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Thread: Ice Dance in the 1990's and other Vintage programs

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    West Side Story was a filler program. Had the content to win a medal but it fulfilled none of the expectations fans had for them. It certainly didn't express their potential.
    I liked it.

    It was really the first I saw of them, since I didn't really start following skating closely until the 1992 Olympic season. (Not counting the mid-70s when I was skating myself and watching whatever skating was televised on ABC).

    And that WSS story program in particular piqued my interest enough that I started searching for tapes of past programs, and took some ice dance lessons.

    In fact, I could even say that that program was what made me a fan of ice dance.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I liked it.

    It was really the first I saw of them, since I didn't really start following skating closely until the 1992 Olympic season. (Not counting the mid-70s when I was skating myself and watching whatever skating was televised on ABC).

    And that WSS story program in particular piqued my interest enough that I started searching for tapes of past programs, and took some ice dance lessons.

    In fact, I could even say that that program was what made me a fan of ice dance.
    It's always fascinating to see other viewpoints and experiences.

    If that was one of the first few ice dancing programs you saw, then it was interesting enough to pique your interest - some excellent Dean moves. In comparison to their past programs as you discovered later on, WSS didn't fully portray their talent. They were tight and nervous under home pressure to win the gold. They had slight stumbles here and there.

  3. #33
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    Always the same old excuses... Bloc judging, pre-judging... Sounds like a sweet melody.

    The thing is, USSR/Russia dominated ice dancing for good reasons :
    They had the best system to detect and train their athletes. The most skaters hence difficult nationals competition, thus overall quality & very top quality at the very top. Not surprising seeing teams coming out of nowhere and their juniors winning everything.
    The best coaches of their era : Tchaikowskaya & Pakhomova then Linichuk & Dubova, only for the most famous ones. The notable exception was Betty Callaway, but I don't know her very well, with all my respect I feel she was there already for quite some time before the 70'.
    The best conditions...
    And the most gifted skaters/combination of skaters.

    Yes there is politics playing a part, always when talking about figure skating but this was everybody's business ! Bad evil russians are so easy to blame. Specially in order to hide the fact of being less good/talented than them for so long.
    There is politics from every sides at every levels, even the lower ones. I remember a judge from my club giving obvious overscores to his fellow training friends. One pretty vividly : he puts his friend first and the skate of the morning, clearly the best we would ever see that week end and cristal clean, fifth. It is everywhere, it doesn't mean the overall results are totally wrong. His friend still won only silver in the end and deservingly so.

    Overall, who can deny G/P or K/P world wins ?
    If not the british judge at the 1980 Olys, Regoczy Sallay would be Olympic champions as well as world champions. She admitted her mistake later, everybody can do one sure, it's just unlucky it happened here.
    People forgot sometimes, it's just awfully close and as a judge sport, at one point, there must be a decision. A very quick one. Sometimes, there can be mistakes. Nowadays you can check and track see very easily on the internet. There's a part of human nature in it. It's a sport but and people try to forget, it's an art also and always was seen like this since it creation. From the perfect rigid art of english styles figures to today, it is what make figure skating successfull. And art has different sensibilities thus judging it and pleasing everybody isn't possible.

    It's not surprising seeing NA ice dancing taking over the top spots once USSR old ice dancers generations retired. Specially when they are lead by Spillband, a russian coach, from a new generation. If you shake this up with COP and then a bit of luck : both DS out for 2010 gold because of various reasons ; you have an Olys 1-2 a 2011 world podium plus the whole quad golds & silvers. The epicenter moved, the results are still there.
    From 1998 to 2010, junior north american ice dancers won a massive among of medals. And almost all the titles. Since 2010, it's all Russia for gold again, so I guess, 2018 will at least have two russian teams on the podium.

    I don't understand also where come the myth of non movements during events or waiting your turn policies from.
    The clearly most talented skaters usually climb up the rankings quite fast. Platov, from 89 to 94 moved up one spot each year. B/K went from 14th at 1993 worlds to a bronze medal three years later. It took also only three years to the Duchesnay to win a world medal while being from a virtually nobody federation at that time AND breaking the rules during their 89 OD & (possibly) FD. Don't talk about Pakhomova or T/D.

    From my point of view, COP is worse than 6.0 when talking about ice dancing results. Since Denkova Staviski left, all the world victories where highly debated except maybe 2011 because of the reigning champions injury. Under 6.0, at least after Vancouver, no problem : V/M come and don't fall, then win. 2009 would have been intriging behind the doors too, hopefully one must think given the actual skating there.

