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Thread: What will the 2011/2012 season bring us in ice dance?

  1. #196
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    On the subject of what will ice dance bring us this year, from looking at the protocols, I would say, we will be seeing a lot of deductions. In previous years, you would see deductions for falls and extended lifts, and maybe costume if a piece of it fell off.

    Between the Senior B's and the JGP, here's what I've found so far, apart from the extended lifts:

    Finlandia
    Prop/Costume

    Nebelhorn
    2 costume/prop deductions

    jgp latvia
    costume/prop
    illegal element
    2 time violations

    jgp brisbane
    costume/prop

    jgp poland
    extra element by verif
    costume/prop violation

    jgp roumania
    Music restriction violation: -2.00 (Simonova & Dragun) Hall of the Mountain King
    Extra element by verif.: -1.00

    JGP Austria
    Interruption in excess: -1.00

    JGP Lombardi
    Zhang & WU (Nino Rota R&J)
    Music restriction violation: -2.00

    Nepala
    Z&G music restriction violation -2
    R&J, Nino Rota

    Of course, they ignored a lot of stuff too-for example, Z&G got a deduction at Nepala, but not at Nebelhorn.

    Still, it appears that it will be no wonder if we hear a lot of drum machine beats added to FD's, and if all the costumes look like 1960's gym suits, or something else equally modest.

    It reminds me of when the judges first started to call lips-all we heard were flutzes, and then suddenly one year the judges discovered that some of the skaters lip. And the year when they discovered underrotation. At first was called occasionally. Then it was all over the protocols.

    So...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    On the subject of what will ice dance bring us this year, from looking at the protocols, I would say, we will be seeing a lot of deductions. In previous years, you would see deductions for falls and extended lifts, and maybe costume if a piece of it fell off.


    So...
    I am surprised Ralph / Hill got away with the music for their SD, without a penalty. Harlem Nocturne is not latin rythm.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Ralph/Hill skated at Nebelhorn, where Zhiganshina & Gaszi were not penalized for their music, although they were at their next competition. Presumably it was a more lenient panel.

    And did they dub in a correct rhythm with a drum machine?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpZS7u92Y4A

    It sounds like that might be true-my computer's sound quality is not of the most wonderful, but there is a clicking in the Harlem Nocturne clip, I think?.

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    Continuing the discussion from the Finlandia thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoates View Post
    I understand that people are looking for greater choreographic range from the Shibs. I just don't see the rush for it to be so immediate. I see them as a much more long term team, a bit like Klimova Ponomarenko were. That team was at or near the top largely on the basis of their technique for most of their (very long) career. Their iconic image as a high drama team is mostly the result of their 1991 season, 3rd Olympic season and subsequent pro career. Before that, they had much more tame themes. In retrospect those programs have been much more appreciated by skating fans, but while they were competing, they received much of the same criticism the Shibs are getting now. "Too conventional" "Old fashioned" "Lacks passion and drama" Etc Etc. Yet they were no worse than second at Worlds for an astounding 8 consecutive years. Given that as well as the relative similarity in their ages to K/P's career arc and the pure technique, I'm not at all worried about them for the long term. They will develop a choreographic range of their own at their own pace, not ours.
    1. I think part of the reason is that, well, their success was immediate. If we’re talking about them as potential for the future, then yes – people would say “I like them, look forward to more when they grow up.” But they’re also world bronze medalists. Virtue/Moir followed their first medal with a complete departure, program wise. So did Davis/White. So if their success is immediate, I see no reason to somehow exclude them from the expectations that occur when you have your medal-winning breakthrough

    2. It’s interesting you mention Klimova/Ponamarenko, because like the Shibutanis, there was certainly some drama surrounding their first medal. A costly fall vs an oddly applied music deduction from/for those ahead of them.


    I should refine my comment about trends to prefer heavy drama and romance, but I definitely think the trend to wish for heavier programs from longstanding teams is a real one. In fact, its been a trend since Bolero. (most of B/B's career, the Duchenays, late K/P, Usova and Zhulin even in 93 when more upbeat themes were being pushed, most of G/P even before 94, A/P, late B/K, D/V etc.)
    3. As a rule, heavy programs seem to be preferred, regardless of discipline. I think last year we saw a notable example with the pairs – Savchenko/Szolkowy vs Volosozhar/Trankov. S/S were more artistic – the program was a better match to the music, it was more complex choreographically, and they performed it absolutely sensationally. But V/T were more traditionally moving, and a surprising number of people thought they should’ve won.

