Which Meditation do you prefer?
While watching Shen & Zhao's LP to Meditation, I also came accross Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze's LP to Meditation in 2002. It is odd that Shen & Zhao chose this music since it's been done so recently by the Olympic Champion of all pairs.
Which do you prefer?
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
Oh, S/Z most definitely.
First because I am nuts about Zhao - he is so noble and soulful. I don't know what to say about him technically but ... what can I say, I love him! Sikharulidze is too string-beany and without that poetic quality of Zhao. I also find Shen utterly exquisite and beyond that, touching, whereas Berezhnaya is just pretty. (Note: I'm talking about her appearance and style - not deprecating her skating skills).
Second, S/Z are so incredibly matched in both emotion and size - they move together as if in a dream. S is a little too tall for B and they don't seem to have as strong a connection as S/Z.
I'm honestly not sure whether it is the choreography of S/Z or their performance but they put me in a state of delight from beginning to end. There's really no competition from B/S - their program was routine by comparison. One innovative element toward the end was not good - the spin where she is crouching with her head between his legs - ick. The last 20 seconds or so of B/S are great, though.
Sorry to gush!
Trixie Schuba's biggest fan!
I think I prefer S/Z's over B/S simply because of the connection. S/Z do have a genuine love for one another, whereas B/S were just friends at the time. Sometimes, I almost felt uncomfortable watching them, because it always seemed to me like Anton still loved Yelena...and it came out in their skating. Yelena doesn't have the passion in either Anton or the music they were skating to that Xue has for Hongbo or the music.
Both pairs are magnificent, but again, Shen and Zhao have made the music their own. Their masterpieces (Turandot, Nutcracker, and now Meditation) are all pieces used successfully by other pairs (Meno/Sand, Gordeyeva/Grinkov, Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze), but I almost forget about those other renditions. Maybe it's the fact that S/Z were the most recent to use the music, but I think it's just that their passion for skating, music, and one another blends into this...WOW
OK. Enough gushing from me, too!
I think as years gone by, Shen/Zhao became one of the most memorable pair in figure skating, doesn't matter which titles they won or not.
They had the most magnificent improvement from brilliant technical skaters to a a pair which is a dream to watch and enjoy.
There are 3 best pairs in the history in my mind:
Gordeeva/Grinkov, an ethernal beauty and unison, which can make you cry.
Shen/Zhao, very similar to G/G, but somehow more human-like, more living in the same planet where we all are, their emotions are our emotions, which also can make you cry ( like I did in their Turandot program watching them first).
Mishkutionok/Dimitriev, the most passionate pair in the history. No ethernal things, but passion, love, full-hearted. They never wanted to sacrifice their passionate style to look even more beautiful. They had been what they've been.
Berezhnaya/ Sikharulidze are brilliant skaters, a bit try to be similar to Gordeeva/Grinkov, but never reached the league of the previous one's.
(Could we call Totmianina/Marinin a memorable pair if we think about the previous one's???? ......)
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
I prefer the musical arrangement of Z&S over B&S - I thought the arrangement B&S used was rather sub-par for the program especially at the end - it got rather distorted and raggy. As for the programs its sort of comparign apples to oranges.
I agree with LADskater about the music editing for Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze. They tried to flesh out the sound (which is very little more than solo violin) by overlaying it with extra instumentation. To me, the final result was kind of ordinary. (The choreography was great, though.)
I too like the S/Z music cuts better than B/S, but also really love B/S program - choreography with one tiny exception - there's a part right before the ending segment where they did pair spins, and B is in a catch foot position and just sort of waits for a beat or two while Anton moves around and gets the sping goins - It always looked to me like they were off beat or just off - but they did it that way every time so I know (i think I know) it was intentional, but it always distracted me.
I also think that B/S had exquisite line and flow - and the spread eagle she does where she also tilts backward and holds onto anton (it's like an inside spread eagle with an ina bauer top) is really pretty to watch. I also like their death spiral a lot.
I haven't seen G/G mediation in years - I keep meaning to go to youtube to watch it to compare.
But, having said all of that - I think S/Z is really special and beautiful. Someone posted the COC version, and while it seems they finished a bit late (not as late as NHK), I must agree that all of the dance moves and connecting moves in that were just brilliant. I have to watch the final again to see what they may have cut out or adjusted. I just wish they both, but especially Xue, would point their toes a bit.
Whichever one I am watching at the moment.
I think that Shen/Zhao's Meditation is better (I'm probably biased cause I love watching them skate :D). Also, I think that their cut of music is a lot better.
This is tough..I like them both! When I hear "Meditation" at some points I picture B/S and at other points I picture S/Z. It is like comparing apples with oranges. Same music, but completely different programs, choreography, approaches. Plus, one is pre-COP and one is post-COP. Shen and Zhao are my favorites, but I really liked Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze's Meditation too. I just can't choose!
I think they are both wonderful. However, I'd have to go with S/Z for the emotional impact - something I never got from B/S (although technically they were terrific).
Loved S/Z's GPF FS - you could have heard a pin drop during that performance.
Both programs are briliant. But if I have to choose, I choose S/Z's. What I can say, they make a technically very difficult program so effortless and mesmerising. To me there is no need to compare S/Z with any other pairs any more. They are the best ever pair in the world, a perfect combination of strong technical skills and artistry. Beside they have great personalities, humble and friendly and never stop challenging themselves to be better. Love them.