Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 46

Thread: General Thoughts on Ice Dance 2009-2010

  1. #1
    Tripping on the Podium
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    69

    General Thoughts on Ice Dance 2009-2010

    I thought that we could consolidate all our general ice dance thoughts in this one place. . . .

    *I think that of all the skating disciplines, ice dancing will be the most heart-breaking at the Olympics this year. Why? Because the top 5 competitors (to choose a random number) are more likely to skate their absolute, absolute best, and there can sadly only be one winner. (Men, Ladies, Pairs: much more likely to have huge gaps in scores between 1st and 2nd, 2nd and 3rd, and on down the line). I’m imagining tiny, tiny point differentials between the dance medalists, and maybe everyone in the top 10--exciting for the fans, of course, but so unfortunate for everyone but the eventual gold medalists. This could be the best Olympics ever for ice dance! Of course, it could be a total (and predictable) let-down as well.

    *I wish people would stop comparing top scores from different competitions--as in, “Davis/White are clearly favored because their total score was a lot higher than Virtue/Moir’s and Belbin/Agosto’s.” Different competition, different judges, different situations. Wait for the GPF when they’re all skating together and THEN compare.

    *All-white tuxedos are not a good thing. They turn even a handsome man into a taper candle.

    *Does anyone else love compulsory dances? I almost wish we could go back to the early/mid 80s when THREE compulsory dances were skated at major competitions. That might separate the best from the best even more clearly, and this season, we could use even more tools of separation. Plus, it’s simply more dancing, which is always a good thing!

    *American Country-Western dance sounds like it should be a yee-hawin’ good time, but so far it’s coming across a little trashy (Samuelson/Bates) or a little silly (Pechalat/Bourzat) or fun-but-too-exhibition-like (the Kerrs).

    *Do you think Chinese ice dancers are going to catch up to Chinese pair skaters anytime soon? That would be so nice for them. . . .

    *Belbin/Agosto: I was pleasantly surprised by their FD. In my opinion, it has “winner” stamped all over it, though it does need more work (as does everyone’s FD at this point in the season, really). Part of me is sad that the young, exuberant, fresh Tanith and Ben are gone now, but I guess that’s life--everything grows and matures, and we can‘t expect ice dancers never to age or change. And I do think “mature” is a good description of how they come across in this dance. Their lifts may not be as acrobatic as some of their competitors’, but Tanith and Ben strike some GORGEOUS positions in their lifts, and I like how they hold those positions so that I, the viewer, can admire them. Finally, I think every American ice dance team, present and future, owes Belbin/Agosto a huge debt of gratitude. Look where they have taken American ice dance. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying they have changed things forever, and American ice dance is no longer the huge joke it used to be. There’s a real possibility of having *two* American dance teams on the Olympic podium, with perhaps one on the top step. Huge! Thank you, Tanith and Ben.

    *Blanc/Bouquet: Seriously, why the eyeballs?

    *Cappellini/Lanotte: Does anyone else look at them and see all sorts of little homages to Virtue/Moir, not just this season, but previous ones as well? I think it’s kind of cute. Not sure he is totally convincing in their FD, but it’s early, and good for them for trying something totally different. She’s absolutely beautiful and charming, and she sells that OD (which could easily be a mess).

    *Chock/Zuerlein: Whoever makes her dresses deserves a medal. All three at Cup of China were gorgeous gorgeous GORGEOUS.

    *Crone/Poirier: Those OD costumes are atrocious, his pants in particular. Can you imagine those on someone who DOESN’T have a dancer’s body? *shudder* Unlike many others, however, I love Vanessa’s FD skirt. Not a real fan of the Muzak-like FD music, however. It will be interesting to see how the season goes for them.

    *Davis/White: In terms of technical merit, and probably technical precision, right now they seem to have everyone beat. I was not a real fan of their FD when watching it via IceNetwork on my little computer, but once I saw it on television, it looked like a whole different dance, and I liked it much more. I could even overlook the music, which is not my favorite (to say the least). They really stand out with their OD, and even though I may not *like* it per se (I think the music is hard to “get into“), I am impressed by it greatly and think it deserves all the high scores it gets. After seeing Belbin/Agosto’s material this weekend, I can’t help but notice how “young” Davis/White look in comparison to their American teammates. Not that this is a bad thing, or that it should keep them down in the standings, or anything like that. I just don’t think that Davis/White have reached their peak yet--and that’s a good thing! And for that reason, I’d like to see them stick around for another Olympic cycle (in other words, to see them on the Olympic podium would be lovely, just not at the top of it).

    *Delobel/Schoenfelder: I never used to like this team, but they grow on me more every single year, and now they‘re among my favorites. I think the Olympics will have a huge gaping hole if they aren’t there. I admire Isabel and truly am in awe of what she’s attempting to with her personal life and her professional life. What a role model, not just for women, but for anyone who has a burning desire to achieve. All the best to them.

    *Domnina/Shabalin: Yuck. I of course wish Shabalin all the best with the recuperation of his knee(s), but I won’t be sorry if we don’t see them at all this season. I’m still shaking my head at their win at Worlds last season. And I just can’t get over Oksana yelling at the little flower girl at a Grand Prix event a couple of seasons ago. I think this team is carrying an enormous burden, however, and I don’t imagine it’s easy.

