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Thread: Are the Shibs underrated?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by marikat View Post
    There's a rumor that D/W fd is to Scheherazade..
    That could be amazing.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    The Shibs are not even certain to quality for THIS Olympics, so how can one be sure they have "another" Olympics to go, when they arent even certain to make this one. Yes they are young, but the comparisions to others their age doesnt hold much water at this point. These others werent World bronze medalists and then down to 9th in the World and 3rd in the U.S in a couple short years. They arent going to suddenly start flying up the ranks again all of the sudden, not likely anyway. Plus there are many teams roughly their age who are already now over them, who used to be behind them.
    Well - you could say the same thing about anybody else skating right now. No one is CERTAIN to qualify for the Olympics. Speculation runs rampant with Plushenko, Chan, Wagner, Aaron, Dai, etc. etc. It's all a semi-educated guess. I think the Shibs have just as much a chance of making the Olympics as anybody else that's considered a premier skater or team. It all depends on how they skate on any given day. I wouldn't count them out and I think that's what alot of us are saying in this thread. They're young, they work hard, they've overcome alot. And there really isn't anything to keep them from "flying up the ranks" again. How many times do we all have to say "they're young?" I actually prefer them to Chock and Bates....for example.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    Marina doesn't seem to know what to do with the Shibs. In fact, I don't even think she cares that much about them. It is obvious V&M are her favorites who sublimate her need for another G&G. Even if she is a great multitasker, I find it hard to believe that she is giving as much heart and soul to the Shibs as she is giving to V&M and D&W (although I still that if V&M and D&W were drowning, Marina would save V&M first).

    Actually, there are very few top ice dancing coaches who are not already managing several teams. I wonder where else the Shibs can go. They definitely need to go to someone who will treat them as a priority. Linichuk? I think people are weary of going to them after the lackluster results of DomShabs and B&A in 2010.
    I think the Shibs need to learn to be more assertive about what they want, and I think they're not at that point yet. I'm hoping that they learn from D&W and learn to be more frank with Marina about their program choices.

    I think this would be the case regardless of who is coaching them.

    But I think it's also a matter that they're still trying figure out their style as well. And that takes time. Some skaters figure out the style thing but aren't necessarily the most technically proficient. I think the Shibs are the opposite -- they have a great technical foundation - quiet blades, good timing, clean edges -- but they haven't always had the programs to show them off.

    I think their bronze-winning FD was actually a great fit for them. So the question is what other kinds of style of music would work for them?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    I think their bronze-winning FD was actually a great fit for them. So the question is what other kinds of style of music would work for them?
    As already mentioned, they are going through an awkward growth spurt period. Some skaters are affected by it, others not so much. V&M continued to be successful throughout their growth spurt into adulthood. It looks like the biomechanics have really affected the Shibs' signature crispness and lightness. Last season's FD was a scattered hodge-podge of a program coupled with the decline of their technical sharpness. Their movements seemed cumbersome. The music was so disjointed as was the choreography - usually, if there is an assigned theme, a story unfolds, but their FD just had no story-telling. It was very business-like.

    The qualities that are holding the Shibs are their youthful and wholesome image. They are not sexy. They appear to be innocent. Much of ice dance is predicated upon a couple's sizzling chemistry, charisma, and sex appeal, something the Shibs lack and may lack even when they're fully adults. They also appear gentle. Others have mentioned the Kerrs and the Duchesnays as brother and sister teams, who didn't focus on romance (for obvious reasons) but had passion, grit, and drama.

    I would imagine programs that focus on child-like wonder and beauty would bring out the Shibs' personalities. Maybe a program skated to the theme of Grave of the Fireflies (Japanese anime about a brother and sister struggling to survive in post-WW II Japan). Something that would contrast them from the other couples - their innocence and playfulness.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    As already mentioned, they are going through an awkward growth spurt period. Some skaters are affected by it, others not so much. V&M continued to be successful throughout their growth spurt into adulthood. It looks like the biomechanics have really affected the Shibs' signature crispness and lightness. Last season's FD was a scattered hodge-podge of a program coupled with the decline of their technical sharpness. Their movements seemed cumbersome. The music was so disjointed as was the choreography - usually, if there is an assigned theme, a story unfolds, but their FD just had no story-telling. It was very business-like.

    The qualities that are holding the Shibs are their youthful and wholesome image. They are not sexy. They appear to be innocent. Much of ice dance is predicated upon a couple's sizzling chemistry, charisma, and sex appeal, something the Shibs lack and may lack even when they're fully adults. They also appear gentle. Others have mentioned the Kerrs and the Duchesnays as brother and sister teams, who didn't focus on romance (for obvious reasons) but had passion, grit, and drama.

