And what exactly would Patrick "intentionaly" be doing by use of the so called star fish hands while skating to Phantom of the Opera? And Phantom of the Opera music hould not be skated to with so called "ballet hands?" Could you show us a clip of starfish hands? That is a new term for me.
Watch the program and you can see there are only a few moves in POTO Patrick used so called Starfish hands. Like many other things said about him, just because someone picked it out and mocked him, cute as it was, it became accepted as his norm.
Very minor, but ballet dancers will tell you the hands and arms are the last to develop into finesse and expression. In dance, the 'starfish' hands are jazz hnds, and the more balletic finger positions are of course totally appropriate for the POTO. He is young, and I do not know if they cross train him with ballet. I hope they do, so that he will have good turnout from the hips for his spread eagles. patrick will one day skate with an awareness of perfect ands as means of expression. i didn't read all the postings but that seems a very minor thing to criticize, and it is easily corrected with awareness. His athleticism came long before hi artistry. We forget, for a male skater, he has many years to perfect those things, especially if he does not train ballet. Anyone know what on the floor dance training he has had?
I hope there is a professional life for him after amateur, and we can see him 5 years from now. It will be a real shame if we don't get to see him mature. Kurt, who is the best ever for me, was not perfectly polished in all the ways he is now at 21.When someone has Patrick's special skating skills, people want to see him perfect and vertical. I think the little criticisms come from seeing someone with such amazing raw talent. We used to expect Sasha to be perfect, as she was so, so special. When she fell, it was very distressing, as she was such a special, unique skater. I think it is the same with PAtrick. We want those clean performances so we can feel really satisfied at this phenomenal guy.
Michelle used a variety of hand positions while she skated including the starfish, lol. She was not ballet trained as far as I know. I have always wondered why not. I think her hand positions and some slowness in her spins in some skates were the only things not always perfect.
Nicole Bobek who took ballet used the most beautiful hands along with Sasha. For men, Adam Rippon has beautiful arm and hand positions. He is very detailed right down to his fingertips. Again, it is so beautiful until he wipes out on his jumps. Hopefully, he and Patrick will become consistent comp. jumpers. I think those two and Dai (and the "new" Evgeni) are the most elegant men in the world. Hanyu will be there too in the strosphere with them before long in terms of elegance I hope. And Artur is elegant as well.
Anyway, are we back to the starfish subject again, running the risk of getting some people mad? Or should we switch to other seafood, like octopus hands, swordfish hands, fishball hands.....hm fish balls......Yum....
One of two things will happen:
A. Chan will fall and be judged fairly. Pluehenko will earn the Gold.
B. Chan will skate clean and be crowned the Olympic champion. But Russia will launch a protest. A second gold will be given to Plushenko, and next year the judging point system will be completely different.
Last edited by skatinginbc; 02-05-2012 at 12:45 AM.
There are several options for posters who feel they have been "attacked" or "offended" in some way.
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3. There's an ignore feature. Use it.
A few posts have been "unapproved." Let's try to be respectful of EVERYONE.
There were many problems with that Phantom of the Opera program/performance, the hands being just one. The way he lifelessly windmilled his arms in combination with the hands made it worse:
The movement is so applied and unthoughtful. It's clear that the skater is not thinking about the meaning of what those movements convey and the meaning of the music, but rather "this is how I was told to move so that's what I'm doing as I think about my next element".
Similarly, in the footwork sequence which follows, look at the moment where he puts his hands in front of his face and shakes them. The conviction of that movement is so empty; there's no real emotion behind it. There are some more stiff windmill arms in here as well. The choreography of that sequence as a whole features a problem that most CoP footwork sequences have - movements done solely because the rules call for it and not because it goes with the music or has any kind of choreographic cohesiveness. Why does he do a forward upward kick on a gliding edge at 1:25, for example? It serves no purpose during this moment, it's too soft of a movement for the sequence and the intent of the music during this section, except that it counts as an extra movement to count towards a higher technical level. The sequence as a whole also contains so much content that the skater needs to backtrack twice in order to fit it all in before reaching the other side of the rink. Doing such a thing takes away from the forward momentum of the entire sequence, the driving force of the music. There may be pieces of music with sudden changes and irregularities where backtracking like that could convey a worthwhile idea, but this is definitely not the case (and most of the time it is not).
