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Thread: Team Event: Ice Dance SD Report - 2014 Winter Olympics

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    Post Team Event Ice Dance SD Report 2014 Winter Olympics

    XXII Olympic Winter Games
    Team Event
    Ice Dance – Short Dance
    Quickstep plus one or two following rhythms: Foxtrot, Charleston, Swing
    Pattern Dance: Two Sections of Finnstep skated one after the other (Section 1 followed by Section 2 with Step #1 skated on the Judges’ side)

    Result (OWG Website)
    Detailed Classification
    Judges Scores


    Links to Other Olympics Reports:
    Team Event - Ladies SP
    Team Event - Men SP
    Team Event - Pairs SP

    Disclaimer:
    The aim of these reports is to attempt to look critically at skaters’ performances, try to pay close attention to detail and evaluate each of the technical elements, as well as the program components aspect, on their own merit, whilst attempting to avoid getting anchored by things like noticeable mistakes, an overall ‘wow effect’ or skaters’ reputation, as much as possible.

    What that means is that a skater can, for example, fall but execute everything else in their program to very high standard. Or make a great overall impression but commit numerous mistakes, once you look more closely. The point to those hypothetical examples is, it’s never just black or white and there are always both positive and negative aspects to every performance. What makes figure skating different from any other sport is its complexity and the numerous layers you can uncover. Finally, in an ideal world, skaters’ past accomplishments should have no bearing on how their current performances are evaluated.

    The GOE values listed next to the elements are ones I would consider appropriate based on the quality of execution of that element. I’m very much a stickler and the numbers will probably be likely lower on average than those handed out by the actual judging panel, but I try my best to hold all skaters to the same standard. They’re also intended to give you a general impression of how each element was executed. I try to describe each of the elements in detail but there's not always time to be as precise as I would like (and sometimes the element is simply ‘ok’ and there isn’t really much to say about it).

    Of course, it’s impossible to notice everything and figure skating is inherently subjective so any questions, comments, criticism and different points of view are all very welcome. I am always grateful for any feedback and an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective.

    1. HUANG Xintong / ZHENG Xun /CHN/
    Quickstep: Sing Sing Sing
    Foxtrot: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg by Michel Legrand
    Quickstep: Sing Sing Sing

    twizzles: arm above and catch into clockwise arms to the side into arms above [0] – fast and controlled but off-synch coming out of the first and third twizzles
    finnstep 1 [0]
    finnstep 2 [-1] – not a lot of flow, edges lacking precision
    difficult entry into spread eagle straight line lift with changes of position [0]
    not touching midline step sequence [0] – spacing between them seemed to have changed slightly, could have used a little more flow

    There were no obvious errors but none of the elements were executed to a high standard either. The choreography was a quite generic and they could have shown some more energy. Their edges were a little shallow and they didn’t skate with a lot of flow.

    2. Siobhan HEEKIN-CANEDY / Dmitri DUN /UKR/
    Quickstep: That Man by Caro Emerald
    Foxtrot: Speaking of Happiness by Gloria Lynne
    Charleston: Pigalle by Patricia Kaes

    finnstep 1 [-1] – they were a little tense, quickstep is supposed to be light and effervescent
    finnstep 2 [-1] – struggled a little changing positions in the opening section, again a little tight
    twizzles: arm above and catch into clockwise arm above into arms folded [0] – well synchronised, decent speed; spacing between them changed however as he skidded slightly
    not touching midline step sequence [-1] – edges not bad but could have used more flow, off-synch on twizzles at one point
    split rotational lift [0] – ok but her position wasn’t fully extended, rotation wasn’t very fast

    The basic skating seemed a bit stronger than Huang/Zheng’s but they seemed quite tense throughout, just going through their elements and not selling the program particularly well. This program was also pretty generic and lacked character.

    3. REED Cathy / REED Chris /JPN/
    Quickstep: Puttin' On the Ritz by Irving Berlin
    Foxtrot: Harlem Nocturne
    Quickstep: Puttin' On the Ritz by Irving Berlin

    twizzles: arm above and catch(a little off-synch) into clockwise into moving arms [0] – decent rotation speed (+1-1)
    finnstep 1 [-1] – he lost balance slightly at one point
    finnstep 2 [0]
    not touching diagonal step sequence [1] – quite deep edges, good flow
    catchfoot rotational lift [1] – well balanced, quite good rotation speed

    Good flow despite having a fair amount of closed holds throughout. Their skating was quite light and their movement suitably ‘bubbly’ reflecting the quickstep character well.

