because Mrs. Kwan IS figure skating... Transcends it actually.
because Mrs. Kwan IS figure skating... Transcends it actually.
Got a chance to see this live. V/M were captivating. The program passed in a flash. I don't think that this one is the best they've ever had, and I don't think it will end up being their masterpiece, but the quality and content are all there, and they capture the character and emotions perfectly.
Funnily enough, I think that D/W's waltz is by far the best program they've ever had. And I feel that they have made great strides in artistry. But they still don't relate to one another enough on the ice, and their movements still look somewhat frantic to me. I realize that this attack and reckless abandon is a big part of what makes them great, but I prefer V/M's elegance, chemistry and musicality any day. When I watch D/W, I'm constantly impressed by how difficult and intricate everything is. With V/M, I'm usually too caught up in the program and captivated by their movement and performance to look at those things at all. To me, that's the difference. V/M have the ability to make everything look easy when their programs are just as jam packed as D/W's.
As for who will end up on top at the end of the season, I couldn't even begin to guess. I hope that it's V/M, but if its D/W I can understand why. Really, I think we're lucky to be seeing these teams compete against each other at all. This rivalry will surly go down as the best one ice dance has ever seen.
Virtue and Moir made it look easy. I was really struck by how much fun they looked like they were having. They just oozed joy.
I was really hoping to like Weaver and Poje's dance, but I didn't. Granted, it looked cleaner, more refined and thankfully less messy than last year's, but it still suffered from the same problem I had with their previous effort — it was so one-note. First, that overwrought piece of music I find quite awful as a dance score. And Weaver just doesn't seem to have the ability to change the intensity so that there are highs and lows in a program, or so that there can be a build to a crescendo — this makes the whole thing overwrought and exhausting, at least for this viewer.
Capellini and Lanotte have really stepped it up this season. I found their program quite charming, and liked their SD.
Anyone else a little surprised/confused by the Chock/Bates kiss?
Surprised, but perhaps now less confused.
Perhaps it explains why Bates left Samuelson for Chock.
^ - I wondered about the same thing. I just finished watching their FD again, and their body language at K & C to me clearly indicated something was going on...
From The Spectator
The severe shin pain that forced her to undergo operations for chronic exertional compartment syndrome in the fall of 2008, then again last fall, and also left her in complete agony just a week before their emotional win in Vancouver, returned after the 2011 world championships.
And the pain was more piercing than ever before.
“Even worse than right before the Games,” Virtue quietly revealed over the weekend at Skate Canada, “because it wasn’t just the shins, it was the shins and my calves. I think it came as a bit of a shock because, after the surgery, I had a great four months without feeling pain. Even leading into Worlds it was OK.
“The surgeon (Dr. Kevin Willits) said, ‘We could do a third surgery if that’s what you think you need.’ But I don’t think any of us wanted to go down that road again. But, when you don’t have any other options, it was kind of frightening. We were at a crossroads.”
The skaters and their support group decided to eschew another surgery, and try alternative methods, which they won’t disclose in full detail. But, essentially, she upped the ante in off-ice workouts from her already-rigorous regimen and altered some basic mechanics of her skating stroke — which few skaters in their 15th year of competition ever do.
These two teams are polarizing; so many fans strongly prefer one or the other. I'll admit I'm a huge D/W fan, and have been since they first started skating seniors, whereas V/M have always been simply a nice team, not one I could really get excited about. But, that said, I do think I can observe them somewhat objectively. For example, last year, I thought overall Tessa & Scott had better programs. In terms of execution, Meryl & Charlie were much better, simply because they could train full-time. So I think their Worlds win was very well-deserved, but V/M were still obviously a great threat.
This year will be a close battle, I'm sure. To me, the edge goes to Meryl & Charlie because I think their free dance is amazing. About one minute into watching D/W's free dance, I thought: "Okay. This is a world championship-winning program." Sometimes you can just feel that. I remember having the same thought when I first saw Yu-Na Kim's 2009 Scheherazade LP. Immediately, I felt that program that could take her to the top, and it did.
But, watching Tessa & Scott's free dance last night, my thought was: "Well, great ending, and definitely a nice program, but a little boring."
All these stupidity aside, it should be noted that Skate Canada plans to harvest this rivalry and cash it by inviting Davis/White to next year's Skate Canada International in Windsor, Ontario - right across from Detroit. The Detroit-Windsor area has long shared a community together with people working and living on both sides. Should Davis/White accept the invitation, it would mark a very interesting showdown early in the season between the two friends and rivals and undoubtedly, a lot of Detroit area fans will want to attend as well. Surely, it would be more interesting to have a near full capacity crowd than say last week's Skate America where there was barely 1000 people to watch the Free Dance.
Last edited by wallylutz; 10-31-2011 at 11:18 AM.
