Monday, November 29, 2010

This and That


Just when I was starting to wonder WTF was up with Yuna Kim, AT Sports released her music information today.  They ignored Orser's earlier revelation that Arirang is her long program and acted like it is still news.  While I can't wait for the Olympic Champion to express that beautiful folk song, I am rather surprised to learn that she will skate to Giselle for her short program.  I also thought line and toe point were hallmarks of a traditional ballet.  Perhaps she is finally correcting her flexed feet...as they will stick out.  The Koreans may like anything she does, but the rest of us are another story.

Team Kim made such a BFD last spring about her wanting to do something Latin or a Tango (even though she skated to Tango de Roxanne for two seasons.)  While Yu-Na was reportedly working with Shae-Lynn Bourne on a short program, both of her competitive programs were indeed done by David Wilson.

It is also curious that AT Sports continues to plan her return to competition at the 2011 World Championships.  One would think she'd want to get the jitters and the level evaluation out of the way at Four Continents, but they insist that she'll return to competition at worlds.  One would think that she must be planning on being in unreal shape the likes of 2009 TEB after this self-imposes hiatus.  If she loses Worlds, the decision not to return at Four Continents will be criticized by everyone in skating and the media.

Yu-Na working with her gays, old and new, on the new programs.

Arirang may very well become the signature Olympic long program we all wish she had.

As for my advice for Giselle, to quote the great Dick Button "point that foot, my dear."




Anastasia Sidorova won the All-Around, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise at Top Gym.  Ironically, her weakness on Uneven Bars could benefit her...as she is much stronger on the other events and Mother Russia possesses an enormity of riches on the asymmetric bars.

Nastia Liukin will be on the Biggest Loser tomorrow.  No, I'm not make a joke about her being a little round for a competitive gymnast.  Nastia will be helping out the contestants and working to stay relevant.


At 10 PM, I'm flipping over to CBS to catch Dave Durante, Sasha Artemev, Wes Haagensen and Steve McCain shirtless at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.  Frankly, the gymnastics ratings would be much better if they competed like that.

The men from Illinois on PBars at their recent intrasquad.


Paul Ruggeri's near brush with death:

Note: The coaches posted this video on their youtube video as a recruiting method to show parents and gymnasts alike just how up-to-date their training center is.


Oregon State's recent exhibition:



The Boomer Sooners are hosting an intrasquad (open to the public) on Friday at 6:45 PM.

47 comments:

  1. Maybe YNK will be a late-addition entry to 4CC? When's the cutoff for entering?

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  2. I think she is trying to work on details like turn outs and toe points. However, she had bad hip injury so I wouldn't count on her doing crazy turn outs any time soon, but toe point is certainly possible if she commits to it. However, I don't really care to be honest because with our without those stuff i'm sure it will be spectacular than anything we're going to see this season.

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  3. Why isn't the freeskate she performed at the Olympics considered a signature program?

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  4. Her olympic program was sophisticaed, sensual, modern, and clean, but it didn't have a meaning like this one.

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  5. You should know better about ballet. I heard many great ballerinas around me praised Yuna as best ballerina on the ice. Why? Yuna has all the best qualities as a ballerina - amazing musicality, beautiful movement of arms, fantastic artistry., graceful transition etc. I'm so perplexed when you mention the toe point and try to belittle greatest ballerina on the ice. Toe point is not that important even in Ballet compared with other elements. In skating? It's nonsense talking about it. I believe lots of fans in the world including me enjoy and appreciate Yuna's new ballet performance even though they're not Korean.

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  6. Yuna is beautiful on the ice, but she's not without flaw. She doesn't have great leg line in her spirals, spin positions, etc.

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  7. nitpicking lol we want her to be perfect !!! lol

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  8. @Anonymous @8:20PM
    "Toe point is not that important even in Ballet compared with other elements."

    What kind of ballet have you been watching?

    As for skating, toe points may seem trivial compared to a lot of the other elements but pointing your toes makes a lot of the iconic figure skating moves such as the spiral and the layback spin absolutely gorgeous. I won't deny that Yuna is an absolutely talented skater - she wouldn't have won Olympic gold if she wasn't but you also can't deny that her spirals and laybacks are pretty much on the same level as Miki Ando's, which is to say, they ain't that pretty.

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  9. Toe point is not that important in ballet? It's essential to creating a nice line. Pointing your toes also causes you to engage your muscles differently, which makes it easier to be light on your feet. Your leg is much more likely to become a dead weight if you flex your foot. All of the other qualities ("amazing musicality, beautiful movement of arms, fantastic artistry., graceful transition etc.") matter, but there's a reason that beginning ballet instructors spend so much time yelling at students to turn out from the hips and point their toes.

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  10. I would never say it's on the same level as Miki Andos. Yuna just looks more elegant and clean overall. Also Yuna's layback spin was just exquisite during the Olympic Gala so she is capable of doing better spins.

