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

  1. #256
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    There isn't a video of it, sadly, only of their Chocolat FD from the same time frame, their first year in juniors. S&Z were not their coaches at this time.:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0_IWtmls8A

  2. #257
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    This continues to be another great thread.

    Earlier , I also wanted to echo the point doris made about V/M and D/W's programs. When you think of it , these couples could still be around for a number of years.That they each already have a variety of standout programs to their credit is a testament to their choreographer.

    And doris, even as a V/M devotee, I must admit that I'm a little more anxious about their chances of regaining their title since D/W's Fledermaus announcement. Sure , I felt D/W could do Rota justice, but as soon as I heard about the change, I thought , "Genius !"..and I didn't know about their baby selves' OD . I think we really have a horserace now.

    NorthernDancers..good, meaty post !

    I know where you're coming from . I guess we just have to breathe and try to go with it , we can't know for sure how these changes will work out . I'm sure in the bad old days a lot of talent probably withered on the vine , despairing of ever being able to move up .

    I haven't really liked the SD format so far ( although there have been a handful of teams that have done about as well as could be done with it) and I really miss the CDs.I enjoyed being able to compare all those apples...not quite so satisfying now , for a tech non-expert like me... And I miss the OD, too.It has given us some gems.

    I know the scoring system needs some tweaking, agreement on and adherence to standards ... just don't ask me exactly how to fix it ... I suppose the ISU seminars for judges should help, in the long run. In the meantime, I guess we have to hope for the very best tech callers, observant and knowledgeable judges , etc. etc. and keep reminding ourselves how much more fair the system is nowadays , even with it's imperfections. ( At least , I've decided that adopting that attitude may keep me from tearing my hair out , on occasion )

    Re; W/P ..really looking forward to their programs. I was also one of those who thought they were undermarked on their SD at World's and might just as easily have found themselves in 3rd , intead of 5th..But I loved the Shibs as well. This year, depending on their programs ( I'm not universally thrilled with Camerlengo's choreography , though when I like it ,I really like it )..I think they might have a very good chance of moving ahead of the Shibs..even though I quite agree with Mrs. P about the content of the Shibs' program.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 10-15-2011 at 02:09 AM.

  3. #258
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    Interesting discussion. What Marina does so well is that she really knows her skaters' strengths and works to highlight that aspect in their programs more than some other choreographers.

    The Shibs are such good skaters with whisper quiet blades and wonderful flow, which makes their skating look "easy" - something the judges really, really like. Hopefully they will continue on past Sochi so we can enjoy watching their overall performance skills develop.

    Looking forward to Skate America and seeing Davis & White's new programs. Like the idea of Die Fledermaus as they do a wonderful waltz. I like their power and speed.

  4. #259
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    Octoberfest results and details for P/I (2) and K/G-S (1) :

    http://www.skatecanada-centralontari...011/ssdrs.html

    http://www.skatecanada-centralontari...2011/ssdde.pdf

    with .42 between them...this could be fun...

  5. #260
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    I. Has anyone seen the film The Five Obstructions? If not, check it out. The basic idea is that limitations and restrictions actually enhance creativity, not limit it. The idea is that one director tells another director to remake one of his films, with particular restrictions. For example: “For the first short, von Trier decrees that Leth must film his remake in Cuba, without a set, and that there must be an edit at least once every 12 frames, or half second.” COP is like that.

    II. COP, in my mind, has improved dance the most precisely because every element can be athletic and artistic/creative at the same time. Not merely the placement of the element, but the element itself. The restrictions are about how to achieve the most points while still being creative.

    III. So a lift can be gorgeous, complicated, athletic, perfectly expressive of the music, and still achieve the highest levels. Using Virtue/Moir as an example – the final, rotational lift in “Mahler” is absolutely exquisite. It’s suffused with romance. It’s actually expressive and matches the music. It’s insanely difficult, with the movement and transition. And it’s a level four lift that earned all GOEs +3 at the Olympics and Worlds.

    IV. Buttercup, if you’re telling me that I convinced you to like F/S without having convinced you about V/M, I might have to turn in my uber card (:D).

    V. Phantom vs The Immigrants: Here’s where creativity is diminished by a lack of expression. It never really occurred to me that D/W’s “Phantom” program was trying to tell the story of the music. Ignoring the fact that POTO is a blight on musical theatre (whereas The Godfather and its sequel are among the greatest American films ever), I never once bought Charlie as the Phantom. He can’t (at the moment) convey love, passion or obsession, imo, so that the lifts, despite doris’ assertion, don’t come off as metaphors for abduction so much as ungainly and unpleasing to the eye. Conversely, “The Immigrants” works because Massimo is so emotionally fluid on the ice (indeed, he blows Frederica out of the water there – she’s way too one note), so that his expression in the first lift really sets the stage for what we’re about to see (his arms outstretched, the look on his face, Frederica clutching onto him with all her power). I see that reading in the construction of the program because I see it in his face too.