    *Faiella/Scali: Wow! Something is sure different, and in a wonderful way. I love both of their programs this season. Federica looks “softer” somehow, both in her movement and in her entire physical appearance. Just lovely. Massimo, of course, is the gorgeous, romantic character he always has been, in my opinion. So frustratingly close to beating Khoklova/Novitzki at Cup of China! And I think they should have beaten them, without a doubt.

    *Hubbell/Hubbell: Here’s hoping the coaching change does them some good. Right now, they seem rather generic to me.

    *Kerr/Kerr: They are destined never to rise in the rankings, aren’t they? I get the sense that no matter what skills they improve, no matter what material they select, no matter who coaches them, they’re always going to hover in the bottom half of the top ten. They may not be my favorite, but this makes me sad for them. Audiences love them; judges don’t. Can’t figure out why.

    *Khoklova/Novitzki: Whoever designs their costumes is doing them a huge disservice. They are a rather unattractive couple on the ice (a lot of that having to do with the big height difference, I think), but I also think some better packaging could go a long way toward improving their overall appearance. Their FD, to me, looks like a pairs program without jumps, or perhaps aerobics on ice (in hideous garb). I think Khoklova, in particular, is capable of so much more. Yes, her flexibility is impressive, and you have to play up your strengths/set yourself apart, but wouldn’t it be nice to see their coach/choreographer give them material that really--pardon the pun--stretches her? Something that makes her look like a dancer, rather than a gymnast-on-ice? Last year’s FD was a step in that direction, and I kinda liked it; this year’s seems to be a big step back. Novitzki, I’m afraid, is like a dead weight for her (I can‘t even watch him, to be honest), but I think she has a lot of potential that just is not being explored. She’s really captivating. On top of that, she seems like a delightful, fun, genuinely kind person (not that that has anything to do with their dancing, but still). Theme-wise, the FD seems like an unimaginative extension of the OD, too. If Domnina/Shabalin don’t come back and Khoklova/Novitzki all of a sudden skyrocket to the top with this material, that will be scandalous.

    *Navarro/Bommentre: I think Kimberly is just beautiful, and they are a class act. Alas, their material doesn’t seem to be as challenging as it could be (or maybe they just make everything look easy--but I suspect it’s more a case of the former). Would love to see them at the Olympics, but I think that third American spot will go to Samuelson/Bates.

    *Pechalat/Bourzat: I’d love to see all-black or otherwise totally minimalist costumes for the FD. They always strike me as being so “busy,” program-wise and appearance-wise, but I applaud the unwavering drive to be true to themselves, and to be different. She looks adorable in pigtails (OD). His hair is a little odd this season.

    *Platonova/Grachev: Love their FD. I felt like I was watching a ballet. Simple costuming is always welcome, from my perspective.

    *Rubleva/Shefer: Only an adorable elf-like girl with rosy cheeks could pull off that hideous OD costume. She’s charming. Love their FD, too. So nice to get a small break from over-the-top theatrics.

    *Samuelson/Bates: Their FD looks pretty much exactly the same year in and year out. Interchangeable costumes and music. For that reason, this team is an absolute snoozefest. Maybe a coaching change would shake things up?

    *Virtue/Moir: They’re my favorite dance team; let‘s get that bias out on the table. I think their OD has the *potential* to be the best out there (some kinks still, but fabulous and dramatic, and Scott makes me just swoon and melt). Their FD I can’t quite make up my mind about yet. By the Olympics, I think it will either be the most exquisite thing ever seen on ice OR the biggest, saddest disappointment in recent memory--no in-between. Their basic movement is just so gorgeous and soft. And while others have slammed their costumes for this season, I think the all black-and-white is sophisticated, and I think it makes them look more mature (which I’m guessing is something they’re going for). I’d love to see them hang around for another four years, but I have to be honest: I’d love to see them win Olympic Gold even more than that.

    *Weaver/Poje: Ugh. I think they will suffer greatly by comparison this season--their OD with Virtue/Moir (and Crone/Poirier, even WITH those pants), their FD with Davis/White. Every time he lifts her, I hold my breath, because he doesn’t seem to be the strongest or steadiest male partner out there. That said, he’s definitely a DASHING male partner, and I could look at him all day. I find her expression either lacking or, when it’s there, over-the-top. Of course, I can’t get past the sense of “I’m better than everyone else” that just oozes out of Weaver; to me, it’s a turnoff. Like their OD costumes. Love their FD costumes.

    *Zadorozhniuk/Verbillo: Worst fake moustache ever. I was waiting for it to fly off and hit one of the judges in the face.

    *Zaretski/Zaretski: Oh, her hair is so, so unflattering. I read on another message board that this ‘do may be linked to their FD theme, and if so, kudos for commitment, but I wonder if they might have been able to accomplish that look with hairpieces or something less permanent. I can’t get past my sense that their movement is always very “heavy” and “labored” and “clunky.” All that said, though, I would love for them to just hit a home run one of these days. They obviously work hard and care a great deal, and I love and respect that.

  2. #2
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Left field
    Posts
    3,406
    What a great post to start off!

    I don't have time to respond but I agree with much (though not all) of it. Hope to read more from you...

  3. #3
    Rinkside
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    beautiful PEI
    Posts
    19

    Reply on comments...

