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Thread: 2014 Olympics Free Dance

  1. #1276
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    I do agree with many of your critics regarding I&K, in fact with most of them, but that night in Sochi I personally didn't see a better couple for the bronze medal. That's just my opinion, as a fan of figure skating and ballet (I think I have almost all ballets on my archive at home), and also as someone who have seen a lot of skating obviously. Certainly I'm not an expert nor a judge.

    I do not understand though the critics about their interpretation of the Swan program. Can you elaborate more on that?
    There is a problem with stories – Odylie and Rothbart… or “woman and man in love and fight“ story. Those two stories were changing, in the beginning of the season it was a Swan Lake with Odylie and Rothbart, but finally for Grand Prix – a woman and man story was chosen. But after the Olympics Morozov once again persisted on Odylie and Rothbart saing that Lena is so close to Odylie, that it suits her perfectly. During Lena and Nikita‘s interview after the Olympics kids themself confirm that Nikita is Rothbart and it suits him perfectly and Lena is Princess Odylie (no, wait, Odylie was not a princess, Odetta was a princess, another misunderstanding made by kids about Swan Lake). On the ice we once again see a love story between Lena and Nikita – but it would mean that father Rothbart is a lover of his daughter?

    I wrote about Swan Lake free dance from previous competitions and even compared it with Don Quijote (somebody noted it is similar):
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...ee-Dance/page4 post number 59 and 60 at the end of the page

    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...ht=#post818836 post number 18

    I don’t know if you have a possibility to watch video of their Olympic Individual free dance.
    If you are a ballet lover – you certainly noticed that both Lena and Nikita have their heads too forward (which is not even a dance position and very far to a ballet position), no balletic Lena’s arms and fingers, a fist during movements, not extended free leg. All Lena, Nikita and Morozov say that it is not a ballet, but they use Swan costume, a ballet music and make some Swan/ballet movements.

    Interpretation / Timing:
    Definition:
    The personal and creative translation of the rhythm and/or character and content of the music to movement on ice.
    Criteria:
    •Effortless and correct movement in time to the music (timing)
    •Expression of the music’s rhythm, character, content and style
    •Use of finesse1 to reflect the nuances of the music
    •Relationship between the partners reflecting the character and content of the music
    •Appropriateness of the music
    •Skating primarily to the rhythmic beat for Short Dance and keeping a good balance between skating to the beat and melody in the Free Dance
    1Finesse is the Skaters’ refined, artful manipulation of nuances. Nuances are the personal artistic ways of bringing variations to the intensity, tempo, and dynamics of the music made by the composer and/or musicians.


    The highest mark for timing without 100% keeping the rhythm is under 7 points. Whole Waltz part is out of the rhythm.

    Expression of the character …which character – a Swan or woman…Rothbart or man?
    Expression of music … final music part is more dynamic then first music part, but Lena and Nikita’s moves are more dynamic in first part of program. While a music gradates in last minute and half, their movements are less dynamic and less powerful then at the beginning and also the speed is the same or slower then at the beginning. Slow romantic part in the middle of program is OK, only too much looks to judges side.

    Expression of style – ballet or not ballet style? Lena and Nikita‘s ballet style is not balletic. If I called their style a free style, then it is good. A dance style is not good – all dance couples should have extended free leg and finished arm movements (one of first things which are all young dancers learning, especially in Russia) and keep dance close holds and skate close to each other.

    Nuances as the personal artistic ways of bringing variations to the intensity, tempo, and dynamics of the music…especially during last dramatic and dynamic music part - a music is above them.

    Relationship between the partners reflecting the character…relationship is great between those two but what is reflecting? Odylie? But Odylie was not in love, she only played her game with Prince. A woman who is in love? To who – Nikita or judges? Woman in love who is doing Swan moves wearing Swan costume and make-up? And finally dies in Swan/ballet position? And Nikita is a man in love, so why those arm movements which reminds of a bird or evil? Why he tries to be demonic? Man in love is not demonic. Demonic like Rothbart? But Rothbart couldn’t fall in love with his daughter.

