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Thread: "Speed" vs. "Music" in Free Skate

  1. #16
    representing Italy eleonora.d's Avatar
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    I must admit I love speed in figure skating, it may be one of the things I like the most of this sport: the flow and the speed. This is also why I especially love the (ex)Oberstdorf team.
    Of course musicality is as much as important!

    I think speed is especially important in step sequences, not just approaching the jumps (but I love jumps approched with speed and that have a good lenght, they are very spectacular).

    If there is no speed in a step sequence, it's going to be *veery* boring. The new scoring system requires a million of turns, steps,twizzles and rockers and counters and..so on When they are not done with speed, the step sequence never ends and it gets extremely boring (especially to who is not used to watch figure skating). It sometimes happens with some lower level dance couples, and it happens with ladies or men as well.


    The new COP encourages coaches to teach their students how to do the highest amount of steps possible, in the best way possible and fast. The faster they are, the more steps they can do. And I really like how this system is valuing complicated and fast step sequences, even though only top skaters can execute them well.

    In terms of musicality, some skater can execute good steps but have no excellent musicality. For istance, I think Miki Ando's SP step sequence was gorgeous this season, but I would have liked it to have a bit more musicality.

  2. #17
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eleonora.d View Post
    If there is no speed in a step sequence, it's going to be *veery* boring. The new scoring system requires a million of turns, steps,twizzles and rockers and counters and..so on When they are not done with speed, the step sequence never ends and it gets extremely boring (especially to who is not used to watch figure skating). It sometimes happens with some lower level dance couples, and it happens with ladies or men as well.
    The new COP encourages coaches to teach their students how to do the highest amount of steps possible, in the best way possible and fast. The faster they are, the more steps they can do. And I really like how this system is valuing complicated and fast step sequences, even though only top skaters can execute them well.
    .
    I think alot about what you have said and at times I miss the step sequences that were done in the past - fast and in a more upright position. I know skaters get points for head bobbing, arm flapping, kissing there backside off the ice, and at times mimicking a minor convulsion - but I think many of these added CoP elements seem to lack any visual connection to a fast, elegant step sequence. Is a step sequence about upper body movement or is it about dazzling footwork, polished edging and musicality?
    I agree that so many step sequences today are too slow and seem to fall apart at times. Just some food for thought.
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-13-2009 at 02:33 PM.

  3. #18
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I really have to apologize for my rash comment on B&S. What I wanted to post was that they had a variety of speed and ALL of those speeds were comensurate with the music. They were very special.

    But I still do not know what speed is without music. If it is speed for the sake of speed and a disregard of what the music is calling for, then for me, it negates any kind of musicality,

    I believe the CoP calls for a variance in speed, and I appreciate that. Problem is, I believe the scoring of speed and musicality are contained in a larger facet for scoring so one does know for sure whether a skater is being scored for each.
    The PC scores, imo, need a lot of work and most of it will not be quantifiable.

  4. #19
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eleonora.d View Post
    In terms of musicality, some skater can execute good steps but have no excellent musicality. For istance, I think Miki Ando's SP step sequence was gorgeous this season, but I would have liked it to have a bit more musicality.
    Check out Michal Brezina this year at Euros. He will execute good steps with excellent musicality and it will be throughout his program - not just to the footwork sequences.

  5. #20
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I believe the CoP calls for a variance in speed, and I appreciate that. Problem is, I believe the scoring of speed and musicality are contained in a larger facet for scoring so one does know for sure whether a skater is being scored for each.
    I agree.

    I think gkelly and mskater93 made a good point about the difference between "linear speed over the ice" and "movement to the music" being two different things. I don't think this distinction comes into play so much in dance, where you are not expected to do the steps and positions of the dance while whizzing along on a frictionless surface at 20 miles per hour.

    As Joe points out, the description of the program components does speak to this question, but it is hard to tell how any individual judge weighs the various factors.

    Under Skating Skills the IJS guidelines list "use of effortless power to accelerate and vary speed."

    This, however, is listed as a "skating skill," not as something that is related to the music.

    On the interpretation side, under Performance/Execution it aays "varied use of tempo (and) rhythm."

    Under Choreography, "movement (should be) structure to match the phrasing of the music.

