Skate America day three, aka Cuban and cruising....
Went for lunch at Cuba Libre before going to the rink. Good Cuban-like food, good portions, but a bit pricey. First time having a mojito. That was quite pleasureable!
So more rink hijinks...the rink nazis really are annoying, and somewhat incompetant. I overheard two folks behind us talking about how the rink itself is an unstandard size, and that the Euro and Asian skaters had been complaining. More of the quality Atlantic City Skate America! On to Free dance...
1. Golovina/Voiko (Story of Tango; this would become a worn theme by the end of the night) Dance spin rather slow and travels quite a bit...good twizzles. Nice foot to head lift (this particular position is also becoming old fast...foot to head, aka the Beillmann of ice dance). Looks like they lost a handhold on a turn once...a little off on next twizzles, much slower than most. He falls on his face after letting her out of a lift and slides between her legs....finished off the music by about 7 seconds. Rough outing for them, although they had some pleasant moments. 57.29
2. Karan/McGrath (missed the music, but sounds like something Bavarian) nice speed in the dance spin, off timing on the first set of twizzles. Nice lift positions, then a sloppy position which she corrects as they change. A little off on next twizzles, and he stumbles on the footwork. Nice ending lift, but rather slow throughout. 66.25
3. Munana/Munana (Tango Electronica) GREAT first lift, wow. a little off timing on the clockwise twizzles, a bit slow. Good rotational lift, nice pair-spiral looking element. Nice choreography throughout. She had a quick fall that would have been easy to miss if you looked away for a second. She popped back up with the same smile, and I wondered if it was planned...no "surprise" look like with a fall. But it was a true fall. Nice lifts, fair speed, good closeness. 64.60
4. Rubleva/Shefer (missed the music) She doesn't have as good a split position in the split lift, but other posture is nice. Nice hydroblade type move, twizzles ok, but positions in the dance spin are rather weak. Several good and neat lifts, but some shaky spots as well. I didn't make any notes of choreography, so it must have made little impression on me! 66.61
5. Steigler/Magerovsky (Notre Dame Du Paris) She is a born ice dancer in her face and attitude...really sells things. NIce speed and lifts, great fast rotational lift with her in a really good split position. Little off on the last twizzles, and she stumbles once in footwork. Great final lift, but ends ahead of the music. Definite potential. 75.71
6. Beier/Beier (Beatles medley) Very cool, unique choreography. Good twizzles, nice lift. Some time spent standing and posing...works for Plushenko, not so much for them. very smooth footwork and overall impression is nice. Scored 76.39 which is personal best for them.
7. Silverstein/Omeara (Modern Tango) Very smooth, good speed is evident right at the beginning. She "sells" well, and he isn't bad. Twizzles and footwork very close and good. Nice positions in lifts, smooth entries and exits. My only negative on them is that she smiles ALL the time, even when the music would have a different attitude or facial expression more appropriate. Overall very good. 78.79
8. Senft/Gislason (Volver Tango) First set of twizzles off timing. She looks very bland. In my mind I was thinking "the bland and the blond". She gives (at least in this performance) NO facial expression at all....just kind of a "oh, here I am" thing. They messed up a bit on the change during the dance spin, and she does not hold positions well or keep them very sharp. Some nice lifts, including a really nice spread eagle lift. Kind of "Vanilla" to me. 73.39
9. Domnina/Shabalin (Waltz) My mind was dazed a bit when they fly past and eye level is right around his crotch height...oh my! Anyway, very nice speed in the dance spin, great unison....kind of unusual music, but really unique choreography to match it. Very nice lifts. They had speed, but not really "energy"? Like, no "pow". But very nicely done. 85.32
10. Delobel/Shoenfelder (Flight of the dove) My apologies, but about halfway thru, I gave up taking notes, because I was aware that this was not a dance performance, but rather, an EVENT. Something about this team just totally captures me, and in my mind, this program is just as much a masterpiece as "Frida" was. WOW. Very expressive, great speed and edges, great lifts, perfect unison, amazing spread eagle lift, dance spin that looks almost like a death spiral. Just WOWOWOWOW. Give them Oly gold now. NOW! Loved it, but obviously I'm biased. 92.27
11. Belbin/Agosto (Flamenco) I love Ben Agosto. I'll admit to it and do the 12 steps. I think he is the only dance team I've seen where HE sells the program as much or more than she does. He's amazing. And, of course, Tanith is beautiful and they are a well-matched team. But I'm not a Belbin/Agosto "fan"...I'm a Ben fan! Very good speed, lifts, good footwork,fast and fluid. Nice spin with her in a layback type position. A little slower in the final footwork sequence, but overall, fantastic. I'd love to say DelShoes "wuzrobbed", but it could have gone either way. 95.35
12. Wing/Lowe (Mazurka, Valse Lente) Oh my, poor Wing and Lowe, having to follow the last two. They tried, but were not up to the challenge (The snow white outfit didn't help). Slower, less extension. Both emote well, and show nice character. But the word I put in my notes for the program is "tedious". They had some nice lifts with position changes,but just were unlucky with who they had to follow. 79.70
Ladies SP: There are some I lost track of what was happening at times. I could blame it on the cold and the Nyquil. But in truth, we had an Olga Orlova sighting and I was surreptitiously scoping for Novikov! :D Alas, no such luck....
