I had written a big long reply about how I wanted to like the free dances a lot more than I actually did, but then I lost the entire thing!
So the highlights:
I/K - have star quality. I can see what all the fuss is about. They need to be careful they don't become just another cookie cutter Russian ice dance duo.
Shibutanis: I thought their FD was rather old-fashioned looking and didn't love it.
W/P: another program to an overwrought musical seemed stale. Give me something out of the box that shows why they are different than other teams.
D/W: I wanted desperately to love the programs but didn't. I thought the SD was dull. They did not maintain the intensity needed for the tango throughout the dance and it lacked sensuality between the partners. I agreed with CBC commentator Kurt Browning that Charlie's mop of curls did not look tango-ish. He needed to slick it back. This dance may be better as the season progresses because there is a lot of good choreography in it. This early, though, they are clearly thinking through it, and it really hurts the performance aspect.
While 8th may seem dreadful, they did not skate badly at all, though. The question is how high did you think they should have been placed? They certainly weren't as good as D/W, S/S, W/P, or I/K. I haven't watched the Reeds, or M/N yet, but here's what caused their placement:
1. They skated to a Disney cartoon movie score (despite the fact that it is darn good music) in suits that made it clear they were representing the 2 lions Simba & Nala, including a rubbing noses kiss (very cute). Unfortunately, this is not the way to cause the judges and other people to regard you as serious seniors. This will hit you in the PCS every time (and in fact, they were placed lower in PCS to M/N and R/R and C/L.
2. IMO, their best two lifts were the last 2 lifts, which were transitional lifts and so did not count (Sad but true) except towards PCS intangibles.
3. In front of the 2 noncounting lifts were 2 step sequences in which their edges were shallow, causing them to get level 2 on the circular step and level 1 on the diagonal step. This is a problem they can fix that doesn't show up that well to the casual fan. For a Level 4, all the turns must be done "correctly" and all the edges must be clear. If they're shallow, the tech group will cut you no slack. And IMO, this was a particularly tough tech panel. Plus the rules are tighter this year, too.
I can't tell you yet whether R/R and M/N should have been ahead of them. I need to watch the programs first.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 10-24-2010 at 01:24 PM.
No matter what type of tango it is, there should still be a sensuality and intensity and tension between the partners. Romance doesn't negate any of these things. In fact, a compelling romance requires all of the above. As to your further point about the film the music is from, I defy you to get the story of Il Postino from what they presented here, so I don't think it works on that level either.A couple of points about this program. It is not meant to be an Argentine tango. It is meant to be a romantic tango.
A good suggestion
Is it just me, or did Maia and Alex really grow up over the summer? They both look like the young adults that they are and not grade school children! So cool! I loved loved loved the simplicity of their free dance!
I never thought they were trying for a literal interpretation of the film, which was why I was surprised to see someone suggesting this as a reason for why it looks the way it does now. If you'll look back at my original post, you'll see that I state there's a lot of good choreography in the FD, but so far it lacks the presentation factor — basically, just what you've suggested. I hope it does progress to fabulous by the end of the season. But it is not there yet.It's not supposed to be a literal translation of the movie. Meryl picked the Il Postino music and Charlie picked the tangos. According to Charlie it's about all the ups and downs of a romantic courtship. He charms her, they fall in love, they have issues, they resolve issues. Do think they are stilll just working through the program since they are almost 2 months behind in training over everyone else they are competing against. The basics are there. Let's see what the program looks like later in the season.
I loved the Shibs! I actually adore both their programs and they look wonderful together...Alex is such a strong, smooth ice dancer and presents Maia so well. With two clean programs they will be a factor in every competition they are in. To win the bronze here was amazing considering the very disruptive fall in the SD. I'm so thrilled for them.
Of course, I was very excited for D/W's debut and they didn't disappoint me! (But then they never do, ) I agree that their FD especially isn't quite there but wow, what difficulty and the potential for this to be an epic dance is there. I feel like I did for "Eleanor Rigby"...the first time out I could see it being great but was thrilled at the amazing FD it became by Nationals. This FD will work for them, it just needs more time and for them to get more comfortable with it so the expression can come through.
The other FD I really enjoyed was the British pair of C/B. I know it was a Disney song but I love "Lion King" and I thought their lifts and moves were wonderful. She's like a human pretzel! They may be a little unrefined but I had a good time watching that FD.
To me they already are. I look at their faces and all I see is that Russian intensity. They have a lot of Russian ice dance history to emulate and they are already trying to live up to the hype. If they just settle down and use their obvious talent, things could go well for them. I, personally, would rather see the team of Bobrova/Soloviev be the Russian #1 for a bit, I/K don't need the pressure yet...they are just out of juniors, for pete's sake. Much as I adored D/W in their first year of seniors, they weren't ready for the top spot in US ice dance. But they got there. Slow and sure wins the race.Originally Posted by rain