Lots of figure skating 1/10/04
Posted 11 January 2004 - 04:51 PM
Unfortunately, I missed the men's competition. I don't know when it aired.
Any thoughts on the pairs competition? It may not be fair to say this since this is my first look at them in a long time, but the American pairs do not look like they're in good shape.
Posted 11 January 2004 - 05:30 PM
For a while I even decided I prefered to see skaters use shlockier music, since the music cuts and mediocre arena sound systems don't seem to be as much of a crime against the music when the music isn't that great to begin with. And, to consider the problem a little more seriously, I think skating needs music that doesn't, in effect, overwhelm it artistically. But, of course, one tires of listening to schlocky music! So, I'm always hoping for some kind of balance -- something I find interesting and genuinely supportive of dance and movement, but at the same time something that won't 'compete' with the skating and won't suffer too much from the exigencies of cuts etc. (By the by, I like Michelle Kwan's choice of Peter Gabriel a lot.)
I'm afraid there isn't too much to say about the pairs -- though afterwards Baldwin and Inoue seemed fairly candid in discussing their "bittersweet" victory (one of them described it that way) and he also seemed quite the gentleman in taking responsibility for their problems.
ABC telecast men's and dance (final groups) on Saturday afternoon.
Posted 11 January 2004 - 07:52 PM
Posted 11 January 2004 - 09:01 PM
Posted 11 January 2004 - 09:03 PM
It seemed to me that Robin Wagner has already had an impact on Cohen, getting her to find a calm place before taking her spot. Some of Cohen's edge is attractively blunted, but her dynamism is still at full potency. It will be interesting to see how this teaming continues to influence the overall impression Cohen makes in the future.
Posted 11 January 2004 - 09:17 PM
Cohen shows her intensity with tight lips and an often fierce look in her eyes whereas some other skaters, notably Kwan and lately Kirk, have the ability to put an audience at ease. We see the same thing in ballet. There are some wonderfully talented dancers with technique "to die for" who don't really connect with their audience. Yet none of us would assume that it makes them bad people.
I often LIKE Cohen's intensity. I sometimes love her fierce expressions. Other times, though, I think that it's that very intensity that brings her down. What she shows on her face is also what causes those falls. Such tension evident there. She is SO enormously talented and I've been a most fervent fan of hers since I first saw her skate when she was 15. Nothing would delight me more than to see Sasha Cohen win a string of first place finishes. Much as I love Kwan, it's Cohen I've been rooting for the most these last three plus years.
Posted 11 January 2004 - 09:23 PM
It simply takes a different kind of maturity to understand that longevity and magic like Kwan's has to do with HEART. You cannot fake this. This is not meant to take anything away from Cohen's ability. It simply is what it is. She has not yet connected with her audience. This is what endears a skater such as, say, Steven Cousins (who never placed higher than 5th or 6th at Olympics) to the audience and guarantees a long career.
Remember "Pasha?" Yeah, bet you don't. She was going to be the next Marilyn Monroe (of the ice). Where is she now? Who cares? She may have been the darling of the judges in ice dance, but the audience said "We're not buying it."
I would not venture an opinion as to the personality of most of these skaters. The only one I had a personal relationship with was one of my teachers, a former U.S. pairs champion. It's not my place to comment on the personalities of the rest since I don't know them. What I am opining about is that I sense when young dancers eulogize Cohen and dismiss all others, they are not understanding what other qualities it takes to make a complete performer. In that, I think Cohen shares their naivete.
Posted 11 January 2004 - 09:36 PM
Drew, on Jan 12 2004, 01:30 AM, said:
Posted 11 January 2004 - 10:04 PM
Posted 11 January 2004 - 10:07 PM
Conversely, they don't like Hughes because she's most definitely not of the ballet dancer's mold. Her knees were frequently bent. Her arms and shoulders were often sketchy. That said, I agree that Hughes gave the best performance of the night, and of her life, at the last Olympics but I could never say it was
Posted 11 January 2004 - 11:33 PM
Urmanov fell during his gold medal performance.
Yamaguchi fell during her performance.
Baiul two-footed two landings.
Witt skated for about a minute and a half without doing much of anything during her 4-minute "Carmen" routine.
The list goes on. This is not to detract from any of these skaters. It's just to review some recent Olympic performances and note that I don't recall a performance that was both that technically difficult (two triple triples) and without any major flaws at the same time. There was also an incredible calmness in Hughes' performance that I'd not seen before. I'm all for hoping that some of this quality can be developed in Cohen now. It would be a shame to see that talent not completely realized.
I do maintain there is something I don't understand about younger students not understanding the importance of combining technical ability with ability to reach your audience.
Also, people often tend to fixate on favorites and cannot give credit where credit is due. It's important to keep an open mind and look at each performance on its own merits. I love having skaters surprise me in a positive way.
I think there have been many dance-able skaters along the way. Browing's musicality is, in my opinion, matched by none, no matter what the style. Gary Beacom was an amazing modern dancer on the ice. Ryan Jahnke was fabulous at this competition. Ditto for Ryan Bradley, in his own way. Weiss actually showed a lot more flair at the exhibition -- I'd like to see more of this. Jenny Kirk is really coming into her own with selling her program.
There's a lot of talent out there right now. It seemed for awhile, only a few names were talked about (Goebel, Weiss, etc.). Now there's room for more variation of style, which I think bodes well for the sport.
Posted 12 January 2004 - 02:46 AM
Posted 12 January 2004 - 04:40 AM
In skating you will have to not only do in certain beats, you can take different length in strokes and push off with different force. A small difference in acceleration will sum up to quite big difference in velocity at the end.
If you watch the top teams in synchronized skating, you will notice that they are quite synchronized too, just as in dance. (I am proud to announce that even though Sweden is not a big nation in singles, pairs of ice dancing we are among the top 3 teams in the worldin synchronized skating )
Posted 12 January 2004 - 07:19 AM
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