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Thread: Are the Shibs underrated?

  1. #61
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    P/B's LP in 2011 was awful. Happy they didn't win a medal with that. The Shibs deserved to be ahead that year even if P/B went clean.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    Many of you know I'm a huge fan of the Shibs, so perhaps some of you may see less value in my opinion.

    But here are just a few points to consider:

    1.) For the last two years, Maia has grown considerably. When they won the world bronze medal, Maia was 16 years old and tiny. Look at this photo from Worlds in 2011. As you can see, Maia falls just below Alex's head.

    Now here's Maia a few months later, at NHK. As you can see, she's grown a few inches and is no below his head.

    Finally Maia at this year's Worlds. She isn't that much taller than 2011, but you can see she's filled out slightly.

    2.) Related to that, Alex has dealt with a number of injuries in the last two years. I think it's pretty easy to conclude that trying to lift your sister when she's a few inches taller and 15 pounds heavier will create some issues. Some of you may have noticed that Alex has tried to bulk up in an attempt to adjust to the extra weight, but that has had an effect on their speed and lightness they displayed in 2011.

    So with that in mind, we dealt with a team that that has gone through the double whammy of injuries and a growth spurt. If you guys remember, the Shibs had a so-so season in 2009-2010 when Alex went through HIS growth spurt. I remember that many people were worried that Maia wouldn't grow fast enough. Now it seemed there was a different problem at play.

    (Per gmeyers' point: Rachael Flatt stopped doing Lutz (and toe pick jumps in general) jumps because of injury. Shibs are dealing with an equivalent thing here, I think.)

    3.) One key issue, which was one of their key strengths, is level issues. They went down in a lot of competitions in the last two years because they lost a ton of levels. I'm not sure if the issues above have prevented them from getting the key points to hit level 4, but clearly this is a problem.

    4.) Packaging is another issue obviously. They haven't quite found their mature style yet. They made a concerted effort this season, but I think it fell short a bit.

    But here are a few things going for the Shibs that I think people underestimate:

    1.) Blade work -- the Shibs have a great reputation of having the quietest blades in Ice Dance. If you compare their feet to other dances, they are quite smooth in their blade movements. And that matters in Ice Dance
    2.) Work ethic -- Do you guys remember when they basically reworked 2/3 of their entire Latin SD between GPF and Nationals? That was ballsy and it seemed to work. They did much of the same for the SD this year. They are not afraid to go back to the drawing board and workout whatever issues they have.

    They seem to show flashes of light at Worlds and 4CC, so perhaps there are better things to come. We'll see.
    The Shibs have had growth issues as explained above, as well as choreographic issues. It is essential these days to have a strong SD, so hopefully this season with the Finnstep, the Shibs can show more of their personalities and the wonderful, quiet quality of their blades.

  3. #63
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    The Shibs need better choreography throughout the program. The transitions are well-executed but basic and not very memorable. There just needs to be a better range of content and more difficult, more interesting holds.

    The same goes for the emotional range of the program, which tends to stay at one flat level without many rises and falls. I would like to see them perform conceptual/spiritually-themed work to get away from the awkwardness sexiness (of say a tango) and from the bubbliness that tends not to look mature and is their comfort zone.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by draqq View Post
    The Shibs need better choreography throughout the program. The transitions are well-executed but basic and not very memorable. There just needs to be a better range of content and more difficult, more interesting holds.

    The same goes for the emotional range of the program, which tends to stay at one flat level without many rises and falls. I would like to see them perform conceptual/spiritually-themed work to get away from the awkwardness sexiness (of say a tango) and from the bubbliness that tends not to look mature and is their comfort zone.
    Specific to the SD, the Finnstep does not lend itself to high drama, so we will see plenty of "happy, light" programs. I think the Shibs can do drama, but I would suggest a more classical approach in their FD, keeping within the current rules, of course.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by KKonas View Post
    Specific to the SD, the Finnstep does not lend itself to high drama, so we will see plenty of "happy, light" programs. I think the Shibs can do drama, but I would suggest a more classical approach in their FD, keeping within the current rules, of course.
    I don't know about classical music (if that's what you're suggesting). I fear that would only up the "boring" quotient of their programs--which is one of their biggest problems. Their Geisha FD this year was sort of "classical lite," and the program did nothing for them.