    And under Interpretation, the instructions to judges speak of the "ability to translate music through sureness of rhythm (and) tempo," and of "awareness of all rhythm/tempo changes in a variety of ways."

    P.S. I just thought of an interesting experiment.

    Find a competitive figure skating program on You Tube that you have never seen before and are unfamiliar with. Watch it with the sound off. Can you guess what kind of music it was? Fast or slow? A waltz or a tango? Ave Maria or the William Tell Overature?
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-14-2009 at 12:57 PM.

  6. #21
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    P.S. I just thought of an interesting experiment.

    Find a competitive figure skating program on You Tube that you have never seen before and are unfamiliar with. Watch it with the sound off. Can you guess what kind of music it was? Fast or slow? A waltz or a tango? Ave Maria or the William Tell Overature?
    That's a cool idea. I just tried it with this clip.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAeqqFMXUDc

    Now I find it difficult to call this muzak exactly "fast" or "slow," but it's fair to say that, from the way Slutskaya flew through that program that I assumed the music was, in most parts, much faster. If I had to guess: a tarantella with a short romantic section somewhere in the middle!

    Do I get paid for participating in this research project?

  7. #22
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    .

    As Joe points out, the description of the program components does speak to this question, but it is hard to tell how any individual judge weighs the various factors.

    Under Skating Skills the IJS guidelines list "use of effortless power to accelerate and vary speed."

    This, however, is listed as a "skating skill," not as something that is related to the music.
    Does that mean the competitor must add a 'fast' sequence without regard to music, but just for the sake of showing speed. That would be more than likely an ugly program.

    On the interpretation side, under Performance/Execution it aays "varied use of tempo (and) rhythm."

    Under Choreography, "movement (should be) structure to match the phrasing of the music.

    And under Interpretation, the instructions to judges speak of the "ability to translate music through sureness of rhythm (and) tempo," and of "awareness of all rhythm/tempo changes in a variety of ways."
    Looks like Interpretation and Choreography are battling it out :laugh for the Rights to Musicality with or without Speed which is entrenched in Skating Skills and not related to music at all.

    Oh well, Ave Maria must be skated faster than the prayer. Amen.

  8. #23
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I wonder what percentage of a competitive long program has any connection to the music at all. I don't think a quad done to Ave Maria is any different from a quad done to heavy metal.

    Again, it is different in dance. Ballet dancers do not leap spectacularly into the air just to prove they can do it -- such leaps are part of the choreography.

    Maybe it is the same with skating really fast. That's a skill that the skater is expected to demonstrate, music or no music.

    But as Berezhnaya and Sikharudlize's Lady Caliph program shows, skating fast doesn't preclude movements appropriate to the music -- especially for skaters who can accelerate with apparent effortlessness.
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-14-2009 at 07:23 AM.

  9. #24
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Oh well, Ave Maria must be skated faster than the prayer. Amen.
    Schubert's use of recurring arpeggiated triplet figures in the inner voices gives Ave Maria a very nice motion for skating. The rise and fall of the melody and the expressive use of dynamics all offer a choreographer many choices. Likewise a skater can use varying degrees of speed interpreting this music. Good musical interpretation must go beyong the tempo of the music. A skater's speed and choreo does not have to be directly related to the metronomic pulse of music. There is more to music than just it's tempo. Good choreo needs to follow the phrasing of the music just as closely as it's tempo. Dynamics can also lead choreography as we often see jumps - not when the music gets faster - to the contrary we see jumps when the music rises in volume and the jump occurs following the phrase and crescendo of the music for peak effect and excitement.
    Skaters typically are skating to the motion of the music and following the melodic phrasing. The tempo serves only as the starting point.
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-14-2009 at 09:09 AM.

  10. #25
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    metronomic pulse of music. There is more to music than just it's tempo. Good choreo needs to follow the phrasing of the music just as closely as it's tempo. Dynamics can also lead choreography as we often see jumps - not when the music gets faster - to the contrary we see jumps when the music rises in volume and the jump occurs following the phrase and crescendo of the music for peak effect and excitement.
    Skaters typically are skating to the motion of the music and following the melodic phrasing. The tempo serves only as the starting point.
    Skaters as well as Conductors can lead the choreo to an upbeat tempo throughout the music if there is a recording as such. Skaters do not choose to skate to original skating music except in rare cases.