    Very well done, i just love the way you described the dancers...and I keep picturing the mustache flying off and hitting a judge in the face, now this is really funny.lol I agree with some of the dancers expressions, yes you are right some of the them just put this plastic face on and keep it throughout, they could be doing the can can and its always the same, and why would three canadian dancers do the same od., that is so unimaginative. I would not want to be compared to V/M they are amazing. I did not realize that all three were doing the same. Oh well, welcome to ice dance .

  4. #4
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    1,124
    This is the first season I follow ice dance a little bit, so I'm still very much a newbie; so maybe that's why the scoring doesn't make sense to me at all. It also appears to be a very predictable competition and as a new watcher it's really hard to contrast and compare performances. So far Virtue/Moir convinced me that tney were on a different level than the rest of the TEB field. I watched the top 3 of today's FD and only really liked Faiella/Scali; I think the music choices of the other pairs threw me off. K/N looked a little too much like Pairs skaters that didn't do jumps. But as I say again; I'm just new to the discipline; so this is a very unscientific approach I'm taking . I hope Delobel/Schoenfelder will make it to the Olympics because I agree with the first poster; that would be quite an example!

  5. #5
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    27,931
    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    *Does anyone else love compulsory dances?
    Yes! CDs are especially interesting for fans like me who do not really know much about the different kinds of dances that this sport is built on. It is totally cool to see the pattern for a waltz or a tango. To me, watching the Compulsories greatly enhances my appreciation of the more elaborate and showy original and free dances.

    Welcome to Golkden Skate, Beabstress. What a doozy of a first post! Post often, post..., um, nevermind.

  6. #6
    Throwing tomatoes at corrupt judges Audrey19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    268
    Wow, great post, I agree with most o what you said!
    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post

    *Does anyone else love compulsory dances? I almost wish we could go back to the early/mid 80s when THREE compulsory dances were skated at major competitions. That might separate the best from the best even more clearly, and this season, we could use even more tools of separation. Plus, it’s simply more dancing, which is always a good thing!
    I wouldn't go that far, but I agree that CDs have to stay, they can separate the top couples from each other tech-wise and the skills of futur couples who don't have to learn them will certainly decline!

    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    *Belbin/Agosto: I was pleasantly surprised by their FD. In my opinion, it has “winner” stamped all over it, though it does need more work (as does everyone’s FD at this point in the season, really). Part of me is sad that the young, exuberant, fresh Tanith and Ben are gone now, but I guess that’s life--everything grows and matures, and we can‘t expect ice dancers never to age or change. And I do think “mature” is a good description of how they come across in this dance. Their lifts may not be as acrobatic as some of their competitors’, but Tanith and Ben strike some GORGEOUS positions in their lifts, and I like how they hold those positions so that I, the viewer, can admire them. Finally, I think every American ice dance team, present and future, owes Belbin/Agosto a huge debt of gratitude. Look where they have taken American ice dance. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying they have changed things forever, and American ice dance is no longer the huge joke it used to be. There’s a real possibility of having *two* American dance teams on the Olympic podium, with perhaps one on the top step. Huge! Thank you, Tanith and Ben.
    They are sooo awesome! OD and FD for this season are so strong & beautiful and so much better than V/M & D/W this season(I prefer them anyway), I hope they can medal in Vancouver!

    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    *Cappellini/Lanotte: Does anyone else look at them and see all sorts of little homages to Virtue/Moir, not just this season, but previous ones as well? I think it’s kind of cute. Not sure he is totally convincing in their FD, but it’s early, and good for them for trying something totally different. She’s absolutely beautiful and charming, and she sells that OD (which could easily be a mess).
    I don't see any analogies to V/M but I love their FD, both this and last season(more than V/M btw). I think they have a bright future ahead of them!

    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    *Davis/White: In terms of technical merit, and probably technical precision, right now they seem to have everyone beat. I was not a real fan of their FD when watching it via IceNetwork on my little computer, but once I saw it on television, it looked like a whole different dance, and I liked it much more. I could even overlook the music, which is not my favorite (to say the least). They really stand out with their OD, and even though I may not *like* it per se (I think the music is hard to “get into“), I am impressed by it greatly and think it deserves all the high scores it gets. After seeing Belbin/Agosto’s material this weekend, I can’t help but notice how “young” Davis/White look in comparison to their American teammates. Not that this is a bad thing, or that it should keep them down in the standings, or anything like that. I just don’t think that Davis/White have reached their peak yet--and that’s a good thing! And for that reason, I’d like to see them stick around for another Olympic cycle (in other words, to see them on the Olympic podium would be lovely, just not at the top of it).
    agree, I don't think they are at the level of Tanith and Ben yet, although I like them a lot. But this year's FD is a mes IMO, far below their capabilities, empty and uninspiring. Quite sad, they could do so much better...And I'm even one of those who like POTO, but they don't interpret it well...

    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    *Delobel/Schoenfelder: I never used to like this team, but they grow on me more every single year, and now they‘re among my favorites. I think the Olympics will have a huge gaping hole if they aren’t there. I admire Isabel and truly am in awe of what she’s attempting to with her personal life and her professional life. What a role model, not just for women, but for anyone who has a burning desire to achieve. All the best to them.
    I love them! Should win in Vancouver, they are clearly the best! Can't wait to see their programs! BTW will they make it for their GPs? It's unlikely, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    *Domnina/Shabalin: Yuck. I of course wish Shabalin all the best with the recuperation of his knee(s), but I won’t be sorry if we don’t see them at all this season. I’m still shaking my head at their win at Worlds last season. And I just can’t get over Oksana yelling at the little flower girl at a Grand Prix event a couple of seasons ago. I think this team is carrying an enormous burden, however, and I don’t imagine it’s easy.
    Somehow I never dared to say that I don't mind not seeing them at all... somehow not politically correct, but I also think worlds could have been much fairer if they hadn't participated...

