Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Competitive Debut of Les Miserables



Yu-Na Kim is in fine jumping for once again, but to me, this program is about as thrilling as the thought of Anne Hathaway singing in our long-anticipated film adaptation. I do not love the program, but Yu-Na appears a bit focused, serious (and thin and tired), and I have hope that she will once again express the music like the true diva that she can be on the ice.

Points wise, the score Yu-Na put up is what happens when you can do a Triple Lutz+Triple Toe, Triple Flip and an extra Triple Lutz in the second half. We simply have not seen it being done by anyone in the last two seasons, especially using the correct edges.

The program is not utilizing the power of the music and I do not find it up to David Wilson's usual standards, especially for his top student. I find the music edit into On My Own substandard and the placement in the choreography to be puzzling. With more mileage, the ending has the potential to come alive, but the third piece of music is unnecessary. Ending to On My Own could be far more effective. She will need to improve her stamina and the final combination spin, but the level 1 should give her enough of a wake up call.

A glittery Schindler's List gray dress is not working for Yu-Na or this program. Her Jef Billings glam image is not coming through. Yu-Na Kim needs to look and dress like the queen, not a competitor.

31 comments:

  1. I agree. Her choreography and presentation is really nothing to write home about. But in general she moves well on the ice and has phenomenal jumping ability, so she'll always score extremely well.

    My guess is that she's keeping the programs that basic so that she can get through all the jumps. Kind of unfortunate because I feel like she's capable of so much more.

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    1. I generally agree, but I think she'll probably step up her game by worlds. She wanted to meet the minimum technical score at this competition and I think that's about all she was prepared for - she looked super winded in the latter third of the program. Once her stamina improves, I have faith the program will look different. At least, I hope! I think it's a fine program as it is, but Yu-na can definitely do better. :)

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    2. Yeah, I agree. By the final combo spin, she looked quite tired. I'm hoping that the program looks improved by March. For her first time out, she really did a good job. It just needs some work. I'm not sure if I like David Wilson's work enough here though.

      And on another note, I think the costume is beautiful.

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  2. I find Wilson choreography tiring. Period. Particularly his step sequences are like watching paint dry. Yes they are difficult and might earn points with all those turns and lunges thrown around, but they often lack connection to music. That said, I personally loved her costume. Reminded me of Kat Witt's sp dress from her comeback attempt back in 1994. Maybe it's the puffy sleeves. Then again, Witt didn't win any medal wearing it, so maybe you have a point.

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  3. Will she be going to Four Continents?

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    1. Not that I've heard, but she plans on competing at Korean Nationals.

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  4. Yuna did well . Good n DIFFICULT jumps with speed. But I also found some same postures here and there in LP. I'll blame mr.Wilson not her. Even though she said she won't,I hope she competes at 4cc. She needs an A level competition experience. I don't want to see Aagain 2011 world -well prepared and bombed it cuz lacks of experiences.

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  5. That(costume)'s because Yuna wanted to express Les Miserables. 'Like the Queen' dress, around 1789, Hmm... Queen Antoinette? Not good. Yuna's choice is right.
    This choreography is very complicated. Hope Yuna will be more settled and get into this program soon.

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  6. I think Yuna was smart to choose the dress. It's classy and does fit the music and the theme just right.

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  7. @Anonymous 5:43

    Les Mis is set during the revolution of 1832, not the French Revolution of 1789.

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  8. I agree about the music--Les Mis can be so stirring and so powerful, but these cuts just don't do it for me. Only On My Own is instantly recognizable, but it is not just cut; it is truncated. But I don't expect changes in the music, so we will just have to live with it. I actually like the program, despite the music. It will get better--more expressive--I'm sure, by World's. Yu Na is not perfect, but her jumps are the best and they will put her over the top if she hits them all--or even most, if she does her 3-3's.

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  9. I totally agree that the music cuts for the program could have been better. I do wish they could have stuck on one song and play with the instrumentals rather than bunching three different ones together. And I mean, hell no to the costume! But withstanding the horrible mish mash of music and glammed up peasant look, I loved the program which speaks volumes about Yuna's talent.

