People who love ice dance should read this
People who love ice dance should read this
Just a few paragraphs from the profile
So what is it that they do so well that makes them the best ice dance team in the world, perhaps of all time (Robin Cousins once compared them to Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.) Well, the way their bodies move, for one thing. They stretch their bodies. One canny expert explains that they straighten their knees and point their toes, they extend their necks upward, they open their chests, using their entire bodies to interpret music. Virtue in particular has a very mobile torso and they both arch their backs to create shapes, and they involve their hips and shoulders like no one else to produce movement that the style and rhythm of dance commands. Their movement is beautifully coordinated. They complete their movements, with extended legs and arms. The tension in their bodies’ changes as the music dictates. The tension is never static.
The foxtrot of the short dance this season calls for a sway – and they have a gorgeous sway – and the rise and fall of a soft knee. Says Ann Shaw, guru of international ice dance: “You’re supposed to have an elegant look, and use your knees in the foxtrot and have a syncopation of approach. [In the quickstep] they have an elegant upright, light airy look, and they have the best interpretation of the rhythms required of anybody this year. They interpret the quickstep and foxtrot like nobody else does.”
Speed? It’s supposed to come from rhythmic knee action, since the rules specifically discourage excessive amounts of toe steps. This is no problem for Virtue and Moir, because, Shaw says, they are the most powerful skaters in the world. Speed is just the velocity across the ice, no matter how you get there. It is not the same as power. Some are fooled by speed, but how is it generated? Virtue and Moir have a hidden power, that comes from deep knee bends, and it allows them to float across the ice. Their stroking is so smooth and well-matched, that it appears effortless.
What’s more, Virtue and Moir can vary their speed and change direction seamlessly – important in the transitions category of the program component mark and also the choreography category to some extent. They can slow to a stop, and then regain top speed in three or four strokes. The variation of speed allows for the shades and light of interpretation. They change dance holds frequently, easily, eschewing the same-direction skating that is so much easier. “Their movement from one hold to another is just like little rose petals unfolding,” Shaw said. “It’s superb. They skate in close relation all the time. But you are never aware that they are changing hold. They sort of fold into each other – and I think that is superior to anybody.”
Footwork? Virtue and Moir have challenging footwork with big curves. The size of the curve that a skater’s edge creates is important, and never more so than in footwork sequences. Virtue and Moir trace huge arcs with their edges both into and out of their turns. They have dainty, precise feet.
Lifts? From a young age, when Virtue and Moir began to learn more difficult lifts, Virtue was taught to feel like she was doing the lift herself, rather than the male partner forcing the woman somewhere and the women reacts. “She moves herself from one position to another and she doesn’t wait for Scott to move her,” says Marijane Stong, known for her knowledge of dance, music, and costuming. “That was when she was quite young and she has maintained that. Ballet dancers don’t wait for the man to put them somewhere.”
In other words, Virtue has an ability to manage her own body in the lifts. Rather than Moir supporting Virtue, there are fewer points of contact between them during a lift, and Virtue extends her own free leg, without help from the partner. The positions in their lifts require a lot of strength in Virtue’s core and hips and back. Their style of stroking also is taxing on the legs, knees and thighs. This team is physically strong.
Holy Propaganda Batman! I'm sure it was just an oversight to leave out that incident where the rink had a power failure and Tessa & Scott skated on water!!! After they had CURED CANCER.
Really, this should be in the Fan Fest section.
Ann Shaw, a member of the ISU Ice Dance Technical Committee and a judge of the 1984 & 1988 Olympics in ice dancing, gave an opinion on V/M. You can agree or disagree, but you need argue with actual facts and valid points.
And I just gave my opinion about the article--not about Voir's skating, which I have spent years on here saying is beautiful, wonderful, etc etc etc. But that article is propaganda.
I see you agree that V/M's skating is beautiful, wonderful, etc etc. Thank you!
And I feel the same way about Marlie's skating. And P/G's Hitchcock program--which I still think is the finest FD of the season. And I love how much C/B have come into their own this year. And how The Shib Sibs have gotten their mojo back. And how interesting Hurtado and Diaz's Picasso program is choreographed. And the freshness and excitement of Papakakis and Cizeron (who are being woefully screwed over by their own federation). And on and on and on.
I AM an uber--about ICE DANCING. I am not an uber about ridiculous puff pieces posing as "journalism."
I think the profile talks about exactly the quality ice dancers should possess. And I actually agree V/M have them. So I don't see anything untrue or ridiculous about it.
De gustibus non est disputandum.
I think there is a difference from enertaining programs but "ice dance" per se V and M probably are better suited and represent the best. Now elements and technical stuff that ould be different or programs. BUt V and M are really ice dancers in the traditional or what one should expect from dancers. Others may be better at lements and unique themes but not really as good "ice dancers" but we no longer are looking for the "best ice dancers" but the best at gimicks and tricks.
Beverley Smith wrote the profile for the Skate Canada website. Of course it would be favorable for VM. In the same vein, I would expect the same of Ice Network concerning Americans, the Japanese being complimentary of Hanyu, Asada etc., the Russians writing favorably for their skaters, and the Koreans extolling the virtues of Yuna Kim. I liked how she wrote about VM's strengths (rhythm, speed, footwork, lifts) and expanded upon those points.
Beverly Smith writes very gushing, fluffy pieces. I read her book and liked it (Talking Figure Skating, I think it was called), but her shorter pieces are almost over-the-top. She wrote the story about Patrick Chan and how everyone had to feel sorry for him for various reasons. At that time, he was the World champion who won everything even if he fell a couple of times--not a person to be pitied, really.