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  11. Yuna has so many other great qualities that make you forget about her flaws. No one is perfect (altho we want her to be lol) and I have never been bothered too much about her not pointing her toes altho it would have been nice if she did. I'm sure David, Peter, and Yuna will make sure it will be nice ^_^

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  12. It is obvious that Yu Na wants to improve her line and her toe-point. Why else would she be working with the Kween's brother in law at the Kween's rink? I can't wait to see her new programs.

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  13. I am a huge Yuna fan and am very excited about Arirang. I really think it could become her signature program and I hope it does!

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  14. I'm excited for Arirang too. I'm just excited for Yuna.

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  15. How about complaining to the prima ballerina that she doesn't do triple jump like a skater? Yuna is a total package and truly the best skater in the world. She competes in figure skating. It's absurd to nitpick about toepoint which is not imporatant at all compared to lots of significant elements in figure skating. She get highest L4 in spiral as her spiral is so stable and last longer than 6 seconds. I'm not Korean but I always love Yuna's spiral as is aolutely beautiful and joyful to watch.
    May God protect Yuna and bless her all the time!

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  16. Hopefully the reason they chose the ballet in the first place is to show off how much progress she's made in her toe point? ;)

    Either way, Arirang is going to be fantastic. Sounds like David Wilson really poured his heart into choreographing it.

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  17. I live for Anon @ 9:38 claiming not to be Korean with that grammar.

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  18. I just love how the crazy Yu-Na stans have come crawling out of the woodwork after this post, AJ. Made me feel nostalgic for the crack people were high on last season.

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  19. Re: Anonymous November 29, 2010 11:29 PM

    Every sport thrives on major stannings and given the subpar performance of the ladies this season, I welcome some well deserved stanning for once.

    Otherwise what is there to talk about?
    Mao's temporary lapse is a major downer. PChiddy Overscoring get boring quickly. Joubert, Mirai, Rippon fail to deliver. The sport need some major crack and is nice to know we can still get the good stuff Aunt Joyce.

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  20. I respect this decision by YNK team since it's a very brave decision to focus more on artistic side of skating even ISU changed the rule (Asada rule) to promote difficult technical skills. Really look forward to hearing what Ms. Bianchetti would say after YNK's performance is released

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  21. I just wanna watch her new programs!:) I think ppl want a lot of things to her. That is pressure. We just must thank to god to watch her skating. Remind of disaster Ladies at this season.

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  22. Good news. I really respect Yuna's challenge. She always try to show audience her another side. Can't wait!

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  23. Thank God she is working on her feet. I watch Yu na's programs but try not to watch her when she does spirals and some spins. Her feet are not pretty but maybe now I can fully get into her programs If her feet weren't a problem then why would they even focus on that. At least she can see her flaws and not be offended.

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  24. Toe point not that important in ballet? The concept of extension, which applies to the entire body, is the central tenet of ballet. Stretching and pointing your legs and toes, your arms and hands, your spine and posture affects every position of your body. It makes an incredible difference in every other form of dance, and in fact, in every form of body movement. It separates the merely good from the transcendent.

    BTW, I've always wondered if David Wilson and Tracey Wilson are siblings. Google did not answer.

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  25. I've always marveled at Yuna's versatility. Now, I'm so impressed by her challenge and moved by her decision to selelct her native folk music.

    And, yes, it would be pointless and unfair to nitpick Mikhail Baryshnikov's performance, saying that his jumping movements during the ballet are not as good as a quad in figure skating.

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  26. i think they have one dad.... BRIAN WILSON

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  27. @ Anonymous November 29, 2010 10:15 PM

    Since when Korea became the only country in the world that doesn't speak English as first language? Anyways, Skating really needs her right now seriously and her appearance will make the WC 2011 much more interesting. I hope the stretching doesn't affect her jumps tho because all the ladies I know with great flexibility suffer from jump consistency (especially UR). I wish her the best.

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  28. Hahaha...anyway..Kim is the best skater i've ever seen..

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  29. I watched Yu Na's Olympic LP again. Her jumps are the most beautiful of any lady skater in the history of the sport. I would have to say Midori Ito's are the most powerful, but Yu Na's are a close second. Yu Na also has a very good feel for the music. I see her as a Peggy Fleming-type skater, whose very presence on the ice is artistic and beautiful. That said, Yu Na could be better in terms of her line and overall positions (spin and spiral, especially). Peggy perfected that aspect of her skating, which her look on the ice complemented. It will be very interesting to see how Yu Na does with ballet music. I think Giselle a good choice, because it will allow some personality to show through.

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  30. Giselle as her sp? Isn't that music already over-used?, interesting to see though, tell me if it's only coincident that Mao just happens to be also portraying a Ballerina in her Ballad Ex this season??? Why doing the same as Mao?(*wondering here*)

    Anyway I wish Yu-na will be more flexible enough to interpret a real ballerina, Yuna is very good in showmanship, but honestly not that flexible as a real ballerina. Executing beautiful, spins and spirals are her weakest points obviously. I'm curious how dear David
    ( Wilson again!) would come up with the choreography of that Giselle SP. Maybe both David and Yu-na could watch Mao's Ballad Ex, and maybe Yu-na could even immitate and learn Mao's gorgeous charlotte, fantastic twizzles, and even Mao's lovely reversed ina bauer. :P
    And yes AJ i totally agree with you! pointing her toes would help Yu-na more.... ;-)

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  31. Michelle really outdid Yuna at All That Skate. Both are amazing skaters.