    Reflecting content of the music…the same problems like in case of expression of music.

    Appropriateness of the music…I am not sure what to imagine under these words…how much choreography and skaters express the music suitably?

    Keeping a good balance between skating to the beat and melody in the Free Dance…Lena and Nikita don’t do that especially in Waltz part.

    In moment when other dances will be available on YouTube Channel, it will be a very interesting comparison mainly in presentation of top 7 couples. If you will watch them one after another you will notice that while six couples (even C&L) are able to skate faster or gradate and increase the intension and depth of expression throught the dance, I&K are the only ones who skate in almost same speed, and loose dynamics towards the end (the less dramatic movements are the more dramatic facial expression is)…simply they were the most careful and tired couple. I don’t blame them, they are young and they simply didn’t want to make a mistake, that is understable. But unfortunately Tchaikovski is a not a music about being careful, it is a big drama and kids were not able to express it…and judge’s marks should reflect it. And all those Nikita and Morozov’s interview about controlling emotions and not make a mistake…yes, you have to control yourself and concentrate well, but it shouldn’t take a part of presentation down. Tchaikovski…Swan Lake…it is a music and story about life and death, about love and hateness…about good and evil…all extremes. You can’t skate it carefully on 50% of dramatics and dynamics, you have to skate it like it would be the last dance in your life with putting everything what is inside of you to that program. All other six couples put everything on the ice and skated on 150% emotionally (and looking to Russian Forum people‘s reaction – there were even three couples who brought tears into people’s eyes because of how they skated and interpreted the music…V&M and P&B and B&S).
    Probably I&K are too young for showing such emotions and skating, but once again look to judges…if they can’t notice the difference between careful skating and skating on 150%, what are component marks for?

    This is my understanding of Timing/Interpretation mark.

  2. #1277
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I did a reference piece on ice dance PCS
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...ules-2011-2012

    The video references are from the 2011-2012 season, and the piece was written immediately after the GPF.

    Here's the Timing and Interp part of the post
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...l=1#post626496

    The rules have not been updated, so the piece is still valid for the 2013-2014 season, although some of the video links may not work if youtube has taken them down.

    The one point you missed is to remember that dance, unlike pairs and singles, has ISU Communication 1677, Rule 611, which describes exactly how PCS are supposed to be calculated in ice dance, and has a bracket break down to describe exactly what a 9 - 10 PCS component ought to be.

    Even for a 7.0 to 7.75 Timing & Interpretation PCS grade, Timing is supposed to be 100%.

    Needless to say, judges don't usually follow their own rules on this.

    •skating/music integrated
    •very good internal motivation
    •skaters stay “in character” for over 75% of program
    •very good partner relationship
    •very good expression of the music’s style and character
    •timing: 100% correct
    •expression of Rhythms (SD): 100% correct
    Compare the language for 9 - 10 range

    • skaters/music/nuances as one
    •motivation from “heart”
    •wide range of inspired movements, gestures
    •skaters stay “in character” for the whole program
    •exceptional ability to relate as one and to reflect music, theme
    •superb expression of the music’s style and character
    •timing: 100% correct expression of Rhythms
    I would have a hard time giving I&K a mark between 9 and 10 in Interpretation & Timing.

    However, the skaters only have to have the majority of the bullets at a given level to qualify for the level, which is how I would suppose that judges would defend how they evaluate I&K.

    The language of comunication 1677 is

    The mark for each Program Component is established at a certain degree according to the majority of Characteristics of Program Component which are met. This mark is further adjusted, if necessary, according to the Adjustments to Program Component.
    I wish the ISU had a similar layout for singles. If they have it, I haven't seen it, and if they have it, the judges certainly don't apply it.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 03-11-2014 at 03:32 AM.

  3. #1278
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    I did a reference piece on ice dance PCS
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...ules-2011-2012

    The video references are from the 2011-2012 season, and the piece was written immediately after the GPF.

    Here's the Timing and Interp part of the post
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...l=1#post626496

    The rules have not been updated, so the piece is still valid for the 2013-2014 season, although some of the video links may not work if youtube has taken them down.

