Keepin' it real
Savchenko and Szolkowy off to strong start in pre-Olympic season
Four-time World champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany had a strong start into the pre-Olympic season at 2012 Skate Canada this past weekend.
This team really is technically the best. They know COP and do it well = look at the entries into throw jumps, lifts, twists - just played right. Sadly for me, i just don't like them. I know they are good but I have found them technically excellent but not magical. Forget G and G they are not even the magic of Artur Dimitriev SR and his partners, S and P or B and S. I remember T and M were often described as blah; I don't think S squared deserve to be treated any better or higher; yes people will disagree but I guess what I find distasteful is that they constantly use the same entrances in each routine to get the extra points regardless of the music. Their program layout is the same often year afer year - yes COP friendly but artristically they seem stifled. I really hope one of the Russian teams or Japanese or Chinese knock this team off the top of the podium. And I thought the costumes should have created a deduction - his tights in both long and short were against the rules. The outfits looked very similar and the black centres looked like an afterthought. The fact that they have the money to get new costumes says a lot. Sadly, imho, it was an attempt to say "I'm artistic; I threw paint at myself like Jackson Pollack going through a wind tunnel or a tsunami.
Savchenko & Szolkowy are a polarizing team. I think many people either really like them or really don't. I fall into the first group. I just love them--their technical brilliance, their interesting look on the ice, the way they complement each other, and, most of all, their innovation and creativity. I love how they never (or rarely) settle for the typical "romantic" or elegant, lyrical program. It's very easy for a pair to turn to that playbook--especially a good pair, who can hit that kind of program out of the park--for example, just think of T/M's 2006 Olympic LP or B/S's 2002 Olympic LP. V/T's current LP is in that genre as well. I like that S/S resist this approach and stretch themselves to find something much more interesting choreographically.
ITA, eyria. That said, I'm not in love with S/S Flamenco Bolero fp (chiefly because I don't like this repetitive music -- only Torvill and Dean have done it justice). However, I also did not like S/S Pink Panther number, but by the end of that season I truly enjoyed it because they just rocked it out of the arena with great athleticism, humor, and wonderful performance. Still, PP is not my favorite program of S/S, and I doubt Flamenco Bolero will be either.
OTOH, I really enjoy S/S Kismet sp and their costumes, except I don't like the idea of their carrying too similar a theme into their costumes for the fp.