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Thread: Do you see what makes Shen/Zhao special?

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Do you see what makes Shen/Zhao special?

    It's not just them. It's all those skaters who have a flow to their skatingl

    Watching Shen and Zhao do their thing in GPf, I had to acknowledge their very definition of figure skating. What makes figure skating special is the flow on ice that dance can not really capture, although there is flow in dance.

    Zhang and Zhang show us the competitive trcks that WOW one, but it is Shen and Zhao who do the same tricks as movements- not as tricks but part of their perfomance. I'm not sure if other posters grasp what I like. I am not underestimating Z&Z prowess - I'm just trying to emphasize the beauty of flow which S&Z have.

    Not all skaters have that in any disciplines. Maybe Denkova and Staviski.

    Joe

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    I Get it

    I get it Joe, completely. They are artists who translate the music with movement on the ice. When they do that, they make the jumps, the throws etc. a part of the dance. They are not separate parts of a program. They seamlessly flow from one movement to the next. They use many parts of their body to express the feeling of the piece they are skating too. There is no woodenness to their performance. They are also emotionally connected to the music and to each other, which is crucial.

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    they have a masterpiece of a long... shen/zhao are one of a kind. i would hate to see them retire after worlds...which i think they can win easily, btw. they are so far above the field when they deliver...

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    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    I almost wish the Olympics were this year...

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    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post

    Zhang and Zhang show us the competitive trcks that WOW one, but it is Shen and Zhao who do the same tricks as movements- not as tricks but part of their perfomance. I'm not sure if other posters grasp what I like. I am not underestimating Z&Z prowess - I'm just trying to emphasize the beauty of flow which S&Z have.

    Joe
    You really summed that up well. What I have found especially striking about Shen & Zhao over the last 4 years has been that their spectacular technical moves are SO secondary to their marvelous lines and expression. It's like you are so moved by the overall beauty of the whole, that later you realize how spectacular some of the parts were. Rather like Torvill & Dean, only on a more "acrobatic", if you will, scale.

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    Well, I've been a fan of this team for soooo long now that I surely lack any objectivity; but what does really impress me is how, with each passing season, they have developed more and more of that flow Joe is talking about; this LP really is stunning in how all of the movements (tricks and non-tricks) are woven together seemlessly and how what IS presented is the line, the flow, the unison (and here too, while they could continue to grow with unison, it is simply sooooo much better than 8 years ago and so much better than many other pairs). Turandot from 2003 worlds will always be one of my favorites for the unbridled emotion; but this program I find truly mesmorizing and very emotional in a quieter, subtler kind of way - like an introspective (as opposed to explosive, extroverted) way.

    The Zhangs do have amazing tricks - I'm just not hooked yet (I'm looking to the german pair, and the new russian pair with the japanese woman at the moment). And, I haven't seen Pang/Tong this season - I think I like Tong the best out of these last four, and both the women are soooo brave and strong to land their elements but don't really have the line, or stretch that I love to look at -- but it could always develop!

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    Quote Originally Posted by emma View Post
    (moment). And, I haven't seen Pang/Tong this season - I think I like Tong the best out of these last four, and both the women are soooo brave and strong to land their elements but don't really have the line, or stretch that I love to look at -- but it could always develop!
    Pang & Tong have been Morozoved this season. Their short program is full of arm-flailing stuff, typical fingerprints of Morozov. I actually like their short program though. But Pang needs to land her 3toe if they want a brighter future.

    This girl is Bin Yao's one choice of younger pair teams.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU8Z5ymhw84

    Her style is very Pang like, even her awful jumps. But she's still young(13 yrs), so hopefully she'll be able to land 2 different triples solidly in the future.
    Last edited by iloveaxel; 12-25-2006 at 02:05 PM.

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Hang on - are we discussing pairs or ice dance here? Zhen & Zhao, Pang & Tong & Zhang & Zhang are all pair teams. Zhen and Zhao have certainly improved in their inbetween moves over the years. As Barb Underhill pointed out Zhen & Zhao have always had great lifts but their spins and general overall skating was weak; however that has changed as they have certainly grown as a team. It's taken Zhen and Zhao hard work and many years of skating together to develop as a team and this is the norm for many pairs. Some teams have this flow as you mentioned right off the bat and look as though they have been skating as a team for years, but usually it takes a couple of years for these teams to look really polished. I think this is the case with Zhen and Zhao. The other Chinese teams mentioned have still a lot of work to do in this area. They have great lifts but need to work on other aspects of their skating. As David Pelletier says "lifts are not entirely what makes a great pairs team."

    The same pretty much goes for ice dance teams as well.

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Sorry, duplicate comment

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    Ladskater, I guess the dance joe talked about is not ice dance, it's dance on the stage or anywhere off ice.

    Joe, I so agree with you, it's the seamless flow from one movement (not only elements) to another that makes their skating so special. We forget to wow their spectacular big tricks as they come out so naturally and effortlessly that we just don't realize how difficult their programs are. Great summary of the feature of S/Z's skating. I felt it all the way but just couldn't find the right words to put it.