    The one point you missed is to remember that dance, unlike pairs and singles, has ISU Communication 1677, Rule 611, which describes exactly how PCS are supposed to be calculated in ice dance, and has a bracket break down to describe exactly what a 9 - 10 PCS component ought to be.

    Even for a 7.0 to 7.75 Timing & Interpretation PCS grade, Timing is supposed to be 100%.

    Needless to say, judges don't usually follow their own rules on this.



    Compare the language for 9 - 10 range



    I would have a hard time giving I&K a mark between 9 and 10 in Interpretation & Timing.

    However, the skaters only have to have the majority of the bullets at a given level to qualify for the level, which is how I would suppose that judges would defend how they evaluate I&K.

    The language of comunication 1677 is



    I wish the ISU had a similar layout for singles. If they have it, I haven't seen it, and if they have it, the judges certainly don't apply it.

    I really really REALLY think you've made your point about I/K

  4. #1279
    Yulia forver! I'm on team dumped Ice Dance. Alba's Avatar
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    There is a problem with stories – Odylie and Rothbart… or “woman and man in love and fight“ story. Those two stories were changing, in the beginning of the season it was a Swan Lake with Odylie and Rothbart, but finally for Grand Prix – a woman and man story was chosen. But after the Olympics Morozov once again persisted on Odylie and Rothbart saing that Lena is so close to Odylie, that it suits her perfectly. During Lena and Nikita‘s interview after the Olympics kids themself confirm that Nikita is Rothbart and it suits him perfectly and Lena is Princess Odylie (no, wait, Odylie was not a princess, Odetta was a princess, another misunderstanding made by kids about Swan Lake). On the ice we once again see a love story between Lena and Nikita – but it would mean that father Rothbart is a lover of his daughter?
    I think you are reading too much into what they said. Yes, that's a mixed up story and it's a wrong but the judges don't have to mark that because if we go into details than we should also say that if she was Odile than the music used was not the one used for Odile in the ballet.
    What I see from that routine is the story of a "woman and man in love and fight", and they chose the black costumes and the Swan music because it suits more, and of course it's beautiful. A white costum for her I think it would've been too much honestly.


    I don’t know if you have a possibility to watch video of their Olympic Individual free dance.
    If you are a ballet lover – you certainly noticed that both Lena and Nikita have their heads too forward (which is not even a dance position and very far to a ballet position), no balletic Lena’s arms and fingers, a fist during movements, not extended free leg. All Lena, Nikita and Morozov say that it is not a ballet, but they use Swan costume, a ballet music and make some Swan/ballet movements.
    Of course it's not ballet, it's a 4 min Ice Dance performance. I like her arms and finger movements. I think it was there but of course I was not expecting Zakharova. I do agree about the not extended free leg, which is important in this kind of routine. Morozov should've worked a bit more there.
    However, keep in mind that we're talking about a bronze medal performance. Of course there are many things that it could've been done better. The only major problem I have with them is that they are not keeping dance holds and skate close to each other. In an old video on youtube, I think it was 2012, she said to RT news that they have a tendency to lead, both of them, instead of being one couple. I'm afraid they haven't fixed that yet, better hurry up.

    In moment when other dances will be available on YouTube Channel, it will be a very interesting comparison mainly in presentation of top 7 couples. If you will watch them one after another you will notice that while six couples (even C&L) are able to skate faster or gradate and increase the intension and depth of expression throught the dance, I&K are the only ones who skate in almost same speed, and loose dynamics towards the end (the less dramatic movements are the more dramatic facial expression is)…simply they were the most careful and tired couple.
    I have all of them already. You can find them. ;-)
    About the speed I can only speak from what you can judge watching it on TV, which is not ideal when it comes judging the speed.
    I think they were fast but lost some speed on the last 50 sec. (after the twizzels), only, before closing with the final lift which was a strong dramatic ending.
    For the intensity of the music I can compare them with Anna&Luca because they chose Rossini, which I think it was a mistake. Rossini's music has this tremendous crescendo and I could see and feel that they were pushing too hard and didn't feel the light.

