Has everyone else really gotten so much better than B/A? Have they really slipped? Or are judges saying "You had your time, now it's time to show fresh faces on the podium?" I've been really wondering about this.
and... World Peace!
no idea why Tanith and Ben are getting somewhat shafted by the judges. they've improved technically with their move
I think it's because they lost themselves with the move. I don't get Tanith or Ben in any of their programs... and that's what made them special
A little bit of both.
This is ice dance. Realistically, this sport isn't kind to "fresh faces." Historically, anyway. But Virtue/Moir and Davis/White ARE just that good. Virtue/Moir have been outperforming a lot of the bigger guns technically since they debuted (at Worlds 07, they came third in both the OD and FD in terms of TES) and have seen their PCS catch up. Davis/White are in the same boat. I don't agree with Dyan that jockeying for position from the federations has hurt Belbin/Agosto that much.
I think it's a bit of B&A's programs not being as good over the past few years, and even though I enjoy them, I think they used to be a little over-scored through the 2006 season.
Keeper of the Kweens OGM.
I think Tanith and Ben have gotten better technically and artistry wise. They have more flow and speed over the ice. I think their programs are them just a diffrent Tanith and Ben than we are used to seeing.
I'm trying to stay out of the icedance conversations as my opinions clearly are not held by the majority but I don't feel that the other skaters have gotten that much better than B&A and I don't even feel that their new programs are all that much of a departure. B&A began their careers skating programs similar to Chopin and Ave Maria. I wonder if the new programs look foreign to B&A because for so long B&A went on a detour and skated programs that were technically difficult but not exactly artistic masterpieces (Elvis, WSS, the Flamenco and even Shadritsa).
I'm not denying that the other teams have continued to work on their skating and improve but IMHO B&A have not fallen behind; they are skating better than they have in years. IMHO some of the other skaters are getting a boost not just because of their own talents but due to some Olympic season politiking.
The entire SkateDance is totally misunderstood by the public, the fans, the officials. Do the top dance teams really differ in the one comparative CD? Do ODs Themes really show anything special? The FD is a product of the Coach/Choreographer.
It seems to me that the Coach/Choreographer are the main compeitors, and the dancers are their models.
Has a Dance team ever won a comp with an unknown coach/choreographer?
What an interesting point, and not entirely untrue. It seems odd to give the dancers a mark for "choreography," for instance. Although there's no law that says the dancers can't choreograph their own routines from start to finish, no one really does that. So in one sense, the dancers have absolutely no control over that component; why are they marked for it? FURTHER, if the choreography hasn't changed from one competition to the next, yet the "choreography" mark changes, is that fair?
Originally Posted by Joesitz
With all due respect, this is the part that I have trouble with (and I hope having a less popular opinion doesn't dissuade you from participating. Less popular opinions make debates, imo).
Originally Posted by Dyan
One thing you neglected to mention in your initial post on the subject was that B/A's success at the 2009 worlds came when three of the top five teams were compromised with injury (DomShabs, Virtue/Moir) or out (DelSchos). True, B/A had their own injury to deal with, but it wasn't as compromising as the rest, imo.
Secondly (and this part puzzles me), if it's politicking that's the number one reason for Davis/White's success (or Virtue/Moir's)... where is Linichuk in all this? Isn't Linichuk the widely acknowledged master of politiciking? And didn't team Linichuk go after Belbin/Agosto in the first place (DomShabs having been foisted on her). And moreover, why would politicking favour D/W over B/A? B/A have more international experience, a better medal count, and politics favours the tried and true before the upstart. So why the shift?
Thirdly, which teams are being jockeyed for? This is something else I don't quite get. It looks like you're saying "All the teams that rank higher than B/A can thank politicking for that," something I don't agree with (and something that you protest in your initial post),
Has any skater won a major competition with an unkown coach/choreographer?
Originally Posted by Joesitz
Off the ice
That would depend on how you define major event and unknown coach/choreographer. For instance - is Florent Amodio's coach well known? Florent has been with his coach since he was 4 so I'm guessing that at least originally, he was not a high profile coach, and Florent has won the JGPF. Brian Joubert's second LP last year was choreographed by a pretty unknown choreographer, and while it wasn't one of his better programs, he did win Euros, which is obviously a major event. I'm guessing that at least some skaters who have their international breakthrough at a young age might have lesser known coaches, especially people who stick with the same coach from childhood through senior skating (Joubert started out with Veronique Guyon).
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
However, I'm fairly certain than there have also been ice dancers whose choreography was by people who are not known as ice dance choreographers. For instance IIRC, Pechalat and Bourzat's Circus FD was put together by a professional clown/circus performer.
(I'm sure there are examples other than the French skaters.)
and... World Peace!
