Irrelevant Information

Feb 11, 2013

Quasi una fantasia

Some skating choreographers are known to possess only a single compact disc's worth of music, and Nikolai Morozov is prominent among this dubious bunch. Such was immediately clear upon hearing that Mr. Morozov had chosen Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as the music for Daisuke Takahashi's new short program this past weekend, as Moonlight Sonata has been familiar territory for other Nikolai Morozov clients. Thus the question inevitably presents itself: who had the best Morozov'd Moonlight Sonata?

Daisuke Takahashi, 2013 SP
If one accepts that trainwrecks such as GhostSleazy Tiger/Besame Mucho and Human Soccer Ball are representative of Nikolai Morozov's oeuvre of late, this one is at least praiseworthy for being tasteful, somewhat reflective of the music and not accompanied by an extremely questionable choice of costume. Small mercies, but such is all we have to cling onto in these troubling times.

Layout of the elements is pretty boring, however, and I disapprove of the fact  that the choreography repeats certain cuts of the Moonlight Sonata's Third Movement when it's a short program.

Sasha Cohen, 2010 LP
In her later years, Sasha Cohen followed a particular pattern when it came to musical selections: fierce, energetic and fiery short programs and much more sedate, classical and ice princess-y long programs. Sasha Cohen's very own Morozov'd Moonlight Sonata program certainly did not deviate from this pattern (among others...). Moonlight Sonata, I believe, is an excellent example of how Nikolai Morozov is a better short program choreographer than a long program one as his short programs for Ms. Cohen (Malaguena, Dark Eyes) are about a hundred times more memorable, distinctive and better choreographed than this pleasant but bland and overly-repetitive long program.

Adam Rippon, 2007-8 LP
The packaging here screams MOROZOV from fifty miles away with its face-stroking, onesie outfit and straightline step sequence to (relatively) loud and fast music, but for a junior program, it's not too bad! The music and the corresponding classical styling suited the young Mr. Rippon well and I do like how some of the jumps are placed within the music even if the program would benefit from much more choreographic detail aside from face-stroking.


  1. Can't I opt out for neither? When you use a Morozov original and Moonlight in the same setting, the answer is always neither. :))

    1. Of course, the answer must be neither. Morozombie is only testing us.
      Voting for any of the above options surely fails the test. :)


  3. The more I look at the picture given, the more I think that's how Daisuke truly feels about his choreography...

  4. According to a radio interview with Morozov this week, he didn't do the choreography for Daisuke's program. So.

  5. He meant the 1st sp. So.

  6. Anon Feb 15, yes, Dai's previous SP was not choreographed by Morosov, it was a work of Ms. Nanami Abe, the former coach and choreographer of Hanyu (she choreographed the beloved R&J). I wish Dai had not changed the SP. The previous one was the program that only he could skate to. Compared to Hanyu, he looked more mature. I find the new program nice, but it is too similar to Patrick's SP. Whereas Dai's SP looks kind of generic, Patrick's SP feels something really special. Although Dai has started learning classical ballet, he does not have the lines needed for this type of music. I'm not saying that Patrick has great lines, but he is much better, esp. with the help of the current coach. And his program is simply more beautiful.
    The reason why Dai changed the SP was because Morosov, Nagamitsu, and he himself felt that the previous one couldn't earn enough points. In reality, it had earned 92 points at GPF.
    His new SP doesn't have two jumps during the latter half. I also feel that his PCS will be lower than Patrick's or Hanyu's. Sorry for being kind of off topic.

  7. To the previous poster:

    Funnily enough, that Takahashi's Moonlight Sonata would clash with Patrick Chan's SP was the second thought that hit me too upon hearing the news (after of course "OH NO! NOT A MOROZOV PROGRAM!"). In that regard, I agree it was a bad strategic move because Chan has arguably one of the two or three best choreographed Men SP this season and going in that direction was very risky for the reason you stated: that likely Chan's was always going to be the better program, and based on what we saw, it definitely is choreographically speaking

    I wouldn't qualify Takahashi's as generic though: it's not a trademark Morozov program (btw, Takahashi explained before 4CC that he had been constantly thinking, as he was working with Morozov through the program, how to make it an un-Morozov program, and put in it more of himself). I thought some of the detailing in the program is actually superb, but it suffers from the fact that he didn't have the time to interiorize it (in a sense, it's the same issue we had with his current FS during the GP season) and even with the additional month between 4CC and Worlds, it may not be enough time for him to "own" the program and we may never see it at its full potential, which is a bit of a shame

    I also question why they didn't try to have two jumping passes in the 2nd half, knowing Takahashi can definitely do it (I mean, Hanyu of all people has enough stamina to do it.....). I also thank Morozombie for pointing out exactly what had been bugging me in this program but which I failed to recognize, and that's the elements layout (although I do like the finish on the steps sequence in a corner of the rink)

    And of course, the big question is how could they think it would be a good idea to change programs with just TWO WEEKS to work on it before 4CC.... *bang heads*

    However, I disagree that Takahashi shouldn't skate to MS because he doesn't have enough ballet training and doesn't have classical lines. First, if we expected skaters to be able to hold classical lines throughout their performance, then no one should be allowed anywhere near classical music in the current field (I also question the validity of seeing classical dancing as the ideal in figure skating because of the inherent limitations of the latter in terms of using the feet, but that's for another debate). In fact, most skaters have difficulty using and positionning their upper body AT ALL so hoping that they would respect classical lines isn't realistic

    Secondly, the point about his body line being classical enough or not is actually moot since, although he's taking ballet lessons, Takahashi isn't trying to transpose ballet - one of his trademarks is the use of chest contractions as catalyst to the movement, which is very much a modern dance characteristic anyway. And I don't believe (and the last 100+ of dancing history tells us as much) that classical music requires to be danced to in classical ballet style - it's one options, which one might find more to their taste but which I don't think is intrinsically better (or worse) than others.....