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Thread: Russian pairs dominance @ Olympics - Can it continue?

  1. #31
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Thanks Ptichka - You've given me homework to do.

    Joe

    PS - I also find the Chinese rathr robotic too. However, for me, Pang and Tong really improved 100 per cent in their lyrical approach to skating. Maybe they will be the next G&G.

    Joe

  2. #32
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    Can the Russians maintain their dominace-that remains to be seen. I think (and I hope) we will always have a Russian presence on the podium, but I don't think I'm being to overdramatic if I said that the absolutely brilliant heyday of Russian pairs skating: from the Protopopovs to Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze is very much slowing down.

    As for the younger Russian pairs, I still think people need to give O&S a chance. Part of the problem is that I think that people's expectations were too high to begin with, because:
    1. They were a Moskvina team
    2. Yulia is a superstar-that is like Elena Berezhnaya's younger sister in terms of stroking etc.
    I think we need to let them develop on their own time-and who knows maybe they'll skate up to their potential, maybe not.

    On the otherhand, I don't see any other nation really overtaking the Russian dominace in pairs skating. China has done a masterful job at creating a pairs program for their senior skaters, but it doesn't sound as if there are a lot of promising skaters moving up the track.
    Maybe Lulu & Denis Petrov can help train younger pair teams?

    I enjoy Alona & Robin quite a bit, but, I'm not really sure how many other promising pairs Germany has right now.

    I'm really starting to enjoy American pairs now. As a person who was feeling pretty blah about the status of American pairs after I&Z retiring, I'm greatly enjoying H&P skate-and hope they can continue to improve.

  3. #33
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    Russian greats

    Also would to add my 2 cents in for adding Dmitriev to the list of all time greats.

    In my opinion, the three greatest pair teams of the post Rodnina era (1980-2006) have been Gordeeva & Grinkov, Mishkutenok & Dmitriev and Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze.

    Like Ptichka has already mentioned, Mishkutenok & Dmitriev very much epitomized the Moskvina style of skating, avant-garde, unique moves & oppositional choreography. Their programs were (like every Moskvina pair) packed with transitions. Dmitriev had a huge influence in the choreography, and he and Mosvkina clicked like very few coaches & students do.

    Their greatest strength was their presentation skills & their artistry, what made them so unusual was how they presented that artistry. Unlike any other male pair skater up to that time, Dmitriev was not just presenting his partner, but was just as much involved in selling the program as Natalia was. In fact, I'd argue that he was more emotive, and was better at reaching out to the audience than Natalia was.
    Of course, some people prefer the more traditional way of presentation, but as one ISU official said several years ago, there were only 2 male skaters that could take your attention away from their partners: Christopher Dean and Artur Dmitriev.

    An area that they don't nearly get enough attention for, and it is unfortunate, is their basic skating skills. Part of this reason is because they skated at the same time as G&G, who had such perfect stroking skills (as B&S do now a days). M&D did not have this drop jaw perfection, but their basics were very, very good & the speed the generated on the ice was simply excellent.

    As far as athletic elements went-they had a superb 3 twist. Dmitriev was also a very good jumper in his younger days-and hardly ever made any mistakes on his jumps. Natalia, had a bit more problems with her side by side jumps, especially her double axel.

    They really were an excellent pair team-and I'm glad that they are still being remembered by posters today.
    Although, I don't think they are remembered in their home country NEARLY as much as they should be.

    Artur also formed a very successful partnership with Oksana Kazakova-and I greatly enjoy their programs, but IMO, he did his best work with Mishktuenok.
    Last edited by lulu; 02-16-2006 at 09:22 PM.

  4. #34
    Custom Title 76olympics's Avatar
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    Actually, I loved G and G's 1988 long program--it did not smack of Zhuk to me. Katia was so expressive and airy light and she seemed to be full of joy the entire skate. I still watch it to inject some cheer on a gloomy day. I believe Marina choreographed this number.