    4. Nelli ZHIGANSHINA / Alexander GAZSI /GER/
    Foxtrot: Le Jazz Hot performed by Glee Cast
    Quickstep: Le Jazz Hot performed by Glee Cast

    waltz jump into twizzles: arm above and catch into clockwise catch with both arms [-2] – choppy turns from both of them (especially her) on the first set, second set was a little off-synch and not very controlled
    not touching diagonal step sequence [0]
    finnstep 1 [0]
    finnstep 2 [0] – footwork on both sections was decent enough but their upper bodies were a little tense and they didn’t show the bounce and joy suitable for a quickstep
    difficult entry into catchfoot rotational lift [1] – decent rotation speed, controlled and flowed well throughout

    Hilariously over-the-top choreography, featuring varied and interesting movements. A concept program about a dalliance between a rich, elegant lady and a bookworm. Technically they aren’t the strongest skaters but they have fantastic performance skills and they showed very good energy and projection, selling the program well. His posture is a little weak though and he skated with slightly rounded shoulders.

    5. Penny COOMES / Nicholas BUCKLAND /GBR/
    Foxtrot: I Won't Dance by Fred Astaire
    Quickstep: Swing Set by Jurassic Five
    Swing: I Won't Dance by Fred Astaire

    twizzles: arm above and catch into clockwise arms to the side into arms folded [1] – quite good synchronisation and speed
    finnstep 1 [0] – good speed but edges not precise
    finnstep 2 [-1] – edges not very precise and a little scratchy in places
    not touching circular step sequence [0] – decent speed but edges a little flat
    rotational lift with changes of position [2] – fast and effortless

    They were quite fast and showed good energy and projection throughout. The program was rather open, however, with them skating quite far apart from each other and staying mostly in open holds. Their edges were a little flat for an ice dance team.

    Platov’s reaction to the marks: ‘What?!!’

    6. Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZAT /FRA/
    Slow Foxtrot: Roxie (from "Chicago") performed by Renee Zellweger
    Quickstep: Sing Sing Sing by Louis Prima
    Charleston: Mein Herr by John Kander

    twizzles: arm folded and catch into clockwise arm above [1] – well synchronised and controlled but they don’t get as much speed as some of the other top teams
    not touching diagonal step sequence [1] – quite precise edges, very good flow; he wobbled very slightly at the end though
    finnstep 1 [2] – sharp and bouncy
    finnstep 2 [2] – likewise, they had good speed as well
    transitions into rotational lift with changes of position [2] – fast and quite seamless

    Their basic skating was quite light and smooth and the program flowed well from start until the end. They presented the program well, showing good timing and confident upper body movement, which was varied and effective. They showed a different approach to quickstep, going for a musical instead of a ballroom theme, unlike most other teams.

    You could criticise the program for being a little too open, though. They spent more time skating side-by-side (or apart) than they did in closed holds.

    7. Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE /ITA/
    Quickstep: 42nd Street
    Foxtrot: Lullaby of Broadway
    Quickstep: 42nd Street

    twizzles: catch and arm to the side into arm above into moving arms [1] – quite fast and controlled
    finnstep 1 [1]
    finnstep 2 [1] – good control on both sections but the edges were a little on the shallow side, especially on the latter
    not touching circular step sequence [1] – well controlled throughout
    split rotational lift [1]

    Their basic skating was smooth but their edges were a little shallow and in this regard, they are still behind the other top teams. It was a very controlled performance, skated without hesitation and sure on all of the technical elements but none of them were ‘big’ or particularly outstanding. Similarly the choreography was quite clean and polished but not particularly detailed or complex.