    Anyway, just my impressions and thoughts.

    By the way, is I&K going to the Worlds?

  5. #1280
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    I did a reference piece on ice dance PCS
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...ules-2011-2012

    The video references are from the 2011-2012 season, and the piece was written immediately after the GPF.

    Here's the Timing and Interp part of the post
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...l=1#post626496

    The rules have not been updated, so the piece is still valid for the 2013-2014 season, although some of the video links may not work if youtube has taken them down.

    The one point you missed is to remember that dance, unlike pairs and singles, has ISU Communication 1677, Rule 611, which describes exactly how PCS are supposed to be calculated in ice dance, and has a bracket break down to describe exactly what a 9 - 10 PCS component ought to be.

    Even for a 7.0 to 7.75 Timing & Interpretation PCS grade, Timing is supposed to be 100%.

    Needless to say, judges don't usually follow their own rules on this.
    Compare the language for 9 - 10 range
    • skaters/music/nuances as one
    •motivation from “heart”
    •wide range of inspired movements, gestures
    •skaters stay “in character” for the whole program
    •exceptional ability to relate as one and to reflect music, theme
    •superb expression of the music’s style and character
    •timing: 100% correct expression of Rhythms

    I would have a hard time giving I&K a mark between 9 and 10 in Interpretation & Timing.
    That is great, Doris! Thank you very much for this. I will need more time to absorb it all.
    I heard many judges talking about judging system, but they never described criteria for components like you and they never producted anything similar to your post.
    It would be good to know how many judges really know all of criterias.

    I saw a criterias before and used them while describing Pechalat Olympic FD.
    I didn’t know about that majority of bullets rule, which is my mistake. Thinking about it, it looks strange that it is sufficient to have majority of bullets (not all bullets) to get points between 9-10. In moment when a couple gets 10 points (which means that a component can’t be any better) and meet only majority of bullets (which means that they have still a space for improvement…but they already got the best possible mark)…that is not looking good in my eyes.

    Another your note…judges have to judge immediately after skaters finish program. I think that for noticing all criterias – it needs to review program many times and concentrate on many things (which can’t be done in once), so judges have to make their decisions without exactly knowing if that criteria was there or not…they can only suppose it was/was not there.

    But there are still questions…every bullets must be done in whole program or just in part or just in majority of program? If I realise that during the final part of program I&K got tired and didn‘t express the music gradation and a big drama. It would kill bullets of Exceptional ability to relate as one and to reflect music, theme and Superb expression of the music’s style and character. Timing is not there as we know. The bullet of Skaters stays in character for the whole program is killed by changing in character Swan/Woman and Rothbart/Man – all those four characters are behaving differently, playing such characters needs different emotions and all those characters are in different relationships to be put in one program. Motivation from heart can be very very subjective. Many people will persuade me that I&K skate from heart, but thanks to my life and dance expreriences I have honestly say that I can notice when a couple skates from heart and when not. (From my personal notes – some marks of dancing from heart is that skater is not concentrating for other people, only for music and partner – while expressing emotions to him/her is a part of program, a skater is not posing because he/she is overfilled with everything what touches music/story, also in these moments skater forget to control facial expression and his/her face is simply showing deep emotions without any relationship to be looking beautiful and make smiles to judges. Also the intensity of all moves is on 150% and all moves are finished. That is why I prefer Krylova’s Carmen more than Navka’s Carmen. Krylova was so much in the story and it was really a deep motivation from heart without thinking for even one second if she is looking well.) That is why I think that during Olympics FD only couples B&S, H&D, probably S&Z and maybe P&B and W&P had a motivation from heart. All other couples had enough space for thinking for judges and smiling to them which is not a motivation from heart. So, the only bullets which stays are Skaters/music/nuances in one – but it once again goes to that final dramatic music part which was not dramatic looking at I&K expresion. But some nuances were probably there. And last bullet Wide range od inspired movements, gestures – quite problematic – ballet movements could be taken into account, but thanks to Morozov we have quite identical last choreography part of the dance for Ave Maria, Ghost and now Swan Lake – is it wide range? So from 7 bullets, only 2 can be taken into account but not in full range…but I believe that still judges would find enough words for protecting their marks.

