Lots of figure skating 1/10/04
Posted 14 January 2004 - 10:20 AM
One more comment about Cohen before leaving that topic alone for awhile . I think that when she rose to the senior competition level, her nerves increased proportionately. I remember seeing her skate while she was still a junior. She had a quiet calm about her back then. It may be possible it was simply a very good day for her, but I remember thinking that she had the whole package - with musicality galore - and I looked forward to seeing her skate at the senior level.
Soon afterwards she incurred the stress fracture in her back and was out of skating for many months. I haven't yet seen her skate with the same aura as at that earlier junior competition. I do wonder, once a skater has reached 19, if it will ever be possible for them to permanently break that mold of blowing big competitions (Todd Eldridge, another favorite who broke my heart regularly, comes to mind). But I can hope.
I agree about Kurt Browning's musicality and overall superior technique. I've always felt so sorry for him that his back was never healthy when Olympics rolled around.
So many skaters with musicality: Janet Lynn, an all-time favorite. Robin Cousins. The late John Curry whom I still miss. The "two Brians" - Boitano and Orser. Elizabeth Manley. The very lovely Chinese skater, Lu Chen.
Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:45 AM
Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:29 PM
Yes, it can be learned and Paul Wylie proved it! :grinning:
I do wonder, once a skater has reached 19, if it will ever be possible for them to permanently break that mold of blowing big competitions
Don't forget to add Yuka Sato to the listen of musical skaters...
Posted 14 January 2004 - 01:19 PM
Posted 14 January 2004 - 02:07 PM
True, Cabriole, but in general the men mature later than the women. In times gone by before the rules about amateurs earning money changed, most top women skaters retired from competition after one, or sometimes two, Olympic cycles -- usually between age 19 or 21 at the outside. So I don't blame Cohen if she is feeling some pressure at this point. (In re Wylie, although he didn't make the horrid mistakes he was often prone to, his Olympic program was far from perfect, contrary to legend.)
I would love to see Arakawa pull it together. There's a lady with a lot going for her -- beautiful edging and a powerful, airy jump, and I really like her program this year.
Posted 14 January 2004 - 02:56 PM
Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:03 PM
I'm rooting for Suguri and Arakawa. Arakawa's Turandot program is exquisite. And what a lovely girl she is. :yes:
Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:21 PM
Another gorgeous, musical skater was Tiffany Chin, who, it seems, did not like the competitive arena. I hope she's able to convey some of her special qualities to those she now coaches, specifically the engaging Beatrisa Liang.
On the pro circuit, I'm a little amused by the two new husband-wife pairs teams. Former half-pair Jason Dungjen has made another half of Yuka, and former half-pair Ekaterina Gordeyeva has made her complement of husband Ilya Kulik. I'm impressed by how quickly Yuka and Ilya have mastered their new skills and become real assets to the specialty. (Kulik -- there's another very musical skater.)
Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:49 PM
I just found an old skating magazine that featured Naomi as the new star of the ice and a hopeful for the Olympics...way back when.
Posted 14 January 2004 - 06:16 PM
Posted 14 January 2004 - 06:27 PM
She also has those 'cat feet' that allow her to land everything, even if tilted in the air.
I have admired Kulik since he went pro for taking chances with choreography. Sometimes those risks have resulted in falls and flubs, but I have to take my hat off to him for stretching himself in this regard. This is the kind of thing I want to pay my money to watch.
Another musical skater I loved watching, especially when Browning used her in his specials, is Josee Chouinard. A very magical presence.
And about Browning -- not only did he fare badly at the Olympics, but he went through a real soul-searching process as he went pro. Does anyone remember the following year during a competition when he completely forgot his program and had to skate over to the judges and apologize before he left the ice? I think he opened his heart up so much to the audience at large and took in all that strength. That's why the public loves him so.
I heard something interesting some years ago when he first introduced his 'clown' program. One of the commentators said that the Russian coaches had their proteges gathered around, watching the monitor very closely -- that this was the kind of artistry they appreciated, perhaps even more than Western audiences did at that point.
Posted 14 January 2004 - 10:19 PM
I can't imagine that any skater much likes the competitive arena, with its blatant improprieties and often glaringly unfair results. it is a matter of necessity if they want to skate professionally. no medals, no solo career. appalling, isn't it?
the loveliest thing I recall seeing Yuka Sato do was a program for a professional competition several years ago-- a song called "Hatful of Stars". beautiful song, exquisitely sad, nostalgic skating. it was memorable.
Posted 15 January 2004 - 10:36 AM
Posted 15 January 2004 - 06:52 PM
And yes, I think Gordeeva is a talented "modern dancer" in her solo career on the ice. Very interesting to watch. It would be really something if something could be choreographed for her, her daughter, and Kulik, all together.
Posted 16 January 2004 - 03:14 AM
One thing I appreciate about his performances is that he treated them as performances. I get tired of skaters who do supposedly artistic programs and then either pat themselves on the back or look chagrined, the instant the music stops. Wylie presented himself like a professional performer, no matter how his program went.
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