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Thread: "Missing" by the Duchesnays

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    Throwing tomatoes at corrupt judges Audrey19's Avatar
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    "Missing" by the Duchesnays

    I have recently seen Misiing part 1 and 2 by the Duchesnays and I was totally stunned, but there were some things I don't quite understand.

    Part 1, 1990 worlds
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRtg7VpawSA

    Part 2, 1991 worlds
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdpQo...eature=related

    I have heard before that there is some kind of a political message which has to do with South America, becuse the commentator in the first vid says "It's a tribute to those who disappeared in South America"-so what does that mean?

    And what was abut the costumes? In the second vid the commentator says "Isabelle had told me that she hoped it was the last time she ever wore that costume. I guess she is surprised to be here in it again." Why is that?

    So, what is the background of this programs? If anyone can give me some information, that would be great!

    Thanks in advance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Audrey19 View Post
    I have recently seen Misiing part 1 and 2 by the Duchesnays and I was totally stunned, but there were some things I don't quite understand.

    Part 1, 1990 worlds
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRtg7VpawSA

    Part 2, 1991 worlds
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdpQo...eature=related

    I have heard before that there is some kind of a political message which has to do with South America, becuse the commentator in the first vid says "It's a tribute to those who disappeared in South America"-so what does that mean?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_disappearance

    The title refers to this film: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_%28film%29

    Torvill and Dean skated a professional program based on this theme:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NJC_D8RLHQ

    Dean then adapted it as a competitive program for the Duchesnays (the 1990 edition).

    And what was abut the costumes? In the second vid the commentator says "Isabelle had told me that she hoped it was the last time she ever wore that costume. I guess she is surprised to be here in it again." Why is that?
    I don't think it was so much about the costumes per se as that doing another program on the Missing theme and wearing the same costumes again was a suprise that they wouldn't have anticipated two months earlier in the season.

    For the first part of the season, they had been working on a completely different program (with completely different costumes), but it didn't go over well at Europeans so they decided to scrap it and make a new version of Missing instead
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5s49wH2oZo

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    The program was choreographed by Christopher Dean. The music was used by Chris & Jayne to do their own version of Missing in 1988, before Chris used this music for the Duchesnays, and talks about the background:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NJC_D8RLHQ

    Chris talks about the choreography before they skate it.

    http://www.desaparecidos.org/chile/eng.html

    During the Pinochet regime in Chile, thousands of people were 'disappeared' by the Pinochet security forces. The above link is dedicated to those people.

    The music is by the Inti-Illimani, a Chilean folklore band.

    http://www.gamisim.com/artist/intiillimani

    The particular songs used for Missing I were Dolencias and Sikuriades. For Missing 2, Atahualpa and Cacharpaya (I'm not positive of the spelling here)

    Isabelle was tired of the costume because she wore it in both 1990 and 1991. They had originally planned to do a unisex number called Reflections in 1991, but it was not well received at Europeans. Chris Dean and they put together Missing II in the time between Europeans and Worlds.

    Here's the program they scrapped:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5s49wH2oZo

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    Throwing tomatoes at corrupt judges Audrey19's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot, gkelly and Dorispulaski! So now I'm wiser than before.
    Actually I'm glad they skipped the reflections program-Missing II was IMO much better. Love the idea of starting part 2 with the same lift they ended part 1 with.

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    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    They had originally planned to do a unisex number called Reflections in 1991, but it was not well received at Europeans. Chris Dean and they put together Missing II in the time between Europeans and Worlds.

    Here's the program they scrapped:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5s49wH2oZo
    The program they scrapped (I've think I've seen it referred to as both Reflections and Mirror Image) was one of my favorite programs ever (despite the obvious glitches in their Euros performance). It was way ahead of its time in terms of concept (and honestly I don't think audiences or judges today would be able to deal with it any better than they were in 1990).

    I was totally blah about Missing II (though I loved the 1990 version) and never really recovered fandom for the D's and by Albertville was hoping the Russians would win. The funny think is though that the Russians 1991 LP didn't age well between Euros and Worlds and I wonder what would have happened had the Duchesnays stayed with the unisex program and polished it more... They probably wouldn't have won, but maybe they would have done something more interesting the next year (as it was, West Side Story looked too much like Missing III )

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    I can't speak for anyone else, but I loved the Duchesnays, I loved the concept of the Reflections program, but as far as the actual choreography I thought it highlighted their technical deficiencies too much. E.g., there was no footwork to speak of.

    Maybe it could be rechoreographed for the Kerrs? :D

    I wonder how much of the negative feedback they got at Europeans was dislike of the concept and how much was dislike of the (lack of) content.

    something more interesting the next year (as it was, West Side Story looked too much like Missing III )
    Hm, yeah, I can see that. I still like all three of those programs, though.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I loved the Duchesnay's but I loved Missing I and their various OSPs (other than the Lonely Goatherd) better than Missing 2, Reflections or WSS.

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    To me the reworked Reflections was still a professional program, not an eligible one.

    I always found Isabelle Duschenay to be unpolished, with poor posture and not very deep edges. Technically, I don't think she came close to either Usova or Klimova, her foremost rivals.

    I would love to see Khoklova/Novitsky do something like this for an exhibition.

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    Don't forget that the result of Worlds that year was as much a result of unusual results in the compulsories and OD as the outcome of the FD. I think part of the reason K/P did not win in '91 is three-fold.

    First, following Euros they unfortunately received a false positive drug test for a banned substance (steroid?) for Marina. The B sample later came back negative and they were exonerated. However, it took several weeks for the second set of test results to be completed. This left them under a cloud of suspicion that hampered their training and put them under extreme emotional strain. Not only was their European title in danger of being stripped, but their eligibility to compete at Worlds in a few weeks and in Albertville the next winter also hung in the balance.