    Good jumping requires good speed. If a skater has problems with jumps it could be his speed. Speed can be covered in the GoEs as well as in Skating Skills.

    To say skaters utilize melodic phrasing is an understatement. IMO, 90% of the skaters do not skate to anything that it is not strong on melody and to phrase it would not be difficult.

    What do you think of Bartok's The Miraculous Manderin for a skating routine? I saw it once and sat up tall, but the skater was won over by the usual Carmen. (Both skater had the same tricks and both skated well.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I wonder what percentage of a competitive long program has any connection to the music at all. I don't think a quad done to Ave Maria is any different from a quad done to heavy metal
    Agree! but I also think Ave Maria can be skated without refrence to anything religious. it's a lovely piece of music with a strong melody and its variances on a theme. Unless the conductor takes a different approach to the music, I do not see a Quad in it anymore than I would for that intermezzo in Thais. In fact I do not see these music pieces as good sports competitiveness, but definitely as specialty pieces in an Ice Show.

    Again, it is different in dance. Ballet dancers do not leap spectacularly into the air just to prove they can do it -- such leaps are part of the choreography.

    Maybe it is the same with skating really fast. That's a skill that the skater is expected to demonstrate, music or no music.

    But as Berezhnaya and Sikharudlize's Lady Caliph program shows, skating fast doesn't preclude movements appropriate to the music -- especially for skaters who can accelerate with apparent effortlessness.
    Please, skating is not ballet!!! Ballet dancers do not compete except for auditioning to get into a company Except for their work as part of a Coda, they do not 'sell' their leaps. Leaps are just steps of the dance whereas in FS, jumps are tricks that are judged and wow the audience. Not necessary in ballet when viewing the whole dance. The dancers get ovations, if deserved and good critical reviews.

    Skating fast for points with or without music is the option of figure skaters. You know my feeling about getting rid of music in FS except for Exhibitions. Maybe even have a separate comp for Exhibitions.

    B&S Pairs as well as Yuko Sato Solo were masters at ice coverage with hidden speed. Unlike their competitors who were more open to showing some speed.
    Where would one score B&S or Yuko in the CoP: GoEs or skating ability or Interpretation? and how? so the public would know whether it was judged or just assumed?

  11. #26
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Good jumping requires good speed. If a skater has problems with jumps it could be his speed. Speed can be covered in the GoEs as well as in Skating Skills.

    To say skaters utilize melodic phrasing is an understatement. IMO, 90% of the skaters do not skate to anything that it is not strong on melody and to phrase it would not be difficult.

    Agree! but I also think Ave Maria can be skated without refrence to anything religious. it's a lovely piece of music with a strong melody and its variances on a theme. Unless the conductor takes a different approach to the music, I do not see a Quad in it anymore than I would for that intermezzo in Thais.

    Please, skating is not ballet!!! ?
    Have you ever seen Yuna do her combo 2A + 3Toe jump. She is not moving very fast after the 2A but her jump into the 3Toe is great and very high. In fact most combo jumps that follow a triple whatever are depending on the skaters jumping ability and technique as they don't have anywhere near the speed they entered into the first jump of the combo with. Great jumpers can do jumps from various speeds, not just out of a fast flow.

    You say it is not difficult to skate to the melodic phrasing of the music. If that is a true statement then as you also state 90% can do this easily. Does it follow then as you suggest that 90% of all skaters have very good musicality? Some might see this a little differently.

    I could easily see a quad or triple axle to "Ave Maria." Do you think the tempo of Ave Maria is too slow? Caroline is doing many triples to Ave Maria and the skating world does have some who might be considered smoother jumpers than Caroline.

    I am not sure what your religious reference means when skating to Ave Maria? Is there some church edict against doing a quad to Ave Maria that I am not aware of OK, I am strictly kidding with that last remark.

    Interesting topic - and you do raise some interesting points. I don't think anyone answered you original question but mathman's answer - with the rules - a few posts back was close enough for me.

    About ballet - it seems like skating owes much to ballet as does the Dance world in general. Think of the great music that would NOT have been composed without commissions from the Ballet world. I agree that "skating is not ballet" but skating would not be as rich and beautiful if all balletic elements were to be removed.
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-14-2009 at 01:49 PM.

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