    But it doesn’t solve a problem…no matter what marks I&K get…if I&K are in trouble with most of bullets of Interpretation/Timing mark…and many other couples don’t have the same problems and are matching with timing, expression, staying in character much better…why have I&K the third highest score in this segment when P&B, W&P, B&S, S&Z, H&D and probably even C&L have less problems to match all criterias (maybe except heart motivation in some cases)?

  6. #1281
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    I think you are reading too much into what they said. Yes, that's a mixed up story and it's a wrong but the judges don't have to mark that because if we go into details than we should also say that if she was Odile than the music used was not the one used for Odile in the ballet.
    What I see from that routine is the story of a "woman and man in love and fight", and they chose the black costumes and the Swan music because it suits more, and of course it's beautiful. A white costum for her I think it would've been too much honestly.
    Thanks for opinion.

    In my opinion if a couple explains a story which may have / may not have anything to do with music, then people and judges should know what is a real story. Annisina & Peizerat had their own story for Carmina Burana, Bobrova & Soloviev and their Psycho FD is not in relation with origin of music they use for it, the same for Pechalat & Bourzat and the Little Prince. So I find it normal to listen what is a dance supposed to be. Notice above that people may use any music to express any story or emotions, so I think it is not about taking Odylie‘s part in ballet to express Odylie. But Odylie character must to be readable from Lena’s movements. I agree that the program looks more like Man and Woman in love and fight. I can see a love. But where is a fight between those two? Final music part leads to minds about fight but where is it visible from choreography or dynamics of movements? And if Nikita is a man in love why he is doing arm movements which imitate wing moves and make a demonic look? And why Lena’s attempts of making ballet/Swan moves? How is it connected with Man and Woman love and fight story?

    Odylie is a person with dark soul, Rothbart‘s daughter who plays with Prince knowing that it will kill Odette. Rothbart is a bad person, evil one, who wants to destroy. Man and Woman story should be about love (why is fight included when people are in love I don’t understand, but overall why not). Those four characters are so different from each other.
    An example of mixing two stories which are so different…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AicVw3FzAeU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRjqNbM9RHM
    Watch V&M Carmen until 2:58, than change to Umbrellas from 0:45 to 2:18 and jump back to Carmen since 4:35 to the end. Two stories – they are lovers in first story and the second story is more about fight, passion and from Carmen’s way of view about having power above Don Jose. How is looking to have two stories in one? It doesn’t have sense. You are Carmen or you are loving one, but hardly both.

    Not understable concept or mixture of stories is judged by judges – it is a part of more than one component:
    Performance – The involvement of the Couple physically, emotionally and intellectually as they translate the intent of the music and the choreography. Do I&K translate Swan Lake story or Man and Woman story? – and what a choreography translates – everything – a little bit of ballet, a little bit of free style, a little bit of love, a little bit of anger…something is suitable for first story line but not for the second story, something is suitable for second story line not for first story – is it possible?
    Composition/Choreography: Purpose (idea, concept, vision), Shared responsibility in achieving purpose by both, Unity (purposeful threading), Originality of purpose, movement and design.
    Interpretation/Timing: Expression of the music’s rhythm, character, content and style, Relationship between the partners reflecting the character and content of the music.