    8. Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV /RUS/
    Quickstep: Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friends by Jule Styne
    Slow Foxtrot: I Will Wait For You by Michel Legrand
    Quickstep: Swing, Swing, Swing My Baby

    finnstep 1 [1] – fast and skated on deep edges but she slightly lagged behind him at one point
    finnstep 2 [1]
    twizzles: arms folded into clockwise arm above into arms folded [1] – decent speed and synchronisation, skated close together; his first set could have been slightly better controlled though, it seemed a little tentative
    not touching midline step sequence [2] – clean edges, good flow
    spread eagle straight line lift with changes of position [1] – flowed well

    Their basic skating was very strong and the program featured quite a lot of closed holds (probably the most out of all the teams competing here), which makes it more difficult to build and maintain speed. The choroegraphy was a little bland however. It was a standard ballroom dance, lacking in highlights, with their movement not being very varied. Her posture and lines still leave a lot to be desired.

    9. Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR /CAN/
    Foxtrot: Dream a Little Dream by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong
    Quickstep: Muskrat Ramble by Louis Armstrong
    Foxtrot: Heaven by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong

    not touching midline step sequence [3] – very deep edges, light and effortless from start until the end
    steps into twizzles: arm above and catch into clockwise into third set [-1] – fast rotation but he lacked control very slightly on the first set, she lost balance on the second set and they went off-synch with her doing less revolutions than him, they got back into it for the third set
    finnstep 1 [1]
    finnstep 2 [1] – they skated both sections decently enough but they didn’t really capture the bouncy quickstep character very well (soft and lyrical is more their style, I guess), edges could have been a bit more pronounced
    catchfoot rotational lift [2] – very fast, quite effortless

    Their basic skating was exceptional. Light and smooth, skated on secure edges with a lot of flow throughout. Their upper body movement was very fluid and refined. It didn’t have a lot of quickstep character, however and it seemed a little subdued.

    10. Meryl DAVIS / Charlie WHITE /USA/
    Foxtrot: My Fair Lady by Frederic Loewe
    Quickstep: My Fair Lady by Frederic Loewe
    Foxtrot: My Fair Lady by Frederic Loewe

    not touching midline step sequence [2] – skated very close together, great control throughout; some of the edges could have been more pronounced, though
    twizzles: arm above and catch into clockwise arms behind [2] – fast and very controlled, well synchronised
    finnstep 1 [2]
    finnstep 2 [2] – sharp and precise footwork, bouncy upper body movement, good quickstep character
    split rotational lift [2] – fast and quite effortless

    They don’t have V/M’s basic skating quality in terms of depth of edges or flow but they skated the whole program with a lot of speed and power and they presented it with their usual ebullience and their bouncy, effervescent movement reflected the quickstep character quite well.

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    No PCS suggestions this time, sorry. I decided to go with completing and posting this quickly over sitting for hours musing on which marks would seem appropriate.

    Just off the top of my head (so take it with the grain of salt), I guess I'd go with Virtue/Moir on the SS but I can understand Davis/White beating them on the other PCS for this program and performance.

    Bobrova/Soloviev deserved a high TR score but I think that Pechalat/Bourzat should have edged them out on the other PCS, PE especially, with SS being quite similar I guess.

    Coomes/Buckland are a really fun and entertaining team but their SS and TR aren't really up to scratch.

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    I'm gonna Customize the CRAP out of this Title!!! Frenchie's Avatar
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    Again, great analysis!
    If only you could be one of the judges, so we'd get some objective judging... Scratch that.
    If only you could be one of the judges, so you could give us all the crunchy details of how you're being approached by various federations for good marks, and on what gifts you'd get

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Bobrova/Soloviev deserved a high TR score but I think that Pechalat/Bourzat should have edged them out on the other PCS, PE especially, with SS being quite similar I guess.
    That's my main problem with these marks: Bobrova/Soloviev beat Péchalat/Bourzat in PCS by 1.40 points (and lost to them in TES), and that, by Short Dance standards, just isn't "quite similar", but way too much of a difference. (Especially considering I see P/B as the better pair regarding PCS.)

    Did you -or anyone else- spot why Coomes/Buckland only got level 1 on both their Finnsteps? They seemed to have become such "SD experts" leading into these Olympics, I was convinced they'd again beat Zhiganshina/Gazsi here after they finished their program.

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    Ziggy, thanks for your efforts! I enjoy reading your observations and opinions.