    And one more last utopie... G/P wins. Which one exactly would people take them away ?
    You'll tell me then obviously 94 Olys. First, I strongly disagree, there's report from people in the area giving pretty good reasons why they deserved it. Also, T/D where past their prime with bad CDs & FD. Usova Zhulin ? Nice joke, a bit overused though.
    And anyway, still 20 victories in a row.

    The only other close call I can see was... 1997 Lalique Trophy ! I know it sounds like a joke too but it isn't. G/P were very rough and unprepared. First outing of the FD was a disaster, from costuming to the fall. They made changes and everything was back on track at NHK but with A/P having great programs and skates there, some can say maybe some judges should have placed them first in the FD. But this is very debatable because even despite all this, G/P where a still a wide class higher than A/P skating wise.

    1998 Euros, even with a third in the OD, still first overall.
    1994 worlds, sorry, I'm a M/L fan, but no way. Same for R/K.
    1998 GPF. Even if you put the second in the OD because of the fall, they are still blowing everybody away with their FD.
    I don't remember any other weak event from G/P during their time.

    G/P winning streak at majors events :

    1994 : Worlds
    1995 : Worlds
    1996 : Skate America (K/O second), Lalique Trophy (A/P second), GPF (K/O second), Euros (K/O second), Worlds (K/O second)
    1997 : Euros (K/O second), Worlds (K/O second)
    1998 : Lalique (A/P second), NHK (B/K second), GPF (B/K second), Euros (K/O second), Olys (K/O second)

    Then there's some Japan Open, a north american challenge I forgot the name of and russian nationals when they went.
    I don't see any unfair win here. Their streak could have been a lot bigger, remember they missed two GP series & one Euro because of injuries. They were sadly also the first reigning olympic champions skipping the post olys worlds.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by machin View Post
    Always the same old excuses... Bloc judging, pre-judging... Sounds like a sweet melody.

    The thing is, USSR/Russia dominated ice dancing for good reasons :
    They had the best system to detect and train their athletes. The most skaters hence difficult nationals competition, thus overall quality & very top quality at the very top. Not surprising seeing teams coming out of nowhere and their juniors winning everything.
    The best coaches of their era : Tchaikowskaya & Pakhomova then Linichuk & Dubova, only for the most famous ones. The notable exception was Betty Callaway, but I don't know her very well, with all my respect I feel she was there already for quite some time before the 70'.
    The best conditions...
    And the most gifted skaters/combination of skaters.

    Yes there is politics playing a part, always when talking about figure skating but this was everybody's business ! Bad evil russians are so easy to blame. Specially in order to hide the fact of being less good/talented than them for so long.
    There is politics from every sides at every levels, even the lower ones. I remember a judge from my club giving obvious overscores to his fellow training friends. One pretty vividly : he puts his friend first and the skate of the morning, clearly the best we would ever see that week end and cristal clean, fifth. It is everywhere, it doesn't mean the overall results are totally wrong. His friend still won only silver in the end and deservingly so.

    Overall, who can deny G/P or K/P world wins ?
    If not the british judge at the 1980 Olys, Regoczy Sallay would be Olympic champions as well as world champions. She admitted her mistake later, everybody can do one sure, it's just unlucky it happened here.
    People forgot sometimes, it's just awfully close and as a judge sport, at one point, there must be a decision. A very quick one. Sometimes, there can be mistakes. Nowadays you can check and track see very easily on the internet. There's a part of human nature in it. It's a sport but and people try to forget, it's an art also and always was seen like this since it creation. From the perfect rigid art of english styles figures to today, it is what make figure skating successfull. And art has different sensibilities thus judging it and pleasing everybody isn't possible.

    It's not surprising seeing NA ice dancing taking over the top spots once USSR old ice dancers generations retired. Specially when they are lead by Spillband, a russian coach, from a new generation. If you shake this up with COP and then a bit of luck : both DS out for 2010 gold because of various reasons ; you have an Olys 1-2 a 2011 world podium plus the whole quad golds & silvers. The epicenter moved, the results are still there.
    From 1998 to 2010, junior north american ice dancers won a massive among of medals. And almost all the titles. Since 2010, it's all Russia for gold again, so I guess, 2018 will at least have two russian teams on the podium.

    I don't understand also where come the myth of non movements during events or waiting your turn policies from.
    The clearly most talented skaters usually climb up the rankings quite fast. Platov, from 89 to 94 moved up one spot each year. B/K went from 14th at 1993 worlds to a bronze medal three years later. It took also only three years to the Duchesnay to win a world medal while being from a virtually nobody federation at that time AND breaking the rules during their 89 OD & (possibly) FD. Don't talk about Pakhomova or T/D.