    I would imagine programs that focus on child-like wonder and beauty would bring out the Shibs' personalities. Maybe a program skated to the theme of Grave of the Fireflies (Japanese anime about a brother and sister struggling to survive in post-WW II Japan). Something that would contrast them from the other couples - their innocence and playfulness.
    The thing that stands out to me, outside their ice, is their dry and witty sense of humor. They make those really funny videos on YouTube and they write funny and witty blog posts on IceNetwork. I don't understand why that doesn't quite come out in their programs.

    FWIW, Tessa was 17 and Scott was 19 at their first World Championships in 2007. Meryl was 20 and Charlie was 19. The Shibs first WC was at age 16 and 19. So I think V/M and D/W worked out whatever growth spurt issues they had at the junior level. And when they were going through juniors, YouTube was just starting, so their rise in the junior ranks were a lot more low key.

    The age difference is also a factor for the Shibs. 2010 was not great year for them. They fell off the podium at WJC after getting silver the year before. Alex was 18 years old, the age Maia is now, and he definitely sprouted like a weed that year. So the age difference has been a problem because basically they had to go through not one but two different growth spurts as well.

    My hope is that Maia is done growing for the most part and that they could get used to their current bodies and take it from there.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    The thing that stands out to me, outside their ice, is their dry and witty sense of humor. They make those really funny videos on YouTube and they write funny and witty blog posts on IceNetwork. I don't understand why that doesn't quite come out in their programs.
    That's exactly it. Child-like wonder, beauty, innocence, playfulness, comedy. THAT can be their individual style. They're just not getting enough proper guidance for their development. I really don't think Marina is taking them very seriously. Making them skate to Memoirs of a Geisha just because they're Asian is lacking in creativity and qualifies as indifferent laziness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    That's exactly it. Child-like wonder, beauty, innocence, playfulness, comedy. THAT can be their individual style. They're just not getting enough proper guidance for their development. I really don't think Marina is taking them very seriously. Making them skate to Memoirs of a Geisha just because they're Asian is lacking in creativity and qualifies as indifferent laziness.
    To be fair, I think they wanted to go back to Memoirs to see if they could do a more mature version. Maia actually got a grant from the Women Sports Foundation so they could could learn the authentic moves of Japanese dance (http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news).

    I thought that FD was really beautiful, but too subtle for anyone to appreciate except for their ardent fans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    Well - you could say the same thing about anybody else skating right now. No one is CERTAIN to qualify for the Olympics. Speculation runs rampant with Plushenko, Chan, Wagner, Aaron, Dai, etc. etc. It's
    ROTFL nobody even suggests Chan isn't 130% certain (barring injury which forces him to not compete) to qualify for the Olympics. Wagner is practically 99.999% certain too. Takahashi is also 99.999% certain. Plushenko is a 99.999% certainty if he is healthy enough to compete and simply wants to compete. Of those you listed only Aaron isn't a mortal lock I agree, but he is in a much more secure position than the Shibutanis are at this point. The Shibutanis at best are 60% likely to be in Sochi, so they shouldn't be talked about in a presumptuous sense that they are already there like many others could be

    As for your other comment there is plenty to keep them from "flying up the ranks". The fact their results and rank have been regressing solidly and non stop since their World bronze, and now they have even dropped won the pecking order in their own country. The fact that two thirds of the teams who are ranked higher than them right now (I add I&K of Russia to that since even though they finished behind the Shibutans at Worlds they have placed higher in virtually every other competition the last year plus and just had a bad event at Worlds) aren't going anywhere anytime soon. The only ones who probably are soon gone are Virtue & Moir, Davis & White, and Pechalat & Bourzat, but new teams will emerge too, they always do. Along with the fact they haven't improved in a long time now, and in fact their skills in many way seem to already be on decline.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    I would imagine programs that focus on child-like wonder and beauty would bring out the Shibs' personalities. Maybe a program skated to the theme of Grave of the Fireflies (Japanese anime about a brother and sister struggling to survive in post-WW II Japan). Something that would contrast them from the other couples - their innocence and playfulness.
    I don't know. They are getting a little old for childlike wonder. In fact, that might be the problem -- after you outgrow childlike wonder, what then?

    Maia and Alex will have to find ways to bring greater depth and intensity to there performances without off-putting raunch. This may be a tall order, but that's what choreographers are for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I don't know. They are getting a little old for childlike wonder. In fact, that might be the problem -- after you outgrow childlike wonder, what then?