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  32. Anon @ 7:03, Please know what you're talking about before you compare ballet to FS. Ballet "jumps" as you put it, is a native component of the ballet vocabulary. For example in ballet, a Saut de basque done by male dancers is similar to Axel jumps in FS. But ballet has never co-opted movements like jumps from FS. It's the other way around. FS has always looked to dance and ballet for inspirations.

    If a skater chooses to interpret one of ballet's defining ballerina roles like Giselle, then she better not only point those toes but also make sure her arms and port de bras are correct.

    As a former ballet dancer, it always amuses me when a skater is described as being balletic. There are very few that truly are, and most of them aren't known strictly for their jumps but have beautiful Port de bras, intrinsic musicality, and are generally flexible. Often than not, it's usually due to the said skater having a long build. But being built long and having balletic lines are two different entities. Not a Mao fan at all, but I can say Mao has more balletic lines than Yuna, though both don't even hold up to a trained ballet dancer in this area.

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  33. 9:44 AM "As a former ballet dancer, it always amuses me when a skater is described as being balletic."

    I suppose the term is really used loosely, but what skaters do you find truly balletic?
    I just want to know, I'm not trying to call you out:)

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  34. I am not the ballet dancer, but here is a balletic figure skater (because she used to be a ballerina): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8d2ov28Y2A

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  35. @ Anonymous November 30, 2010 8:56 AM

    Why would david and yuna look at Mao's ex when there are so many better examples out there? lol If I want to learn triple lutz i would go to Yuna, not Joannie, even tho both can do it.

    Anyways she just announced the music and now everyone expects her to become a ballerina. Talk about high expectations lol It must be tough to be on the top...

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  36. Yu-Na chose to do a ballet...it is her fault that she has the expectations to live up to.

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  37. correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't scheherazade also a ballet? and uh that was a great success for yuna... even without toe-point or turnout.

    i guess it really depends on how she wants to do it--character/story interpretation, or traditional ballet-style. if she goes with the traditional route... yeah she better be working on those issues. thankfully it looks like she IS working on her leg position during spins @ 1:01 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT0P_Nzdrvg (i also read somewhere that she is working with naomi nari nam on spinning so there is hope!)

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  38. Scheherezade and Giselle are two very different ballets. Giselle is much more pretty pretty with classical lines.

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  39. Its not Yu-na's flexibility that is a problem. She is flexible enough, and the Greeley in her spiral has greatly improved over last year. She has a lovely back in her Ina Bauer and layback. she is also artistic. but she does not move like a ballerina and her flexed feet are a major problem in this area. Yu-na will never be a ballerina on ice, but maybe she can caputure the drama of the story of Giselle as opposed to the dance movement.

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  40. Anon @ 11:32, A truly balletic skater that comes immediate to my mind is Lucinda Ruh. Now THAT is a ballerina on ice! The straight back, the turnout, the unforced flexibility, and those arms! Go check out her YT vids and you'll see what I mean. For the men, I think John Curry is balletic in that he obviously had ballet training, his lines and port de bras were admirable.

    I guess if I had to pick recent skaters, sometimes Sasha Cohen has the potential to be a ballerina on ice, but her positions generally remind me more of rhythmic gymnastics than ballet. They're just too forced and OTT to be balletic and graceful. But if she tones them down she can be amazing I'm sure. As for recent men's skater, another Swiss in addition to Ruh...what is it with those Swiss? Anyways, Stephane Lambiel comes to mind. I'm sure he's had more than a few dance or ballet classes, great upper body carriage and innate musicality.

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  41. I'm a former ballet dancer, and I never cared about ladies' figure skating until I saw Sasha Cohen. Beautiful lines - picture her spiral - no one else comes close. Yuna should look to that as her model.

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  42. Anon @ 8:56 AM

    I think that Yuna's Giselle choice is extention of Thais(last year's EX of Yuna). :)

    Anyway, what do you think of Mao(and Ando)'s sudden immitating Yuna's way of greeting at the end of performances?

    (sorry my poor English.)

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  43. @Anon 8:37 PM

    Who honestly cares? I'd be honored if someone else thought the way I bowed looked nice. It's not copyrighted, and it's not even like they're taking a signature move from her...if they're even doing it consciously at all. The world doesn't revolve around Yuna Kim (only South Korea).

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  44. Anon @ 9:12 PM

    Of course I know that the world does NEVER revolve around Yuna. :)

    Anyway, Mao and Ando's sudden change in the way to bow to audiences is interesting.
    Although the way to bow is not Yuna's unique move, if I were a figure athlete, I would not imitate a rival's way that has been continued for over 10 years.

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  45. I just thank Yuna to come back. This season is too much meh. Sports need The Star like her.

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