Had a look at the SD and FD on TV this weekend, took a day to think about it, and here are my thoughts in reverse order:
Harvey/Gagnon: I really want to like this team. They have been together for quite a number of years, and clearly enjoy skating together. I think they are both good dancers, but their time as a team has got to end soon. They are not the right size for each other. She is beautiful full grown woman with a gorgeous smile and a great attitude. She is the right size. Just not the right size to skate with Gagnon. He needs someone the size of Marie-France Dubreil, and perhaps someone super flexible. His move in the SD where he slides, doing the splits, between her legs was pretty cool. Don't know any men, except maybe Shawn Sawyer, who could pull that off. She needs someone talk dark and handsome. Neither of them could find the Latin rhythm to save their lives, and I didn't like their FD. There was a lot of wild skating, not a lot of unison in lines, and just not at the same level as the rest. This was particularly clear when Chock/Bates skated right after, with their beautiful smooth skating and stroking.
Pushkash/Guerreiro: I was not a fan of this team. They would have been in 6th after the SD, if not for Chock/Bates falls. Definitely a developing team. Their FD I thought was a hot mess. It needs a complete re-think. And the red glove is just distracting.
Riazanova/Tkachenko: I really like this team. He is a fabulous dancer, and she's pretty good, too. Their programs are still a work in progress this early in the season, but there is a lot of potential here. I think they landed in the right spot at the end of the weekend.
Chock/Bates: LOVE this team. So much potential. I know they took a lot of heat from fans when Samuelson/Bates split, but it did look like he kissed her in that FD. That could explain everything. I do think they are well matched, even though there is a height difference. Too bad for the falls in the SD, but I don't think they would have finished higher than 4th here anyway. Love their FD. Very smooth, clean and gorgeous.
Cappellini/Lanotte: This team is beautiful. These 2, along with Weaver/Poje somewhat and Virtue/Moir, had a wonderful Latin feel to the SD. I think these 2 are the most improved team this season, which is just so wonderful to see. They have been on the scene for quite some time at Senior, and it is so good to see them find their way. I loved both their programs.
Weaver/Poje: Their SD was really strong, and super HOT. I don't love her dress. It's just all a little much for me. Their FD was spectacular. I really think this is going to grow and develop and be a masterpiece by Worlds. I love the costumes, I love the "modern dance" theme, I love how the emotion builds throughout the dance... They had a couple of issues, but they weren't huge. When a skater is that tall, grabbing a blade in a split second is not that easy. She needs to still learn to point her toes. I think they are in a great spot to be solidly #2 in Canada, and defend a top 5 placement at Worlds.
Virtue/Moir: Beauty beyond words. Just simply amazing. When they retire some year, they will be ranked as one of the all-time greats in the sport. The SD was fabulous, with a little room to improve over the course of the season. The FD was remarkable. For those who think this is just a simple little dance, and not as strong as a dramatic FD, they are completely missing the greatness of this program. This program is great because, in a very spectacular, remarkable way, captures the essence and charm and beauty of Funny Face. They've taken moments from the movie and managed to put this on ice. The details in this program are jaw-dropping. They live with the music throughout the program. It's not just the elements, which are spectacular, but the little in-between stuff - the looks between them, the "s'wonderful, s'marvelous" exchange, the way the leg lines and extensions articulate with the music, the chemistry and musicality throughout, the way they can change the flavour in the different sections but it all looks like a whole... The quality of the edges, the smooth skating, the synergy in this team, the lack of 2 foot skating, every moment is special.. There are so many details that just cannot be caught with one viewing. They need to improve their spin, and there are little places for improvement. Over the course of the season, this will certainly develop. If this program looks simple, then that is a testament to the quality and brilliance of this team, because what they have packed into this program is super tough stuff. To be able to do this, and make it look light and charming, is simply brilliant. I think it is a perfect vehicle for a revitalized team, full of joy to be back skating without pain.
Seriously, look at what I wrote; I'm criticizing the program, which is IMO more appropriate for a young team. While I'm not a fan of V/M, I have tons of respect for their talent and their Flamenco OD was fabulous (I was lucky to catch it live and was seriously impressed). It is because of this that I say that Tessa and Scott can and should have a better FD. I know Tessa has spoken out about the difficulty with the new requirements to be uplifting and have tempo changes, but even with that narrower range, I expect better from them.
As for the Tessa is fat idiocy, of course she isn't. So lets not feed the trolls.
Last edited by Buttercup; 10-31-2011 at 12:34 PM.
I've seen Funny Face. I don't recall any overwhelming "essence, charm and beauty" about the movie. It was Fred Astaire's last film. He was 58 at the time, and Hepburn 28. It was little more than a pretty confection, a big studio production meant to please the masses because of the presence of two movie icons. But in part because of the extreme age difference between the two stars, it fell a bit flat.
Incidentally, the original "Funny Face" was a stage musical featuring Astaire and his sister Adele. It would seem to be a perfect vehicle for the Shibutanis.
Sorry. I love V/M, but this FD is a bit of a bore.
Last edited by chuckm; 10-31-2011 at 12:53 PM.