    Looking at the protocols, it is interesting that both D/W and V/M have some work to do before the individual event. V/M's twizzles, obviously, but D/W also missed a level on the first Finnstep sequence.

    Neither team, nor any others for that matter, earned L4 for the non-touch sequence.

    Looking at the PCS, it's clear that this panel prefer D/W overall... but it's still tight. The standings could easily swing the other way if V/M earn L4 on the non-touching and D/W don't, and if the Finn Step sequences are judged as they were today.

    The protocols have some head-scratchers... one judge awarded +2 GOE on V/M twizzles... although, admittedly, that score was an outlier.

    Anyway... thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie View Post
    Did you -or anyone else- spot why Coomes/Buckland only got level 1 on both their Finnsteps? They seemed to have become such "SD experts" leading into these Olympics, I was convinced they'd again beat Zhiganshina/Gazsi here after they finished their program.
    I just don't think that C/B's edges were precise and pronounced enough. They are fast but they don't have the greatest basic technique. Their skating is a bit more running on ice than it is using the edges correctly. The edges have to be clear for the technical panel to count a key point. Of course the problem with that is that it's quite subjective. How deep a curve is good enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    The protocols have some head-scratchers... one judge awarded +2 GOE on V/M twizzles... although, admittedly, that score was an outlier.
    I guess that judge looked down to make some notes or lost their focus when Tessa lost balance?

    As I admitted in the SD thread, when watching P/B for the first time, I totally missed Bourzat going off balance at the end of what I think was a twizzle IIRC in their step sequence. It's hard to notice everything. One blink and you can miss something.

    As for how PCS relate to the TES, the judges actually don't see the element levels which is something they have requested because they felt it would influence their judgement. So all they see on their screens is for example DiSt and no level and they won't know what the levels were until they see the protocols.

    At the moment D/W seem to skate with more speed, power and attack and that's what probably gives them the edge in the judges' eyes.

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    I love reading your analysis, Ziggy! I did see P/B's little bobble, but still quite liked their SD and sort of wished they had placed higher overall.

    The different strengths of V/M and D/W and that fact that thus far this season, I preferred V/M's SD (and D/W FD) notwithstanding, D/W rocked it big time today. I loved their Nationals performance, but today was really, really great given all that the Olympic ice means or conjures - I was "wooting" at my tv.

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    In the case of the Finnstep, there are specific warnings for not getting the timing sharp so that the dance is light and bouncy and warns if not, there should be severe penalties. IMO this may be one explanation given for better timing/interpretation and choreography grades for D&W.

    Also, P&B deliberately changed up their Sd extensively to tone down the caberet feeling, so it's clear V&M chose to stay jazz club even when everyone was told that quickstep=ballroom for the Finnstep part of the dance. While they are very good at conveying a story, they are either not as good at getting the appropriate character of a dance, or they really don't care whether they convey the character of a dance. Either way, I think it is not the best strategy.

    I expect the PCs to be closer in the FD between D&W and V&M, where there are not the same sort of specific penalties threatened for a very precise type of timing nor any requirements for a ballroom character of the dance as there are for an SD.

    Btw, that was a heck of a debut for P&B's new SD
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 02-08-2014 at 08:02 PM.

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    Thanks for that clarification!!! and yes, hat's off to P/B on their SD debut, takes serious guts!

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    Petri Kokko tweeted: @coccco: Davis & White were the only ones who looked in the #finnstep the same as it felt to do. Congrats, well deserved score! #Sochi2014 #sotshi

    And certainly Petri should know what a Finnstep style Quickstep should look like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post

    Bobrova/Soloviev deserved a high TR score but I think that Pechalat/Bourzat should have edged them out on the other PCS, PE especially, with SS being quite similar I guess.
    You can't gain speed in dance holds If you don't have strong skating skills. For me skating skills are:

    Virtue/Moir 9.75
    Davis/White 9.25
    Bobrova/Soloviev 8.75
    Ilinykh/Katsalapov 8.50
    Capellini/Lanotte 8.50
    Weaver/Poje 8.25
    Pechalat/Bourzat 8.00

    For me Capellini/Lanotte is so much better than Pechalat/Bourzat. You should watch their old dances. Since working with Igor they have flow over the ice, and this is just beautiful. Pechalat/Bourzat working with Igor too, but I can't see this in their programs. They shouldn't work with French choreographers. They are good but they don't understand ice dance like Igor.

