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Thread: Tarasova is a destructive influence on American skaters

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    Tarasova is a destructive influence on American skaters

    Today I was watching a recording of Russia's skating show the Ice Age, in which a professional skater is paired up with a non-skater for "ice dance" performances. Tatiana Tarasova, who was on the judging panel, has given comments that really made me realize that she corrupts the skaters she works with.

    She would often complain about the "incompeleteness of moves" such as lifts (or extended legs or arms) as having a deleterious effect on the program because lifts that were too short didn't create a rapturous interpretation of the music and therefore betrayed it. This problem bothered her more than falls.

    Now let me tell you, Tarasova's insistence on completeness and lengthy execution of choreographical elements is responsible for ruining the careers of Sasha Cohen and Johnny Weir.

    Once Sasha Cohen got it into her head that it was important to have lengthy, intricately executed spins and spirals as well as other "beautiful" moves that perfectly matched the music, she decided to pursue this "beauty" to the point of neglecting her jumps.

    Had she ditched this crazy "beauty" obsession of Tarasova's and focused on her jumps to the exclusion of choreographical completeness, she would have become World Champion and maybe even Olympic Gold Medalist.

    The other victim of the Tarasova curse was Johnny Weir, whose admiration of the Russian style of "complete, extended, elegant moves that express the music" made him feel too contented with himself to aggressively pursue the quad and to focus on his jumping technique.

    Last but not least, Mao Asada has recently lost some of her jumping technique due to choreographical finesse acquired from working with Tarasova. If Tarasova can undermine such a talented skater like Asada, she certainly has the power to ruin less technically proficient skaters such as Sasha Cohen and Johnny Weir.

    In conclusion, I'd like to point out that I am not against great choreography but I believe that it was only an advantage under the 6.0 system. Under COP, presenting an elegant and choreographically impressive program and sacrificing jump power to do it is a recipe for disaster and a sure way to stay off the podium.

    Both Johnny and Sasha could have relied on their choreo and beautiful moves to receive a high 2nd mark in the 6.0 era, but under COP their artistic accomplishments won't matter unless they are jumps are already perfect.

    Of course, the problem is that both Sasha and Johnny preferred to focus on the artistic versus the technical and incurred the wrath of their federations who believed these two to be capable of getting higher COP scores if they focused more on the technical aspect of skating.

    Johnny has realized this already and cut back on choreography to focus on executing his jumps, except for the quad which he hasn't gotten to due to years of obsession with "beautiful skating."

    BTW, I also like Tiara's thoughts on this.
    Last edited by krenseby; 11-26-2007 at 12:21 AM.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Wow, great theory, I love it!

    Of course, Tatiana Anatolevna's obsession with beautiful skating didn't hurt Alexei Yagudin, Ilia Kulik, Shizuka Arakawa, Grishuk and Platov, Klimova and Ponomorenko, Bestemianova and Bukin, or Rodnina and Zaitsev.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
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    Oh I agree, TAT might have ruined a lot for Johnny. Thanks goodness, his jumps/ medals are back, he's so much better off without her. There was yet another evil woman in Johnny's life who's name starts with a P.

    I, too, now see how unhealthy his obsession with so called "beautiful skating"
    was. Beautiful shmootiful. Swan? Otonal? Rondo? Disposable crap. Love is war? That's what he needs.
    Last edited by Hsuhs; 11-26-2007 at 12:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Wow, great theory, I love it!

    Of course, Tatiana Anatolevna's obsession with beautiful skating didn't hurt Alexei Yagudin, Ilia Kulik, Shizuka Arakawa, Grishuk and Platov, Klimova and Ponomorenko, Bestemianova and Bukin, or Rodnina and Zaitsev.
    Those are not Americans.

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    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    Not necessarily--

    Tatiana is a great coach that demands nothing short of perfection from ALL skaters she worked with, whether they reached the world podium or not. All coaches are like that. It is up to the skater to either take that and run with it, or not. And in some cases, some skaters just don't have the ability to match her demands.

    Shizuka, Alexei and the others already had sound technique before they reached Tat. Johnny and Sasha, while beautiful, weren't as sound technically as those other skaters. As for Mao, she has had a growth spurt. You can see the difference if you watch a video of her last year and the year before to now--the puberty monster is there.

    It is not a matter of Tat destroying American (or Japanese) skaters. It is a matter of those skaters ever having the ability to give her what she demanded from them (need we be reminded of how great Alexei was technically in 1998 when he was with Mishin, but how boring his skating was?).

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    Yeah it didn't hurt Shizuka but she didn't think she could win the gold medal at the Olympics with Tarasova so she switched to Mrozov just in time.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    Now let me tell you, Tarasova's insistence on completeness and lengthy execution of choreographical elements is responsible for ruining the careers of Sasha Cohen and Johnny Weir.

    Once Sasha Cohen got it into her head that it was important to have lengthy, intricately executed spins and spirals as well as other "beautiful" moves that perfectly matched the music, she decided to pursue this "beauty" to the point of neglecting her jumps.

    Had she ditched this crazy "beauty" obsession of Tarasova's and focused on her jumps to the exclusion of choreographical completeness, she would have become World Champion and maybe even Olympic Gold Medalist.
    I don't know much about Tarasova. But the length of spins and spirals is important. Skaters are often deducted for not holding the position long enough.
    Last edited by Bennett; 11-26-2007 at 12:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Wow, great theory, I love it!