    Secondly, as a result of all the scrutiny, every little detail of their training and their programs was being nitpicked by the whole skating community and the general press at large. They had received a lot of negative press since 1990 Worlds based soley on the result of the FD almost implying that they had stolen the title from the D's simply b/c their program was not as edgy or popular (despite being technically superior). As a result, they decided to take a new choreographic route. They realized that their technique, though unquestionably better, was no longer enough in the eyes of the judges and the fans to keep them ahead. Still their new FD, while very difficult, was generally found to contain too many lifts (ironic since FD rule bending was commonly overlooked for the D's and virtually every other medal worthy team since the early 80's) and was viewed as a very drastic departure from their previous programs. Unfortunately, the concept of their program had a hit or miss impact with the skating community and the fans.

    Third, K/P were in the process of disolving their long-standing relationship with their coach, Natalia Dubova, due to disagreements over what style of programs best suited them and how much decision-making power they could wield for themselves. Dubova favored more traditional routines for K/P since that was their trademark. Still at the same time, she devoted more engery and creativity to more modern programs for their training mates and rivals U/Z. This lead to feelings of jealously and favoritism and a terrible environment for training.

    By the time Worlds began she was the coach in name only and was devoting much of her time to U/Z. This left them feeling very isolated with virtually no support from their coach and federation, a lingering cloud of doping charges hanging overhead and the weight of knowing that fans overwhelmingly favored the D's. Of course this all happened against the backdrop of the Soviety Union and its famed sports regime collapsing.

    Due mainly to lack of training, Marina made uncharacteristic errors in the first CD (a segment they normally won easily) and skated very tightly in the second . This allowed U/Z to hold the lead with K/P in second and the D's in the third heading into the OD. The D's then skated what was probably their best OD of their career to place first with U/Z in second and K/P in third. The competition was very tight, the first two teams seemed to capture the mood of the dance better, while K/P were typically technically superior. Going into the FD, whoever won that segment would win overall. This was a first b/c Marina and Sergei had usually won the first two segments and had the luxury of finishing second in the FD and still winning the title. Pressed to choose between three avant garde FD's instead of the usual combo of one and two more traditional ones, the judges picked the D's and their Missing II (which almost everyone agreed largely contained recycled elements of their previous routines). In many ways, it was the safe choice since the judges were not yet used to the "new-look" Russians.

    In many ways, this was probably the best thing that could happen for K/P. It made them hungry to regain their stature and relieved the burden of having to fend off the D's from catching them. They were forced to take stock and re-tool their approach, leave their coach and move to Tarasova who gave them the affirmation and nurturing they needed. For the D's , winning may have made them too conservative in their approach the following season as all their programs were far more traditional than one would have expected.

  10. #10
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    I just wanted to post a link to one of my favorite Torvill & Dean routines.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OWk5a0I1BA

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Actually the programs were choreographed by Christopher Dean and I have seen Torvil and Dean perform the programs in their touring shows; however, he gave the program to the Duchesnays when he was their coach. I remember how captivating the program was and I think it was also the young age of the Duchesnays that brought a certain freshness and excitement to the look of the program. I do remember Isabelle making the comment on her costume. They performed the program so many times, perhaps she just wanted a change.

    I've read some negative comments here about the Dushesnays but they were well loved by many fans and were very exciting to watch. I always thought it was Canada's loss of a great team because they moved to France to train and represented that country because of their French roots. They found it difficult to compete and get to the top here in Canada because the ice dance field here is so strong.

    I always loved their special they did for the CBC -"The Planets" - which also featured a very young Brian Orser. It's an amazing program.


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    Youth is relative. For the record, The Planets was made in 1994 when Isabelle, Paul, and Brian were all professionals in their early 30s.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I would not have said it was because the Canadian team was so strong in the time period that the Duchesnay's were being given little or no respect. They had the great Wilson and McCall at the head of the team of course, but the the Duchesnays were unable to get ahead of the not so talented Garossinos, so they could never make it to worlds as the Garossinos were stuck between 9th and 11th. People said they were supposed to wait their turn, although there may have been other things really going on.

    If I were them, I would have left Canada too.

    The first mentionof the Duchesnays at Worlds is 1986, but I don't have a vid. They are in 12th, the Garossinos in 10th.

    By the next season though, they were much better than the Garossinos ever became.

    Duchesnays in 1986 at Skate America
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWRE6ns7C6Y&NR=1

    Here's the Garossinos failing to interpret the tango at Worlds in 1988. At Olympics, they skated this worse.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2j1GB7sWs0

    Here's the Duchesnays doing a wonderful tango at the same worlds.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEz1xYVO-aw

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    If I recall correctly, the Duchesnays also generated some 'noise'/controversy, whatever you want to call it during the first Worlds, Missing I program, by having some sort of poster/flyer distributed out in the arena for the audience "explaining" the story or politics underlying their program.

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    They did make quite the habit of using the press to their advantage before it was fashionable or common for most skaters to do so. It added a particular air of intrigue whenever they took they ice because the audience's attention and expectations were heightened. The side effect was that they also gained a lot of sympathy whenever their new ideas were not warmly receivedby judges.

    Their legacy is probably that skating is more open to creative and unique themes and that skaters are much more media saavy than they once were.

    All that aside, though, I do wonder how the general public would have looked at their skating if television commentators back then had focused more on the technical details of their skating vs. their competition rather than solely focusing on the artistic merits and outside PR distractions. Far too often ice dance commentary at that time, particularly in the free dance, all but ignored the technical aspects of all the teams' skating in favor of critiquing choreography.

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