    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    *Faiella/Scali: Wow! Something is sure different, and in a wonderful way. I love both of their programs this season. Federica looks “softer” somehow, both in her movement and in her entire physical appearance. Just lovely. Massimo, of course, is the gorgeous, romantic character he always has been, in my opinion. So frustratingly close to beating Khoklova/Novitzki at Cup of China! And I think they should have beaten them, without a doubt.

    *Khoklova/Novitzki: Whoever designs their costumes is doing them a huge disservice. They are a rather unattractive couple on the ice (a lot of that having to do with the big height difference, I think), but I also think some better packaging could go a long way toward improving their overall appearance. Their FD, to me, looks like a pairs program without jumps, or perhaps aerobics on ice (in hideous garb). I think Khoklova, in particular, is capable of so much more. Yes, her flexibility is impressive, and you have to play up your strengths/set yourself apart, but wouldn’t it be nice to see their coach/choreographer give them material that really--pardon the pun--stretches her? Something that makes her look like a dancer, rather than a gymnast-on-ice? Last year’s FD was a step in that direction, and I kinda liked it; this year’s seems to be a big step back. Novitzki, I’m afraid, is like a dead weight for her (I can‘t even watch him, to be honest), but I think she has a lot of potential that just is not being explored. She’s really captivating. On top of that, she seems like a delightful, fun, genuinely kind person (not that that has anything to do with their dancing, but still). Theme-wise, the FD seems like an unimaginative extension of the OD, too. If Domnina/Shabalin don’t come back and Khoklova/Novitzki all of a sudden skyrocket to the top with this material, that will be scandalous.
    100% agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    *Virtue/Moir: They’re my favorite dance team; let‘s get that bias out on the table. I think their OD has the *potential* to be the best out there (some kinks still, but fabulous and dramatic, and Scott makes me just swoon and melt). Their FD I can’t quite make up my mind about yet. By the Olympics, I think it will either be the most exquisite thing ever seen on ice OR the biggest, saddest disappointment in recent memory--no in-between. Their basic movement is just so gorgeous and soft. And while others have slammed their costumes for this season, I think the all black-and-white is sophisticated, and I think it makes them look more mature (which I’m guessing is something they’re going for). I’d love to see them hang around for another four years, but I have to be honest: I’d love to see them win Olympic Gold even more than that.
    I'm not convinced by their FD, I find it rather boring and lackluster but I guess the judges will give them high scores as usual. But maybe it will grow on me.
    Anyway, good luck to all the teams!

  7. #7
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Kenai, AK
    Posts
    18,654
    I LOVE watching the compulsaries. I understand them, for one, and it's a great way to really stack up the competition... I wish all of the teams/coaches took them as seriously.

    Favorite CD of all time is the Yankee Polka! It's just too much fun!


    welcome to teh boards!

  8. #8
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,609
    beabstress, that's an applause worthy post. I look forward to reading everything else you post. Five things....

    1. You know, F/S have slowly become one of my favourite duos. I love C/L too, and I sorta thought they would overtake them in my estimation, but they have really delivered programs that stick in my mind. I would rank "Moonlight Sonata" as a top five FD from last season and this year their work to Nino Rota's music was absolutely exquisite. I love the fact that their programs are deeply thought out - comparing them to the voidy (read: indulgent) incoherence of Pechalat/Bourzat (oh, how I hate their programs) or the uber-flexy-posy of Khoklova/Novitski (which is undeniably impressive the same way a punch in the gut is).

    2. Virtue/Moir are my favourite skaters. Not simply favourite ice dance team, but currently of all skaters, they're my number one. I don't think it's possible for me to not love them. So when I say I love their FD, feel free to ignore me and/or take my opinion with whatever grain of salt you feel necessary. But I love it. I love the whirligig romanticism of the rotational lift. I love the charm of the straightline lift dismount. I love the positions they hit in the dance spit. Not crazy about the combo lift. I love the insanely romantic quality of the whole thing. I love the softness. I love it's youthfulness. I've watched it several times, and I can definitely see this being a "moment" for them in Vancouver.

    3. I'm mixed on Davis/White's dance. I don't want to love it. I just hate Phantom that much and the fact that I have to sit through Phantom and Cats AND Les Miserables this season is too much (though I like Les Miserables). And there are like four billion Phantom programs this year. But if they skate it like they did at CoR.... well, I won't hate it. My admiration won't even be grudging, but full tilt boogie into "THAT WAS AWESOME" town. Yes, there are some issues with the construction. The combo lift bugs me. Yes, the step sequence is boringly similar to what they did last year (in terms of structure, timing and placement). But you know what? With speed and passion and precision like they showcased, I think I don't care. Like you, I'd rather they stuck around for another cycle as opposed to win gold in Vancouver, but I can see them deserving it.

