RE: Russian ice dance
Russian ice dance needs to change with the rest of the world. Back when Russian dancers seemed invincible, many teams adapted their style to suit the Russian style of dance. Sure, there were unique teams (Rakhamo/Kokko, Torvill/Dean), but they were still somewhat influenced by the style. The first North American dancers to win worlds "Russified" their style.
I like B/S, but watching their FD, I felt like I was watching an old Soviet FD. I didn't dislike it, but they seem behind the times somewhat.
B/S were just boring though. So boring. The music was a snooze. I mean two seasons ago they had that opera and were not even watchable. I forgot their biggest problem which is that his twizzles are done but are so bad.
Last edited by gmyers; 05-23-2011 at 04:40 PM.
Dance is going to be interesting with Faiella/Scali back. I think the frontrunners will be V/M and D/W still, and V/M may take their world title back if they can train at full capacity and do more competitions before worlds this season. It'll be interesting to see who will take bronze at worlds, and I think it will be a fight between Faiella/Scali and Pechalat/Bourzat. I really hope P/B can finally get a world medal since they've been knocking at the door so long and that fall was kind of a freak accident at this year's worlds. I think with F/S back and if P/B are in their best form, the Shibutanis will not medal again at the worlds, but will stay in the top 5 probably. I'm hoping W/P can stay in the top 5, or even medal (I don't think so though for the medal), but they've got close competition with Ilinykh/Katsalapov and Bobrova/Soloviev, and possibly Crone/Poirier if they skate better and Samuelson/Bates if they come back at top notch and qualify for the worlds. Oh yeah, Russia will also have three spots so Riazanova/Tkachenko will probably be in there too, unless Khokhlova and Andreev get sent instead. It's going to be interesting to see what S/B are like and if they will be able to tkae a worlds spot back from Chock/Zuerlein (I'm thinking they probably can).
In the context of PCS, when you look back at the last Olympic cycle and examine the growth of PCS scores by D/W and V/M both within and across seasons, there was marked improvement each year. They were on par with more senior teams in TES almost from the beginning, so as their PCS improved and the their elements became cleaner and more difficult, they caught up to and eventually surpassed their rivals. Given that Marina and Igor are so meticulous in their training, I expect similar growth from the Shibs.
Back to the 80's
I think the Shibs should be looked at through a slightly different prism. Three teams from way back that no one has mentioned who could serve as really good role models for the Shibs were Wilson/McCall, Blumberg/Seibert and early Klimova/Ponomarenko. They did not traffic in explicitly romantic dances (even K/P pre-88 as newlyweds), but used cheekiness, humor, energy, excitement and absolute technical brilliance to make themselves stand out amongst all the high drama of T/D and B/B. Tracy and Rob were excellent technically but more for their actual blades on the ice skating and less for their dramatic lifts. Marina and Sergei were so good, you never had to worry that they would fail to deliver an excellent skate. In fact, the chief criticism of them for years was that they should have actually tapped their off-ice marriage to inject more heat into their dances. Still, their quality was so undeniably good, that they were either 1st or 2nd at worlds for and astounding 8 years. Judy and Michael perhaps resembled the Shibs the most of these teams. They had smooth as butter edges, flow for days and an ease that just made you smile. I think Alex and Maia could very well mold themselves in that way in order to develop a long term senior style.
No one can accurately claim that W/McC or B/S ever skated a truly romantic dance, for somewhat obvious reasons. Yet they creatively choreographed their routines to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. I think the Shibs can definitely tap that well to their own advantage. Remember, not all dancing has to be super sexy or raunchy to be good. This is not Dancing with the Stars. (I write this as my jaw is on the floor b/c Mark Ballas and his partner COMPLETELY RIPPED OFF V/M's opening to their free dance for their samba during tonight's finals. Down to the costumes.)
See examples of my points below.
'86 Worlds (3rd)
'88 Olympics OSP and FD (3rd)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6ffI31sMTw (an example of how to do a tango NOT meant to smolder)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWO4eG_EwG8 (such a happy memory...RIP Rob)
'85 Worlds (2nd)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_vE5sCkPac (A clinic on the multi-rhythm format of ice dance)
'86 Worlds (2nd)
'87 Worlds (2nd)
'88 Olympics (2nd)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acXA7...eature=related (even though Uncle Dick presents this dance in a romantic framework, it could easily be slightly re-choreographed to suit a bro/sis team like the Shibs)
Maybe some of us are underrating the Shibutanis but I think it is way over the top to call them locked into a medal from now on or fighting with V/M and D/W on top already. Even if their scores improve alot that would at best put them on par with a normal P/B considering P/B would have blown them away by about 8 points this year without their disaester.
