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Thread: Analyze a competitive program you admire

  1. #1
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    Jul 2003

    Analyze a competitive program you admire

    Here's a challenge. Choose one performance you think deserved high scores (whether or not you think the official panel rewarded it sufficiently) and explain what you think was so good about it from a competitive standpoint. Were many of the elements especially well done or otherwise worthy of extra rewards? Was the program especially well constructed strategically or artistically? Did the skater give an exceptional performance in some ways? Were there aspects that transcended the written rules and gave it something extra that isn't officially captured in the scoring criteria but maybe should be?

    Acknowledge weaknesses if you see any, but don't make that your focus.

    Make a case for why this was a special performance. You might not change the minds of others who aren't fans of this skater or didn't think this performance should have scored as high as it did, but if you point out all the strengths that you see, maybe it'll help the rest of us to appreciate more good points that we missed the first time.

    We each have different qualities that we look for in a performance, so let's share our appreciation with each other.

    Also, feel free to make requests if there's a performance you think was overscored and would like insight into why others think the judges rewarded it. Or one that you love but just can't put your finger on why.

  2. #2
    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    This is a FANTASTIC thread topic. I can't post on this right now--will do so later--but thank you gkelly for starting this and I know I especially look forward to certain posters' analyses.

  3. #3
    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
    Thank you for this beautiful thread!!
    Well, I begin analyzing this:, Valentina Marchei's Euros 2013 SP.
    I was there when this program was skated, and it was absolutely breathtaking!
    Technically, all the elements were done wonderfully: all the jumps had good technique, the 3Lz had a perfect outside edge, the landing edge of the 3S was very deep, the 2A had a difficult entry; the LSp was a "classic" one, without Biellman, but very well executed, with good speed, and all of the three spins where well-centred and looked "easy" (maybe the FSSp was the weakest one).
    But what I love about this program is the artistic part: it's so Flamenco, so passionate, so Latino... The movements at the beginning fit the music very well, and just look at the expression on her face. Most of the skaters, when they do a Flamenco program, express anger or determnination, she was one of the few skaters who was able to express passion, pure passion, and give us a "gloomy" Flamenco. What I specifically love about THIS performance is how she was so "into" the program from the beginning 'till the end, she was feeling the music and gave us this feeling, creating a pure 3-minutes gem; she was even underscored, I think. I would have given:
    SS 7.50 (her speed was far better than most of the other women there!)
    TR 7.25
    PE 8.25
    CH 8.00
    IN 8.25
    Let me know what you think!

  4. #4
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    Aug 2009
    What an amazing thread! I am not qualified to participate, but I'll be audience.

  5. #5
    Custom Title Cherryy's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Seems not many are willing to do it, though I think it's a wonderful idea .
    I'll analyze Caroline's SP from 2012 nationals.

    The quality that made it different from others' performances was magic. Caroline was happy and smiling throughout the program. She didn't hesitate for a moment, begining with a huge 3L-3L. I don't care if it wasn't rotated or not, the 2nd jump was even higher than the first one and edge-to-edge jumps are thought to be harder to rotate than toe-toe, so that's the first element I would have scored considerably higher than it was. The 3F was great, with superb extension on the landing and seemed to be done to the music. The flying camel had a nice, creative exit and I loved how Caroline holded her hands in the spin. The 2A was indeed the only element that would have received a minus GOE in my scoring, but it doesn't matter as directly after this jump there was a wonderful combination spin and a step sequence that had a lovely ending, powerful yet graceful. The program ended with a unique layback - the pearl followed by a biellmann.
    The things I love most were the joy Caroline had the whole time. Important thing to notice is there were 2 exceptional elements: 3L-3L and the pearl spin, which made the routine extraordinary. Caroline is know for the lack of speed but as a judge, I wouldn't care. I think I would have been mesmerized at how well she has done after multiple times when she hadn't been able to deliver. I know this shouldn't be a criteria but she would be the one that had to face the most drastic changes in her technique and I would have admired her for doing it a lot.
    The elements I would have given higher marks are: 3L-3L (about 2 points) and 3F (about a point). When it comes to PCS, I would have given Caroline
    SS - 7.25, for the lack of speed,
    TR - 7,5, because she had her toes pointed out all the time and each move had tones of grace in it even though there weren't tones of transitions,
    PE, CH & IN - between 8,0 and 8,5 - for the joy and magic she had created.
    Summing up, I would have scored it for about 65 points. Say what you want, but I though she deserved it. The audience gave her a standing ovation and if I remember correctly there weren't many skaters that received such an applause.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2010
    Adrian Schultheiss

    2010 worlds free skate

    Free Skate Music - Teardrop by Massive Attack , Insane in the Brain by Cypress Hill, Smack my ***** up by Prodigy- Added screams vocals

    Schultheiss portrays a mental patient escaping from an institution. The opening is him unraveling the straight jacket. He is so unbelieving that it was a success he looks at his hands! He does portray someone dealing with mental illness so I feel the step sequence involves dealing with the voices in his head. At the end there is a scream - is he close to being captured or is free?

    The interpretation of pac-man with the arm movements is very on target

    His opening jump is a successful quad toe. All the jumps are done even if some landings are weak and a little crooked.