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    Thanks for all your work, Ziggy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by elif View Post
    You can't gain speed in dance holds If you don't have strong skating skills. For me skating skills are:

    Virtue/Moir 9.75
    Davis/White 9.25
    Bobrova/Soloviev 8.75
    Ilinykh/Katsalapov 8.50
    Capellini/Lanotte 8.50
    Weaver/Poje 8.25
    Pechalat/Bourzat 8.00

    For me Capellini/Lanotte is so much better than Pechalat/Bourzat. You should watch their old dances. Since working with Igor they have flow over the ice, and this is just beautiful. Pechalat/Bourzat working with Igor too, but I can't see this in their programs. They shouldn't work with French choreographers. They are good but they don't understand ice dance like Igor.

    As much as I am an admirer of Igor's work and think he's obviously a terrific coach, particularly on the technical aspects of the sport, it's getting to the point where his choreography (and Zoueva's) is so ubiquitous that most dance teams are starting to look the same. You'll see a very good example of that later today with Guignol and Fabri's long dance, choreographed by Igor. It's all very nice, but please tell me what distinguishes this dance from the other 974434 dances choreographed by Igor in the last few years? It's all very "nice" and "nicely" skated and it's getting to be more than a little boring.

    From what I've read, the French federation is putting heavy duty pressure on Papadakis and Cizeron to go work with Igor and have him choreograph future programs for them. I think that would be a terrible mistake. Right now P/C have all the hallmarks of developing that rarest of things--a memorable and individual style (I like to think of them as les petits sauvages). Think about Torvill and Dean, who really did take a big risk with their iconic Bolero program. They stepped out of the mold--and opened ice dancing up to an entirely new point of view. They didn't stick with the experts-at-the-time who "understood" ice dance--and thank goodness for that.

    Thanks for the report Ziggy. Given what I saw with this event and Tessa's comments on Tessa & Scott, I'm beginning to think she's talked herself into a silver medal. But we shall see.

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    As much as I am an admirer of Igor's work and think he's obviously a terrific coach, particularly on the technical aspects of the sport, it's getting to the point where his choreography (and Zoueva's) is so ubiquitous that most dance teams are starting to look the same.
    yep

    lol it reminds me of the cheerleading coach in bring it on who's going around teaching all the cheerleading squads the exact same routine

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by elif View Post
    You can't gain speed in dance holds If you don't have strong skating skills.
    You can if you do progressives or toe push.

    Quote Originally Posted by elif View Post
    For me skating skills are:

    Virtue/Moir 9.75
    Davis/White 9.25
    Bobrova/Soloviev 8.75
    Ilinykh/Katsalapov 8.50
    Capellini/Lanotte 8.50
    Weaver/Poje 8.25
    Pechalat/Bourzat 8.00
    Ilinykh/Katsalapov skate on very deep edges and they still manage to get excellent flow. Their basic skating is second only to Virtue/Moir, IMO.

    I guess I'd have Davis/White third because of their speed with Bobrova/Soloviev closely behind, followed by Pechalat/Bourzat.

    Cappellini/LaNotte have improved but they still 'skate small'. They don't get curves as big and edges as pronounced as the other top teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    You can if you do progressives or toe push.

    Ilinykh/Katsalapov skate on very deep edges and they still manage to get excellent flow. Their basic skating is second only to Virtue/Moir, IMO.

    I guess I'd have Davis/White third because of their speed with Bobrova/Soloviev closely behind, followed by Pechalat/Bourzat.

    Cappellini/LaNotte have improved but they still 'skate small'. They don't get curves as big and edges as pronounced as the other top teams.
    I much prefer Davis/White's light/flowing style to Ilinykh/Katsalapov's big/showy skating. But I had to give credit to them: this year Davis/White trying to skate without hops/small jumps/running to gain speed, and you can see even they looking slow in free. (except entrance of last step sequence) Ilinykh/Katsalapov still looks faster with edges, but they don't have closed dance holds of Davis/White.

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