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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Iconic Programmes I Wish No Skater Would Touch Again

Well, not shockingly, Brian announced that he will change his LP. While I firmly believe that he should not be playing any COP games at this stage of his career in order to score higher PCS (which won't happen anyway with more complex programmes) and that he should skate with a music he feels comfortable with, I still reckon there are some programmes you shouldn't be associated with in any way. Those are the programmes that stand the Bolero Test and the music is almost always associated with the said skater(s). I don't believe there are any statue of limitation on re-using these programmes and the replicas are almost always doomed to fail. However, as with everything else in life, there are sometimes nice exceptions to the rule.
Although it is impossible to have full consensus on such matters, I believe the following are some of those iconic programmes that should never be attempted by any skaters thereafter.

Yagudin - Winter & Gladiator

 Could it be the best male SP pre-COP?

I find the gala version even more dramatic and captivating

I think no top level skater will ever be foolish to re-use Winter competitively, as it is what made Yagudin the darling of millions but we have seen Gladiator attempted a few times before Brian. Maybe Gladiator is not as iconic as Winter, but whenever I hear the music, the only thing that comes to my mind is Yagudin and his feathers in the gala programme, which was even more captivating than the LP.

Torvill & Dean - Bolero
The best death on ice

Rose said it best in her post. Nothing to add further. I am also very saddened to see two boleros this season alone by the top teams. I don't know where Ingo's head is at but Bolero can never work outside dance. It has a very specific rhythm and the feel that can only be interpreted if you're fully committed to it (as in dance). Yes, I did not think Kostner's attempt is successful either (although only seen it once).

Yuna Kim - Tango de Roxanne


I think a lot of fans would actually suggest other YNK programmes in this context but for me Roxanne is Yuna, Yuna as Roxanne is at her best artistically. I remember Frederic Dambier used this music before, as did Plushenko but it was nothing compared to YNK. Hands off from Roxanne!

Oksana Baiul - Black Swan

Perfect Costume, Perfect Interpretation

I blame Darren Aronofsky and his beautiful movie for the recent explosion of Swan programmes. We have literally been swamped. Do we really need a new Black Swan, when Baiul reached perfection two decades earlier?

G&G - Moonlight Sonata
Their skating was as haunting as the music

I am not a big Beethoven fan but since I was 5, I am a huge fan of Moonlight Sonata. It is the first classical piece I learned to play on the piano. In fact it is the reason I am learning to play the piano. For this reason alone, I don't want any skater/team to attempt this music because doing justice to it is very very difficult. I can't put it into words how G&G achieved it in their LP but this is exactly how this music should have been handled. It is also an iconic moment, as this was their comeback after a long break and they were as captivating as before, if not more. I still remember Cohen's attempt at the Moonlight in 2010 Nationals. Although I love her, this programme was the undoing of her comeback. Nope, Moonlight Sonata shouldn't be touched again. Yes, even the modern versions as Plushenko tried in his 2005 SP.

Lambiel - Poeta

J'adore and J'adore some more

Poeta is the benchmark for all COP programmes. Poeta didn't really need decades to show it stood the test of time. Poeta is hailed as one of the best LPs in COP era by many fans. Also incidentally, Poeta was the programme that finally did the trick in converting my so far uninterested boyfriend into a skating enthusiast (I caught him watching Poeta on repeat, before he eventually "came out" as skating fan). That's how powerful Poeta is, even to the untrained eye. These reasons alone should be enough discourage skaters from attempting it. 
But Mr Morozov is relentless. He doesn't care much for such sentimentality. At least, he should have cared that Poeta is flamenco and hence very difficult to interpret. I think we have already witnessed the doom of Poeta replicas in this season so far.

A&P - Carmina Burana
Fierce couple, fierce interpretation

Carmina Burana was a great vehicle for A&P in order to finally gain that world title. It was an intense, passionate dance, perfectly highlighting the marvellous music. Incidentally, the choreographers also happened to be Christopher Dean. Oh la la!

However, as I said in the beginning of the post, there are always exceptions to the rule. One perfect examples that comes to mind is Prelude to an Afternoon of a Fawn. After Janet Lynn made it eternal four decades ago, Kostner successfully reinterpreted the music in 2010/2011 season. Enjoy..

1 comment:

  1. I didn't include Poeta in my post because
    Stephane never gave a really clean performance with it. But I think that actually speaks to how memorable the program and his performance of it are, because we tend to remember flawless performances, or close to flawless, at least - and he didn't even need to do that. The program is that good.

    Someone once told me that if Stephane had skated it near 100%, it would have broken the scoring system, or something like that; certainly it would have been almost impossible to eclipse had that been the case. It still annoys me when boring paint by number programs/performances get better PCS than he did. And it annoys me almost as much to see mediocre takes on Poeta by other skaters.