    4. Your comment about Belbin/Agosto and what they've contributed to American ice dancing is interesting (especially when you consider that Davis/White have been together longer). I wonder if ice dancing would have a higher profile in the USA right now if they were able to win a championship since Turin. I mean, the depth in ice dancing is coming close to the depth the USA had in womens figure skating during the mid 80s-late 90s. Thanks to COP, it's easier to climb the ranks faster. And Belbin/Agosto have been the most reliable US skaters since Kwan's heyday, in terms of medalling (four in five seasons at worlds, though none gold). Part of me wants them to go out on top - to win.

    But it doesn't feel like their time any more, does it? A lot of what made them interesting to people seems to be gone. The young ones are coming up fast (when was the last time V/M had a lower technical score then them in the Free Dance? I'm pretty sure it was 4CC, 2006.), and if you compare scores, have overtaken them. It feels similar to Bourne/Kraatz in 2003. At the end of their competitive career, without much of what made them unique, finally clinching a championship (through the help of the new system, it must be said). I wonder if B/A just happened to come along as actual medal contenders at the wrong time, as the shift to COP was just happening.

    Anyway, that's a long preamble to me saying that I'm not all that into their program this year. There's no denying that they've gotten more elegant over the years and they do create some lovely "picture" moments. But that something to put it over the top, whether a powerful story (like F/S and V/M have) or the sheer muscular joy of skating (D/W) or an interesting idea (C/L, P/B... even if I hate it, it's definitely an interesting idea). It's a well skated liturgy of a program, which just isn't something I find interesting - hell, I even prefer Samuelson/Bates program this season. If B/A deserve gold this year, I'll be glad they get it (one the one hand) but mildly displeased (on the other) because that'll mean those I enjoy didn't quite skate as well as they needed to.

    5. Again, I like the idea of Cappellini/Lanotte's FD moreso than the execution. I'll be impressed if they make it work, and I enjoy it quite a bit nonetheless

    PS. Also, all the Canadians doing flamenco? Do not like that one bit. Maybe they should make them skate to different compulsories, just to make nationals a little more interesting (because I'm pretty sure we're gonna see the same results as last year).

  9. #9
    Tripping on the Podium
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    69
    Thank you for those thoughtful responses to my thoughts, ImaginaryPogue! Here are some new thoughts in return:

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    You know, F/S have slowly become one of my favourite duos.
    I am perhaps a little late in joining the F/S fan party, but I'm there now. I have always appreciated and enjoyed watching Massimo; I think he conveys a kind of vulnerability that is very appealing. I've often found Federica, on the other hand, to be a little aggressive for my taste, almost like she was muscling through their dances. That started to change, in my opinion, with their beautiful "Moonlight Sonata" FD. And this season, as I mentioned, she is much softer and so, so lovely. I hope they receive the scores that they actually *merit* as the season goes on.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Virtue/Moir are my favourite skaters. Not simply favourite ice dance team, but currently of all skaters, they're my number one. I don't think it's possible for me to not love them.
    This made me smile hugely, for you echo my sentiments exactly. I tried to tone down my enthusiasm a little in the interest of objectivity, but I'm glad you had the courage NOT to do that! No one even comes close to Tessa and Scott in my book. Love them to pieces. And I hope you're right that Vancouver will be their "moment"; I'm just nervous that it won't be. But that would much more likely be a factor of "off" judging than of anything Tessa and Scott did or didn't do. I won't get started with the conspiracy theories, however. . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    I'm mixed on Davis/White's dance. . . . But you know what? With speed and passion and precision like they showcased, I think I don't care. Like you, I'd rather they stuck around for another cycle as opposed to win gold in Vancouver, but I can see them deserving it.
    Totally agree. If they are indeed crowned the champions, I have no doubt whatsoever that they will deserve it totally, and I will be thrilled to death for them because they're hard workers and always gracious--in victory OR defeat (I think here of Meryl shushing the crowd at '09 Worlds when their FD score came up).

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Your comment about Belbin/Agosto and what they've contributed to American ice dancing is interesting (especially when you consider that Davis/White have been together longer). I wonder if ice dancing would have a higher profile in the USA right now if they were able to win a championship since Turin.
    I could be remembering wrong, but even though D/W have been together longer, B/A have been at the senior level longer, right? That could account for my assessment of B/A's primary role in the growth of American ice dance (I haven't really followed ANY junior-level ice dance up until last year--not because I wasn't interested, but because I didn't have any access to it). It is definitely out-of-the norm for B/A not to have won Worlds since Turin; if this were the good old 6.0 era, they would have been World Champs as soon as Navka/Kostomarov hit the road. But it's a different era now, for good or for ill (or for both).