    VI. And the aforementioned is rather why I’m uncomfortable with an increasing weight placed on artistry. It’s so subjective! Yes, we can point out objective underpinnings, and yes – TES themselves are subjective as well (the range of GOEs on any given element in any discipline puts lie to the theory of objectivity), but the application itself is so specious and vague. There are a whole host of factors at play here. Buttercup, you mentioned that Bin Yao deliberately westernized Shen/Zhao in order to make them more palatable to the judges. There’s no denying that the culture of the judges would influence their perception of what is artistic, as an example.

    VII. NorthernDancers, what about the current standard of GOE application and PCS do you feels is poorly structured? Using S/Z as the example (heh), they were considered to have “good” PCS. Not Very Good/Superior/Outstanding. Good. Were they “on” more? How would you compare the elements? Do you think the program (SD) was as well choreographed? Did they make any errors? More two-foot skating? Well, someone correct me, but isn’t the cha-cha more on two feet than the rhumba, and doesn’t it take up more of a program? If both teams were perfect, what would the ideal score separation be? They received no +3s nor anything in the 9’s for PCS (they got five scores 8.00 or higher, but four were from one judge ). You really do seem to implicitly be returning to the days of 6.0 (the top scores should be for the top skaters), an idea I find troubling, especially considering how you’re expressing it.

    VIII. Mrs. P, I take your point about people not looking inside, but I don’t like Apple either. This is a very specific case where (a) what these talented skaters are doing isn’t in my wheelhouse and (b) ergo, their technical improvements don’t mean a whole lot to me because the whole isn’t more than the sum of its parts.

    IX. NorthernDancers, one thing you’re neglecting to mention is that those skaters who stuck it out and developed as seniors simply didn’t have the junior grand prix circuit to develop on in the first place. Victor Kraatz was twenty when he paired with Shae-Lynn Bourne. At that point, V/M and D/W had already been together 11+ years. How many people in the top ranks of ice dance are in their thirties? Not many. No, of course not many.

    X. I loved Dean’s choreography for Crone/Poirier. I never got the dated feel at all that jcoates mentioned in another discussion. If it didn’t entirely suit Crone/Porier, I’ll be completely honest – I’m not sure what program did.

  6. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    VIII. Mrs. P, I take your point about people not looking inside, but I don’t like Apple either. This is a very specific case where (a) what these talented skaters are doing isn’t in my wheelhouse and (b) ergo, their technical improvements don’t mean a whole lot to me because the whole isn’t more than the sum of its parts.
    Well, dang. Didn't think I had to deal with Apple haters on this board, but you know. J/K.

    Seriously, I definitely — obviously – see it differently. I believe these technical elements will be key to making it a great program by the end of the season. Going back to the iPhone 4S again. People at first glance were like "No, there's nothing new. Blah blah blah!" But now that people are playing with it (the phone was released it) it's more like "OH my gosh I love this phone." Again, functionality ultimately wins people over. Likewise with the Shibs, I can see why people don't think highly of this program when it's new and fully polished, but somehow, I think they're going to refine it over the course of the year, mastering those elements will allow them to be more free to express their FD later.

    And let's mention one more point — 40's Big Band is a good way to bring casual fans in. My husband, who is not a skating fan at all (in fact jokes that he loses his wife for several months during the season) LOVES the Shibutanis. He loves their polish. He loves their personality. When he looked at this FD from Finlandia after I told him about all the criticism they've been getting he said: "I don't get it. Why do people dislike this again?"

  7. #262
    Custom Title Kitt's Avatar
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    Wow, Meryl and Charlie in '03 - incredible edges and unison, even then as juniors!

  8. #263
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    Octoberfest results and details for P/I (2) and K/G-S (1) :

    http://www.skatecanada-centralontari...011/ssdrs.html

    http://www.skatecanada-centralontari...2011/ssdde.pdf

    with .42 between them...this could be fun...
    P&I's biggest hit was for the Rhumba, which with work, I'm sure they can fix.

    And IP, I can't believe that you didn't think of abduction with Phantom. Of course, you completely hate the book & the music, so it's hard to be quite objective then.

    It's equally hard for me to be objective about Funny Face, particularly the S'Wonderful part of it. I detest that music so much that it's hard to see the skating is excellent.

    But about the Immigrants, we will have to agree to differ--however, you apparently watch mostly Massimo, and I watch mostly Faiella. It does make a difference, as you pointed out. When someone over emotes that much, it's hard for me to shift my attention away. Mostly what I see when I watch them is botched elements and excellent staging, and the one time I notice Massimo, he's making what I see as a rather corny praying hands gesture while in a totally inappropriate posture for praying (with a girl on his lap).

  9. #264
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    Davis/White's Phantom of the Opera was all about power and speed. It was not about being "pretty" or aesthetically pleasing. Once you realize that, all their lifts (and the choreography, for that matter) make sense. The lifts fulfilled the choreographic intention of that program. I disliked POTO as a piece of choreography for a long time until I saw this.