    4. I’ll have to watch more thoroughly, but I’m gonna point out that B/K weren’t trending to a heavier program. They had one year where they completely Russified themselves and barely won gold (computer aided). Indeed, it’s the first sign we have that Morosov really has no ideas of his own and merely copies others (Here’s Bourne/Kraatz winning FD from 2003, and the FD Morosov copies from)

    I detest the idea that the Shibs or any team would have to lose out on a deserved medal or placement in order to deflect or end some sort of backlash. That sort of treatment is more appropriate in a beauty pageant than a sporting event. If they outskate the teams around them, then they should beat them regardless of where they train, who their coaches are or any other extraneous reason.
    5. I agree, but the one thing that does bother me is that I’m not convinced that one school of ice dancing dominating the way the Canton team does now is in fact a good thing for the sport. If I’m honest, I’m gonna say I only truly love one Canton team (V/M) and have a lot of respect/like/enthusiasm for the others. I’m not convinced I think an all Canton podium is where I want the sport to head, the same way an all Nichol-podium for mens/ladies skating would be underwhelming, regardless of actual merit

    I understand your love of narrative. It's perfectly human to feel that inclination. But I would rather see the very best possible performances from all concerned and let the chips fall where they may, like 2010 Vancouver between D/W and V/M. I preferred Meryl and Charlie, but could not argue with the result. That to me is the best and longest lasting source of narrative and drama. The fairytale ending is nice but not necessary for me.
    6. Oh, I hope that I didn’t imply that I wanted anything less than the best.

    7. Juvenile vs light? I think it’s easy to mix the two up, but I do think that it has to do with the feelings evoked as much as the on ice content. Mrs. P, you mentioned Kanako Murakami’s program, and that’s a perfect example of a juvenile program. I felt like I was a chaperone at a junior high/elementary school dance. I’ve seen that program once (NHK SP) and won’t be revisiting it. That’s sorta how I feel about the Shibutanis. I sincerely doubt that I’ll be watching that program again this season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by herios View Post
    I am surprised Ralph / Hill got away with the music for their SD, without a penalty. Harlem Nocturne is not latin rythm.
    The original version of Harlem Nocturne is not a rumba, but the version that Ralph and Hill are using is, much like other music being used in the sd's which are not originally latin, but have Latin versions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    I think part of the reason is that, well, their success was immediate. If we’re talking about them as potential for the future, then yes – people would say “I like them, look forward to more when they grow up.” But they’re also world bronze medalists. Virtue/Moir followed their first medal with a complete departure, program wise. So did Davis/White. So if their success is immediate, I see no reason to somehow exclude them from the expectations that occur when you have your medal-winning breakthrough.
    I assume with D/W this is in reference to POTO vs. their tango FD, although it may be more appropriate to compare their breakthrough 2009 season with the year after. In either case, I don't know that they took as big a risk as did V/M with Umbrellas vs. Pink Floyd.

    The Shibutanis are lovely and talented, but they are in dire need of some originality in their programs. I don't buy that their problem is that they're a sibling team; not all ice dance programs have to be romantic, and the Kerrs certainly didn't stick to a narrow range in their career. The Zars weren't as original, but their Schindler's List FD is another example of something that a sibling team can do successfully. I think Maia and Alex's problem is that they are a sibling team coached and choreographed by Zoueva and Shpilband, who don't really know what to do with teams that can't do passionate/romantic. They still haven't really figured out how to make Meryl and Charlie relate to each other on the ice, and I suspect that Samuelson/Bates may have found themselves with rather limited options artistically as well. I realize that the Canton teams have a winning formula, but some outside choreographers could do the Shibs a world of good.

    As a rule, heavy programs seem to be preferred, regardless of discipline. I think last year we saw a notable example with the pairs – Savchenko/Szolkowy vs Volosozhar/Trankov. S/S were more artistic – the program was a better match to the music, it was more complex choreographically, and they performed it absolutely sensationally. But V/T were more traditionally moving, and a surprising number of people thought they should’ve won.
    Yes and no. Pechalat and Bourzat are a good example of a team that has found success with lighter material rather than more serious concepts.

    People seriously think that V/T should have won? Their programs together have been so blah. I'll take the "lyrical snot" Maxim so hated over Morozov's vision any day.