1. Fang (Legend of 1900) 2A great, nice choreography, 3F totally fell out of the landing, popped 3 Lutz to single, spiral to 3 loop good, sit spin combo, circular footwork quite nice and well suited to music, 3toe landed, nice camel spin, nice layback spin and she starts to smile more, spirals WOW!! 3toe-2toe good, then 3sal-2toe with step out, combo spin at end really nice. Finished overtime, 4:11. 75.36
2. Hegel (Nutcracker) No majorly voidy costume, quite conservative (Ahhh, but the mascara and blue eye shadow still there!) 2 lutz, 3 sal maybe 2footed, 2 axel clean, 3 loop nice, camel spin nice position but rather slow, arabian to sit spin with variations nice, single axel, spirals ok, but unassisted positions less quality. 2flip-2toe ok, straightline footwork nicely with music, but kind of slow, 2 salchow? camel spin to combo spin, camel to end. Not bad expression, but jumps not really there. 69.12
3. Sebestyn (Hungarian dances) Classy costume! White with gold, pretty. 2 flip, 3lutz-2 toe clean. Kind of minimal choreography. turns into a 2 loop, camel to donut spin, 3 sal landed with lean, to 2toe in sequence. 2 lutz, spiral rather weak unassisted, but beillmann position is ok, VERY nice skid spiral, WOW. 3toe-2toe clean, nice combo spin. straightline steps to music very well, nice layback and ending combo spins. Some work to do with the jumps, but the program is nice. 79.32
4. Hughes (Seasons) 2axel solid, 3 lutz-2toe-2 loop very solid. Nice choreography, she uses all her body well for dance and expression. 3flip with step out, looks very determined. Serpentine footwork very nice. Flying sit spin with good variations of position. 3 lutz fall, then right to 3flip-3 toe! Arabian to sit spin nice, spirals VERY good. Back charlotte spiral straight to layback spin very nice, 3 sal-2 toe solid, 3 toe with bit smile, final combo spin good. On and off with the jumps, but really nice quality of other parts of the program. 88.04
5. Polonius (Chariots of fire) Gorgeous deep wine colored dress that looks kind of cheezy pink on monitor. 2 axel good, 3 flip solid with good spring, 3sal-2 toe, layback to sit spin good but slow, 3 toe, flying camel, awkward exit from spin. 3 sal good, then 3 lutz with fallout. Layback spin nice, very good spirals. straightline footwork very good speed and nicely done, 3 loop, ending combo spin, and she's a happy camper. 81.54, personal best for her.
6. Liang (Hope by Apocalypta, Tango) I made a note that this is really great music for her, because it showcases her speed and power. Starts out very fast, quick spin, then 2 axel is great, 3 flip with fall. 3 lutz step out to 2 toe. Footwork is very fast, very passionate with the music. Back camel to combo spin nice. 3 sal solid, great layback spin. SPIRALS great!! 3 loop is rock solid, footwork again is great....does a 3 lutz at 3:35 which is good, then a 3 toe at 3:45 that she falls on. Final combo spin great. WOW except the jump errors. I had never been greatly impressed by her, but she's quite the package. 85.46 with two falls and a few other jump errors.
