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26 2011

Artistry in Figure Skating – Miki Ando

Since I carelessly touched Miki Ando’s artistry in the last post, it’s got me thinking of the disturbing questions about artistry on ice. Now I’d like to write about this complicated topic from my view, as an amateur figure skating fan, taking Miki for examples.

I'll start with the definition of artistry on ice.
Two items contained within PC (Program Component, frequently referred as five component score, see Appendix at the end of the post) judges the artistry that’s what we imagine: Performance/Execution and Interpretation. The former evaluates how good a skater physically, emotionally and intellectually translates the intent of the music and choreography, and the latter evaluates the personal and creative translation of the music to movement on ice.

My criterion of artistry is simple. That is whether I find a performance impressive or not. While viewing performances, I rarely think of the components. Only when I feel there is something wrong with scores, I reinterpret my impression in the light of the items afterward. Some examples follow.

k p

Needless to say, they are excellent skaters with high technical skills, but no matter how judges repeatedly try to convince me of this couple’s artistry, it doesn't mean very much to me.
The reasons are different here. As for the woman, yes, she translated something very well. But, her acting, posing, and facial expressions didn’t move me at least in the last season. It’s just a matter of preference. That’s all.
On the other hand, as for the man, I think he’s not gifted as a performing artist (sorry, it’s my view). It may be that he’s not good at expressing the intent through movements or …. He looks like a monotonous skating machine and moving regardless of the music.

Unfortunately, Miki Ando was often reviewed for poor artistry. Frankly speaking, I don’t think she’s a gifted artist, and I didn’t like her movements of arms and droopy posture. Until the last season, I didn’t esteem her for the artistry, but now I think she’s stateliness and expresses her passion statically to the music.

Probably, I can sympathize and read out her heart because I know her history. She’d faced a rough passage these years: the talented young skater had being exploited by media, an ad agency and Japan Skating Federation. They set her up as a popular idol and dispatched her to the Torino Olympics. From 2005 to 2006, she was tossed up and down by them and fell apart. Then, the media changed their ‘story’ from Miki to mighty Mao and her rival (You know what they often do). She doesn’t open out to domestic media even now.)

After the difficult time, Miki who thought of retiring after the Torino, has concentrated on her skating and turned thing around. Her passion I feel from her skating is her silent passion for skating. (I thank Morozov though I do not always like him.)

Ando

It may be difficult for people all over the world to read out that. I have to admit it’s not that someone denying her artistry because they don’t have an eye.

However, more people now find her dignified air at least, and I believe they’ll feel the artistry in her skating in the near future. (Her movements except elements have been improved, too.)

Appendix
Program Component (PC)
I don’t agree several points of judging system; it seems to me that PC is an Aladdin's lamp along with -3 to +3 GOE, grade of execution that is given to each element (jumps, spins, and so on).
1. Skating Skills (スケート技術)
Overall skating quality: edge control and flow over the ice surface demonstrated by a command of the skating vocabulary (edges, steps, turns, etc.), the clarity of technique and use of effortless power to accelerate and vary speed.
2. Transitions (要素のつなぎ)
The varied and/or intricate footwork, positions, movements and holds that link all elements. In singles, pairs and synchronized, this also includes the entrances and exits of technical elements.
3. Performance/Execution (演技力/遂行力)
Performance is the involvement of the skater/couple/teams physically, emotionally and intellectually as they translate the intent of the music and choreography. Execution is the quality of movement and precision in delivery.
4. Choreography (振り付け) nothing to do with a skater’s ability, isn’t it?
An intentional, developed and/or original arrangement of all types of movements according to the principles of proportion, unity, space, pattern, structure and phrasing.
5. Interpretation (曲の解釈)
The personal and creative translation of the music to movement on ice.
ISU Judging System


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Posted by Kinakinw | 00:05 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Figure Skating

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