Saturday, August 13, 2011

Homage to Korea



Yu-Na Kim redeemed herself a tad with her performance of Homage to Korea at this year's All Skate Summer.  I must say, I'm not as interested in her Kwanless productions, but I do admire her continued contribution to professional skating.  It is important to note that I was so disgusted by this year's ladies final at Worlds that I took my hiatus without wasting any time on a review.  In short, it was disgusting and the outcome was most unfortunate.  Yu-Na did not honor her country by half-assing a competitive season and skating like a champion afraid of losing her crown.  The Triple Salchow+Single Toe and Popped Flip really were all we needed to see or know.

While Yu-Na is planning on skipping the Grand Prix yet again, it is important to note that she is skating with more freedom and performance ability than she has in a long time.  It is anyone's guess whether or not she will compete again, but she does look to improving as an overall skater.  If she can recapture her competitive fire, she will rise again.

31 comments:

  1. Oh dear. I wonder how long before the number of furious posts passes 100... Popcorn, anyone?

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  2. Oh no you didn't! Countdown to enraged Yuna worshipers in 3, 2, 1 ...

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  3. beautiful step sequence~

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  4. Is it just me? I feel like the costume isn't that fitting to the music and choreography and I actually prefer that she have her white boots exposed.

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  5. When has Yuna ever exposed her white boots? I agree with the costume thing. It's like she said, hey mountains are asian-y and put it on a black dress because black is slimming, right?

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  6. Yu-Na's boots were exposed (kind of) in her Please Don't Stop the Music and Bulletproof programs. Not sure if they count, though, because she wore pants for the first and leggings (I think) for the second.

    Black is Yu-Na's thing; she looks very well in it. As for the mountains, I don't have the link, but I recall reading online that the landscape designed on her dress is very significant for Koreans; her countrymen would be quite familiar with its symbolism. The Koreans on the skating forums have noted that her costume is very fitting for the music. In my opinion, it is her countrymen who would have the most right in saying whether her dress and choreography fit the music, as they are her intended audience for this program.

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  7. Most Koreans never heard of figure skating until the 2008 Vancouver Olympics. It's a good thing Yuna skated last during the LP because Korean fans are famous for leaving the stadium in droves once she's done skating. I wouldn't give these people the ultimate right in deciding the merit of anyone's skating program.

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  8. Yu-Na's costume and choreography Fits very well in music...
    black and white in costume means her country's mountains and rivers...
    it said black-and-white drawing (a sort of oriental painting)

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  9. Anonymous@3:39 AM:

    On my part, I wouldn't tar ALL Korean fans with the same brush. I would cut them some slack, as it's only in the last quadrennial that they really had someone who stood out (Yu-Na). Unfortunately, right now, I think that for a lot of them it's being a "fan of Yu-Na" first before being a "fan of figure skating". If we had a world-class skater like her in my country, I think most of my countrymen would be like them. I would be cautious in lumping in Korean skating fans who are fans of Yu-na and skating, with those Korean fans who only watch because of her.

    "I wouldn't give these people the ultimate right in deciding the merit of anyone's skating program." I didn't say KOREANS had the most right in deciding the merit of ANYONE's program, just Yu-Na's Homage to KOREA. And just to be clear, I qualified that statement and cited her dress and choreography in relation to the music. Because Koreans would be the ones most familiar with the nuances of the music, why her costume would be appropriate in relation to that music, and if the choreography actually suits that music.

    The jump content and her actual execution of the LP is a whole different animal, however. I think she should have gone to 4CC and worked out those competition nerves.

    Finally: "2008 Vancouver Olympics"? :)

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  10. Her dress is lovely but I don't think it fits the music. Btw AJ, have you seen Mao's Jupiter? It is also a homage program.

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  11. Why can't she ever point her toes? :(

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  12. @ 5:37 AM

    Mao's lovely Jupiter program has been spread on Youtube for a while but AJ hasn't said anything about it. Doesn't it say everything itself?

    Personally I didn't appreciate her artistry and all but I loved her intention and dedication for the people affected from the earthquakes.

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  13. Beautiful. I didn't really feel the program last year, but now everything in it makes perfect sense.

    I think the dress is beautifully suited to the music. I couldn't tell from the camera angle, but it looked like there may have been some black and white Korean artwork projected onto the screen at the end of the rink during the program.