    From my point of view, COP is worse than 6.0 when talking about ice dancing results. Since Denkova Staviski left, all the world victories where highly debated except maybe 2011 because of the reigning champions injury. Under 6.0, at least after Vancouver, no problem : V/M come and don't fall, then win. 2009 would have been intriging behind the doors too, hopefully one must think given the actual skating there.

    And one more last utopie... G/P wins. Which one exactly would people take them away ?
    You'll tell me then obviously 94 Olys. First, I strongly disagree, there's report from people in the area giving pretty good reasons why they deserved it. Also, T/D where past their prime with bad CDs & FD. Usova Zhulin ? Nice joke, a bit overused though.
    And anyway, still 20 victories in a row.

    The only other close call I can see was... 1997 Lalique Trophy ! I know it sounds like a joke too but it isn't. G/P were very rough and unprepared. First outing of the FD was a disaster, from costuming to the fall. They made changes and everything was back on track at NHK but with A/P having great programs and skates there, some can say maybe some judges should have placed them first in the FD. But this is very debatable because even despite all this, G/P where a still a wide class higher than A/P skating wise.

    1998 Euros, even with a third in the OD, still first overall.
    1994 worlds, sorry, I'm a M/L fan, but no way. Same for R/K.
    1998 GPF. Even if you put the second in the OD because of the fall, they are still blowing everybody away with their FD.
    I don't remember any other weak event from G/P during their time.

    G/P winning streak at majors events :

    1994 : Worlds
    1995 : Worlds
    1996 : Skate America (K/O second), Lalique Trophy (A/P second), GPF (K/O second), Euros (K/O second), Worlds (K/O second)
    1997 : Euros (K/O second), Worlds (K/O second)
    1998 : Lalique (A/P second), NHK (B/K second), GPF (B/K second), Euros (K/O second), Olys (K/O second)

    Then there's some Japan Open, a north american challenge I forgot the name of and russian nationals when they went.
    I don't see any unfair win here. Their streak could have been a lot bigger, remember they missed two GP series & one Euro because of injuries. They were sadly also the first reigning olympic champions skipping the post olys worlds.
    K&O could have beaten G&P at various junctions. It didn't happen.

    It was already mentioned that there was plenty of movement in the rankings during the Golden Era of Ice Dancing - the early 90s. As John Curry mentioned, if you're talented, judges and pundits will recognize it and reward you, sometimes not right away, but eventually. He said it was terribly corrupt.

    In the era of G&P, however, K&O was a clear case of waiting in the wings, even though they were good enough.

    2002-2006 was about demolishing an old system and inaugurating a new one. 2002 Olympics, none of the ice dancers' LPs were anything as exciting and innovative as 1992 Olympics or 1991 Worlds. Of course, there was Skategate which proved bloc judging was real, so why are you going on about? Seriously, there is a need to understand complexity and subtlety, and not take sides. It was a disappointing Olympics for fans. I would have loved to see D&S win, but alas. B&A won the silver which was great, possibly their best finish ever. You would have expected them to be OGM and multiple World Champions, yet they never fulfilled the potential or maybe they didn't have much potential to begin with.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    Interesting point. Today we are more used to couples having brother-sister vibes who can't muster the requisite romantic chemistry, i.e. D&W, Belbin & Agosto, Shibs, etc. Personally, I don't care for sappy romantic vibes, so it's not a problem for me. It used to be that ice dancers and pairs skaters were married or at least romantically involved, so during the Duchesnay's era, people were off-put by brother-sister vibes. Perhaps, in today's more open society with social media and traveling around the world gives skaters more opportunities to meet potential romantic partners. Certainly, Missing wasn't a dance between lovers. It could easily be about two siblings mourning over the loss of their loved ones during a dictatorship. Maybe it's true that familiarity breeds contempt or at least a lack of attraction, since D&W et al grew up together and don't find each other that hot.
    I disagree with many of your comments. I think the Shibutani's, in particular, have been severely limited by being brother and sister. The Kerr's made it work by using very interesting and unique choreography, but the Hubbell's achieved level 4 squickiness with the program where he laid his head on her stomach while the vocals in the music talked about sexual desire.

