Watched the vids on YT.
V/M were great. Of the Shpilband teams, I've always liked them the best, though I've never been a fan. I have to say I really enjoyed their program. So fast, crisp and smooth. Completely in a different league. Can't wait to see this live at SC.
S/S, by comparison, were slow and cautious. They really lack pizzazz. I don't think Latin suits them at all. Didn't get any Latin feel from them - very mechanical and unauthentic (not sure if that's the right word?). Anyway, I wasn't really impressed.
Constable , Costume Police
Pogue.. thanksgiving came early .... V/M for you..
Tessa and Scott........Mmmm....mmm....mmm.
Let's give them another point. TES or PCS, don't matter.
Thanksgiving came VERY EARLY, oh Colleen, what gift you want me to send you for posting this??
Originally Posted by colleen o'neill
OK, they have changed a lot more than I expected from their show version (actually almost everything except the music, and even the cuts were slightly different), however it looks a LOT BETTER than I expected.
Their mandatory rhumba sequence is as good as it gets, they cross in those steps the rink end to end so fast and smooth.
The step sequence is circular, never seen anything like that before, is that a new thing allowed since this year?
I am curious if they got any levels below 4, although I doubt it, looking at how high the score is.
Great job guys!
Constable , Costume Police
Always supporting skaters :)
Does anyone know of a site providing photo coverage for this event? I'm hard-pressed to find anything.
Wicked Yankee Girl
This channel has V&M, the Shibutanis, Chock & Bates, and a number of the other SD's!
The circular step not touching is a requirement in the SD this year..
As to any of the rhumba pattern dances being perfect, again S&Z's students are starting the year with a few difficulties. Here's the protocols:
V&M only got level 3 in the rhumba sequences. In the second sequence, they missed the second of 3 elements, in the first set, they missed the 3rd of 3 elements.
S&S had a level 3 (missed the third of 3 points) and a level 1 (missed all 3 main points) in the rhumba pattern dance.
And Chock & Bates got a level 4 on the first set and a level 1 (missed all 3) on the second.
Voir-- no surprise, this SD comes very natural to them. Effortless.
Shibs-- Score a tad low but overall seems about right. I actually really like this new style for them, very fresh. At least they'll be sizzling more than D/W
Chock/Bates-- That height difference is more jarring than I expected. Evan has always had pretty good posture but he seems to be hunched over quite a bit now. And she needs to point her toes!
Just finished watching V/M, the shibs, and C/B SD videos.
Here's my quick first impressions:
V/M - Gosh, what can I say? They're good, and hot!
C/B - I was preasantly surprised by their dance. Madi appears to be blossoming. She looks hot and has good chemistry with Evan, though I agree that his posture is compromised. Hopely as they get used to their partnering more, he'll regain his posture while retaining good connectedness they display.
the Shibs - Season is still early, so I hope they learn to attack the program more aggressively as they become used to their program. However, the thing that I am immediately concerned about is the "packaging" business. Their whole appearance look juniorish.
Alex needs to make himself look more "macho" by experimenting with more mature looking hairstyle - put a ton of hair gel and do a sling back look, grow beard, or both.
Maia needs more make-up, much much more make-up: forget about natural look. Put dark, and stronger eye liners, harsher cheek brush, and "bloody red" lipstick! Her miniskirt costume also screams a "little girl." She needs a form fitting longer skirt lengh with a deep slit along her thigh; if that's too much, her skirt hem line needs to be longer in other way.
Packaging is the easiest aspect to fix, so I hope they create more adult look by their first GP assignment.
Perhaps Alex and Maia might want to refer to Ricky San and Asuka Kondo, an Asian latin dancing couple who appeared at the 5th season of "So You Think You Can Dance." They correctly refer to the difficulty of Asians doing Latin dance; however, they manage to look great in their Latin dancing. Their audition segment would be very helpful in emulating how to create Latin atmosphere.
Last edited by CARA; 10-07-2011 at 08:03 PM.
Tessa seems to have gotten bigger, could that be causing Scott some issues with the more difficult lifts?
I've wondered about the same thing, too.
Originally Posted by blackswanphoto
Overall, yeah I'd agree although she's actually in much better shape now than at Worlds.
Thoughts on the top six...
There was about a six point difference between them and the fifth place team (G/B), and you could tell. I liked the rotational lift, though (it's interesting to note how difficult some teams find creating aesthetically pleasing but still level four lifts). It was by far the best element (and indeed, the only thing they got a positive GOE on).
They had the highest base value of the competition, but only scored 0.10 GOE. In total. That should give you an idea of just how rough around the edges they are. If you had told me in 2008 that the world junior bronze medalists would still be going strong, but the WJS (Crone/Poirier) and WJC (Samuelson/Bates) would have split apart, I would have laughed in your face. There's just nothing great or interesting about this team (except for their costumes, which really are fascinating instructions in what not to do). I've read that their coach HATES COP, so that can't help (they really do seem dated). They are just not that good.
Now, this is what happens when the two dancers seem to actually relate to each other. They aren't particularly great, but they have a solid connection (which I suspect is part of the reason their PCS were as high as they were, because they really aren't that much stronger, element for element, point for point, than G/B) and that actually makes them more enjoyable to watch. They were running out of steam by the end, which doesn't bode well for the free dance. It's also interesting to note just how hard it is to translate Latin dance to the ice without looking silly (which they kind of did at points).