    ...the one thing that does bother me is that I’m not convinced that one school of ice dancing dominating the way the Canton team does now is in fact a good thing for the sport. If I’m honest, I’m gonna say I only truly love one Canton team (V/M) and have a lot of respect/like/enthusiasm for the others. I’m not convinced I think an all Canton podium is where I want the sport to head, the same way an all Nichol-podium for mens/ladies skating would be underwhelming, regardless of actual merit
    I admire V/M rather than love them, and have varying degrees of enthusiasm for the others, but I agree with the sentiment. I really don't like how so many elite teams are now concentrated in the two Detroit-area clubs, and I especially don't like the Canton formula that allows teams to take shortcuts to success. This is not to say that we need to go back to the 6.0, wait your turn days; but you can tell when a team has been together for a while, like V/M or P/B, vs. new teams that are kind of going through the COP motions and hitting the technical requirements but don't have the same connection.

    In addition, wait your turn might not have been a good way to motivate ice dancers, but the expectation for quick results must be an insane pressure cooker for teams that might require more time to develop and come up with interesting ideas. P/B partnered near the end of their junior days (2000), didn't win a GP medal until 2006 and didn't win an ISU championship medal until 2011 Euros (!!!). If I'm not mistaken, they will be the oldest ice dancers competing this season (Fabian turns 31 in December; Nathalie will be 28). The Kerrs followed a similar path, though they reached the top ten level and got their first Euros medal sooner while taking a bit longer on the GP circuit. How many young teams would have the patience to go through the process Nathalie and Fabian and the Kerrs did? How many good programs would we have missed out on if they'd given up, or split? There were some really unfortunate splits and changes this past off-season, and I suspect they are due at least in part to the pressure ice dance teams are under to succeed quickly. When the Kerrs finished 10th at their first Euros, it was considered amazing. Now I/K are seventh at their first Worlds, with both technically still junior-aged and only three years together under their belts, and it's a disappointment. That's really sad.
    Last edited by Buttercup; 10-12-2011 at 09:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    In addition, wait your turn might not have been a good way to motivate ice dancers, but the expectation for quick results must be an insane pressure cooker for teams that might require more time to develop and come up with interesting ideas. P/B partnered near the end of their junior days (2000), didn't win a GP medal until 2006 and didn't win an ISU championship medal until 2011 Euros (!!!). If I'm not mistaken, they will be the oldest ice dancers competing this season (Fabian turns 31 in December; Nathalie will be 28). The Kerrs followed a similar path, though they reached the top ten level and got their first Euros medal sooner while taking a bit longer on the GP circuit. How many young teams would have the patience to go through the process Nathalie and Fabian and the Kerrs did? How many good programs would we have missed out on if they'd given up, or split? There were some really unfortunate splits and changes this past off-season, and I suspect they are due at least in part to the pressure ice dance teams are under to succeed quickly. When the Kerrs finished 10th at their first Euros, it was considered amazing. Now I/K are seventh at their first Worlds, with both technically still junior-aged and only three years together under their belts, and it's a disappointment. That's really sad.

    100% agree with this statement. I really like COP because it does a way better job of taking out personal preference and some of the politics and putting parameters and measurements around technical aspects of the sport. In its best form, it allows skaters to track their progress, understand what needs to be done next, and provides generally a measure of consistency in results. An unfortunate by-product is that COP also tends to reward little robots, and an unrealistic expectation of instant success. If you get the levels, do it reasonably well, skate fast, then you get the points, and you can win. But it doesn't mean you are a great dancer, or even the best dancer. With an emphasis on the tricks, there is a natural advantage for young teams that have not yet physically grown and matured. And what constitutes success at Junior does not always translate to Senior. I also find the pressure on the young Russians sad. They are so young and just need time to develop, starting with basic skills. We need to take a longer term view of development of skaters and teams and when and how they are put on the international stage even at Junior. And we need to think about what really constitutes "normal". For example, how many people have commented on Tessa's "weight gain"? She has blossomed into a beautiful young woman, and looks healthy and strong. Why should she look like a young girl still? Why is that the ideal? Now we will see new levels of maturity and strength and beauty in their skating that wasn't possible when they were younger and smaller. I really think their best work is yet to come, and I am so excited to see them continue to develop.

