Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Evan Lyscacek's "Augustana" by Boston

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's "Stay" by Rihanna

I have ardently loved the song, "Stay" by Rihanna, since I first heard it a couple of months ago. This evening, I was delighted to discover an exquisite exhibition piece to "Stay" by the enchanting Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, reigning Olympic Champions from Canada. They are divine. J'adore!

Best Contemporary Music Ice Dance Exhibitions: Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto's "Falling Slowly," Meryl Davis and Charlie White's "Someone Like You" by Adele, and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's "Stay" by Rihanna

Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto's "Falling Slowly" from the film "Once":

Meryl Davis and Charlie White's "Someone Like You" by Adele:

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's "Stay" by Rihanna:

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's 2011 Rhumba Freedance


Wednesday Inspiration: Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko's 1992 Olympic Freeskate


Ode to Miss Saigon #3: Paul Wylie's "Why God Why?"

Paul Wylie is a master of his art.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday Inspiration: Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy's "Pina" from the 2012 World Championships

The gold-standard.

Ode to Miss Saigon #2: Nancy Kerrigan's "I'd Give My Life For You" by Lea Salonga

I just watched this program for the first time a few minutes ago. Though Nancy has a little slip-up on a spin at the very end, this program is one of the strongest I've ever seen her do. Her jumps are strong and her artistry sophisticated and regal, as always. Lovely job, Nancy!

Ode to Les Miserables #4: Jeremy Abbott's "Bring Him Home" from the 2012-2013 Season

Jeremy's program is not without flaw, but even so, one can appreciate the quality of skating. This program is a gem. Thank you, Jeremy, for not just giving us skating, but art.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ode to Miss Saigon #1: Yu-na Kim's "Miss Saigon" Soundtrack Freeskate from the 2007-08 Season

Listening to the glorious music of Les Miserables (which inspired me to begin posting "Ode to Les Mis" posts) has led me to links of the great and beautiful Lea Salonga. Salonga performed in Les Mis on Broadway and turns up in most of my Les Mis You Tube searches; however, she is best known for her work in Miss Saigon. Click HERE to hear a clip of Salonga performing "I Still Believe" from Miss Saigon.

The music from Miss Saigon is comprable to hte brilliance of Les Mis, in my opinion. There have been many fine skating performances to the music over the years. While I'm "ode-ing" to Les Mis, I'm going to start an ode to Miss Saigon, too!

For the first post, I'm featuring Yu-na Kim's 2007-2008 freeskate performance to the "Miss Saigon" soundtrack. The music is perfect for Yu-na, from a cultural standpoint, but also it gave her a lovely artistic vehicle. The whole package suited her and it's one of my favorite programs of hers. This particular performance from the 2007 Grand Prix final is flawless!


Ode to Les Miserables #3: Todd Eldredge's "Les Miserables" Short Program from the 1998 Winter Olympics

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ode to Les Miserables #2: Kurt Browning's "Bring Him Home"

Kurt Browning Skated to "Bring Him Home" at the 2000 Holiday Festival on Ice. Enjoy!

Ode to Les Miserables #1: Michelle Kwan's "On My Own"

I finally saw the Hollywood version of Les Miserables this past week. What a beautiful film! Not to take anything away from the film, but some of the musical renditions aren't quite as magnificent as some of the ones I've heard from the Broadway version of the musical, notably Alfie Boe's "Bring Him Home" ( though Anne Hathaway's turn as Fantine and her song "I Dreamed a Dream" are phenomenal!) Still, the movie does a fantastic job of bringing the epic story to a whole new generation of viewers. Les Mis is again at the forefront of people's minds, and thank goodness because the story and music and simply first-rate! In honor of the beauty of Les Mis, I'm going to do a series of posts of skating performances done to its music.

Enjoy Michelle Kwan's "On My Own," skated during the 1997/1998 Olympic season as her exhibition number:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May Inspirations: Some of my Favorites

Meryl Davis and Charlie White's "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss at the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships:

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy's "Out of Africa" by John Barry at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships:

Quing Pang and Jian Tong's "Impossible Dream" by J. Hisaishi at the 2010 Winter Olympics:

Ilia Kulik's "Revolutions" from the 1998 Winter Olympics:

Surya Bonaly's 1994 Olympic Short Program:

Pure Magic: Yu-Na Kim's "Les Miserables" Freeskate at the 2013 World Championships

At this year's World Championships in London, Ontario, reigning Olympic Champion Yu-Na Kim gave the world one of the most magical skating performances in the last decade. Yu-Na's freeskate confirmed that the reigning Queen of skating is back and ready to defend her Olympic title next year in Sochi. Game on.

Enjoy Yu-Na's "Les Miserables" :

A Revelation: Denis Ten's 2013 World Championship Performances

Nineteen-year-old Denis Ten of Kazakhstan stunned the world when he threw down two incredible performances at this year's World Championships in London, Ontario. Ten first burst onto the scene and turned heads at the 2009 Worlds in Los Angeles, but since then has not lived up to his competitive potential. At Worlds, Ten proved that he is a force to be reckoned with as the Sochi Olympics loom.

Ten's two performances were not without flaw, but quite close. What's more, Ten's effervescence radiated throughout the arena. Patrick Chan, the winner of the event, had several major errors and still skated away with the title, causing many to question the reliability of the scoring system. However, regardless of what scoring system is used, the 6.0 system of old or the IJS system of the last decade, there have always been controversial wins. Skating is both sport and art, after all, and how can art be judged objectively?

In this case, Chan had a supreme short program and has the most experience and finesse, on paper, but Ten, though more inexperienced and a bit rough around the edges, stole the show and the hearts of the audience members. Gold medal or not, he created the most excitement at the championship and had the time of his life. I found myself clapping by the end of the freeskate. Sometimes the process is more important than the result. For Ten, his silver medal is as good as gold. For Chan, one has to wonder if his third world title-- and second very controversial World Championship win-- is not as sweet as an undisputed championship title.

Let's join in the Denis Ten discussion. New star of the future? What do you think of his skating? A contender in the upcoming Olympic season? Let's discuss!