7. Czisny (La Bayadero) 3 lutz-3 toe! (Maybe two footed the toe? Was at the other end, so couldn't tell) Great sit spin, then 3F-2toe. 3 loop. Spin...layback to combo spin is fantastic. Ina Bauer I wish she would hold another second or two, it's beautiful. 2 axel-2 toe. 3 toe fall, AWWWWWWW. Butterfly to camel-donut spin. Footwork great, the audience is totally with her and she's very fast and good. 2 axel, 3 lutz both solid. Spirals wonderful, final combo spin has her getting a standing "O" before the music is done. The one fall, but WOW, what a solid outing for her here....U.S. Nats has gotten closer! 106.48
8. Onda (La Strada) In the pink/white/black costume....it is rather odd, but she's adorable. 3 lutz-2 toe very good. 3 loop is nice. Has cute choreo to the circusy music. 3F-2 toe. Circular footwork a little slow, but well done. 3 toe. flying camel a little slow, but has nice positions. 3 sal, layback. Pops second lutz to single. Spiral positions rather weak. 2 axel in sequence to 3 toe. Sit spin slow, but ending combo spin is better. A little schizophrenic...on and off, hot and cold. Maybe needs a little more work. 97.08
9. Sokolova (Romeo and Juliet musical) She has stolen Irina's costume and Plushenko's hair! She has a unitard, black with red and silver, looks really nice on her. 3lutz-2 toe-2 loop great! 3 flip solid, 3 sal totaly on. Choreography rather minimal, but solid what she does. layback is fair, then 3 lutz solid again. flying camel to donut spin, spiral a little shaky on the first position, but otherwise good. 3 loop great, butterfly to sit spin nice. 3 sal-2 toe ON, footwork great, with the music, 2 axel perfect and nice combo spin to end. Way to go Elena! Russian nats just got more interesting too! 105.08
10. Leung (Alexander) The note I put next to the other notes was "Rare choreography". Not a lot of subtle to go with the substance. 3 flip good, then down on the 3 lutz. 3 sal ok, spin combo with nice speed. Camel to donut good, spirals with nice extension. Spiral to 3 toe-2 toe clean. 2axel low and leaning, but holds the landing. layback to Beillman ok. footwork kind of "there", but unremarkable. 3t-2t-2loop near end of program with step out, but landed, final combo spin ok. Nothing really noteable or eye catching, but mostly well-done difficulty. 78.34
Pairs LP: the Wuzrobbed's category (also known as, if they get a standing "O", they can't win....)
1. Beloglazova/Bekh (Matrix, the Brian Joubert edit...I think they didn't change a note from his). Right off the bat, she has a total deer in the headlights look, which remains throughout the program (or worsens). 2 twist, not very high but clean. SBS 3toe to 2 toe sequence, clean but tentative. Throw 3loop she has a fall and goes into the boards. Nice lift. SBS double axel, she falls. Pair spirals nice. Back inside death spiral. Not much choreography for such a techno type program. lifts without changes of positions. Throw 3 sal two footed but held. Spiral to lift ok. Slow footwork and poor unison. Back inside death spiral, pair spin ok. She looked like her dog just died. Poor thing. 72.98
2. Evora/Ladwig (Romeo and Juliet) Nice choreography, and the music choice works for them...I think they will grow into this program nicely. 3 twist clean. throw 3 sal (? one of my spying for Novikov moments), fall. SBS 3t sequence to 2 toe, he falls and lands behind her. Star change position lift very nice, and then she falls over....air, or something. Just stroking, pooof, she's down. Back inside death spiral nice. SBS spins are good, slightly off on timing. SBS 2axel nice, nice lift, then throw 3 loop is great. Footwork is nice, then forward inside death spiral to each direction (or maybe one is back, I couldn't quite get that one). NICE program, nice moments in it, just the few errors. 82.74
3. Pla/Bonheur (Angel and Devil, Space Odyssee; and on a side note, the French federation has recycled Joubert's original 1492 costume for Yannick Bonheur....no, I'm not complaining!) SBS 3toe sequence to 2 toe, she is a little off on the first one. Nice speed over all. 3 twist high!! throw 3 loop with step out, lasso lift with changes of position, cool exit. Pair spirals nice. Back inside death spiral. SBS 2 loop? (maybe different jump, but looked like loop) Lasso change position lift. SBS spins with good timing. throw 3 sal is great, very good footwork energy, they get better into the program. lift with position changes, unique entry and exit, pair spin good, forward inside death spiral. They definitely fed off the crowd and improved as the program went on. 83.28
4. Handke/Wende (Shakespeare in love soundtrack) I didn't want to like them because I have a personal aversion to the surname Handke (a cranky doctor at our hospital with "little man syndrome" and attitude. But I digress). I actually thought they were ok. SBS 3toe to 2 toe sequence, he falls. 3 twist good. Throw 3 loop held landing. Nice lift with changes of position, nice exit. Back inside death spiral. SBS spins nice, with good variation and position. Lasso lift to position change nice. throw 3 sal GREAT! Pair spirals are nice, lasso lift, footwork goes well with the music, very nice. Forward inside death spiral to pair spin, very nice program for them. 85.14