    Also, jcoates, your commentary is brilliant.

  10. #265
    Custom Title DianaSelene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    It's equally hard for me to be objective about Funny Face, particularly the S'Wonderful part of it. I detest that music so much that it's hard to see the skating is excellent.
    I also don't like it. I find both the movie and music mediocre.

  11. #266
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    Pogue,

    I did not mean for any of my comments about C/P's last FD to imply that I thought the choreography had a dated feel. It was all classic Chris Dean and had a very modern staging. I simply wanted to point out back in the spring that all the cries of brilliant originality regarding it were somewhat misplaced. I referred to it in this thread only for purposes of comparison with how Dean and Zoueva approach choreography. I actually love Dean's artistic sensibility, but some of his methods of execution bug me sometimes.

    I agree with you that the cultural and stylistic preferences of judges and fans can play a very influential role on how a skater or team is perceived and that that reason alone merits allotting a reduced level of weight presentation scores. I also think that given how different D/W and V/M are, it's pretty remarkable that the same choreographer has succeeded in packaging them to equal levels of acceptance by judges and fans alike.

    Doris makes a good point about F/S. I too tend to focus most of my view on her and less on Massimo. I will re-watch their Olympic programs for your points Pogue. But like Doris, I tended to see them as beautifully costumed and very good storytellers, but less able to keep up with the rapidly increasing technical standard of not only lifts but also greater speed.

  12. #267
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Roman numerals! Wow.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    IV. Buttercup, if you’re telling me that I convinced you to like F/S without having convinced you about V/M, I might have to turn in my uber card (:D).
    Technically I convinced myself in both cases: With V/M, after rewatching their 2008 Worlds FD shortly after the events - I could see how good they were, and I was really impressed when I saw them live. But I would equate it to how I feel about Lambiel: he's great and I admire him, but for whatever reason it's never gone beyond admiration.

    F/S, it was the 2009 Oberstdorf winter gala that got me interested. They did their OD and it was fantastic, and it was then that I realized that watching Massimo makes them so much more enjoyable, which kind of echoes what you wrote in the next point. I would urge anyone who's gone the traditional route in the past and focused on the girl to take a look at the Euros version of The Immigrants and focus primarily on Scali. He's wonderful and it's his expression that really makes the program.

    V. Phantom vs The Immigrants: Here’s where creativity is diminished by a lack of expression. It never really occurred to me that D/W’s “Phantom” program was trying to tell the story of the music. Ignoring the fact that POTO is a blight on musical theatre (whereas The Godfather and its sequel are among the greatest American films ever), I never once bought Charlie as the Phantom. He can’t (at the moment) convey love, passion or obsession, imo, so that the lifts, despite doris’ assertion, don’t come off as metaphors for abduction so much as ungainly and unpleasing to the eye. Conversely, “The Immigrants” works because Massimo is so emotionally fluid on the ice (indeed, he blows Frederica out of the water there – she’s way too one note), so that his expression in the first lift really sets the stage for what we’re about to see (his arms outstretched, the look on his face, Frederica clutching onto him with all her power). I see that reading in the construction of the program because I see it in his face too.
    Yes to all of it. And the reason I keep writing that D/W aren't good at relating to one another in a romantic/passionate way is that they try, but it's not believable. They skate very fast and do difficult things, but it leaves me cold.

    Buttercup, you mentioned that Bin Yao deliberately westernized Shen/Zhao in order to make them more palatable to the judges. There’s no denying that the culture of the judges would influence their perception of what is artistic, as an example.
    So says The Second Mark, at least, though there are some timeline issues with the claim as presented in the book. But I agree with what you wrote about the judges cultural background, and that's one reason why I am skeptical when conspiracies are mentioned - not because I believe the judging is always pristine clean, but because I do feel cultural preferences can come into play, and the judges may not even be aware of how this affects them (note: as a social psychologist, I find the process quite interesting for several reasons).

    But I still want to see more emphasis on artistry than there is now. I don't know how to best do that while protecting the integrity of the results, but skating is getting too techy for my liking.

  13. #268
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Lichtman and Copley did their FD at Evening with Champions. Some kind person took a video. It is to Austin Powers. They seem to like comedic movie scores. Last year they did Beetlejuice.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=pZiADSc128E

  14. #269
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    Thanks Doris. It's becoming clear that most of the Canton teams have been given FDs this season that are different takes on fun and whimsy. Some character driven, some straightforward.

    On another note, given all the recent discussion about lifts and differences in height between partners, it's interesting to note that this team is quite similar in height. It will be interesting to see how or if that fact affects their success over time as a team.

  15. #270
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    I almost didn't look at that , thinking I've seen enough Austin Powers to last me a very long time.. but I'm so glad I did ! That's the most engaging AP program I've ever seen..( She's just so..GoGo )

    I'm putting in a word for the costumes , here..I think they're just spot on..perfect for the era , and they don't make the mistake of being a parody on what was already a parody to begin with.

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