sued and won. The story is in his book Zero Tollereance.

And here you can see how Toller got himself in trouble with CTV. He is commenting on Chris Bowman's programs at 1990 Worlds.

The SP. Toller talks about his personal view of SP choreography, revealing because Toller was consistently at his best in Short Programs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf_NkIRbyJ0

The LP
This is the event after which Frank Carroll fired Chris.
You can see it all in their Kiss and Cry Interaction.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTPytY3CIms

CTV thought Toller was way too positive about Chris here. Toller got fired, but also I think he felt a kinship with Chris, and took him on. Big mistake. Huge.

.
 
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dorispulaski

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I will try to make this more complete later.
 

milkgirl

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Thank you for this thread. Toller was not only a fantastic skater, he was a great personality too. I remember very well that he said only good words about the skaters when he was asked about possible successors. He always began his answers with:" I would write fan letters to... " and then followed his favourites. This is not common with all skaters and made him lovable.
 

el henry

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I adore Toller, but I never really thought of him as loveable; however, if he said it, I’ll take it :thumbsup:

Just so wonderful having all the programs in one place. :clap:I had forgotten :shocked: about Polovtsian dances, Toller style, just magnificent. And of course the Sabre dance.

I think I appreciated Toller more in those competitive SPs, where the magic he could bring to prescribed moves was :luv17:
 

dorispulaski

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He also wrote a number of books, some very amusing, coached Christopher Bowman after Frank gave up on him, and did choreo and costume design for Chen Lu one season, 1994-1995. This site discusses his choreo for her at length.
https://morozombie.blogspot.com/2012/03/chen-cranston-genius.html

Chen Lu 1991 Worlds SP Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1:
https://youtu.be/B1i0T3GA720

Chen Lu 1991 Worlds FS The Last Emperor
https://youtu.be/ARd8UsQj_Ag

and for Canadian ice dance champions Jacqueline Petr and Mark Janoschek. Here is their World debut fd to of all things, Peewee's Big Adventure.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRgLOWLrJGE&app=desktop

Another Toller fan:
http://www.frogsonice.com/skateweb/articles/toller.shtml


After the Bowman debacle, (Toller is interviewed as is Christopher)
Chris Bowman 1991 Worlds LP
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNg7yvh4Rfo&app=desktop


he moved to San Miguel Mexico, which precluded coaching activities.

I really enjoyed his commentary for Canadian TV back in the day. CTV fired him for giving truthful commentary, which CTV said was negative to Canadian skaters. Toller sued and won. The story is in his book Zero Tollereance.

I need to add more detail about his art career, and his books.
 
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dorispulaski

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Books by Toller

Zero Tollerance : An Intimate Memoir by the Man Who Revolutionized Figure Skating
https://www.amazon.com/Zero-Tollera...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-1

When Hell Freezes Over: Should I Bring My Skates?
https://www.amazon.com/When-Hell-Fr...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Ice Cream: Thirty of the Most Interesting Skaters in History
https://www.amazon.com/Ice-Cream-In...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-5

Toller by Elva Oglanby and Toller Cranston (a coffee table picture book)
https://www.amazon.com/Toller-Elva-...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-7

A Ram on the Rampage (a book for children)
https://www.amazon.com/Ram-Rampage-...ller+cranston&qid=1557210872&s=gateway&sr=8-4

THE TOLLER CRANSTON COLLECTION 2008 (THE AUTHOR'S PUBLISHED BOOK OF HIS DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS.)
https://www.amazon.com/TOLLER-CRANS...ller+cranston&qid=1557211261&s=gateway&sr=8-8
 
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dorispulaski

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I adore Toller, but I never really thought of him as loveable; however, if he said it, I’ll take it :thumbsup:

Just so wonderful having all the programs in one place. :clap:I had forgotten :shocked: about Polovtsian dances, Toller style, just magnificent. And of course the Sabre dance.

I think I appreciated Toller more in those competitive SPs, where the magic he could bring to prescribed moves was :luv17:
I agree. Toller's SPs have aged particularly well!
 

el henry

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A number of retrospective gallery shows and other events have benn held since Toller passed away.

https://www.toller-cranston.com/news/

Very interesting website; thanks.

And I love this quote from the Press Release establishing the Toller Cranston Memorial Fund:

"The six-time Canadian champion (1971-1976), 1974 world and 1976 Olympic bronze medallist is best remembered for his avant-garde figure skating style that transformed perfunctory, albeit athletic, men’s figure skating into a performance art form.

Debbi Wilkes, the 1964 Olympic silver pair medallist and former figure skating analyst and author sums up Cranston’s impact this way: 'Toller’s skating was wildly colourful and dramatic, introspective, controversial, daring and bold. He was a game changer, believing that the expression of his inner self was the only way he could perform. He never took on another role in skating – the only one he ever chose was to be Toller – and his courage and vision changed the sport forever.' "

:agree:
 

dorispulaski

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I was able to find better links and more data for many of Toller's competitions, so I have updated the tables.

Sad to say, Skate Canada thought it was only worth saving the names of the top three finishers in events, so we do not have data from Toller's early senior career at Canadian Nationals, before he first medalled.

Perhaps there may be something in his books about those years?
 

dorispulaski

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And here you can see how Toller got himself in trouble with CTV. He is commenting on Chris Bowman's programs at 1990 Worlds.

The SP. Toller talks about his personal view of SP choreography, revealing because Toller was consistently at his best in Short Programs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf_NkIRbyJ0

The LP
This is the event after which Frank Carroll fired Chris.
You can see it all in their Kiss and Cry Interaction.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTPytY3CIms

CTV thought Toller was way too positive about Chris here. Toller got fired, but also I think he felt a kinship with Chris, and took him on.

Big mistake. Huge.

.
 
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el henry

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I haven’t had a chance to look at the links yet, but I had no idea Toller was fired over commentary on Christopher Bowman.:eeking:

Christopher was such a talent, but with problems no mere coach could fix. :(
 

dorispulaski

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It was not just Chris...but Chris was part of it.
 

dorispulaski

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I have filled in as many of his music titles as I could figure out. Any help with remaining titles would be greatly appreciated.
 
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LadyB

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dorispulaski, you are a star! Thanks for that thread :pray:

Toller was the most exciting skater I have ever seen and he had definitely tons of personality. I love him because he was outspoken, not necessarily always in the right, but he stuck to his guns. A man after my own taste. Provocative, challenging, but I think when he liked someone, he would pull all the stops out and move the earth for them. To me, the Greatest ever :luv17:
 

dorispulaski

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el henry

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I loved that commentary .... and I loved Rudy and Kristi too!

Too much love all around:love:
 

el henry

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el henry

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Scott Hamilton interviewed Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson, and they talked for about ten minutes about Toller! (starting at around 18:00)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTdgu5B032I

Brian: if there are young skaters who don't know Toller, go look him up on YouTube:agree:

Tracy: Toller couldn't help but be Toller:biggrin:

And Scott telling a story about Toller at Canadian Nats, feeling discouraged before the LP, and hearing the introduction, "now, the one and only Toller Cranston" and going out on the ice and laying it down.

Good to hear:)
 
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