The short dance will be competed for the first time on the GP circuit at 2 am EST at NHK in Nagoya, Japan. The order of start has not yet been listed, but if it is done the way it was last year, the competitors start in reverse order of their world standing. Because this is a new format, and also because the requirements for level four in the various dance skills have been changed this year, predictions should be made very cautiously for this part of the event.
The heart of the senior short dance is one repetition of the Golden Waltz CD. Levels are given to two different parts of this CD, so scoring of the SD is highly dependent on what level (one through four) the technical panel gives the two segments of the dance. Correct performance of each of four steps per segment yields one additional level per segment . For people wanting a complete rundown on how this works, I've described it here:
There were significant surprises at the fall competitions where the senior SD was skated. Particularly surprising was Capellini and Lanotte (ITA) placing ahead of Pechalat and Bourzat (FRA) at the debut of the senior short dance at the 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy. In recent years, speed and the correct portrayal of the general character of the dance were emphasized more in the grading of the compulsory dances rather than exact technical correctness. The short dance grading reliance on techical levels, and subsequent differences in point awards could definitely cause a surprise or two here in the short dance at NHK.
One would expect Davis and White, last year's Olympic and World silver medallists to completely blow away the competition here. However, Davis and White scrapped their first version of a short dance, following monitoring at Champs' Camp, so their new program is not as familiar to them as in previous years. And they have been very busy skating TV shows and SOI, something new for them this year. They may not perform with their usual speed and crispness. Capellini and Lanotte, who skate to a charming, light-hearted combination of the Golden Waltz and the Quickstep, may keep the scores close, or even finish ahead, depending on the technical levels Davis and White receive for the Golden Waltz.
Third place is wide open. The Shibutanis had a disaster in their first short dance at Nebelhorn. However, Maia has grown considerably, and this team presents a much more mature appearance on the ice this year. The Golden Waltz is new to them, as they are just up from juniors. They skate to a Waltz for the entire program, which I feel is a good approach to the short dance. The Shibutanis beat Capellini and Lanotte in the free dance at Nebelhorn. The Shibutanis should not be discounted as challengers for third in the short dance.
Weaver and Poje did not compete at Worlds last year, however they will have practiced the Golden Waltz in preparation for it. And they did win Four Continents 2010. However, their choice of Fallin' for the Golden Waltz section of their short dance may well make it difficult to get full technical marks for that portion of the dance, due to the irregular phrasing and non Viennese Waltz feel of the piece. They remain challengers for third, because they are great dancers, and they so look the part of a romantic Viennese Waltz couple.
Huge excitement has heralded the debut of World Junior Champions Ilinykh and Katsapalov RUS on the senior circuit this year, following their extremely well received Schindler's List free dance, and Andean folk dance last season. However, they arrived at the Russian test skate somewhat out of shape, and their programs were criticized by Tarasova. Like the Shibutanis, the Golden Waltz is new to them. And the choice of the waltz from Agony should transition relatively well into a second half of the dance to a tango, but again, it makes correct performance of the Golden Waltz more difficult. They remain challengers for third here in the short dance, but I expect to see them excel more in the free dance.
Mysliveckova and Novak CZE have done very well in the two short dances they have competed in. This has been based on getting a level four for one of their Golden Waltz segments in both competitions they competed at. If other teams are given low levels for their Golden Waltz segments, Mysliveckova and Novak could even be surprise third place finishers here in the short dance. Their 56.61 short dance score at Nepela Trophy bodes quite well for them in this part of the event.