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  10. Does it bother anyone else that she is basically only expressive with her upper body? She can't really turn out her leg and hold a pretty edge (that spiral, yikes!), so she relies on big movements with her upper body. Constantly. They are nice and all, and she can commit to the movement unlike many others out there (a sad commentary on the state of ladies' skating in general), but once you start watching for it, you realize she is doing that a LOT.

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    1. You may not understand what "edge" in figureskating means. She does not have a "pointed-toe" like most Asian and European figure skaters - they may have different training programs from Americans, but her use of edges could not be better. She uses her upper-body, and she knows how to use her arms, shoulders neck, and even fingers. For her use of legs, well, I find she uses very deep edge in her step and she moves with a great speed. Yes, she does not have the "turn-out" moves, but skaters with good and consistent jumps, such as Kostner, Ando, and young Russian skaters, do not have the moves. I do not know if there is a negative correlation between the ability to point toes and to jump consistently and correctly.

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    2. What the fuck are you talking about? Hip turn out ankle extension being bad isn't excused by edge quality. There are many men with better leg extension than Kim Yu-Na. It's almost inexcusable. It's as if she's never watched herself on YouTube or any video, which is a borderline impossibility in this day and age.

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  11. I think the costume is okay. Same for the choreography.
    But I guess I'm a little disappointed in the music because I usually love love love her music.

    Everything aside it was so nice to see some big jumps finally!

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    1. The Russian ladies have been doing some significant jumps.

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    2. but not so successful they were.

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  12. She is no queen, whatever this is supposed to mean. She has lost many world championships and continues to prove she is not a hard worker. Those who deemed her legendary or a ruling elite were either biased Koreans or people who-- longing the return of Michelle Kwan-- picked Kim as the only available alternative. She is no Kwan.

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    1. How many athletes decide to come back to anther World championship and another Olympic competition after winning the Olympic gold? It certainly takes 'hard work' and courage.

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    2. We don't have to evaluate her at this time. We'll see in future.

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    3. Well shouldn't we wait and see? She hasn't even gone to Sochi yet. If she wins Sochi then clearly she is deserving of the Queen title. She'll be remembered as the next Witt, and to be honest, who remembers how many Worlds Witt won? Only the fact that she was a two-time Olympic Champion.

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  13. I don't love Yu-Na enough to sit through a messy LP to Les Mis. I did enjoy the SP - nice to see a combination other than 3T-3T in a ladies' short - and hope she'll start paying more attention to the performance side of the programs, now that she has her minimum scores.

    Agreed that she needs to stop with all these gray and black dresses. Even if they have accents and sequins, it's dull and depressing. Call whoever's designing for Korpi and get some new costumes done.

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    1. Kiira Korpi's costumes are designed by Teemu Muurimäki, a Finnish fashion designer.

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    2. Thanks for the info! Kiira is consistently one of the best dressed skaters around - great use of color and patterns, and no over the top additions. Do you know who designed Laura Lepisto's costumes? Because hers were beautiful, too.

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  14. I got chills thinking of 'On My Own' only because it made me think of Michelle's chill enducing program to the same music.
    I wish Yu na would bring back the program she had right before she left. I like that one better but her jumps look awesome. I love Yu na and Mao but I'm pulling for Mao because she doesn't have the OG but I can definitely see Yu na becoming the OGM with those jumps.

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  15. She looks like a goddess and floats like a fairy - she could wear a burlap sack and still look gorgeous skating.

    That being said, I am also on the fence about Wilson's choreography - he has done well highlighting Yuna's strengths and neutralizing her weaknesses in the past, but some of these illusions, dips, and lunges seem disconnected and over-the-top. Yuna is gifted with lovely shoulders and arms and a natural dancer's instinct to use them beautifully- the choreography should enhance them in subtle, more nuanced ways instead of exaggerating them to the point of boredom. I do hope Wilson has a chance to make appropriate changes to the program before her next competitive showing-or better yet, I hope Yuna will collaborate with a different choreographer for once. Her programs by Tom Dickson and Jeffrey Buttle were stunning.

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  16. Yu Na would look so much better with white boots. Those over-the-boot tights make her feet look like bricks. In my opinion, the only skater who should be allowed to wear over-the-boot tights is Sasha Cohen. She is also the only skater who should be allowed to do the I-spin.

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  17. With Yuna's return, the ladies' field will draw much more attention and excitement. From the way she looked at NRW Trophy, yes, she proved that she still is the queen.

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