    Judges scores SS-7.15 TR-6.70 PE-6.85 CH-7.05 IN-6.90

    Judges gave him highest for skating skills but he's not that fast? Highest clearly should have been both PE and IN and both in the 8 range! Choreography was so unique and on target! Also in the 8 range. 6.8 and 6.9 was just too low! There was clearly something going on here that was really interesting and unique and he performed it really well! The judges themselves gave him 7.05 for Chreo and the PE and IN was so well done!

  7. #7
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    Aug 2009
    Hope Blades of Passion finds this thread. I remember an analysis he did of a way Kiira Korpi should lay out her program, and it was amazing.

    Cherryy, I loved that performance of Caroline's, and I'm so happy to see it described in detail. Wasn't it gloriously radiant?

  8. #8
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    Jul 2003
    Thanks, FSGMT, Cherryy, and gmyers, for getting things started.

    I'm going to start with Patrick Chan's short program from this year's Worlds. I remember watching online with my 11-year-old nephew, explaining things as we went along and guessing the scores and placements together. I knew before the score came up for this performance that it would be a world record. Now I'll analyze why I thought so, and why it gives me pleasure to rewatch this program.

    Chan starts just standing, breathing and letting the music play for a couple of seconds, before lifting his arms and his head on an inhalation in time with a lift in the music, then relaxing his head slightly backward and letting the exhalation and that movement pull him around in a pivot-like turn. A pose and two backward toe scoots pick out the focused higher notes in the music while subtle arm ripples reflect the rippling notes in the lower range of the piano. From the back knee glide, he rises and turns on two feet, pushes slowly onto a forward outside edge, and then gains speed still on the same foot by changing edge into a quick counter turn.

    He quickly picks up speed, making it look easy -- with just about three crossovers interspersed with a clockwise back three, a couple mohawks, and a forward outside three, he's already all the way around the end of the rink and down the length to the other end into the quad combination. Great speed, distance, and control on the quad toe; loses some speed on the triple toe but still exits with a good stretched back and free leg position.

    A couple back crossovers, and then he heads to the far end of the ice with a half-rotation jump from left back inside and toe pick (i.e., flip takeoff, counterclockwise rotation in the air) but lands on right forward outside edge (clockwise curve, i.e., changing direction just as he returns to the ice) with a lunge and CW three turn; twizzle with the music; mohawk and a repeat of the half-flip with counterrotated lunge landing-three turn-twizzle. This sequence fills the length of the ice and by 6.0 standards could have qualified as a straight-line step sequence -- good thing the tech panel didn't call it as such.

    Forward crossovers CCW around the corner with good lean, stretch on CW forward inside edge adding a slight body lean in time with a high note, mohawk turn to backward, briefly collects himself, then steps forward into triple axel with good continuation of the speed and body control -- not a complete surprise but much less telegraphed than most triple axels we see. Good height and distance, good stretch on the landing on the musical downbeat; well controlled back outside-forward inside-back outside threes from the landing edge, timed to the musical pulses, show superior control and lead directly into a brief inside spread eagle and a step directly into the change-foot camel spin, a seamless intricate transition from the jump to the spin.

    He comes out of the spin on a CCW back inside edge with a wide step to change direction to CW back crossover, CCW back crossover with upper body movement, clockwise-rotating half-revolution jump from LBI to LFI with toe assist on the landing (i.e., a quarter-walley or inside counter jump), mohawk, clockwise half-flip, two back crossovers increasing speed, some backward steps that are light and lift off the ice, another counterrotated half-jump from LBO to LFO (outside counter or half-toeless-lutz), CCW three, CW mohawk, cross, into triple lutz. Nice control, holds the landing then changes edge and turns forward with a RBI counter right into a twizzle. Finally he puts his left foot back on the ice for the first time since the lutz takeoff and immediately steps forward directly into the flying sitspin, another incredibly intricate connection between jump and spin.

    Crossovers, clockwise back inside three with lifted arms, chest, and head to start the step sequence on the new phrase of music, with a majority of clockwise turns by this counterclockwise skater. I love the smooth, continuous flow of both the edges and the full body movement, punctuated by a skidded curving landing of a small jump to create a blade sound timed to a musical silence. The lunge and arm movement after the (deeply curved) bracket and the forward outside loop-relevé on toepick, tombé forward (would be even better if the free leg were stretched a bit more on that balance) also stand out as highlighting the musical nuances.

    After reaching the far end of the ice, he turns the corner with deep outside mohawk and continues back into the ice surface with a left back inside edge twisted left in the torso, wide step to near stop with arms and chest opened and twisted rightward toward the audience, then immediately back to the left and a step forward that surprisingly becomes the entrance to the combo spin.

    As always in the last few years, I'm awed by Chan's effortless speed/ice coverage and depth of edge and knee bend.

    This music has a contemplative minor-key mood with near-continuous flowing rhythmic motion in the lower notes of the piano and subtly highlighted, less predictable higher notes in the melody. I think Chan does a great job of not only expressing the general mood of the piece but also reflecting the underlying rhythm with the rhythm of his stroking and the melodic line with the head, arm, and torso movements throughout. Although not every highlight is executed spot-on the music, most are.

    What also impresses me is the seamlessness of the movement from one element to the next, with very few simple strokes and constant, effortless changes between forward and backward skating, between counterclockwise and clockwise rotation, between hops and edge work.

    If I have any quibbles, it would be that I think this program could benefit from a more refined body line in the spin positions -- they're good, but not quite at the same level as everything else.

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