Trixie Schuba's biggest fan!
Do two still skate as one?
For many years, I heard Dick and Peggy (and sometimes, Sandra and Scott) say that in pairs skating, the cardinal rule is, "Two shall skate as one." According to Section D of the ISU rules (the section governing pairs skating), Rule 519 states, "Pair skating is the skating of two persons in unison who perform their movements in such harmony with each other as to give the impression of genuine Pair Skating." Subsection a also stated that they need not perform the same moves all the time, but they must give the impression of unison.
To me, a lot of pairs nowadays utilize more "opposite choreography," for the sake getting the necessary levels. Not even Shen and Zhao, to me, skated as one at last year's Olympics (the last I saw them skate as one, to me, was at 2007 World Championships).
In the U.S., we have not had a "two skating as one" team since Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. I think it is not so much a change in choreographic style as a lack of ability, in the case of U.S. pairs.
But for the top teams world-wide, yes, I think there is more of a conscious effort to create interesting patterns, and the like. That was a bone of contention in the Salt Lake City Olympics. Sale and Pelletiere were criticised for "simple choreography" -- meaning, lots of side by side unison.
While Berezhnaya and Sikhardulidze had more intricate complementary positions and movements, giving their program more complexity of form.
You don't think Meno & Sand managed it at times?
Originally Posted by Mathman
Yea, I think pairs are supposed to skate as one. I've also felt pair skating is painting a romance on the ice. G& G were the prime example of two skating as one. But in recent years, I see a lot of pairs seemingly skating against each other as if they were in conflict. But then again, a lot of relationships/marriages are in conflict nowadays. Perhaps, it's just a sign of the times?
Originally Posted by miki88
Hmm...yeah. I guess so. They did not seem as good at it as Tai and Randy, though.
Originally Posted by gkelly
Maybe I am wrong but I look at Pairs as a pas de deux. Whether they are skating as one or two is not so important (for me). What I want to see is He is Leading her and Showing her off, and She is enjoying the attention. B&S definitely had that. Everything else is scoreable.
To answer the question asked in this thread, N-O, they definitely do not, which is why I have totally lost interest in pairs & dance for a long long time now. :(
That last ones to skate as one (btw Dick Button coined that term in regards to G&G) were Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov for pairs, and as for dance Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizerat.
And that's all I have to say about that.
I definitely think Virtue and Moir have it. I don't think that Anissina/Peizarat did, but what they had was equally thrilling.
I tend to agree with you, Joe. Though of course unison is one way to achieve that. One recent example of good unison to me was the Love Story program of Sale and Pelletier. There were a lot of moments of unison expressed with arm motions and exactly how high the back leg is lifted. It really worked very effectively.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
I'll have to look back at Anissina and Piezerat to see how they express unison. They certainly express chemistry! That Romeo and Juliet--a dance for the ages. I preferred it to their OGM program, in fact.
Wicked Yankee Girl
Re US pairs, actually, Inoue and Baldwin did a pretty good job of skating as one-their problem was that they were never good or consistent on their SBS jumps. However, their F/W and spins, especially in the 2006 time frame were really very nice and synchronized. Meno & Sand had their moments, too. Ina & Zimmerman were exciting!! at their best, but unison was never their best thing.
But I think I agree with the premise of blue dogs original post-this business of getting higher levels for mirror skating and skating separately has definitely reduced the two as one feeling.
And it's a rare pair these days that can synchronize their spins on all those position and edge changes. Neither S&S nor S&Z could do it well. In the past, you would never have a World or Olympic champion that couldn't synchronize side by side spins.