Skate Canada for dummies, day 2
Um, Yay! I found a bank....my ATM card wouldn't work at the arena or the hotel, but at the bank? No problem! So with said money, I got a couple of throw away cameras....it's not the digital cam with the super zoom, but heck, it's SOMETHING! Besides, sitting in Skater central, I get lots of opportunities for off-ice pix (now just if, Stephane and Jamal would come back and speak French again) Had commentary in English, French and Russian today, with Mikhalova/Sergeev, Platanova, Ponsero, Chipeur, Craig, Sawyer, Virtue/Moir, Davis/White, Lefebrve/Markov and misc others I don't recall all took turns sitting in the row behind me. Sergeev has ear-splitting whistles that he used unashamedly for Verner and Voronov...Craig physically reminds me of Kurt Browning....Sawyer is adorable....Scott Moir is quite amusing, making very funny comments about some of the pair skaters; was also on constant "Oda watch", thinking Nobunari would be showing up here.....Arseni Markov has the bluest eyes on earth (and I like his hair long)....Chantal sounds like she has a cold.
Lefebrve/Markov (Primavera Porteno) She still has the most gorgeous dress of all the original dances I've seen in these two events. Just totally stunning. They looked smoother this week into the lifts and dance spin, very smooth but a little slow. They got too close to each other at one point on the straightline footwork, and looked like they would collide but didn't. Very good, better than their placement I thought. Later, Todd Myles came up to them with the scores printed out, and they had the highest technical scores, and the lowest skating skills....not quite sure how that can work? As they walked by, they smiled at the Chantal/Arseni sign I had up (took it up there for a friend who'd had it at Skate America), then did a double take when they realized it was for them....big smiles and thank you's. Very nice. 44.?? (missed the rest)
Yu/Wang (Tango by Philippe Solal) Dance spin ok, but lack of real positions. Very nice 1 leg lift, very smooth basic skating. Ice coverage only fair. Nice enough, no expression from him at all though. She is stunning, but can't do it all (well, then there's Rena and John) 38.27
Hajkova/Vincour (Libertango) She's in highlighter orange....it actually looks better on the TV monitor. Very smooth entrance into lift....good timing on the footwork. Good spin positions. Very slow....I was expecting the little dudes in the brooms from curling to get out there in front of them. Nice rotational lift, her positions. 39.27
Dubreil/Lauzon (Le Voz de Buenos Aires) As usual, they have amazing lifts, and her positions in them are beautiful (No skate to head for them!!) She gets wonky on one of the twizzles and throws off the footwork, but recovered quickly. Very smooth, very soft knees..dance spin ok, everything just is obviously the class of the field in speed and stroking...like they're caressing the ice. Beautiful. 59.04
Pratt/Giles (La Yumba, Whatever Lola wants) She's in a brown dress, he's in white shirt, brown pants and suspenders.....not sure of the tango feel of the costume....They both fall on the rotational lift....very nice choreography and style, musicality. I don't know if they held the last lift long enough for it to really count. They get 38.81
Platanova/Maximishin (Tango by Gotan project) Very sparkly costumes, and from the look, I was expecting a rather avante-garde, voidy, French skater type of tango. It was rather conventional, but outstanding. Beautiful flow, good ice coverage, very smooth movements, she has excellent positions in the pair spin, and his are quite unique....my note says "VERY GOOD" underlined....quite nice. 49.60
Virtue/Moir (Assassination Tango) Part of the reason I was very excited about the dance event here, and they didn't disappoint. They have very good timing on footwork, nice unison....great positions in the spin and the lifts....He has amazing posture and carriage, and she has great flair. Together, a wonderful team to watch. Score 50-something (missed it heading out to ladies room for zamboni break)
During the Zamboni break, Takeshi Honda and Leslie Hawker sat and chatted with Chantal Lefebrve and Arseni Markov in the row right behind....Takeshi in a suit, I think he is doing some announcing for Japanese tv. Saw him later with Shizuka Arakawa, doing something for television.
Mikhalova/Sergeev (Tango Adios Nanino) I liked them at Skate America...I like them here, but I will admit, I think that Platanova/Maximishin are the superior of the two teams. They have very nice positions, nice timing and good basics....dance spin very slow, and they lack ice coverage...there is nearly 1/4 of the rink I never saw them get to. I think he is the stronger of the two in basics. they goet 43.97, had a 1.00 deduction (I think extended lift)
Navarro/Bommentre (Assassination Tango, Little drop of Poison) Nice attitude and character in the dance, present it quite well. Good unison, nice positions in the lifts and spins...very smooth transitions into and out of the lifts. Good ice coverage (something I started noticing more after the previous team) Personal best for them at 47.78
Davis/White (A los amigos) I marked a note "He is amazing"....I don't know how they stack up against each other, who is supposedly the stronger partner, but today, he left her in the dust....great speed and flair. Nice character. I wrote "lack some on spread eagle lift"...I think their position looked kind of sloppy in that one. It looked like there may have been a small timing bobble near the end in the footwork, but not bad. 52.30
Faeilla/Scali (Tanguera) Right near the beginning, she falls during the footwork, just a caught edge or something. They had interesting spin positions, although the spin itself was a little slow....nice lifts, but then the timing and position was a little off in the twizzles later.Had the best ice coverage of all. 49.15
Nice little skater be-bopping around during zamboni...got to say "good luck" to Jamal Othman, was rewarded with a beautiful smile....by the time men started, Sergeev was sitting behind me ensuring deafness in my right ear with his whistles.
Varner (Zorba's dance) I had never seen him perform before, and it's a shame...he's got great style. Did a nice 3z-3t, but had a little turnout in the landing. Nice 2a, then lost it on the sit spin a little....then a small trip on the footwork. I missed his other 3jump, nice choreography and character throughout. 57.15 points
Sawyer (The big one) Very nice 3-3 combo, good 3a with little scratchy landing...fall on the single 3 jump (2 footed the landing and down) GREAT spins and footwork, choreography very on with the music, and what I wrote as a WOW spin at the end (with spiral position, making it look easy). Very nice skate other than jump error. 66.75
Verner (Tocatta and Fugue) Um, he has black pants with overalls, pink shirt, and green bow on one shoulder....not quite sure the statement the costume is meant to make....his 3-3 combo was great, then the 3a with a lean, clean landing but quickly put the free foot down. 3z, maybe two footed? Couldn't see it. Footwork was rather incongruous to the music in a reverse-Plushenko kind of way (Verner doing slow footwork to crazy fast music). Nice overall program though, and a personal best of 71.30
Chipeur (Enter Sandman/Nothing Else Matters) Well, he's a personal favorite now after hearing his "Bonus" comments from the day before....and seeing how proud he was of himself with each good element in practice. 3A was huge, great landing. 3z-2t (I think he wanted a 3t, but slightly overrotated the lutz), 3F was clean....had a stumble on...nothing. Stumbled slightly on air I guess....but spins were great, and his footwork, the energy in it was wonderful. 67.24
Voronov (Piano concerto #2 by Rachmaninoff) He is my little buddy from Skate America, and gave me a big smile and thank you when I saw him and wished him good luck....just a little cutie. Did a nice 3z-2t that I'm sure was meant to be a 3-3...well, since I was rooting him on, of course he'd lose it on something....I'm cursed. Big 3a with turnout on the landing. Beautiful camel spin, one of best positions on that one for a while...but has to drop his hip for the donut spin arghhh. (pet peeve) 3loop for his single 3jump, and I thought it wasn't at SA...nice high flying sit spin, footwork is very classic Urmanov, spins good although not great speed. Personal best of 58.35
Lambiel (Selection by Chrisitine Latterburg?) not sure of the name there. Started with a 2a, he'd been having difficulty with the 3a in warmup....then fall on the quad. Great Lambiel-esque footwork, using all his body and facial expressions to dance that footwork...just beautiful. Single triple jump (3F I think) ws solid....more great footwork, and sit spin slower than his usual....then goes from one spin to another and loses his toepick in the spin entrance and is down on his belly...holy cow. Spins not as fast as usual, and traveling a bit with position changes, until the final headless scratch spin. Still managed 64.45
Ponsero (In the mood for love) Well, he's a personal favorite since Skate America last year, and has a banner for him, as well as Othman and Voronov. So of course, I would assume he's cursed, since I like him. But actually, not too bad. 3A with a lean on the landing, perhaps put a hand down, but I think it just got close. 3f with turnout-2t ok. Very nice spin combos, good speed and positions, actually doing better spins than Lambiel tonight. Very nice footwork, and expressive choreography to the music...he presents this program very nicely. Both hands down on the 3z.....but still with a personal best of 69.05.
Weir (King of Chess) It's interesting, in this particular warmup group, Weir (and Ponsero) were the more masculine looking in costume! That's a change. 3A is great, 3z-3t perfect, and Johnny is dead on. Great spins, some speed is lost with the changes of position, but it's still oik. 3F is perfect, very good footwork and spins to fill out the program, audience is clapping before he finishes even. Very nice job, 76.28 for a very clean program.
Takahashi (Tchaikovsky's violin concerto) In warmup, Daisuke was on with everything he tried...that can be either very good or very bad. Noticing how very silent his blades are on the ice, beautiful basic stroking, he skims the ice like he's not even touching it. 3-3 combo perfect, 3a with a slightly scratchy landing, but held cleanly. 3Z was right on. The most musical of all with the footwork and choreography of this program, and he has a beautiful, amazing program with what looked like at least 1 level 4 footwork sequence, if not both...just wonderful. Personal best of 78.80, and Weir's lead didn't last long.
Othman (Danse Macabre) Has a bit of a clown outfit on....black/white on top with a ruffle...ruffles on men....ack. Had a very nice warmup....did a 3z-2t here, and I'm sure he was wanting a 3-3. Solo 3jump (flip? I think) was solid. He has very smooth, flowing fluid movements, very musical. 2A (He doesn't have a 3a yet? I thought he'd been doing them in practice, but didn't see one in warmup) Beautiful expressive choreography and footwork, he's nicely musical like Takahashi, and a beautiful camel position to catchfoot position in spin....very nice. 56.30 is a personal best, but far too low in my opinion, and he had a 1.00 deduction for something??? With no fall? What would that be for a single skater with no fall? No clue, but I think Jamal wuzrobbed of a few a points, and Garden Kitty, no, he wasn't laughing :(
Craig (Instrumental of Sway) I had never seen him before, but in my notes I have "delightful". 3A very nice, barely hung on to the landing, but it was kept clean. 3F-3t nice and clean, 3z was good. Very nice choreography, very musical and artistic in performing the program, good footwork and spins, and a very pleasant surprise to me as someone I hadn't seen before. 61.33
During zamboni break, much of the canadian skaters crowded up behind me to cheer on Marcoux/Buntin in pairs....as well as Americans, Yoshie Onda, and Hogner after they were done.
Miller/Moram (Nouvelle France) Nice throw 3S, then triple twist...she goes down on the SBS 3jump. Off a little on the SBS spin. Then she falls out of the SBS 2A. Nice throw 3L, nice leg alignment and body line on spirals....good lifts, nice ending....but overall somewhat mechanical, not overly expressive. 88.48/133.06
Spassova/Todorov (Paso doble by Viva Espana) Nicely costumed in latin theme dress, it fits his dark looks very nicely. Very high 2twist, then she falls on the throw 3S. SBS 2A I think she singled. She falls off of the SBS spins as well. Then the lift...oh my. Flashbacks to SA 2004....he trips, and she falls from the lift, luckily, on top of him....oh my. The crowd gasped, and then clapped appreciatively for every thing else they did in the program. Doubled the next throw, then she doubles both the jumps in the 3-2 SBS combo. Other lifts in the program were clean, although I'm sure everyone held their breath. 71.03/110.11
Moyle/Seitz (Prince Igor) Very nice blue outfits. Nice start on the lift, then she doubles the SBS jump....nice throw 3s, good 2twist. SBS 2axels in sequence, very clean by both of them. He loses his footing on the death spiral and goes down...throw 3loop is good...nice spiral positions and leg alignment. A bit off on the timing of the SBS spins, but nice pair spin. Not a lot of energy or emotion, but they manage a personal best of 89.58/135.96
Putnam/Wirtz (Tchaikovsky Piano concerto #1) Putnam/Wirtz, otherwise known as the best darn performance of the event IMO. First they get out there, get their positions, and no music comes on....and no music....still no music. Finally move out of their positions, set up once again. Very nice 3twist, followed by nice lift. Great musicality, great choreography throughout the program. Another lift, then SBS 3S-2t in sequence, both clean. SBS spins off a little on timing in the middle, but then back on. SBS 2a, she's a little shaky on the landing, but clean. Throw 3loop, then throw 3Sal but squeaky clean, and they just keep getting stronger and greater confidence....the footwork is beautiful, remaining lifts and pair spin all right on, and they finish to a standing O, well deserved. She's in tears. The audience is thrilled. 104.89/158.71
Vise/Trent (Les Miserables) Clean 2twist, SBS 3toes are good, SBS 2flip-2toe in sequence is also good. Very interesting and difficult lift entries, for almost all their lifts. Throw 3L good, pair spin is nice. Attempt the throw quad, she falls, but it looks better rotated than at skate America (I wonder if it work better if they did it as the first throw instead of the second?) Very nice spirals, good leg position and alignment...he gets off a little on the SBS spins...Footwork nice, but slow, death spiral good. Very nice program except the fall on the quad, and come on, it's a fall on a quad! 100.96 is personal best, competition total 150.46
Pylkina/Hogner (Dracula/Interview with Vampire) Nice costumes that match the music. Nice 3twist, SBS 3s she pops hers. Throw jump, she falls and slides into the wall....like a gentleman, he helps her up. SBS spins with good unison, very nice footwork and lift with intricate exit. Throw 3s good. Nice leg alignment in the spirals. SBS 3s-2t sequence, she doubles the sal. Very nice lift with position changes, and I'm thinking he presents her very well. They have trouble on the last lift, and he controls it, putting her down quickly. A shaky outing, but what could be a nice program, interesting choreography. 84.15/131.17
Inoue/Baldwin (Puccini selections) Well, here's a shock...John falls on the SBS 3jump...SIGH. (I think he has less hair than last week also....it's receding at a pretty rapid pace). The 2twist is very nice, death spiral good. A little skid going up into a lift, and I was thinking "Oh no, not again"...but the lift was strong and clean, no problems. Great SBS spins...the best speed and timing I think of anyone at SA or SC. Pair spin with nice positions and direction change, a little slow. They get the throw 3A!! Clean! (I thought she'd 2 footed, but on replay it looked clean) Very nice positions on spirals...some of the best body alignment of anyone I think. Shaky a little on the throw 3L, but clean. 2A x2 in sequence, he falls out on the landing of the second. Once again, Rena is a rockstar and John is....well, John. 111.12/166.32
Marcoux/Buntin (L'Amour) SBS 3t-2t in sequence nice. Very nice, romantic (duh) music, and very nice choreography with it....well-presented. Very nice, high 3twist. Good spiral positions, good leg line. SBS 2a, she falls, he has turnout and hand down. Pair spin is very nice. Spread eagle dance lift, throw 3L with a little stutterstep/stumble on landing. Lifts are solid througout. Then a fallout on the landing of the throw 3S. SBS spin ok, and last lift with a very nice exit. Footwork a bit slow (but fits the music)...overall it will be a very nice program without the mistakes. 108.05/166.19
Zhangs (Offspring of Dragons) A little earlier, Moir was asking if they were married, brother and sister "Or what?" Apparantly Shawn Sawyer is the one to ask of such things, since Charlie White was saying "Ask Shawn"...upon consultation with Mr. Sawyer, Moir and White learned that no, the Zhangs are not related, it is just a very common Chinese name. Now on to the performance. Throw 3S is, of course, huge....they could do a quint I think. Then in the jump sequence, she singles the axel, and he falls on the 3t. Unheard of. 3twist, I swear she must be 8 feet up above his head....WOW. A little slow on the lift entry, almost looked like it wouldn't happen...not sure what happened with that, but the lift turned out good. Pair spin is nice and clean...then, on the death spiral, I'm not sure if they had a little goof, or if she just had an awkward transition of her leg placement...it just looked funky. Throw 3loop equally huge, then SBS 3s were clean. Spirals ok, good leg line...nice lunge entry into lift. SBS spin timing on and off, and quite slow. Choreography is rather...minimal I think. But I guess they don't need it. 121.43/190.87
Final "voids"....Josee chouinard with Yoshie Onda...Josee remains beautiful...Anjelika Krylova is stunning (and very tall). All the skaters behind me were "oohing and ahhhing" for the Zhang's 3twist. Ponsero happy to be wished good luck, as well as Craig and Chipeur. Looking forward to see what languages I get to eavesdrop in tomorrow!
In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
Just realizing, I think Othman's -1.00 deduction was for time...I think in practice his music was timed at 2:53 or such, so perhaps he started movement a hair too soon. It's a shame, he was really beautiful, nearly as lyrical as Takahashi and lambiel (who I felt were most musical), and right up there with Ponsero, who I felt was just a hair behind those two in terms of expressiveness.
Thanks a million for the reports!! I can't wait to see PylHogs at nats...
Thanks for posting, Sofen. Wecome!
Thanks for the report!
I like Valerie Marcou's new hair style and make-up. She looks so much better than with the bun. By the way, I think they did a 2 twist not 3 twist.
Kasey - Your descriptions are pictures of the competion. Luv them and thanks a mil.
Yes, that's possible. It was so high (although not enough to challenge the Zhangs) that perhaps I hallucinated the third twist! It's been known to happen!
Originally Posted by hongligl
All Hail Queen Yu-Na!!!!!!
Poor Lambiel...... I feel sorry for him but happy for Johnny
I'm a big fan of Ponsero too, Thanks a mill for the report. Just a slight error, Yannicks Combination was actally Quad toe (turn out), 2 toe!
Varners skating was great, but I agree-[color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color] is up with that costume? Very John Curry, and he is mimicking with the arms too-but eh, that was 30 years ago Thomas??!
OMG, Lambiel. That's horrible.
Looks like there's a good chance that his body isn't holding up.
Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport
Kasey, thanks so much for the reports. I've gone to Skate Canada a couple of times and I love doing it.
amazing reports Kasey! thanks. wish i was there!
Penny & Nick!
Thankyou Kasey for the great reports.
I managed to catch some of the streaming of the OD in the middle of the night here in London, and wrote a few notes of my impressions:
Faiella & Scali - Started very promisingly, with good Tango carriage and character in the moves and steps, accentuating the music, however she had a bad fall, looked like she got the weight too far back on the skate and crashed to the ice. Obviously this disrupted the performance quite badly, and thereafter from what I saw of the OD it didn't blow me away, the choreo in the middle and last part of the dance is not as good. On a more positive note, her dress is gorgeous and his suit too, and they look very polished in their appearance, but the skating and programme were not fully there tonight, sorry.
The couple who impressed me most in the OD were Meryl DAVIS / Charlie WHITE of the US. Never seen them before, and thought their OD was fab!! They look young and inexperienced still, in terms of their appearance, and need a slicker look a la Fede & Massi, both their hair was a bit loose, with her fringe coming down over her face, but technically it was beautifully skated, and I thought the choreo was super. Very in character for an Argentine Tango, and alot of difficulty in the steps. Impressive. Perhaps American fans could tell me a bit about their history?
Having heard alot about them, I was a bit disappointed with Navarro & Bommentre's OD. It is quite basic re the steps, with not alot of difficulty there, though what they did was skated with polish, had finished moves and some style, but simple really, so easier to skate with elan if it's not so challenging technically.
Virtue & Moir - Saw this couple too for the first time, and they made a great impression. Technically, they are good icedancers, and looked very stylish, will be creditable Canadian Champions when D&L retire, I enjoyed the choreo again [from the Igor & Marina Team, who, judging by Belbin & Agosto's past routines, can create excellent OD but not such good FD choreo], it was very busy but still had room for subtlety.
D&L made mistakes, it was not a clean skate, and her white, romantic dress was a strange choice....for a Waltz perhaps, but a Tango..?
Hajkova & Vincour skated very well, a little bit slow compared to the others, she looked gorgeous in a red dress with asymetric skirt, and they both looked very happy in the K&C. YAY for putting Czech dancing back on the map!!
To capture the essence of the Tango in an OD is quite tricky, alot of the dances here and at SA were very fast across the ice, as is the norm these days, however Tango has alot of stops and starts, rapid changes of direction with the steps, long pauses in sultry hold or with legs wrapped around eachother, but the requirements for the OD under COP don't necessarily match with this theme stylistically. It's a quandry.....