Nathan Chen SP for season 2019-2020. Review [+video]

Posted on 2019-08-05 • 3 comments


It’s finally that time of the season when we see the new programs for the first time. Sometimes you immediately fall in love with someone’s program, or know that it’s gonna be a good, solid program or see the problem from the very beginning.

So I want to share some of my first impressions and I’m gonna start with Nathan Chen and his SP to La Boheme by Charles Aznavour.

Honestly I have a very mixed feelings. From the one hand I like that Nathan is trying something new, trying to show maturity and variety of styles. I also like the complexity of the program, there are no empty places. But…Oh yes, quoting the Game of thrones: “Everything before the word BUT is horse shit”. Because from the other hand I don’t see Nathan in this music, I don’t see that he feels it.

The music asks for some long moves, some kind of laid-back manner, when a skater has time to, you know, taste each movement and gesture. I can imagine someone like Patrick Chan doing this king of program, but Nathan is different. He has sharpness, impulsiveness. Just different kind of energy, which this style of music doesn’t require but Chen still shows it.

But the worse part about this SP is that I watch it and see Nathan skating his previous SP to a different music. To the completely unsuitable music for that “Karavan” choreo by the way. And that disappoints me the most, because I don’t see Nathan’s development as a performer.

I don’t want to criticizes the program too much too soon. Of course the program is rough and requires a lot of polishing. He may work on unnecessary roughness, add some nerve, to make the moves longer and smoother. But I don’t think this program is gonna be memorable or one of his best.


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3 Responses to “Nathan Chen SP for season 2019-2020. Review [+video]”

  1. Margaret Miller says:

    I love, LOVE, LOVE this program. It suits his style perfectly. I can’t watch enough of it!! YOU need to see the many programs that he has done throughout the years. He is artistically as versatile as any other skater that I have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone is entitled to their opinion and that is mine. Yes I did skate but I never competed for many years in the past, and I have taken lessens from some of the well known competitive skaters as well!!

  2. Toni Mixon says:

    I totally agree with Bonnie’s response.
    Skaters work very, very hard on their programs and it usually doesn’t come all together in one appearance.
    The first time you ride a bicycle, drive a car, etc, you know it’s going to take some practice and work to actually complete the process.
    How unprofessional and unkind to make such a critique after one performance. You must be perfect???
    Goodness, I hope that you are not treated so harshly.

  3. Bonnie says:

    I think it has escaped some viewers that this song is a war remembrance, I say this because Charles Aznavour offers questions embedded in the lyrics that revel this meaning. For example the listener has to ask such questions as, Why did the young man leave his lover, Why did he give up on being an artist? Why cant’ the workshop be seen at all. Why does Montmartre have a new”decor?” Where are all of his close friends? It is because the young men had to go war.

    Charles Aznavour was 16-21 years-old during the Nazi occupation of Paris He joined the French Resistance, and was honored internationally for his contribution. Clearly when he sings of the new décor of Montmartre, which is missing so much of the charm of the previous one, he is speaking of post war reconstruction, The lilacs are gone like the beautiful days with the women, the cafe society and the workshop and the friends who may not be living . Alter being a solider the bohemian life seems frivolous and naive. Sensitivity comes at the high price of being vulnerable. The final line is “La boheme means nothing at all” this is a denial of his personal losses .

    La Boheme is a quintessentially romantic but it is not just that. We are not talking about Moon River here. The character is trying to reconnect with his city and himself and he is grieving for his old life. I think you really have to understand the lyrics to understand why Nathan is taking the expressionistic direction he is going in and why La Boheme was chosen as a vehicle for his tremendous talent.

    Art is a process. If you focus too much on the product you choke the creativity and the spontaneity out of what makes it art. I am more than willing to wait to see what wondrous thing will emerge from this fresh beginning. He will articulate every aspect of this music I assure you. In this context I see Nathan Chen’s new program as beautifully constructed and evocative. This music fits like hand and glove. Say what you want to but Nathan owns this one.

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