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    But it doesn't feel like their time [B/A's] any more, does it? A lot of what made them interesting to people seems to be gone. The young ones are coming up fast (when was the last time V/M had a lower technical score then them in the Free Dance? I'm pretty sure it was 4CC, 2006.), and if you compare scores, have overtaken them. It feels similar to Bourne/Kraatz in 2003. At the end of their competitive career, without much of what made them unique, finally clinching a championship (through the help of the new system, it must be said). I wonder if B/A just happened to come along as actual medal contenders at the wrong time, as the shift to COP was just happening.
    Again, I agree with so much of this. I do think B/A burst on to the scene at a very bad time FOR THEM, where they were really caught between the two scoring worlds; but for that very reason, I'm all the more impressed by what they HAVE accomplished. I shudder to think, though, of B/K's fate befalling Tanith and Ben. I always felt like their '03 win was anti-climactic: with the random selection of judges' scores, it could easily have gone to Lobacheva/Averbukh; and the style of their FD was so unlike what made their fans fall in love with them. I was glad that they FINALLY won, but I was a little sad about the circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Anyway, that's a long preamble to me saying that I'm not all that into their [B/A's] program this year. . . . hell, I even prefer Samuelson/Bates program this season.
    Alas, we definitely part company here! Samuelson and Bates always put me to sleep. I appreciate their strong skating skills, but I do hope that they start branching out before B/A and D/W retire and they assume the #1 spot in American ice dance. I WILL say that I like Emily's FD dress very much because I'm enormously fond of purple and, well, you can't go wrong with purple!

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Also, all the Canadians doing flamenco? Do not like that one bit. Maybe they should make them skate to different compulsories, just to make nationals a little more interesting (because I'm pretty sure we're gonna see the same results as last year).
    I thought it was very strange at first as well. But after seeing only one performance of each of the dances, I would have to say that they all seem very different. Weaver/Poje's is very theatrical, with the stereotypical ornate costumes. And of course, they have that fan, which is fun, if you don't drop it or poke yourself in the eye with it. Crone/Poirier's seems almost avant-garde to me. Now, perhaps the crazy costumes are convincing me of this, and maybe "avant-garde" isn't the right description. But it's very stylized nonetheless. And Virtue/Moir's is sparse (and I mean that in the absolute best sense of the word), not to mention kinda sexy. So I think there WILL be some degree of variety at Canadian Nationals--but it's still a bit of a bummer that none of those teams will be dolled up like Khoklova/Novitzki. I mean, Andrew Poje would be a knockout in that Pepto-Bismol pink. . . .

  10. #10
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Kenai, AK
    Posts
    18,654
    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    if this were the good old 6.0 era, they would have been World Champs as soon as Navka/Kostomarov hit the road. But it's a different era now, for good or for ill (or for both).
    had this been 6.0 judging in 2006 they'd have not been on the podium... so they wouldn't have been any closer to a world title than they were in the last four years, they'd have been further away.

  11. #11
    Tripping on the Podium
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    had this been 6.0 judging in 2006 they'd have not been on the podium... so they wouldn't have been any closer to a world title than they were in the last four years, they'd have been further away.
    Excellent point. I think I may have simplified B/A's "road to the present moment" a little too much.

  12. #12
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    I thought that we could consolidate all our general ice dance thoughts in this one place. . . .
    ...............
    *I wish people would stop comparing top scores from different competitions--as in, “Davis/White are clearly favored because their total score was a lot higher than Virtue/Moir’s and Belbin/Agosto’s.” Different competition, different judges, different situations. Wait for the GPF when they’re all skating together and THEN compare.
    ...............
    *Does anyone else love compulsory dances? I almost wish we could go back to the early/mid 80s when THREE compulsory dances were skated at major competitions. That might separate the best from the best even more clearly, and this season, we could use even more tools of separation. Plus, it’s simply more dancing, which is always a good thing!

    ........
    First of all beabstress, for your entire post. Excellent points.

    I would add to your comment about people trying to decide who will win a competition that will take place in February based on fall competitions (with very thin fields no less). All of us have different tastes and people also cannot decide that because they personally feel a program is dull (speaking of the choreography) that it shouldn't received high marks (I am trying not to do this myself).

    I don't think D&W's POTO is very interesting and find it frantic and nowhere near as well put together as last years "Samson & Delilah" but one thing it does have going for it would be Meryl's and Charlie's strong technical skating. I'm not sure POTO is gold medal worthy but they could sneek in for a medal due to the footwork sequences and the difficulty in the lifts.

    So many people jumped on the D&W bandwagon last year (of course they had a strong fan base already it seems) that I haven't wanted to come across as if I'm trying to rip them down especially being a long time B&A fan and I do like D&W. However, ITA that as good as Meryl and Charlie have gotten they do have a young look to them. I also feel that while they continue to work on their emotional interaction I still can tell that expression is learned rather than natural. IMO a program like "Samson & Delilah" worked so well because it gave D&W an air of sophistication. With POTO D&W have gone back to the way they looked when they debuted in the senior division with Polevetsian Dances. I'm not sure why Shpilband decided to create POTO for D&W. I don't think that D&W have quite yet reached the stage where they can pull off a program and grab a crowd based on the emotional connection between the partners rather than strong choreography. That is something V&M excell at.

    Choreographically, I don't find V&M's Mahler FD to be all that interesting yet with a strong performance Tessa and Scott can pull it off. That type of dance works for them (we saw that with "Umbrellas of Cherboug"). I get why Shpilband and Zoueva gave V&M their dance but D&W don't have the same dynamic V&M do. I think it will come but it's not there yet.

    I'm always at a loss as to how some feel that the judges are done with B&A and their time has passed. Practically every season since Torino I've read that Tanith and Ben are done yet they have always been in the thick of the medal hunt. Sometimes even with programs that haven't shown them off to their best advantage. Such talk reminds me of when people state that Sasha Cohen was a disappointment. I suppose if you are speaking in terms of having won the "big one" meaning the gold at worlds and the olympics then yes I guess B&A haven't acheived the top spot but they have won five national dance titles, four world medals and are the reigning olympic silver medalists with a chance to be the first U.S. team to win two olympic medals. I'd say that's pretty darned good.