Originally Posted by Joesitz
have you ever referred to it as the sport it's named - aka ICE dance? what's with using the term skate? makes it seem so negative.
yes there's a lot of politicking in ice dance, as there is in every other disipline of this sport as we have seen. it's shrugged off as "tradition" but it's no less wrong. that being said you can tell teh differences in the CD - even someone with such an "untrained eye" notices the changes and the subtleness between teams.
Last edited by Tonichelle; 02-14-2010 at 05:45 PM.
Constable , Costume Police
As someone who's never skated , but watched and learned over 30 yrs.. you definitely can tell the difference between couples in the CD. Maybe not in the most minute details, but absolutely enough to get a very good idea of the lay of the land in a given competition and to be able to understand the reasoning behind any expert opinions that may be given.
Competitors in the other disciplines can also be greatly affected by their choice of coach/choreographer. Is it so much more evident in ice dance?..I'm not so sure.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
I do think that actually Tanith and Ben have gotten a lot slower over the past few seasons and that is what is hurting them. Speed = PCS scores, as Caroline Zhang and Carolina Kostner show for us. The younger Davis/White and Virtue/Moir both have great speed in their skating and in their lifts etc, which, when compared with Tanith and Ben side by side, only hurt the later.
Originally Posted by MK's Winter
In trying to keep my post from being overly long some things I posted came across differently than I meant them to.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
First off, I do not think that D&W's success is only due to politiking. I meant that I believed that was part of it but definitely not all. I do like D&W but I suppose my issue is (I've seen this elsewhere and it fits) they are good but not THAT good. I realize that part of the job of NBC's commentators is to get the viewers revved up but some of Dick Button's comments at U.S. Nationals were a tad over the top.
I do see D&W as legitimate medal contenders but even with RUS and FRA D&S's being question marks I still don't see them as a gold medal couple. Now if we reversed the programs from this season and last I might be inclined to agree.
IMO D&W have many of the same issues that B&A used to get trashed for yet they don't seem to get the same criticism for it. D&W's skating unlike B&A's wasn't interrupted by a coaching change and having that coach rebuild their technique from scratch. D&W's programs are also (like most of the other dancers) choreographed to maximize their strengths and play to the crowds. I've been trying to follow up and read the rules closely so I suppose I can't complain about the who skating skills issue. In theory I still feel that the judges apparently feeling that D&W's skating skills are superior even to those of V&M is questionable yet going by the way the marks are being interpreted and applied this season then by the rule they are whether I fully understand or not.
I also feel that D&W because they are more popular and an American couple won't have their marks questioned the way other couples might. I'm thinking of DomShabs and even F&S and Delobel/Schoenfelder future marks have been questioned. D&W do have a great OD but if they weren't the young American team would so many people be seeing their FD as some sort of artistic statement? I'm getting off track again.
Actually it was D&W's marks against V&M that makes me think that D&W are partially being given a boost rather than D&W vs B&A.
As for Linichuk, even though I've always enjoyed icedancing I dislike the fact that there has to be any discussion regarding politicks at all. The teams should skate and the judges should mark what was skated according only to the rules. However that isn't always what happens. This year Natalia seems to be placing all her attentions on Domnina/Shabalin. Natalia did want to train B&A but she probably had no way of knowing that shortly after B&A finally agreed to be trained by her and Gennady the Russian Federation would send Oksana and Max.
I do think that having three of the top five teams injured helped B&A last season but IMHO it also helped D&W to build the reputation they have now. Without the injuries to Isabelle, Maxim and Tessa it's possible that neither B&A or D&W would have won their GP events and even though Samsom and Delilah was a beautiful FD I don't believe D&W would have beaten a healthy V&M, or the two D&S teams. I admit being pleasantly surprised by B&A's success at worlds last year and they way they were skating. Pre worlds I felt that B&A would finish anywhere from 3rd to possibly 5th. I'm not just defending B&A this season because I like them; if I didn't feel the skating was there (as during last years GP season) I would be more than willing to say so.
As for the speed issue, this is one area where B&A's choice of FD may have hurt them. I feel that both V&M's and B&A's FD's are more slower paced dances and the interpretation of those dances would be off if both teams went flying down the ice at full speed. It reminds me a little bit of Michelle Kwan's Lyra Angelica program and why I still feel she skated well enough to win the gold in 1998. Another well, lyrical and slower paced program that (again IMO) would have looked wrong if skated wide open. It is possible to have great coverage of the ice surface without looking frenetic.
I know it's commonly thought that only the Russian and French federations do the majority of politiking but I feel that all the federations do this and USFS is doing so this year as well. This is the first time an American team has a real shot at winning a gold medal and when B&A's marks ended up being so low this season I believe USFS decided to throw all their support behind D&W.
I don't think I'm really addressing everything that well. I hope I've clarified some of the things I posted earlier.