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Funny Face

Kristi Yamaguchi (& friends) to Skate

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Just wanted to give a heads up to those who would like to watch some non-competitive figure skating this weekend, and get to see some skaters we haven't seen in awhile.

New mom, Kristi Yamaguchi is presenting "Kristi Yamaguchi's Salute to American Music" this Sunday, at 3:00 p.m. (CST) on network tv. Check your local listings. The program will run two hours and features Kurt Browning, Paul Wylie, Nicole Bobek and Katia Gordeeva. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Wylie again.

(For those interested in watching competition, Cup of China is on earlier in the day, also on network tv).

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Funny Face, thank you for the heads-up. It's always a pleasure to see Yamaguchi -- she was the best woman skater going, amateur or pro, for a long time back when. Wylie was a favorite of mine, too. Can't say the same for Bobek, alas -- last time I saw her on tour she was looking as if she had just come from flagging down cars on Hollywood Boulevard. Even her spiral, probably the best ever, was looking feeble.

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Yes, poor Nicole, so much talent never totally realized. I was amazed that Kristi was skating (including jumps) after giving birth 4 weeks earlier. Kurt Browning was amazingly musical, the best in this regard ever, IMO. And Wylie was wonderful to watch, still so incredibly clean. That was a treat. Gordeeva has a new maturity about her. I only wish that if this was a salute to American music, it had more variety to it. It seemed largely entrenched in the 1980s, like the opening act for Rocky IV's fight, especially that "America" disco-ish number. I'd like to see more sophistication in musical choices -- will the skaters ever acquaint themselves, say, with Philip Glass or Charles Ives, etc.? This range in figure skating needs some stretching, I think.

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Well, the pro shows are not really where you go for classical music choices. The late John Curry, as you probably know, used classical music almost exclusively. It was right for him, but it doesn't fit all skaters. (David Santee used to do a great routine to "Rocky" that suited him very well – the classical stuff didn't look right on him when he joined Curry's show, I thought.) Sorry I missed the show, though.

As for the competitions, I'm ready to declare a moratorium on all "Swan Lake" programs for a minimum of five years......

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As for the competitions, I'm ready to declare a moratorium on all "Swan Lake" programs for a minimum of five years......

We'd have to include "Carmen," "Don Quixote," and "Spartacus," "Concerto de Arunjuez," "Malaguena," and Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" and 2nd Piano Concerto in the moratorium as well. Otherwise, all of the swans will just migrate to that music. With Shen/Zhao joining Petrova/Tikhonov (Short Program '02) using the Act II pas de deux from The Nutcracker, we many need a preemptive ban.

(Off topic, there's a beautiful photo of Yamaguchi and her new daughter Keara in this week's People Magazine.)

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