    The Shibs are a really exciting team for the future. They have a very pure skating style, and he is especially very, very talented. But they do not have the refinement, maturity and depth in their skating that is seen in Virtue/Moir. And why should they? What Virtue/Moir do is simply brilliant with all the little details, connections, stylings, in addition to the fabulous unison in leg lines, edges, smoothness, etc. Shibs are not in the same ball park. And I don't think they are in the same league as Weaver/Poje, or Pechalat/Bourzat. I don't think the Shibs are robots, either, and they are not a new team, having skated together for many years, but for some reason COP doesn't differentiate meaningfully between good technical skating with a great package, and the addition of substance and maturity that takes the program from a well done competition exercise to a dance masterpiece.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDancers View Post
    but for some reason COP doesn't differentiate meaningfully between good technical skating with a great package, and the addition of substance and maturity that takes the program from a well done competition exercise to a dance masterpiece.
    But the mature skating of V/M you raved about won, not the young Shibs, who got the bronze medal by default. While the Shibs compensate one aspect with another, it's teams with the complete package that are ahead, unless they have a mishap.

    CoP gave young talented teams a chance to advance fast but they have to have the goods. The fans' comments and demands here about the Shibs surely pressure them more than the system. At this point, this young team is more of an exception than the norm and they are in no way assured of the same results as last season. But it's unreasonable to demand range and diversity from the young ones with limited repertoire, and I mean more than just Dance, seeing how often young successful skaters are compared to skaters years older or retired after a full career.

    As far as the joyous programs and expressions are concerned, isn't it one of the latest directives by ISU to have uplifting Dance programs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    On the subject of what will ice dance bring us this year, from looking at the protocols, I would say, we will be seeing a lot of deductions. In previous years, you would see deductions for falls and extended lifts, and maybe costume if a piece of it fell off..
    There are always a lot of deductions at the first of the year, mostly for extended lifts. The skaters then fine tune the programs to avoid deductions. Maybe you're just noticing it more this year, save and except I've never heard of music deductions in ice-dance. Is it because the music is not the prescribed rhythm for the SD?

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    I wouldn't say that I/K's placement and skating is a dissapointment.It's a dissapointment because their PR and they themselves have presented them as the only hope for Sochi.Rather clever of Zhulin at that point,with V/M being Olympic champions at such a young age,with the russians searching for stars and finding the equivalent.Almost identical age to the one V/M had back in 2006,same packaging,trying to put the accent on the personal connection on the ice etc.Clever if they were contestants in Averbukh's show and in their 30s.I'm afraid that the kids themselves believed and still believe the hype around them while their skating shows their age.B/S were the third team back then,and it seems their coaches have an allergy to PR as well,so it was easy.Plus they're not a couple off the ice and everybody knows that.

    The Shibutanis are a totally different story.They got their hype in 2009,they finished off the junior podium in 2010 and they just worked,worked and worked.A lot.And it showed.I don't like their style but they're good technicians and can deliver.Sometimes they will win medals,sometimes they won't,as I'm afraid it will happen with all the current crop of ice dancers.Too many teams,too close in ablities,it's going to be a bumpy road until Sochi.

    I'm not particularly fond of P/B program.It's evident they have boosted the technical contnent of their program.They're very ambitious in that aspect,but the program itself after the first two halfs is kind of bland.And they don't have the skating skills to keep a bland program alive.I hope that by the end of the season they will have found the balance.But,I also think that this kind of FD leaves the door open at Europeans.And the three russian teams will be hungry,B/S to show everyone who is the boss,R/T to show they're not number 3 and I/K to show they're progressing.It's going to be interesting at least.

    The question mark for me is Capellini/Lanotte with La Strada.Where are they going to end up at Euros especially.

    About V/M's FD..I'm kind of uninterested in it,I admire their skating,but it's as if they are going back instead of forth.I have no doubt that by the end of the season they will be amazing at it,but the FD itself doesn't excite me.Maybe I'm just bored of them catering to their fans taste for cute and romantic,or the fact that I believe that they can challenge themselves much more,but their technical score was almost identical to the Shibs,B/S and W/P from last years worlds and it kind of bugged me...

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    There are always a lot of deductions at the first of the year, mostly for extended lifts. The skaters then fine tune the programs to avoid deductions. Maybe you're just noticing it more this year, save and except I've never heard of music deductions in ice-dance. Is it because the music is not the prescribed rhythm for the SD?
    There are the usual number of extended lifts as the skaters get used to their new programs--which is why I didn't list them. What's unusual are the wide variety of other deductions, including the music deductions. Furthermore, those programs are for music that has been used before without deductions- Romeo & Juliet (Rota) and Hall of the Mountain King. And All 3 were for FD's, not SD's. I haven't seen anyone interviewed on the music deductions yet who knows whether it was for lack of a beat for too long a time, or something else.

    I'm still waiting to see the wrong rhythm deduction taken for an SD.