    Of course, Tatiana Anatolevna's obsession with beautiful skating didn't hurt Alexei Yagudin, Ilia Kulik, Shizuka Arakawa, Grishuk and Platov, Klimova and Ponomorenko, Bestemianova and Bukin, or Rodnina and Zaitsev.
    Mathman, I did mention that Tarasova had a very pernicious effect on recent American skaters due to the incompabitility of her aesthetic ideals with COP. I did not claim that her approach was harmful for skaters who competed under the 6.0 system. Your list of people not hurt by Tarasova's approach includes 6.0 competitors, but no list of people who she helped succeed under COP except for Shizuka Arakawa. She could be the exception to the rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue dog View Post
    Not necessarily--

    Tatiana is a great coach that demands nothing short of perfection from ALL skaters she worked with, whether they reached the world podium or not. All coaches are like that. It is up to the skater to either take that and run with it, or not. And in some cases, some skaters just don't have the ability to match her demands.

    Shizuka, Alexei and the others already had sound technique before they reached Tat. Johnny and Sasha, while beautiful, weren't as sound technically as those other skaters. As for Mao, she has had a growth spurt. You can see the difference if you watch a video of her last year and the year before to now--the puberty monster is there.

    It is not a matter of Tat destroying American (or Japanese) skaters. It is a matter of those skaters ever having the ability to give her what she demanded from them (need we be reminded of how great Alexei was technically in 1998 when he was with Mishin, but how boring his skating was?).
    bluedog, you just proved my point. Tarasova seems to work for skaters who already have their tech skills down by improving their artistic technique and turning them into a whole skater. (Yagudin was already technically great thanks to Mishin before taking up with Tatiana.)

    But for Johnny Weir and Sasha Cohen, going after Tarasova's ideals of great choreography was destructive because they needed to keep working on the technical side of their skating. Great stretch, extension, and movement to accentuate the music was not the right ideal for them to aspire to because it caused them both to forget their jumps.

    Also what ks777 said: "Yeah it didn't hurt Shizuka but she didn't think she could win the gold medal at the Olympics with Tarasova so she switched to Mrozov just in time."

    Basically, it was Morozov that helped Shizuka get her jumps down. The artistic stuff she learned from Tarasova was great but it wouldn't have helped her win Olympic Gold or perhaps even medal at the Olympics.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ks777 View Post
    Yeah it didn't hurt Shizuka but she didn't think she could win the gold medal at the Olympics with Tarasova so she switched to Mrozov just in time.
    I think Morosov program worked well for Shizuka, esp. the Torandot LP. To me, it was nice because it had all the great steps and transitions, which might not have been possible without the prior training with ice dancers before going to Morosov. Shizuka's Chopin SP sounded to me like background music. Although it was clean, it was not very interesting, I am afraid.

    I also did not enjoy Miki's LP program last year. It was really like a lineup of elements skated to the background music. Although he did a great job to get Miki concentrate on the elements, the PCSs were lower than other top skaters.

    Mao - I think that the jump layout does not seem to be inhibited by beautiful choreo. Actually, she has the front loading of all the three jumps in her SP.
    Last edited by Bennett; 11-25-2007 at 11:58 PM.

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    This is one of the most [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color] threads I've ever read, and that's saying a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psycho View Post
    This is one of the most [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color] threads I've ever read, and that's saying a lot.
    Well, I wish you could have said what you don't like about it or at least why you think it's absurd. Besides, I am not the only person to bring up the point that COP doesn't reward good choreography and beautiful skating where as the 6.0 system did.

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    What are you smoking?
    She is a great coach. Sasha never has had consistant jump to begine with, with or without TT. Not to mention TT has helped Sasha improveing her edge quality. Johnny is Johnny he has had beautyful triple jumps before going TT, and still has them with TT. The one hurt him was the lacking or can't consistant landing them in competetion and when you can't do it consistant but put into your program there got to be a lot pressure. You might say pressure or mental toughness was what did Johnny in. As for Mao, she has had jump problem even before she went to TT, due to growing spurt and her jump technique to begine with....TT is no jump coach, nor psychist, you can't fault her for this.....for all I see TT dose help bring out Sasha and Mao's 'beauty' of skating.

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    Yes, of course this is the Korean Federation's conspiracy which persuades Tarasova first and lets her trick Mao into pursuing artistic greatness and let Mao lose her original jumping ability.

    However, I can not agree with your wonderful theory. Mao is too smart to be tricked by Tarasova or the Korean Federation. She is not that stupid. It is a right thing for her to put more emphasis in artistic-side training now. Though it is very tough for the less talented skaters like Johnny or Sasha to pursue both technical and artistic-side trainings at the same time, the Great Mao can handle both trainings at the same time. Even if she can not this season, in the long run, I mean by the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, she will improve both sides aspects of skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiara View Post
    Though it is very tough for the less talented skaters like Johnny or Sasha to pursue both technical and artistic-side trainings at the same time, the Great Mao can handle both trainings at the same time.
    Tiara, I really hope you are right. Maybe, the problem is not with Tarasava per se, but more with Johnny's and Sasha's inability to up their artistic while remaining focused on the technical. (Yagudin managed to do this and Mao may do as well.) Perhaps, skaters should stay away from pursuing Tarasova's ideals of great choreography unless they have already honed their tech. skills to perfection.

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