    I think that is the difference to me between G and G, M and D, B and S versus T and M. I think the earlier pairs (particularly G and G and particularly Katia )seemed to light up the ice. They seemed to enjoy the program; they didn't look as stressed as the western pairs sometimes did. T and M skate really well, but that spark /that quality isn't there (for me, anyway).

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76olympics

    I think that is the difference to me between G and G, M and D, B and S versus T and M. I think the earlier pairs (particularly G and G and particularly Katia )seemed to light up the ice. They seemed to enjoy the program; they didn't look as stressed as the western pairs sometimes did. T and M skate really well, but that spark /that quality isn't there (for me, anyway).
    Exactly! Though at times B/S sometimes seemed a bit clock-puncher to me, too, they were never anywhere as cold-blooded as T/M are. G/G really just...you believed they wanted to be out there skating, with each other. M/D, too, though G/G were really just in a class by themselves.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    They may have a new Pairs team for gold ready by 2010 full of the robotic moves to get more points but there will never be another B&S for years to come.

    Joe
    And, as far as I'm concerned, there will never be another Gordeeva and Grinkov. They set the standard for pairs skating, plain and simple - nationality notwithstanding.

    I had the privilege of seeing Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov compete at the first ever World Professional Championships. They won the competion easily, and they were simply brilliant. They were the first in the long line of successive Rusian/Soviet Olympic pairs champions, winning gold in 1964 and 1968.

    The Russians and former Soviet Union skaters have a special quality, a sense of artistry and grace, not to mention a strong tradition of ballet and music. Will they continue to win Olympic gold medals in pairs skating? I would not bet against it; however, perhaps the Chinese will win in 2010.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    They may have a new Pairs team for gold ready by 2010 full of the robotic moves to get more points but there will never be another B&S for years to come.

    Joe
    It will be hard to find another B&S. They were/are truly special. However, I am sure there are some beautiful pairs out there. I remember seeing a video last year of a young Russian pair whose name I cannot remember right now. They had the potential to be beautiful. It is too early to say if they have the heart of a champion.

    I don't find T&M or Pet-Tik robotic at all. I like their classical style.

    The COP has made FS in general rather robotic, with everyone going for more points rather than interpreting the music. I find the Chinese pairs extremely robotic (S&Z are an exception). They don't even have basic skating skills, postures or unison. I am afraid that if this style wins medals, it would not be a good thing for pairs skating.

    Vash

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Thanks Ptichka - You've given me homework to do.

    Joe

    PS - I also find the Chinese rathr robotic too. However, for me, Pang and Tong really improved 100 per cent in their lyrical approach to skating. Maybe they will be the next G&G.

    Joe
    Next G&G??? Certainly not Pang & Tong. She has a terrible posture (although he is very good).

    Vash

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by lulu
    Also would to add my 2 cents in for adding Dmitriev to the list of all time greats.

    In my opinion, the three greatest pair teams of the post Rodnina era (1980-2006) have been Gordeeva & Grinkov, Mishkutenok & Dmitriev and Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze.

    Like Ptichka has already mentioned, Mishkutenok & Dmitriev very much epitomized the Moskvina style of skating, avant-garde, unique moves & oppositional choreography. Their programs were (like every Moskvina pair) packed with transitions. Dmitriev had a huge influence in the choreography, and he and Mosvkina clicked like very few coaches & students do.

    Their greatest strength was their presentation skills & their artistry, what made them so unusual was how they presented that artistry. Unlike any other male pair skater up to that time, Dmitriev was not just presenting his partner, but was just as much involved in selling the program as Natalia was. In fact, I'd argue that he was more emotive, and was better at reaching out to the audience than Natalia was.
    Of course, some people prefer the more traditional way of presentation, but as one ISU official said several years ago, there were only 2 male skaters that could take your attention away from their partners: Christopher Dean and Artur Dmitriev.