One thing that's notable to me is how many CoP footwork sequences would look better if they were broken into two separate sequences. Let's look at Patrick Chan's footwork sequence in his current Short Program:
Now this is brilliant footwork (perhaps the most accomplished of all-time technically), make no mistake about it, but it would actually be better choreographically as two separate entities. Look at how Patrick goes across nearly the whole ice surface on one foot. He then changes direction and goes about the ice in a rather odd pattern, what could most closely be described as circular footwork, in order to fit in all of the requirement movement before getting to the end of the rink.
Imagine if instead Patrick's one-foot sequence went all the way to the end of the rink and then he came around the corner a bit and did a truly circular footwork sequence. The lines and momentum of the movements would be so much cleaner and well-defined. Remember, until just recently, the Short Program had two footwork sequences for the Men. If the rules for footwork sequences were changed such that you can get the highest level without having to cram such a huge amount of steps and turns, it would allow for much more variety and creativity, while still allowing these huge mega-sequences of footwork if the skater wants to chain their 2 sequences together. And then imagine if the Long Programs gave skaters some choices in which technical elements they wanted to include and up to 3 footwork sequences were allowed. That too would allow for much more variety.
Let us also recall the rules for footwork during the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons of CoP. Not as much "busy work" was required and thus the footwork was FAR more pleasurable and musical and took up less time, allowing more time in the programs for other choreography, whilst still requiring very difficult movement to get the high scores. Take a look at the brilliance of these footwork sequences from Stephane Lambiel and Jeffrey Buttle:
That is how footwork sequences should be. Here is another example from before CoP, Yuka Sato:
Notice how she does a circular footwork sequence and then a straightline footwork sequence with phenomenal speed and clean lines. These are the choices that CoP programs need to allow. Skaters should not be required to do a single footwork sequence with so much content that it loses continuity and purpose. Shorter sequences should be the order of the day and, if you want a big extended period of footwork, then chain two footwork sequences together. If the SP went back to having 2 footwork sequences with less cumbersome rules, and up to 3 footwork sequences were allowed in Long Programs, things would be so much better. The current rules have given a "Choreography Step Sequence" to male programs, but ALL footwork sequences should be choreographic. Also, the current rules force the last step sequence of program to be that "Choreographic Sequence". Why should skaters not be able to do that kind of thing earlier in their programs (plus, it's predictable for people who know the rules)? So much variety and creativity and ability to draw in the audience is being lost.
That was a rather large tangent from Patrick Chan, but the point I'm trying to make is all of these deficiencies I see in the non-technical sides of his skating are not entirely his fault. The current rules are forcing skaters to be less musical and less creative. The most artistic skaters do their best to get around it, but even they can not entirely, and then on top of it the less artistic skaters are being thwarted in their growth and in the potential impact of the performances they COULD give at their current level.
I'm not going to continue talking about all the things I find wrong with Patrick's Phantom of the Opera program/peformance, instead I'll say that I do see improvement THIS season in his presentation abilities. I believe his Aranjeuz is a better program than his former one as well. That does not mean he has reached the same level as what I consider to the best or even close to the best in terms of those areas, though. While I hope he and his programs continue to improve, I question how much the system will allow that to happen...especially in terms of the objective quality of the programs. Without better rules (and better judging), most every competitor and their choreographers are going to be overly focused on getting technical points in comparison to musicality/choreography/performance.
Last edited by skatinginbc; 02-05-2012 at 08:46 AM.
Blades, you must love the recent proposal to remove the terms "straight-line, circular, serpentine" from the footwork definitions because COP requirements don't allow for the pattern to be followed. Then again, I also don't get the big deal about Yuka Sato's footwork, and love great COP footwork (Lambiel in "Poeta," for example, Chan's POTO). Call me a philistine.