Mmmmmmmm. Chock looks great in red. The height difference is startling. Evan seems too Iowa-farmboy to pull this off (which is why "An American in Paris" is such a perfect idea for S/B). Evan's skating skills are better than Madi's, who is very rough around the edges. I don't know. The lift was a stunner, but I miss Emily.
Okay, so KKonas, jcoates - total mea culpa here. I thought that they wouldn't pull Latin off. I thought they wouldn't be able to do sexy and without sexy they wouldn't have much to offer. I was clearly wrong. I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this, actually. Maia in particular seems very comfortable with the type of movement required, and they managed to sell sizzle without crossing any lines we'd rather they didn't cross.
That was good. I have to admit I had a really tough time iimagining this dance. What would they leave out? The FD was jampacked with difficulty, of course, but it never felt overstuffed. I didn't see anything I could take out to improve the actual dance, except maybe the spin. Nor could I imagine a non-touching circular footwork sequence fitting in nicely, nor the Rhumba sequences. So basically, while I loved that they were keeping the dance for the SD, I rued the fact that we wouldn't get the FD fully trained. Because that would've been awesome.
So lets start with the lesser stuff that didn't impress me. I do not care for the way the opening is constructed. More particularly, the fast opening music which is than cut/slowed down for the Rhumba sequence. It makes the opening feel too much like a separate dance all together. However, I also recognize that might be me missing those instantly iconic opening steps/poses to their FD. Additionally, I actually had a second music complaint, but I watched the dance six times in a row and forgot it. Seriously. That said, I'd also like to see a little more emphatic movement with the brass in the "Satisfaction, Hip-hip/chin-chin part."
The good: the second half is pretty perfect in terms of choreography. The Temptation sequence works beautifully with the Rhumba, that curve lift is still gorgeous (issues aside, it'll work marvelously when done clean) and the circular step sequence is a flat out stunner. And this is where you see just how astonishingly talented they are. This is a new element for them yet they manage to make it seem like they've been doing it all their lives. The way it works with the music, the character, the precision, the dance (it's so dancy)..... just gorgeous. The little details throughout.... you can just see their PCS rise with each one (the Scott-assisted head jerk, the way Tessa lowers herself into that closing pose).
I look forward to the growth of this program.
ETA: also, kudos to the judges that gave them 0 and -1 for the lift. Don't see how that got twos and threes from half the panel
Last edited by ImaginaryPogue; 10-07-2011 at 10:17 PM.
I liked C/B as well. Good chemistry already- though I agree that they need to work on syncing their body alignment- but that will come in time. Madison (even when she's standing straight with her shoulders back) has a naturally serpentine kind of posture where the curve in her back makes her look like an s-curve- very sexy but very different from Evan's more ramrod straight up and down posture. But having said that, I don't think that Evan's posture has been compromised- it's a Latin dance- he has to bend and curve a bit. I'm excited to watch as they continue to develop as a team.
Originally Posted by CARA
I love, love, love the Shibs. But agree that this was an early outing. I think that they can get there in their interpretation- especially Alex. There were small moments when he was facing the audience and just dancing in place that I saw some fire that will hopefully come out even more as the season progresses. Maia is a beautiful young woman. I think she should celebrate it! I disagree strongly with the recommendation above to have her wear harsh makeup and bloody red lipstick. I think it would be a mistake. There's a way to create a look for her that's more polished but retaining her youth instead of pre-maturely aging her. I was thinking a different hairstyle is definitely called for- maybe a very high pony tail on the top of her head with a sparkly ponytail holder or one sided ponytail with ribbons hanging off it to mimic the ribbons in her skirt or a side ponytail that's braided with something sparkly braided into it? I do agree that the short skirt isn't very interesting and very pair skater-y. Maybe an asymmetrical skirt with a short to long side cut. And for her face- maybe one of those fun sparkly stones that ballroom dancers wear- one in the outer corner of each eye- something fun sparkly without overpowering her face with too many dark colors. I think Alex looks fine.
Other than that I really liked both programs! Hooray for the start of the season.
The top three are really the only teams worth noting in the event for me. I agree with others' comments about the height diff between Evan and Madi. However, I was pleased to see that his range of motion and power appear to be good. For such a new team, the appear to have good chemistry. With time, I hold out hope for better gelling between their styles (for her to pick up his refinement and for him to acquire some of her energy). Regarding the Shibs, I was quite please to see that Maia and Alex have some hip movement. As numerous articles over the summer have noted, that's the hardest element of ballroom latin to translate to the ice. Their technical skill served them well in picking up the steps. Now what they need is mileage to become more comfortable with projection. That will take time. But they've made a good start. Tessa and Scott's SD was very nice. I too wondered what would be cut and agree with Pogue that the second half is better designed than the first. The music cuts needed to incorporate the Rhumba sections are somewhat jarring, but this has been true for almost every SD I've seen this season.
On a more general note, I'd love to see the circular non touching sequences have a bit more interaction and energy among all the teams. Still with it being a new element, I expect it to improve over the course of the season.
Can't wait for the FD.