    An area that they don't nearly get enough attention for, and it is unfortunate, is their basic skating skills. Part of this reason is because they skated at the same time as G&G, who had such perfect stroking skills (as B&S do now a days). M&D did not have this drop jaw perfection, but their basics were very, very good & the speed the generated on the ice was simply excellent.

    As far as athletic elements went-they had a superb 3 twist. Dmitriev was also a very good jumper in his younger days-and hardly ever made any mistakes on his jumps. Natalia, had a bit more problems with her side by side jumps, especially her double axel.

    They really were an excellent pair team-and I'm glad that they are still being remembered by posters today.
    Although, I don't think they are remembered in their home country NEARLY as much as they should be.

    Artur also formed a very successful partnership with Oksana Kazakova-and I greatly enjoy their programs, but IMO, he did his best work with Mishktuenok.
    ITA on almost everything. I loved M&D and I feel that they did not always get the respect they deserved because they were overshadowed by G&G's perfection as you pointed out. M&D had a lot to contribute to pairs skating. For the first time the male partner was as important as his female counterpart. They brought so many innovative moves to pairs skating that it made the discipline much more interesting. B&S carried that further, with their great basic skills combined with innovative moves.

    Vash

  10. #40
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    I don't find T&M or Pet-Tik robotic at all. I like their classical style.
    Vash - We have different definitions of 'classical' Check out the old Bolshoi dancers, they emphasized 'classical'. The Russians are way behind in modern ballet, unfortunately.

    The COP has made FS in general rather robotic, with everyone going for more points rather than interpreting the music.
    Vash
    True, true, true.

    Joe

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    . B&S carried that further, with their great basic skills combined with innovative moves.

    Vash
    And ITA with you with regards to B&S.

    At their pinnacle, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze were able combined the the pure technical perfection of Gordeeva & Grinkov, and the innovative artistry of Mishkutenok & Dmitriev, and their own elegant style. Of the top male skaters (and I say top-because I haven't been familiar with some of the lower ranked pair teams throughout history); I think had Anton some of the best extenstion/line/posture.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by lulu
    Also would to add my 2 cents in for adding Dmitriev to the list of all time greats.

    In my opinion, the three greatest pair teams of the post Rodnina era (1980-2006) have been Gordeeva & Grinkov, Mishkutenok & Dmitriev and Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze.
    ..........
    Of course, some people prefer the more traditional way of presentation, but as one ISU official said several years ago, there were only 2 male skaters that could take your attention away from their partners: Christopher Dean and Artur Dmitriev.
    ...........
    Artur also formed a very successful partnership with Oksana Kazakova-and I greatly enjoy their programs, but IMO, he did his best work with Mishktuenok.
    Yeah. Dmitriev should be considered one of them. They are one of highlight in COI for me. He can emote....there is another male skater that could take your attention away from their partners. Yevegny Platave (sorry for the spelling) !

  13. #43
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    Oh, Canada!

    When I think of passionate pairs skating, I think of Underhill and Martini (anyone remember "Unchained Melody"?) and Sale and Pelletier. Canada gets my vote, because they have some good young skaters, and I think that S&P have every intention of giving back to the sport in their country to help these young skaters maximize their potential.

    I think the U.S. has good young teams too, but until they receive the support the singles skaters enjoy, they won't be a dominating factor.

    As for the Chinese, their power is awesome, but I don't see them making a meaningful, lasting impact on audiences until their country allows them more freedom.


  14. #44
    what didn't kill me-made me stronger!
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    In about 4 years time, Moskvina will turn Julia and Sergei into the real champions

  15. #45
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    Another G&G

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeKatie
    I really wanna see another Bereshnaya & Shikeralidze, or Gordeeva & Grinkov type pair outta Russia - c'mon we're dying here with those cold fishes T&M!
    _____________________________________

    Wouldn't it be great to see another example of G&G's skating?

    I'm glad we have tapes of them.

    I think Sale and Pelletier are close in their approach to pair skating, but they're pros now.

    shdotz

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