    It should have been imposed last year on a number of the wangoes we had.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    But the mature skating of V/M you raved about won, not the young Shibs, who got the bronze medal by default. While the Shibs compensate one aspect with another, it's teams with the complete package that are ahead, unless they have a mishap.

    CoP gave young talented teams a chance to advance fast but they have to have the goods. The fans' comments and demands here about the Shibs surely pressure them more than the system. At this point, this young team is more of an exception than the norm and they are in no way assured of the same results as last season. But it's unreasonable to demand range and diversity from the young ones with limited repertoire, and I mean more than just Dance, seeing how often young successful skaters are compared to skaters years older or retired after a full career.

    As far as the joyous programs and expressions are concerned, isn't it one of the latest directives by ISU to have uplifting Dance programs?

    No problems with the joyous skating, here. It's very age appropriate, and the Shibs do that well.

    As for COP allowing young skaters to advance fast, I have a couple of examples/concerns. Last week in the JGP, the Russian team scored 62.86 in the SD. Are they really that close to V/M who scored 68.74 at Finlandia? I don't think they are even in the same ballpark. The Russians are good, but not that good yet. And they soundly beat the Shibs in the SD. Does that mean when this Russian team appears at Senior we should expect to see them in the top 5? I don't think so. 87.12 in the FD basically means they tied or beat the Shibs in the FD as well, since there is an extra element at Senior. Those are pretty high marks. But what the scores don't adequately reflect is the difference in the quality and maturity of the skating. The Russians are not at the level of the Shibs yet. I/K had the same sort of experience, which seems to have given them license to expect they will be the next great thing for Sochi. But suddenly Senior results were a "disappointment". I don't think they were disappointing. I think the expectations were way off.

    Another example, some of the really young teams finding fast success. I think Ralph/Hill were casualities of this. They won Novice, then Junior, then ended top 5 at Senior in Canada. But they've been stuck and not improving since, until maybe perhaps this year. (We'll see.) It's hurt them internationally, as well as within Canada. It would have been better for them to have to work more and develop more at Junior before reaching Senior, and then they would fare better in their international assignments at Senior. Kudos to Ralph/Hill for sticking together, but I agree some of the changes this year are a result of the pressure to achieve more than teams should be expected to achieve. This is my fear for our little teams from BC, in addition to them all outgrowing each other and having to start fresh in new partnerships at a level where there are a lot of eyes, attention and judgement. Just witness the feeding frenzy on all the changes this year, and it has to be tough on kids. There are some pretty nasty comments about Chock/Bates on these boards.

    How many years were Wing/Lowe at Senior before achieving success? And the same with Dubreil/Lauzon? Bourne/Kraatz? And Delobel/Schoenfelder? And even Weaver/Poje needed to spend some time in the wilderness over the last couple of years. But they returned to worlds and won a top 5 placing, now that they are ready for it. Of course it is unreasonable to demand range and diversity from the young ones with limited repertoire. And I guess that's the point. Some of these young ones are achieving results in line with the very top teams, which would lead one to believe they should have diversity and range, when they obviously don't, and can't be expected to. In my opinion, the marks aren't reflecting this difference.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    That should be on the judges, who are handing out scores that really are too high. It is all well and good to claim scores are relative, but when the scores are tie breakers for this and that (like jgpf) and qualifiers for worlds, the absolute value of the scores should mean something.

    And as you have shown, NorthernDancers, so often, the scores aren't really senior scores, and it can have a bad effect on the kids.

    I agree that R&H might have benefited from another year in juniors. For that matter, it might have helped Chock/Zuerlein, and Crone/Poirier, too, as well as I&K. All those teams had expectations heaped upon them that were not, in retrospect, reasonable.

    However, the rapid success of V&M and D&W contributed to people's unreasonable expectations. The fact is, both teams are, in their own different ways remarkable, and their careers should not be used as yardsticks for expectations for other teams.

    I love your example of Weaver/Poje as a team that really came into their own with a little more experience. They are a good role model for younger teams, I think.

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    The judges have to mark what is performed before them and there is no way/mark for them to judge "diversity" and "range" in one program. That is something that you can only judge over a period of years.

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    VM and DW aren't the only ones anymore. You also have the Shibutani's. They had the success that some thought I/K would have. Like medaling at their first grand prix events and doing well at their nationals and winning a worlds medal. I/K did not do well in their GP events and did not have a good nationals and had a fine Euros where they didn't medal and then bombed badly compared to the other new senior team. It was just a bomb of a season. The Shibutani's are at it again this season. Right behind the best.

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