Thursday, December 23, 2010

a canadian in paris

30 Days of Skating

Day 8: What is your favourite ladies program?

This is another one with a fairly easy answer, which is good, because I've been a little sick and I don't feel like writing an exposition tonight!

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been captivated by Josée Chouinard's American in Paris free skate. I remember seeing Josée for the first time on the coverage of the 1992 World Championships, which aired when I was visiting my grandparents in Oklahoma for spring break. My grandma taped some of it for me while I was playing at my cousin's house, and I had the tape for years. So by the time the next Olympic year came around two seasons later, I was already a big Josée Chouinard fan. And she wore a pink turtleneck and gloves for AIP, the best program ever, at least in my nine-year-old eyes. She was the best skater in 1994 with the best programs, not Oksana or Nancy—but unfortunately, she wasn't the best competitor.

I may have loved it for the charm and the pink when I was 9, but looking back, it's still my favourite because it's actually a really awesome program. I love the sequence at the first music transition, featuring the best flying sit spin ever, and then the posey choreo break. Then the whole middle section and that gorgeous Ina, ooooh. And while the Olympic and Worlds performances of this program still break my heart, I'm so glad she kept it as a pro and got to perform it much more freely a few times. I can't find the best performance of it on Youtube, but this one from the '94 Canadian Pros (at the COPPS!!) is a lovely skate, even if she doubles a couple of jumps. She just shone. Gosh, those were the glory days of pro skating.

Honourable Mentions!
Joannie Rochette's 2004-2005 "Firebird" free - absolutely my second favourite ladies program, ever. In case you missed it, I wrote about seeing it at Canadians in 2005 a few posts ago.
Josée Chouinard's "Comme Ci Comme Ça" short in 1995-1996 - any Jos fan has to have such mixed feelings about this comeback year. Along with the GPF medal, the existence of this short is one of the main reasons why I'm thrilled she came back
Kristi Yamaguchi's 1991-92 "Malaguena" free - the only Mal program I really like, and an iconic moment of my childhood
Michelle Kwan's 1997-98 free to "Lyra Angelica" - another iconic moment from my childhood, and really, I think that the performance of this at Nationals was one of skating's greatest moments. I don't want to talk about Nagano.
Yu-Na Kim's 2008-2009 "Danse Macabre" short - It wasn't until I saw this program live that I really believed she belonged in the same sentence as skating's greats.
Angela Nikodinov's "Just for You" short - She had this program for like 4 years, or at least it seemed like it, but I never got sick of it.
Jenny Kirk's Chicago short - Just yes. And it seemed like the only program she ever skated consistently well. It just fit her so perfectly.

What about you? What are your favourites?

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