    I think they need some really interesting, unusual, different programs. To me, that means interesting, unusual music. For example, what about Middle Eastern music? (And I mean actual Middle Eastern music by Arabic artists, not the umpteenth use of "Let the Feeling Begin".) It's so much fun to dance to, and the quick rhythms would allow them to showcase their footwork. They need their own Bollywood, something to make them stand out. I think classical only works in ice dance if you're mature enough to do something interesting or great with it, like K/P's Bach FD or U/Z's Four Seasons or V/M's Carmen or D/W's Samson & Delilah.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    I don't know about classical music (if that's what you're suggesting). I fear that would only up the "boring" quotient of their programs--which is one of their biggest problems. Their Geisha FD this year was sort of "classical lite," and the program did nothing for them.

    I think they need some really interesting, unusual, different programs. To me, that means interesting, unusual music. For example, what about Middle Eastern music? (And I mean actual Middle Eastern music by Arabic artists, not the umpteenth use of "Let the Feeling Begin".) It's so much fun to dance to, and the quick rhythms would allow them to showcase their footwork. They need their own Bollywood, something to make them stand out. I think classical only works in ice dance if you're mature enough to do something interesting or great with it, like K/P's Bach FD or U/Z's Four Seasons or V/M's Carmen or D/W's Samson & Delilah.
    Their Cinema Paradiso program as Juniors was brilliant.

  7. #67
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    I may be way off here , but I think the brother and sister component really limits the artistic boundaries here . I know it has been done previously but I have always found it to be awkward to even watch !!!

  8. #68
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    I agree. Brother and sister teams are prevented from doing any routine that's too sexy or romantic. This limits them quite a bit, and kind of makes anything they do fall into the category of "cute" or "innocent." The Kerrs were good, but they were never really medal contenders as the Shibs were at one time, and the Duchesnays were from another era, so it's hard to compare. Even they were ultimately defeated by the Russians who did "The Love Between a Man and a Woman."

    Interestingly, sexy routines are accepted even when the skaters are married to others (Torvill and Dean) or if one is gay (Jeremy Abbot's Italian boyfriend, if that story is true). But if the skaters are related, all pretending to be lovers is forbidden.

  9. #69
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    There are ways to relate that aren't romantic as a team, the concept just needs to be creative.

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    I think Zoueva tried last season to emulate a Duchesnay vibe with their “Missing” SD, but the program was totally wrong for the required polka and the Shibs just don’t have the edgy quality of the Duchesnays. I do think the Shibs would have been better off to move with Igor, who concentrates more on transitions and footwork, but perhaps after this season and the top two teams retire, Zoueva will have more reason to focus on the Shibs as they will be her top team if they stay in Canton.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by KKonas View Post
    Specific to the SD, the Finnstep does not lend itself to high drama, so we will see plenty of "happy, light" programs. I think the Shibs can do drama, but I would suggest a more classical approach in their FD, keeping within the current rules, of course.
    I mean, something that has highs and lows. Skating to a piece of music that more dimension and room for interpretation. I don't mind light and bubbly programs, particularly with the SD, but for the FD it needs more rise and fall. There are plenty of classical pieces that go from loud to soft, major to minor. I just think they need to be challenged with more fuller choreography with intricate footwork and holds.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    P/B's LP in 2011 was awful. Happy they didn't win a medal with that. The Shibs deserved to be ahead that year even if P/B went clean.
    Of course P&B with a huge 2 person fall did not deserve a medal in 2011. P&B are not V&M or D&W who should still beat everyone else even if they fall by any stretch of the imagination. However I am still confused to why Weaver & Poje did not win the bronze for their beautiful performances at Worlds that year. I still think it is because the CSA made a huge mistake in promoting the overrated and overhyped Crone & Poirier over them all season, and had they gotten that support and won Canadians, been higher at the GPF, etc...as they deserved to they would have won the bronze at Worlds that year.

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