So here's the lineup! ETA, This is now the official start order:
WARMUP GROUP 1
Dora TUROCZI / Balazs MAJOR HUN (ISU World Ranking: Fifty Eigth)
Coach: Ilona Berecz
Choreographer: Galit Chait
Their program: Waltz: The Royal Waltz; Quickstep: Sing, Sing, Sing
Current Junior champions of Hungary
12th at last year's Junior World Championships
Xiaoyang YU / Chen WANG CHN (ISU World Ranking: Thirty Sixth)
Coach: Hongyan Xi
Choreographer: Natalia Linichuk
Their program: Waltz: The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss
For three years straight, National Senior champions in China
18th at lst year's World Championships
Penny COOMES / Nicholas BUCKLAND GBR (ISU World Ranking: Thirtieth)
Coach: Evgeni Platov, Philip Askew
Choreographer: Philip Askew
Their program: Waltz: La Valse d'Amelie by Yann Tiersen; Tango: Tango de los Exilados by Vanessa Mae and Walter Taieb
Current British Senior Silver Medallists
16th at European Championships last year
This fall, third at Coupe de Nice, fourth at Nepela Trophy
Cathy REED / Chris REED JPN (ISU World Ranking: Twenty Ninth)
Coach: Nikolai Morozov, Walter Rizzo
Choreographer: Nikolai Morozov, Patti Wilcox
Their program: A Party For Me? (from Addams Family soundtrack) by Marc Shaiman; The Tango (from Addams Family soundtrack) by Marc Shaiman
For three years straight, National Senior champions in Japan
15th at last year's World Championships
Elena ILINYKH / Nikita KATSALAPOV RUS (ISU World Ranking: Twenty Seventh)
Coach: Alexander Zhulin, Oleg Volkov
Choreographer: Liudmila Vlasova
Their program: Waltz: Waltz from "Agony" (soundtrack) by Alfred Schnittke; Tango
Current Junior Silver medallists in Russia
Current World Junior Champions
WARMUP GROUP 2
Lucie MYSLIVECKOVA / Matej NOVAK CZE (ISU World Ranking: Twenth Third)
Coach: Natalia Karamysheva, Rostislav Sinicyn
Choreographer: M. Drobiazko, P. Vanagas, R. Sinicyn
Their program: Waltz: Battagliero; Quickstep: by Alexander's Rag Time Band remix as quickstep
Did not compete at last year's Czech National championship, due to injury
16th at the last World Championships
This season, second at the Nepela Trophy, seventh at Nebelhorn
Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA (ISU World Ranking: Fourteenth)
Coach: Igor Shpilband, Marina Zueva, J.Johns, A. Lenda
Choreographer: Igor Shpilband, Marina Zueva
Their program: Waltz: The Carousel Waltz by Richard Rodgers
Current US Junior champions
4th at last year's Junior Worlds, 2nd at the previous Junior Worlds
5th at Nebelhorn this fall, due to a fall in the SD. They were second in the FD at Nebelhorn, ahead of Capellini/Lanotte.
Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE CAN (ISU World Ranking: Eleventh)
Coach: S. Bourne, P. Camerlengo, A. Krylova
Choreographer: Shae-Lynn Bourne, Pasquale Camerlengo
Their program: Waltz: At Last by Etta James; Cheek to Cheek by Irving Berlin
1st place at 4CC's in 2010
3rd at Canadian Senior Nationals
Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA (ISU World Ranking: Eighth)
Coach: Muriel Zazoui, Romain Haguenauer
Choreographer: D. Ribas, M.F. Dubreuil, P. Lauzon
Their program: Waltz: Que Sera, Sera by Doris Day; Quickstep: Girls, Girls, Girls by Sailor
11th at last year's World Champions
For four years, 2nd place at Italian Nationals, behind Faiella and Scali
Won the Short Dance at Nebelhorn, but placed 2nd overall there this fall.
Their SD at Nebelhorn:
Meryl DAVIS / Charlie WHITE USA (ISU World Ranking: First)
Coach: Igor Shpilband, Marina Zueva
Choreographer: Igor Shpilband, Marina Zueva
Their programs: Foxtrot: La Boheme by G. Puccini; Waltz: La Traviata by G. Verdi
For two years, Senior champions in the USA
2nd at World Championships last year
Following monitoring at the US "Champs Camp", they switched their short program from the Amelie soundtrack.
The short dance was competed at Nebelhorn this fall. Scores were as follows:
Result Details Pl. Name Nation TSS = TES + PCS + SS TR PE CC IT Deduction - StN.
1 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA 59.86 30.79 29.07 7.14 7.04 7.29 7.43 7.39 0.00 #16
6 Lucie MYSLIVECKOVA / Matej NOVAK CZE 50.97 27.23 23.74 5.79 5.61 5.75 6.07 6.29 0.00 #14
8 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 46.90 21.21 26.69 6.71 6.54 6.61 6.79 6.68 1.00 #4
(Maia fell, and they got no credit for the twizzles)
It was also skated at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy:
2 Lucie MYSLIVECKOVA / Matej NOVAK CZE 56.61 30.50 26.11 6.50 6.33 6.50 6.58 6.67 0.00 #6
4 Penny COOMES / Nicholas BUCKLAND GBR 47.02 21.23 25.79 6.42 6.33 6.50 6.25 6.67 0.00 #7
And Coupe de Nice
3 Penny COOMES / Nicholas BUCKLAND GBR 45.99 23.33 22.66 5.92 5.58 5.67 5.67 5.50 0.00 #4
It was also skated at Finlandia, but none of the NHK competitors competed there.