    Also, I'm glad -someone- still understands how to use a spiral sequence to good effect within a program's choreography. I'm a tad surprised it came from Yu-Na, who has expressed her dislike of working spirals, but good for her.

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  14. I'm still puzzled as to why Yu-na didn't do well this year at the worlds. She looked so good in practice. Almost everybody was looking forward to her performances. There was no sign of an injury -before- the actual competition started however she looked exhausted already, like her morale went down or something, as if she knew she wouldn't win. And when she got on the podium she cried, completely contradicting her tears from before. Could it be that she forced herself to do the jumps during practice sessions and was already in pain by then, and was left even weaker in the competition as a result? I guess we'll never know

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  15. I meant to say "when she got on the podium she cried, contradicting her defeatism from before" or something to that effect. She looked like Sasha Cohen before her 2006 Olympics LP

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  16. @ 9:45 AM

    I don't think it says anything. But it is very obvious what you want to say despite your attempt to slyly word your comments. *Shrug*

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  17. "I'm still puzzled as to why Yu-na didn't do well this year at the worlds."

    I think nerves got to her. It's really hard to jump into the fray again after you've missed out on the whole season except for Worlds. I don't think she practiced less than her competitors or that she put in less effort, but it must have been a little unnerving to stand on center ice, in front of judges and expectant fans after months of being away from competition.

    It might have helped if she had at least one competitive outing before Worlds.

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  18. Nerves and lack of competitive preparation.

    Coming in as an Olympic champion, she had more to lose than to gain. She wasn't prepared to compete, even though she look wonderful in practice. It's too bad. Her programs were the two most complete in the world, but she just wasn't ready for the competition. I'm glad she's still using Homage to Korea as an exhibition, even if she never competes again... it's beautiful.

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  19. It's funny because in interviews earlier this year she said "Because I've been doing show programs for a while now, I don't think the nerves will get to me, we're still in front of a big audience there" etc. I guess it didn't work out the way she wanted... I agree Arirang is beautiful and you can watch it without feeling bad for her in the video that AJ linked.. She doesn't have the constant sullen expression she had at worlds. Actually maybe the world should leave this girl alone and let her skate at shows from now on as clearly she has paid her dues and seems to enjoy this far more than anything else right now

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  20. wow. I Now love this program.

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  21. Thanks to the comments for the heads-up on Mao's Jupiter exhib. Wow.

    I think artistry means different things to different people. Or to different fans. Yuna certainly has more musicality than Mao, but Mao has balletic grace and gorgeous lines. I wish she didn't turn into a jumping robot in her competition programmes. Her Jupiter programme is lovely, if only she could skate like that when it counts. She also looks a bit stronger now.

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  22. I watched this very performance live, and it was breathtakingly beautiful. A true masterpiece and one of my favorite programs of Yuna.

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  23. I love how Kwan fans think they are so 'different' from Yuna fans. Both are amazing women, and very talented skaters, but uber fans leave rolling my eyes.

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  24. To Anonymous at August 14, 2011, 3:39am:
    Go away, troll bot. Yeah, paint one group of people with as broad a brush as you can. When you do that, you lose credibility, and I wouldn't give YOU the ultimate right in deciding how fans should or should not behave, troll. By the way, it's the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, not 2008.

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  25. It's not quite fair, since the 2010 Olympics is the only one you know about, while other skating fans have to remember all the others.

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  26. definitely mao's jupiter>yu-na's homage to korea. for some reason i feel like yu-na's homage to korea seems like it was choreographed overnight compared to her other programs. mao's jupiter is so well thought out.

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  27. Why are you praising Mao under the Yuna's video? Go to Mao's Youtube and praise her there. What you are doing here is a foul play, I can clearly see what you are trying to do here. You want to creat a battlefiled for Mao fans VS Yuna fans. You are very sly, indeed...

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  28. i love this program's step sequences!!
    Her movement reflects Korean sensibilities.

    btw, wtf??? asada's fans are so rude.
    go to youtube or something if you wanna talk about asada.

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  29. Wow, 9.43 and 9.57...you Yuna fans here sure are conspiracy theorists.

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  30. soulful performance.
    I desire that Yuna keeps this LP if she competes in this season.

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