    There were couples in the 1980's and 1990's who were not romantically involved, but they could effectively portray romance - Torville & Dean, for example. Bestimianova & Bukin were not romantically involved with each other, but were able to portray romance. Bourne & Kraatz, Krylova & Ovsianikov, Annissina & Peizerat, Fusar-Poli & Margalio - none were married to or involved with one another. I certainly never had the impression that F-P&M had the slightest romantic interest in one another, even when they skated to Romeo & Juliet.

    While I appreciate that not everyone is involved with their partner, I do think it necessary for them to have the ability to convey romantic themes. I consider the asexual vibe to be a weakness for D&W, but their technical brilliance is so strong that they are able to overcome it. Virtue & Moir are able to effectively convey romantic themes without being involved and that is one of their strengths.

    I can understand why there are brother & sister teams: the shortage of male partners, the problems with having two sets of parents making decisions during the developmental years, the worry about a partner "moving on", etc., but I do think that it severely limits teams choices in both music and theme.

  6. #36
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    Sibling teams limit the use of sexual/romantic themes.

    And many ballroom/OSP/OD themes had sex and romance built in.

    But I don't see why any team should be expected or required to include sexual or romantic themes in their free dances. Even with the short dance, there's less need to make even the pattern portion (e.g., waltz or tango) "about" such a theme.

    One thing I loved about the Duchesnays, and also the Kerrs, was the other options they came up with without defaulting to the same old same old.

    Next step, same-sex free dance without sexual implications?

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    I disagree with many of your comments. I think the Shibutani's, in particular, have been severely limited by being brother and sister. The Kerr's made it work by using very interesting and unique choreography, but the Hubbell's achieved level 4 squickiness with the program where he laid his head on her stomach while the vocals in the music talked about sexual desire.

    There were couples in the 1980's and 1990's who were not romantically involved, but they could effectively portray romance - Torville & Dean, for example. Bestimianova & Bukin were not romantically involved with each other, but were able to portray romance. Bourne & Kraatz, Krylova & Ovsianikov, Annissina & Peizerat, Fusar-Poli & Margalio - none were married to or involved with one another. I certainly never had the impression that F-P&M had the slightest romantic interest in one another, even when they skated to Romeo & Juliet.

    While I appreciate that not everyone is involved with their partner, I do think it necessary for them to have the ability to convey romantic themes. I consider the asexual vibe to be a weakness for D&W, but their technical brilliance is so strong that they are able to overcome it. Virtue & Moir are able to effectively convey romantic themes without being involved and that is one of their strengths.

    I can understand why there are brother & sister teams: the shortage of male partners, the problems with having two sets of parents making decisions during the developmental years, the worry about a partner "moving on", etc., but I do think that it severely limits teams choices in both music and theme.

    The Shibs are very much a brother-sister team that looks young - problem for ice dancing which requires a more sophisticated, "adult" look. Kerrs, Duchesnays, and others have made it work. Their skating was rarely about romantic connection and revelry. It worked for me and other fans too.

    Yes, but none of the non-romantically involved ice dancers you mentioned skated during Duchesnays' era. I think the brother-sister "ick" factor was greater in earlier in ice dancing history, but not so much since the mid-90s. Were there that many successful brother-sister ice dancing teams in the 80s/early 90s? We are more used to brother-sister teams and non-involved ice dancers today than before, and many of them were very successful. That was my point.

    Torvill & Dean portrayed romance well, but B&B weren't very romantic skaters.

    I don't think romance is requisite in ice dancing. That's a matter of taste. If that is really a problem, they wouldn't have won all these medals.

    Even married/romantically involved couples don't always convey romance well.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Sibling teams limit the use of sexual/romantic themes.

    And many ballroom/OSP/OD themes had sex and romance built in.

    But I don't see why any team should be expected or required to include sexual or romantic themes in their free dances. Even with the short dance, there's less need to make even the pattern portion (e.g., waltz or tango) "about" such a theme.

    One thing I loved about the Duchesnays, and also the Kerrs, was the other options they came up with without defaulting to the same old same old.

    Next step, same-sex free dance without sexual implications?
    Agreed. Didn't they explore that already in Blades of Glory?