    Maia and Alex will have to find ways to bring greater depth and intensity to there performances without off-putting raunch. This may be a tall order, but that's what choreographers are for.
    Humor and comedy. I think they should at least try childlike wonder once, or anything else because they've been trying to do what the other teams are dancing. It's dissonant and offputting, because they can't do the romance and passion between a man and woman. I think they should just try something that isn't antithetical to their personalities and vibe.

  11. #41
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    As well as their other challenges, Maia had her freshman year at college this season. The Shibs have always been very serious about education, and dealing with college at the same time as growth and injuries, has to have been difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think the Shibutani's have been fairly treated. They are in the mix.

    The imp in me can't wait to see what happens in U.S. ice dance after Davis and White (and also Virtue and Moir) retire. Will Chock and Bates automatically be anointed? Will Shpplband's stable dominate Zueva's, giving Igor the last laugh?
    I can't wait to see what happens, too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    The thing that stands out to me, outside their ice, is their dry and witty sense of humor. They make those really funny videos on YouTube and they write funny and witty blog posts on IceNetwork. I don't understand why that doesn't quite come out in their programs.

    FWIW, Tessa was 17 and Scott was 19 at their first World Championships in 2007. Meryl was 20 and Charlie was 19. The Shibs first WC was at age 16 and 19. So I think V/M and D/W worked out whatever growth spurt issues they had at the junior level. And when they were going through juniors, YouTube was just starting, so their rise in the junior ranks were a lot more low key.

    The age difference is also a factor for the Shibs. 2010 was not great year for them. They fell off the podium at WJC after getting silver the year before. Alex was 18 years old, the age Maia is now, and he definitely sprouted like a weed that year. So the age difference has been a problem because basically they had to go through not one but two different growth spurts as well.

    My hope is that Maia is done growing for the most part and that they could get used to their current bodies and take it from there.
    I'd go with humor; there is very, very little of it in competitive ice dance at this point. The only example last year, AFAIR, was Z&G's Zombies. And yes, Math is right, that's what choreographers are for. The Shibs work with Corky Ballas as well as Marina. I'm expecting them to have an awesome quickstep SD especially since quickstep is right up their alley (quick, precise steps).

  12. #42
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    I don't think the Shibs are as handicapped in range of expression as many people do. Meryl and Charlie have a sort of brother-sister vibe, too, and they never do the sultry temptress thing. These performers are actors -- they don't have to be in love in real life to portray the idea of romance on stage.

    Edited to add: Although if they did want to go the humor route, she could be a young girl sneaking out to try on her hoochie-coochie at a nightclub and he is the stern older brother sent to scold her and bring her back home.
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-21-2013 at 04:33 AM.

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    Well, this is a bit off-topic, but I was looking at their Worlds SD protocol and I noticed that one judge gave them 4.75 for IN!! A mistake, I suppose...

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    I don't know if the Shibs' decline is due mostly to a) factors within their control or b) politics. 4.75 for IN?? That, to me, is politics.

    Consider them relative to, say, I/K. The general consensus is that the Shibs have struggled to find appropriate programs the last two years, and have also had some technical glitches here and there. But I/K have had similar problems. And until Worlds this year, it didn't seem to affect I/K as much in the scores. That, to me, suggests politics at play. Maybe there is still a continuing backlash against their 2011 bronze?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    I don't know if the Shibs' decline is due mostly to a) factors within their control or b) politics. 4.75 for IN?? That, to me, is politics.

    Consider them relative to, say, I/K. The general consensus is that the Shibs have struggled to find appropriate programs the last two years, and have also had some technical glitches here and there. But I/K have had similar problems. And until Worlds this year, it didn't seem to affect I/K as much in the scores. That, to me, suggests politics at play. Maybe there is still a continuing backlash against their 2011 bronze?
    You are right. I/K's programs weren't impressive, and their Ghost FD was a joke. Just how and why the Shibs have been marginalized politically - what did they do so badly that has led them to be written off so abruptly? There are far too many teams fighting for the bronze - I/K, P/B, B/S, C/L, W/P, all very good and quite innovative. Any excuse for the Shibs to be ranked lower will be used. Every time a team wins a bronze, i.e. P/B and the Shibs, they are rotated off the podium for the others to win. In the 90s there was a similar effect in Pairs' skating - every time a pair won the Worlds, they weren't given a second chance to win it again; other pairs rotated as the World Champions. In this case, if B/S don't step or do something exponentially extraordinary, they will be relegated for someone else to replace them for the bronze, just like the Shibs and P/B.

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