The Beginning Moments of a Program
You know, that opening with no tricks as an intro to the program.
1. Is it judged?
2. Is it required?
3. Is it time limited?
4. Is it an intro to what is to come?
I don't think it is necessay, but it is an aide for the skater's nerves. Some of them are quite clever and others are run-of-the mill.
What do you think of them?
Waiting for on-ice perfection.
I've noticed some skaters who use their opening & closing moments to showcase their "artistry" but totally blank out during the actual performance. Used well, it could definitely show off an ease, grace, choreographic brilliance that skaters couldn't afford in between a difficult triple and a hectic step sequence. It's useful because it's a clear beginning to a program (making timing a program easier) and probably gets a skater into the right frame of mind. It also sometimes makes for an iconic moment.
1. It could factor into a judge's idea of the overall quality of the program (how complete it is as an entity) and a skater's performance, artistry
3. Probably not since it's just "choreography" that could otherwise be spent in a different part of the program. How a skater allots one's time is up to the skater, no?
Wicked Yankee Girl
T&D's Bolero had quite a long non-skating intro whose main purpose was to allow the inclusion of the entire piece of music without exceeding the time limits the rules placed on the program. However, it also set the stage for the rest of the dance beautifully.
That's probably my favorite skating intro.
wasn't it decided that the could sit and flail for as long as they wanted, the clock doesn't start until the blade of the skate moves?
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
Wicked Yankee Girl
Yes, exactly, but I wouldn't call it "flailing".
Good question, I personally love the intro, it sets the tone of the piece. And when done just so can become a classic. I'm thinking specifically of G&G skating to Reverie at the 1994 Olympic Exhibitions. Ahhh...
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
*runs and hides*
or just moving back and forth towards each other with their arms extended to one of the most boring pieces of music... sooooooo repetative... uuuuuuugggggghhhhhh
Another classic was the stunning beginning of A&P's "Time To Say Goodbye" exhibition piece. Lol, I can still recall how awestruck and a little embarrassed some of the commentators were when it began. Even me at first, with Gwendal lying there on the ice all in black with his long curly mane of blonde hair spread about so sensually his refined classic French face, whilst Marina appeared in a skin-tight gold lame bodysuit with her equally wild mane of red hair cascading down her back, then she lies on top of Gwendal with just their faces touching, hand to hand, knees & elbows bent erotically, which immediately brought to mind Gustav Klimt's classic painting "The Kiss": http://janhaag.com/osrcsthekiss2.jpg
I think the only one to truly get it at first sight was Dick Button, of course, the classic renaissance man.
p.s. another A&P classic was the beginning of their "Romeo & Juliet" program. Wow, Marina's face set it all, as well as the imaginary knife she had inserted into her breast, because of course their R&J was done in reverse. So clever, and stunning!
I don't know anything about 1, 2, and 3. It is definitely a part of no.4. I, for one, think it's not only necessary, but also important to capture viewers attention. I agree with dlgpffps saying that it's the moment to showcase their artistry. A good beginning would make people start liking the program right away. Of course, throughout the program, the emotion of the viewers might change. After watching the entire program, they would very likely re-assess and give the final verdict of liking it or not liking it. However, maybe it's just me, a good intro movement, like the beginning of a beautiful music, or the starting of a good movie, was always one of the highlights standing out in my memory.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
I have many favorite beginning moments of the programs. Here are some examples:
Alexei Yagudin's 2002 LP MITIM. The beginning of this program and the music made me fall in love with it in the first a few seconds:
Johnny Weir's 2003 LP Dr. Zhivago. I've never seen his programs nor knew such a person, but I've found out in the first a few seconds that he was a classical skater, and started to like him:
Sasha Cohen's 2002 Sears Open Romeo&Juliet. What an unique beginning moves in the first 19 seconds! I watched it for countless times:
Jeremy Abbott's 2010-11 SP Viejoe Aires. As I've said in another thread, no feet movements (Well, to be exact, step out and step in), just arms and hands. Precise. You'd know what style it's going to be. Simply beautiful!
Last edited by Bluebonnet; 12-05-2010 at 12:25 AM.
I mostly see this with pairs with like Kavaguti and Smirnov and in the past the other Moskvina pairs.
Even though I don't like a long stationary position in a program in general, as long as the interpretation is there as a criterion, a skater can choose to have an intro, long or short depending on the music, and it should be judged accordingly. I quite like the intro part of the last year's Takahashi's LP and I wouldn't call it unnecessary.
Gorgeous choice! I love that opening too.
Originally Posted by Bluebonnet
Here are some of mine:
Stephane Lambiel, Dralion SP (2006)
I love how Stephane's opening moves are perfectly timed to the beat of the music.
Michelle Kwan, Salome LP (1996)
Gah...everything, down to her fingertips, sets the mood and tone of the program in her opening.
Jonathan Cassar, Schindler's List LP (2010)
Technically this shouldn't count since he does a "trick" as an intro to his program (a circular step sequence), but I LOVE how Jonathan opens his program with a step sequence--seriously, how often do you see that? Plus, the step sequence isn't all frantic and full of windmilling arms; instead, it perfectly fits the music and sets the mood of his program. Even without the jumps, Jonathan is such an amazing skater...
Last edited by evangeline; 12-02-2010 at 06:15 AM.
I like DomShab opening for compulsory tango 2010. His position and face expression, then her leg up! And then a hot tango with kicks.
At the rink. Again.
As a competitive skater, I can tell you these two things:
the "intro" is not timed, there's no time limit to it, you can intro however long you want as long as your total time is under the limit. If you do not move, it's not part of your total program time. If you move so much as a finger, it starts the ref's program time clock.
my coach has put my intro together to gather attention to the program; so that the judges and the audience sit up and take notice and have a favorable impression of what is going to happen throughout the program. It's intended to set the mood as well as prepare the skater for the first element.
1. The official timing of the program starts as soon as the skater starts to move (not necessarily the blades -- this has changed since 1984). So yes, anything the skater does between the start of the music and movement and the first element will be judged in terms of the components.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
The intro steps and ending movements in compulsory dances used not to be officially judged, although the skaters put a lot of effort into them and they certainly affected the judges' impressions. With the new Short Dance, that's no longer an issue.
2. No, a skater is certainly allowed to step directly from the starting pose into a jump or spin if they choose. Or, of course, for the first movement of the program to be the first step of a step sequence, as in the Cassar example evangeline gives.
3. There's no limit on the amount of time between the beginning of the program and the first element. If the skater wants to do all connecting moves for the first half of the program and put all the elements in the second half, that would be legal (but the program might look "unbalanced" and get dinged under Choreography as a result -- but all the jumps would get the second-half bonus, so it might be worth it).
4. Well, yeah. As several posters have described.
Some skaters (especially dance teams) will get into character and do some kind of choreography even while they're getting to their starting place on the ice. That's not part of the program and is not officially judged. But it would also serve as an intro of what's to come.