Pogue , I love it when you start one of these ! You've got it all so nicely organized , it helps keep me on track...sometimes I need that... I saw this this morning and have been wanting to get a chance to respond all day.It's been a wild ride in Ice Dance this year, but I don't see things letting up for next year ( although I hope we won't see so many wrinkles due to injury )It's like we bought a roll of tickets and don't even have to get off the rollercoaster in between.
I'm going to begin with the Canadians, since they happen to be in my thoughts at the moment.
V/M -If they are really fully back ( crossing all appendages ), we've seen how they can knock a Latin theme out of the park , and I'm expecting a FD that is nothing less than spectacular from them. ( Friendship is a wonderful thing , but Scott freely admits to preferring the top of the podium )I expect the ante will be upped.
W/P-I agree , must be enjoying a phenomenal boost in confidence.They achieved their goal , which their detractors wrote off as unrealistic . They must know that many observers felt they should have been placed above the Shibs in the SD , and if they had been.... well ,it must be thrilling and inspiring to know how close they came to being on the podium. I'm sure they'll continue to work hard. I hope some very serious thought will go into their new programs , particularly the FD.( I don't think Latin will be a problem for them ) I really think they have to be considered Canada's de facto second team , in spite of last year's national results, since the World placement was no squeaker between them and C/P...as has already been pointed out.
C/P-Must still be in shock , and I don't know what they'll do. I, too ,think a coaching change is in order, but don't know if that will be recognized. They still have the same problems in carriage and posture ( not to mention packaging ) that they had when they came up from Juniors ( problems shared by L/R's two next most visible teams ,R/H and O/H ) and in 2 yrs. there's been little or no improvement. So although I used to hope for it , I don't think this school is going to buckle down and make the necessary changes to their regimen in order to be able to live up to their own PR ( Ice Dance Elite ) . Or , even if the shock they recieved at this year's Nationals ( in R/H 's finish ) and World's ( in C/P's finish) is finally enough to make them see the light , their skaters have had 2 yrs. of their careers slip by without progressing. And a major change in their regimen will pay off over time, not instantly. If C/P and R/H had started to get the help they obviously needed two years ago..we could be looking at a different situation . But in the short time between now and next season ? Without a coaching change ? No.
P/I - last fall I would have predicted ( in fact , I think I did ) that they might be able to pass C/P in 2 yrs. ,unless C/P failed to progress. But now ,I think all bets are off.Because this team does not stand still.They have no major flaw to overcome. They seem to be able to identify what they need to work on and how to go about getting the help they need. They were already knocking on the door ,technically speaking , last year, and are equally promising in the performance aspects. I'm eager to see what programs they come up with. If they have a good GP, I think C/P are in serious trouble come the 2012 nationals. The door will be open.I don't think Skate Canada will want to seem to be so firmly in any of these team's corner from the outset ,as they did this year.
( Always excepting ,of course , VM.)
Colleen - Your dislike of C/P is endless and nauseating. They did have some great results this season, but unfortunatley had some problems at the finish. The bonus of their unfortunate worlds though, has been that your constant criticism of them diminished when your favs W/P passed them at the end of the season. However, if you cannot see an mprovement in their carriage, posture , toe point then you really cannot see past your biases. C/P are by far a much more dynamic team than W/P. They have stretched themselves each year, tried different avenues and not relied on the lovey dovey theme that is so popular.
As a team W/P are 2 years older and with the male partner being 3 and 1/2 years older, they should carry and display a lot more maturity on the ice than C/P. W/P floundered for 3 years before coming on strong this year, and their so called connection and maturity was not evident. Packaging wise, C/P present a clean, polished look. Costuming preferences are as varied as there are fans. What is not to ones taste may be to anothers.
By the way, as you say that so many people thought W/P should have been ahead of S/S, so many of the audience in Russia thought that C/P were greatly undermarked.
Last edited by tangos; 05-24-2011 at 12:51 AM.