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladskater View Post
    Hang on - are we discussing pairs or ice dance here? Zhen & Zhao, Pang & Tong & Zhang & Zhang are all pair teams. Zhen and Zhao have certainly improved in their inbetween moves over the years. As Barb Underhill pointed out Zhen & Zhao have always had great lifts but their spins and general overall skating was weak; however that has changed as they have certainly grown as a team. It's taken Zhen and Zhao hard work and many years of skating together to develop as a team and this is the norm for many pairs. Some teams have this flow as you mentioned right off the bat and look as though they have been skating as a team for years, but usually it takes a couple of years for these teams to look really polished. I think this is the case with Zhen and Zhao. The other Chinese teams mentioned have still a lot of work to do in this area. They have great lifts but need to work on other aspects of their skating. As David Pelletier says "lifts are not entirely what makes a great pairs team."

    The same pretty much goes for ice dance teams as well.
    Shen&Zhao always had great lifts

    In the beginning their lifts were as poor as their spins - they did a heck of a lot of work on their lifts to get them to what they are today and inproved immensely not just on positions and stregnth of them but also a lot of work has goneinto him cleaning up his footwork in them. They were never that great at lifts (not including the twist lift here) and worked very hard to improve them.

    Here's the SP from their worlds debut http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es-doWHlEQA they have a disaster on their lift. I remember this happening a few times with them at the start.

    Their LP from 1996 worlds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pet_rPPzm8I another aborted lift in this program, the second lift is very ropey in the air and scraping footwork by him, sloppy third lift.

    Their LP from 1998 Nagano Olympics is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvBaEqTb2kI and the improvements on her positions was much better and their general balance in the lifts had improved but his footwork was still not quite up to scratch. The imporvement since these programs to hwo they perform now are noticeable.

    Ant

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    As Peggy often says, "they really draw you in." That's what makes them special to me, as well as their extreme consistency. They possess that intangible thing that may simple be called "star quality."

    Plus, their backstory of rising up from the kind of desperate poverty that we in the West can't even imagine really inspires me. They are obviously simply superlative people as well as athletes.

    And thinking back ... remember in years past when they were criticised for LACK of artistry?? Boy, those days are long over.

    Their Méditation de Thaïs is a masterpiece.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Amazing

    That's what Shen and Zhao are. It was heartbreking that he got injured and that they could not perform like themselves at Torino. If any Pair ever deserved Olympic Gold, it's them. Both of thier, as well as their coach, Bin Yao have changed the way that they skated. If you look at a video from 1998 olympics, or ven 2002, thier emotion and interprtation is the best in the buisness. Not to mention a HUGE throw jumps, flawless jumps, twists thta hit the ceiling. All ican say is that they look so perect on the ice, and that It was a cruel of fate that they do not have more world championships and olympic titles under thier belts. I get SO MAD whe shen fallls on the quad salchow in 2002. She HAD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She landed it! the look on her face was one of sheer joy, and then it all came crashing down, I still odn't really know how it happend or why...... anyway. Shen and Zhao have somthing that I have never really seen before or after.

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    There are -maybe 4. most memorable pair in the history.

    Protapopovs : passion, smoothness, emotions first time on the ice.

    Gordeeva/Grinkov: the ethernal beauty, like a Mosfilm logo. The beautiful couples, who also has the perfection with a lots of haevanly emotions. The most perfect technique.

    Miskutionok/Dmitriev: No ethernal beauty, but 100% passion with a brilliant technique. A real macho and a real woman with a lots of "bravura"

    Shen/Zhao: The quality of G/G, but much more down-to-earth emotions, no ethernal. But watching their artistical, poetical performance you can feel it, they performes our emotions, our loves our joys our dramas of our every days.
    Magical.

    Those four are the one's can always make me cry watching their different beauty and artistic perfection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdeal View Post
    There are -maybe 4. most memorable pair in the history.

    Protapopovs : passion, smoothness, emotions first time on the ice.

    Gordeeva/Grinkov: the ethernal beauty, like a Mosfilm logo. The beautiful couples, who also has the perfection with a lots of haevanly emotions. The most perfect technique.

    Miskutionok/Dmitriev: No ethernal beauty, but 100% passion with a brilliant technique. A real macho and a real woman with a lots of "bravura"

    Shen/Zhao: The quality of G/G, but much more down-to-earth emotions, no ethernal. But watching their artistical, poetical performance you can feel it, they performes our emotions, our loves our joys our dramas of our every days.
    Magical.

    Those four are the one's can always make me cry watching their different beauty and artistic perfection.
    Haven't really watched a lot of previous pairs but I also like B/S. They were born with exquisite lines which shen & zhao would never be able to achieve.

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned S&P. I don't think they are great pairs but their presentation skills/flows are great. I am however bothered by their throws. I watched a recent clip of them, and just realized how small their throws are, especially when compared to shen & zhao's. S&P's throws are like baby ones performed by a junior team.

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