    Like ImaginaryPogue perhaps some of my opinions are due to my bias towards B&A but I love both the OD and FD this season. The Moldavian Folk is the first OD B&A have done where I can honestly say that I love it since their Tango from the 06/07 season. The "Ave Maria/Amen" FD reminds me of the Chopin FD but only better. ITA that Tanith and Ben already began showing improvement and for the first time a sophistication that had been missing previously when they skated to Chopin. Yet back then some people still claimed that there was no improvement.

    I think that is one of the reasons it pleases me to see such an overall positive reaction to B&A's new programs especially the FD. Gorgeous choreography, amazing lifts and IMO the expression from Tanith and Ben is beautiful. It can and IMO will only get better as the season progresses. I did notice some errors and things that could be tightened up. I guess Natalia truly did have a two year plan for B&A. I agree that it's much too soon to start picking the gold medalist in Vancouver but I will say that this set of programs sets up B&A nicely to remain in that group of medal contenders.

    I love the CD's as well. They are a great example of pure skating technique and does seperate the good teams from the great. I think the ISU is doing a disservice to icedancing by getting rid of them after this season. It's doubly unfortunate after the ISU bothered to introduce two new dances (the Midnight Blue and Sunshine Quickstep). Perhaps at some point they will realize the error of their ways and reinstate it rather than introducing the CD/OD combo.
    Last edited by Dyan; 11-01-2009 at 12:07 AM.

  13. #13
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Left field
    Posts
    3,406
    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    1. You know, F/S have slowly become one of my favourite duos. I love C/L too, and I sorta thought they would overtake them in my estimation, but they have really delivered programs that stick in my mind. I would rank "Moonlight Sonata" as a top five FD from last season and this year their work to Nino Rota's music was absolutely exquisite. I love the fact that their programs are deeply thought out - comparing them to the voidy (read: indulgent) incoherence of Pechalat/Bourzat (oh, how I hate their programs) or the uber-flexy-posy of Khoklova/Novitski (which is undeniably impressive the same way a punch in the gut is).
    After all the rave reviews, I decided to check out F/S's FD. I was not a fan of their Moonlight Sonata dance last year, but was intrigued by this year's concept. And - well, it's still not working for me. I like the concept, I like the music, I just don't like the execution of it, or more precisely, her performance. Massimo just seems so much more graceful, and Federica's facial expressions are too much for me. I wish she'd just tone it down a bit and not look like she's trying so hard - of course everyone is working hard on the ice, but the best skaters make it look effortless. Maybe with a bit more polish I'll like it more.

    Re P/B, I don't think they're incoherent - it seems to me that they have a very clear idea of what they're doing, what the concept of their dances is, and how each element communicates that concept - but just because it's clear to them doesn't necessarily mean it'll translate to something everyone will appreciate. Would I want all the teams out there trying to out-void one another? No, but I appreciate what they're doing and find their programs, once they get them right (which can take a while) very enjoyable.

    K/N is a tragic case of too big a gap in ability between partners, which they try to mask by having her audition to be the Sasha Cohen of ice dance, only without Sasha's grace. Also, their deal with the devil apparently ended after 2009 Euros.

  14. #14
    Edgy Details
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cracow
    Posts
    795
    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    .
    *Belbin/Agosto: I was pleasantly surprised by their FD.

    *Domnina/Shabalin: Yuck. I of course wish Shabalin all the best with the recuperation of his knee(s), but I won’t be sorry if we don’t see them at all this season. I’m still shaking my head at their win at Worlds last season.

    *Platonova/Grachev: Love their FD. I felt like I was watching a ballet. Simple costuming is always welcome, from my perspective.

    *Virtue/Moir: And while others have slammed their costumes for this season, I think the all black-and-white is sophisticated, and I think it makes them look more mature (which I’m guessing is something they’re going for).

    *Zadorozhniuk/Verbillo: Worst fake moustache ever. I was waiting for it to fly off and hit one of the judges in the face.
    Thank you for starting such a nice discussion!
    RE: B/A - I also quite liked their FD, yet to me it does not differ much from Chopin FD and from Tosca. It is just same old to me.. But executed better.
    RE: Dom/Sh - Sadly, I agree.. Their sloppy skating at WCh was just... unattractive. I have a feeling that no matter how they peform in Vancouver, they will get a medal.
    RE: Platonova Gratchev - I loved this inconspicuous FD too! It is my favourite among less known competitiors, and one of my favourite in general. So soft.. And music is so soothing!
    RE: V/M. I definitely adore their costumes this season! They have the best costumes in the business this year. And Tessa looks gorgeous!
    RE: Zad/Ver. I find their skating terribly heavy and scratchy. Also, most of their costumes are turning me off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    After all the rave reviews, I decided to check out F/S's FD. I was not a fan of their Moonlight Sonata dance last year, but was intrigued by this year's concept. And - well, it's still not working for me. I like the concept, I like the music, I just don't like the execution of it, or more precisely, her performance. Massimo just seems so much more graceful, and Federica's facial expressions are too much for me.
    I agree, she is so over the top. She has too sharp movements, and too agressive expression. But I guess this will never change

  15. #15
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,609
    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    First of all beabstress, for your entire post. Excellent points.