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    In US ice dancing particularly throughout the years, ice dancing didn't rely heavily on sexy or super romantic themes. Punsalan & Swallow were married and yet one didn't get the impression of tremendous sex appeal in their routines. Belbin & Agosto, Lang & Tchernyshev, Roca & Sur, Wynne & Witherby, Wynne & Druar, Semanick & Kravette, Sargeant & Witherby, etc., etc. were never seen as having "romantic chemistry" as much as say Virtue & Moir. Grishuck & Platov were never seen in that way either, yet they won two Olympic gold medals. So this idea that ice dancers must have this sexy or romantic chemistry just depends on what it is you, the viewer, like to see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    Yes, but none of the non-romantically involved ice dancers you mentioned skated during Duchesnays' era. I think the brother-sister "ick" factor was greater in earlier in ice dancing history, but not so much since the mid-90s. Were there that many successful brother-sister ice dancing teams in the 80s/early 90s?
    There were four brother-sister teams in the top 12 in 1988:

    Kathrin and Christoff Beck

    Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay

    Antonia and Ferdinand Becherer

    Karyn and Rodney Garossino

    That might be a record.

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    Dancing is almost always considered to be romantic in nature - the vertical expression of a horizontal desire. Going dancing is a courtship ritual. In ballet, the pas de deux is usually a romantic dance between the two leads. To complain that too many dances have romantic themes is to complain that leopards have spots. This is why teams which cannot, for whatever reason, convey a romantic theme is to severely limit their choices of both music and theme. This is not to say that dances must always express romantic themes, and certainly there are balletic dances featuring male cast members which are dramatic and powerful, and dances with very young dancers which are fun and playful, but to suggest that teams shouldn't express romance is to ignore the whole point of couples dancing together in the first place.

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    No one is saying that no team should ever do romantic dances.

    But to write off all teams who don't do romantic dances, or to require all teams to perform dances that are about heterosexual courtship, is unnecessarily exclusionary. There are plenty of other options. They may not be your favorite options, but your favorites may be my least favorites. Why not be more inclusive?

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    There were four brother-sister teams in the top 12 in 1988:

    Kathrin and Christoff Beck

    Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay

    Antonia and Ferdinand Becherer

    Karyn and Rodney Garossino

    That might be a record.
    I'm glad you took the time to correct me. That still isn't many, however. Obviously, the Duchesnays, as of now, are still the most successful brother-sister ice dancers possibly ever. It may have created the "ick" reaction in some viewers, but your mileage may vary, thus subjective. It doesn't bother me much. Their sibling status certainly didn't prevent them from winning Worlds, Olympic silver, and many other medals. The argument that being siblings is a handicap is weak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    Dancing is almost always considered to be romantic in nature - the vertical expression of a horizontal desire. Going dancing is a courtship ritual. In ballet, the pas de deux is usually a romantic dance between the two leads. To complain that too many dances have romantic themes is to complain that leopards have spots. This is why teams which cannot, for whatever reason, convey a romantic theme is to severely limit their choices of both music and theme. This is not to say that dances must always express romantic themes, and certainly there are balletic dances featuring male cast members which are dramatic and powerful, and dances with very young dancers which are fun and playful, but to suggest that teams shouldn't express romance is to ignore the whole point of couples dancing together in the first place.
    Maybe if you're talking about Neolithic times, when the origins of dance were a means to sublimate sexual desire. However, the origins and development of dance are highly varied across different cultures. Many dances were religious or mystical rituals. If you wanted a common denominator, the expression of the human experience would be it. Dance shouldn't be limited to romantic themes, nor was dance historically and globally a purely exclusive expression of romance. Not the Mayan priest nor the Shinto priestess was serenading to the moonlight.

    If you're talking about duets in ballet, then it's one thing, which really has only been in serious development since the European Enlightenment.

    However, dance has evolved and changed. Even if you've seen Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, there were some romantic stories, but many were pastoral celebrations. That was already 100 years ago.

    If dance wasn't always a struggle between a man and woman, it was about man against man, man against nature, man against god, man against fate, and so forth. These themes are just as interesting as any romance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    Dancing is almost always considered to be romantic in nature - the vertical expression of a horizontal desire. Going dancing is a courtship ritual. In ballet, the pas de deux is usually a romantic dance between the two leads. To complain that too many dances have romantic themes is to complain that leopards have spots. This is why teams which cannot, for whatever reason, convey a romantic theme is to severely limit their choices of both music and theme. This is not to say that dances must always express romantic themes, and certainly there are balletic dances featuring male cast members which are dramatic and powerful, and dances with very young dancers which are fun and playful, but to suggest that teams shouldn't express romance is to ignore the whole point of couples dancing together in the first place.
    Disagree with your premise that all (couples) dance is about romance. Social dance is simply an expression of emotion, whether joy, sadness (blues), celebration, struggle, prayer, love or romance, usually set to some type of music. Two people dancing together can convey whichever emotion they choose depending on their musical choice.

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