5. Putnam/Wirtz (Piano #1 by Tchaikovsky) Sean Wirtz had a friend or family member sitting in the front row a few seats down from us...he kept stroking by during warmup and smiling or making a few comments to this person...obviously was good luck for him! As soon as they start, it is NICE speed....2 twist (3? looked only double) very high. Great lasso lift with unique exit. SBS 2lutz-3 toe solid. SBS spins great, nice position and edge changes. SBS 3 salchow good. Pair spirals nice. throw 3 sal ON...throw 3 loop perfect...by now the crowd is sensing a good night! Lift with position changes and "cartwheel" type exit very nice. Footwork is greatly choreographed to the music....timing off slightly in the middle, but right back on again. Pair spin is great, pair spirals with change of direction very nice. SBS spins to end right on with each other, and this gets them a "WOW" comment from me (who was rather bored by this pair last year at this event), and a standing ovation. A huge jump on their personal best to 107.22
6. Dube/Davison (Concerto #7 by Gershwin, which gets rather frenetic at times) 2 twist clean, SBS 2 axel to 2 toe, slightly off on timing. Lasso lift clean with position changes. throw 3 salchow is landed well. SBS spins are good unison, pair spirals are nice. SBS 3 sal (she dropped her body, looked to put a hand down, but not sure). Back inside death spiral. Not a whole lot going on choreographically, but it's neat and clean. throw 3 loop landed well, lasso lift with position change ok. Nice lift to a shaky one foot hold by him, flip out exit. Back inside death spiral, to pair spin nice. Nice back to back performances by Canucks. Scattered standing "O", but not so much as for the pair before them. Still, 104.30 is personal best for them.
7. Hinzman/Parchem (Esperanza, Once upon a time in Mexico) 3 twist great, throw 3 loop is wonderful. SBS 3 toes, he singles his. SBS spins good, nice position and unison. Nice dance lift looking move. Good choreography. Lasso lift. Throw 3 sal, good. SBS 2toe- 2 toe? Forward inside death spiral. Lift with change of positions good. pair spirals good, back inside death spiral. Star lift great. Not the amazement of the short program, but another nice program, another standing ovation ending, and another personal best. 99.30
8. Obertas/Slavnov (La Traviata) They have tasteful outfits! No highlighter colors, just a very beautiful shade of blue for her, black for him. SBS 2 axel, landed clean but she is wobbly on the landing. different kind of twist, it looked more lateral than some? 3 twist. throw 3 jump (looks like toe?) solid. Lasso lift with position changes, spiral to forward inside death spiral. SBS spins are ok, leg position a little off (she does more a bend than he). Throw 3 loop, she puts a hand down. Nice lift with him on one foot. Pair spirals nice, back inside death spiral. Stumble on footwork. Cool lift with changes of positions, flip out exit, but stumbles from that. Pair spin nice, finishes 2-3 seconds after the music. My note is "will be better, just sloppy now". Judges don't agree. 106.36
9. Zhang/Zhang (The offspring of dragons). Little miss Zhang brings out my future Italian grandmother tendancies. Here honey, eat a cookie. Well, throw 3 loop was WOW! She flies on that. 2 axel, 3 toe was good but the timing of the first jump was off. 3 twist HUGE and high. lift with change of positions, pair spin nice, nothing special. Death spiral, throw 3 salchow with fall out. SBS 3 toe is good. Pair spirals, forward inside death spiral. Lift with position changes. SBS spins are good, final lift ok. It lacked to me choreography and passion, but the difficulty made up for it it seems. 119.24
10. Inoue/Baldwin (Selections from Shostakovich) SBS 3 lutz clean!!! 3 twist is good, 2 axel to 2 axel sequence good! (first 2 axel a little off on timing). throw 3 loop fantastic, back inside death spiral. One handed star lift with change of positions. Pair spin good. Goes for the throw 3 axel! but a fall. nice lasso lift. Back inside death spiral. SBS spins are good. pair spiral nice, lasso lift with postions changed. WOW factor definitely there, and imagine if they had hit the throw 3axel! New personal best, 109.60
Not really "wuzrobbed", but I think Obertas/Slavnov were a little "wuzgifted"....Don't think they were ahead of Putnam and Wirtz....maybe more difficulty, but were outshown by the others easily.
Made it back to the hotel after sitting in traffic, then cruisin the Atlantic city strip with friends, hot rodding and blasting "Lord of the Dance" while at stop lights. Yes, we were the object of envy...I know that's what those looks were. Off to bed, then exhibition tomorrow!