    However, ITA that as good as Meryl and Charlie have gotten they do have a young look to them. I also feel that while they continue to work on their emotional interaction I still can tell that expression is learned rather than natural. IMO a program like "Samson & Delilah" worked so well because it gave D&W an air of sophistication. With POTO D&W have gone back to the way they looked when they debuted in the senior division with Polevetsian Dances. I'm not sure why Shpilband decided to create POTO for D&W. I don't think that D&W have quite yet reached the stage where they can pull off a program and grab a crowd based on the emotional connection between the partners rather than strong choreography. That is something V&M excell at.
    This is a good points (or two interesting ones, at the very least). Being young (though older then the skaters in question by a couple years), I like the youth on display. The fact that they look younger than B/A doesn't really bug me at all - in fact, I quite like it. I will agree that there expression feels more learned than organic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    I'm always at a loss as to how some feel that the judges are done with B&A and their time has passed. Practically every season since Torino I've read that Tanith and Ben are done yet they have always been in the thick of the medal hunt. Sometimes even with programs that haven't shown them off to their best advantage. Such talk reminds me of when people state that Sasha Cohen was a disappointment. I suppose if you are speaking in terms of having won the "big one" meaning the gold at worlds and the olympics then yes I guess B&A haven't acheived the top spot but they have won five national dance titles, four world medals and are the reigning olympic silver medalists with a chance to be the first U.S. team to win two olympic medals. I'd say that's pretty darned good.
    It's not so much that they're done. I think Shen/Zhao and Plushenko have discarded those notions. And I tend not to privilege national titles to the extent of others simply because of the various depths of field (though obviously they've achieved quite a lot there). It just seems that they SHOULD have won the big one by now. Torino 2006 wasn't a great ice dancing competition, and while they've been in the thick of a medal hunt, with the exception of last year, they always either just make it (2007 and 2006 bronzes were won by less than a point) or just miss it (2008 lost by what, .26 or something?). And I still don't understand why the lost last year - conspiracies aside. And more than that, because the younger teams (read: D/W and V/M) are/were beating them in terms of technique and are now seeing their PCS climb up as well they're gonna find it challenging to win medals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    Like ImaginaryPogue perhaps some of my opinions are due to my bias towards B&A but I love both the OD and FD this season. The Moldavian Folk is the first OD B&A have done where I can honestly say that I love it since their Tango from the 06/07 season. The "Ave Maria/Amen" FD reminds me of the Chopin FD but only better. ITA that Tanith and Ben already began showing improvement and for the first time a sophistication that had been missing previously when they skated to Chopin. Yet back then some people still claimed that there was no improvement.
    Yeah, my bias doesn't help here either. I do enjoy their OD quite a bit (probably my favourite at this juncture - I like that they chose music that more easily translates to the ice, and love love love their enthusiasm), but their FD isn't doing it for me.

    But more than that, has any other major team have as much problems finding the right judge-favoured program (didn't they have to change their OD a couple years ago because the judges didn't like it, and they changed their FD during the 06/07 season). I don't know the reasons behind the switches, or if my comments are all that accurate (and even if they are, if it's all that rare for switches to be made like that) - so correct/challenge if wrong, but that contributes to my feeling that while their skills and musicality make them in the hunt. If they don't make the podium, I wouldn't be surprised (oh, and to answer your question, beabstress, yes - B/A have been seniors for longer. D/W came up the same year as V/M and are on their fourth senior season. B/A have been seniors since the 01/02 at least. They were at worlds in 2002, at any rate).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    I think that is one of the reasons it pleases me to see such an overall positive reaction to B&A's new programs especially the FD. Gorgeous choreography, amazing lifts and IMO the expression from Tanith and Ben is beautiful. It can and IMO will only get better as the season progresses. I did notice some errors and things that could be tightened up. I guess Natalia truly did have a two year plan for B&A. I agree that it's much too soon to start picking the gold medalist in Vancouver but I will say that this set of programs sets up B&A nicely to remain in that group of medal contenders.
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    This made me smile hugely, for you echo my sentiments exactly. I tried to tone down my enthusiasm a little in the interest of objectivity, but I'm glad you had the courage NOT to do that! No one even comes close to Tessa and Scott in my book. Love them to pieces.
    Yeah, I can't even try to be objective about this team. All I can do is try to love other teams too, and since ice dancing is really rich right now, it's not too much of a challenge.

    But seriously, how can you not fall in love a little bit when you see Scott singing along to the blues in their OD. Or when he describes he knew Tessa was the one he wanted to skate with after he erred on the steps. Or when he scooches his chair closer to hers so he can put his arm around her/be closer. (This is all rhetorical, of course. If you're made of sterner stuff and happen not to find this all cute and endearing and loveable, don't tell me. De Nile is not just a river in Egypt. It's in Uganda too!)

    Quote Originally Posted by beabstress View Post
    Alas, we definitely part company here! Samuelson and Bates always put me to sleep. I appreciate their strong skating skills, but I do hope that they start branching out before B/A and D/W retire and they assume the #1 spot in American ice dance. I WILL say that I like Emily's FD dress very much because I'm enormously fond of purple and, well, you can't go wrong with purple!
    Heh. Okay, so I overstated things, but I think I'm the only one who enjoyed S/B's FD last season too, so I thought I'd just put it out there.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •