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Thread: Different Styles

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    Question Different Styles

    I have a little question for the experts, that I can't answer by myself (I'm no expert ).
    I know that in other sports we can speak of different regional schools, or styles (example = in Gymnastic we have the American style and the Chinese style). Do you think that we can speak of different geographical schools also in FS? Do you think that there are certain characteristics that are present in the majority of skaters from one country or region? For example, can you say that Irina Slutskaya or Elena Sokolova are Russians just after you have seen a program of them? Can you see similarities between them in certain characteristic (in elements and artistic presentation)?
    Last edited by gio; 11-21-2006 at 03:43 AM.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Yes, I can see certain nationalistic styles of skaters. It is quite pronounced in balet companies.

    Joe

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    I think that the basic skating skills of the Russian Pairs (and ice dancers) really does stand out).

    Apparently the more knowledgabe can spot the difference between St Petersberg pairs and Moscow pairs, apparently the technique on the split twist lifts are different.

    As for other nationalities i think you can normally spot the French Men a mile away. Joubert is the exception to the rule but most other frenchmen really perform on the ice, be it in an extrovert way (preaubert, tobel, candeloro) or in a softer more lyrical way (jeanette and another skater who's name escapes me). Watch out for Klimkin though because i think he skates very much in the style of a lyrical introverted french skater.

    Ant

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    Thanks! And what about the Americans and Japanese?

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about the american and Japanese skaters. I can't say that i've seen much of a similarity between the Japanese men, although both Takahashi and Oda have good musicality when their on, Takahashi is too hit and miss with the elements and really lets its affect his performance and last year Oda was just too juniorish for my taste, but i've not seen him yet this year.

    The japanese skaters don't seem to share similar styles...why oh why anyone dresses Onda in frilly dresses and gives her "pretty pretty" music and choreography is beyond me - they should give her strong powerful music and allow her to really use her power and flow in a good way not try and contain it and wrap it up nice and pretty.

    Ant

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    Custom Title dwiggin3's Avatar
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    While I can not say I can spot a Russian skater from a French skater a mile away, I can usually tell with the American women who they have trained under - this is esp. true with those who have trained with Frank Carroll, Richard Callaghan (sp), The Scovolds (sp?), Audrey Wissinger (sp), Tom Zajracheck (sp), Don Way - M. Weiss's coach, Carol Heiss-Jenkens, John Nicks and S. Hughes' coach whose name escapes me.

    I can really see it in the jumps with Callaghan...He will either fix a jump problem or make is much worse...very hit and miss. Carol Heiss-Jenkens students are very proper and while they may not always show it, are very meticulous (esp. ladies hair and costumes). I think Timmy was an exception to this rule.

    The same can be said about choreographers. For a while, Sandra Bezic was the rage and while she created some of the most beautiful programs, I feel she was over-exposed and too many of her programs began to look alike. The same is true for the Yag’s style – esp. in the footwork. Nowadays, it seems the rage is to have former ice-dancers choreography programs, even for singles. I actually like this idea but would prefer to see some of the more basic and body line conscience moves return – but only if they are done well (spread eagles where the skater is not bent as the waist or has to contort themselves to get into position, Ina Bauer’s like Shiz, edge-work like DH ect.) I like many others, feel the COP has absolutely squashed any innovation in style. Skaters are afraid do try something new or even to go back to doing a basic move correctly for fear of loosing points. So, what we have are Y-spins that loose their appeal b/c of the ugly position skaters take to get into position, Bellman’s, Bad spirals – esp. the LFOE w/ the R leg in front ect.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    I know you said expert, so I am disqualified
    But,

    I have heard that there is a noticeable difference in the St Petersburg and Moscow skaters. Personally I only start to notice this when it has been pointed out to me. But their are noticeable things in the men from, chest and arms to foot work. Again this may just be someone's influence telling me this, but I have heard the two schools of Moscow and St Petersburg being compared to give examples of differences many times.

    Quote Originally Posted by gio View Post
    Thanks! And what about the Americans and Japanese?
    That is more something I see on an individual skater basis, so over all I would say not enough that it would be categorized by the country / federation. But JMO I think the Japanese have a more diverse "school" of skaters.

    And though mentioned above about the Swiss and spinning, I think that is something that emphasizes a skill set hence influencing the style.

    Now that I read over the post it sounds like a lot of the focus is on Pairs, I remember someone pointing out some stark differences in throws of the Chinese. But they were also saying how this style gets adapted by other skaters from other countries too.

    And with all the different coaches teaching / choreography / training facility being in a different country then there home federation, I think it is inevitable that the styles start to have a blend. Good thing IMO.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 11-21-2006 at 01:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaniBu View Post
    Now that I read over the post it sounds like a lot of the focus is on Pairs,
    No, not just in Pairs! I've saw a thing in the Russian (and Ukrainian) ladies skating. IMO, they telegraph the jumps more than the other skaters. Especially the Lutz and the Flip. But they have better height. The ones that come in mind are Slutskaya, Volchkova, Sokolova and Liashenko.

    And yes the Swiss school is about spinning, they're terrific spinners. Denise Biellmann, Lucinda Ruh, Nathalie Krieg, Stephane Lambiel
    Last edited by gio; 11-21-2006 at 04:03 PM.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gio View Post
    No, not just in Pairs! I've saw a thing in the Russian (and Ukrainian) ladies skating. IMO, they telegraph the jumps more than the other skaters. Especially the Lutz and the Flip. But they have better height. The ones that come in mind are Slutskaya, Volchkova, Sokolova and Liashenko.
    I think that's true. On the other hand, they have true edges on their Lutz's. Almost all American ladies flutz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think that's true. On the other hand, they have true edges on their Lutz's. Almost all American ladies flutz.
    Right! Maybe in Russia they work more on Lutz? It is interesting that some Japanese flutz (Suguri, Asada) and some have true edges (Arakawa, that even lips, Ando).

    And another thing. Aren't the Americans very good in spirals? Cohen, Kwan, Bobek, Zhang come in mind.
    The Russians IMO are weak in spirals.
    Last edited by gio; 11-21-2006 at 04:45 PM.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gio View Post
    Right! Maybe in Russia they work more on Lutz? It is interesting that some Japanese flutz (Suguri, Asada) and some have true edges (Arakawa, that even lips, Ando).

    And another thing. Aren't the Americans very good in spirals? Cohen, Kwan, Bobek, Zhang come in mind.
    The Russians IMO are weak in spirals.
    I like these examples - except you could have left Fumie out of the examples Oh well. Truth hurts.

    Bobek The original "Britney Spears" of the ice. Wait, some might take that negatively....
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 11-21-2006 at 04:55 PM.

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think that's true. On the other hand, they have true edges on their Lutz's. Almost all American ladies flutz.
    But conversely the true lutzers often 'Lip their flips, so same difference i guess?

    Emily Hughes does both a true Lutz and true flip though.

    Ant

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    In figure skating, most definitely. The Russians have always been noted for their great ice coverage and speed - especially in the pairs discipline. I heard David Pelletier make the comment at Skate Canada that the Chinese style and North American style are different when it comes to pair skating. We concentrate more on ice coverage and spin quality and they concentrate more on how high they can throw their partners in lifts. He thinks the Chinese need to improve in ice coverage and spinning. Also, the Russian single skaters are noted for having rest periods in their programs. Our skaters would have a fast tempo throughout their program and sometimes "run out of gas" at the end. The Russians would pace themselves and have a rest period with a music transition half way through the program.

    Over the years skaters have learned from one another as they compete and this has helped skaters develop their styles.

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