    And once again why the third highest mark in those components… when other couples behind I&K were not fighting with such problems and they had only one story and one purpose which was related to what you saw on the ice greatly? So why I&K still marked higher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    Of course it's not ballet, it's a 4 min Ice Dance performance. I like her arms and finger movements. I think it was there but of course I was not expecting Zakharova. I do agree about the not extended free leg, which is important in this kind of routine. Morozov should've worked a bit more there.
    I expected at least Lena’s ballet preparation from 2010/11 season with more mature presentation when she is 3 years older than she was there. My fault.
    Why “of course“ we can’t expect a ballet preparation from somebody who is taking ballet music and says that at least one story is a ballet story? (I agree that Zakharova was really not expected.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D89_W1W-iMg – look at Krylova (she was about the same age like Lena), she is dancing Waltz but from the beginning it is obvious that her ballet training was great. Why Lena doesn’t have at least such arms and body posture? Krylova’s movements were much more suitable to a ballet music than Lena’s movements. If Krylova is able to bring a ballet arms and body posture to the ice why shouldn’t be Lena? And it has nothing to do with a changement in judging system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    However, keep in mind that we're talking about a bronze medal performance. Of course there are many things that it could've been done better. The only major problem I have with them is that they are not keeping dance holds and skate close to each other. In an old video on youtube, I think it was 2012, she said to RT news that they have a tendency to lead, both of them, instead of being one couple. I'm afraid they haven't fixed that yet, better hurry up.
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...l=1#post880510
    They have almost the identical choreography for last three FD, but music and story which was announced are very different. Is it not a problem?

    And timing is not a problem?
    And simple choreography in comparison with other couples is not a problem?
    And not dancing Quickstep to Quickstep music is not a problem?
    And the same expression for last three years from Lena and Nikita (a love story) when music and purposes are different is not a problem?
    And you don‘t mind that during FD Lena and Nikita spend one minute without touching each other? It is a one fourth of FD.

    Which other top couples have such troubles? They all can keep the rhythm better, they can change expression, their dances are more difficult – close holds, difficult steps, variety of movements, holds, less two footed skating or “waiting on one foot“ skating. V&M, B&S, even S&Z with more difficult choreography have the same speed as I&K with the more simple choreography.

    So why judges give I&K better marks for all components? Even with judges protecting their marks saying that I&K did majority of criterias and they deserve such points (which I don't agree in some of components), how would judges explain that other top couples are doing worse job than I&K?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    By the way, is I&K going to the Worlds?
    Yes, they are going.

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    Wow, what stamina. You guys just keep on going, and going...Worlds and off-season can't come fast enough. Ugh!!!

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    A little introduction of couples:

    D&W – Scheherazade – The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship, The Young Prince and The Young Princess, Festival at Baghdad – The Sea – Shipwreck…a story of Scheherezade, a young brise of Sultan, her tales, a love story, finally Scheherazade finish telling a story and Sultan allows her to stay alive.

    V&M - Alexander Glazunov’s The Seasons ballet, Alexander Scriabin’s Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor – about harmony between man and woman, the story of partnership, but probably mainly just a dance in classical way.

    I&K – Tchaikovski’s Swan Lake – Act II – X. Scene - Moderato, Act I – II. Scene – Waltz, Act III – Black Swan Pas De deux – II. Andante, Allegro, Act III – Final
    …two stories – Odylie and her father Rothbart – two evil ones OR Woman and Man in love and fight.

    P&B - excerpts from Cirque du Soleil that was transformed by Maxime Rodriguez and Jeux Interdits – The Little Prince book…more about book here…
    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...l=1#post822114 post 53
    …a story in FD and choreo described here… http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...l=1#post822696 post 56

    B&S – Man with a Harmonica and Tosca – a story a loving couple when a man is mentally ill and closed in a sanatorium in his own word and his girl tries to bring him into life, she repeatedly fails in attemps, so she starts to loose connection to reality as well and in moment when he finally comes back to normal life she falls into madness.

    W&P – Maria de Buenos Aires – Alevare, Yo soy Maria - a Tango opera - interpreting the melancholy of tango as they said. (Their coach Krylova noticed that they wanted to be different while they expected that all other couples will come with classical music or musicals.)

    C&L – The Barber of Seville – Opera Buffa – Overture – Rosina and Count Almaviva love story.

    H&D – soundtrack Surviving Picasso, Le Di a La Caza Alcance by Estrella Morente – a story of Picasso and his Muse Francoise Gilot - a story about love and suffering in one.

    S&Z – Norma – a modern version of Opera. A dramatic partly love story…more described here… http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...l=1#post823634 post 58

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    Doris already noticed in 2011/12 posts that judges must give their marks immediately. But we know that if you watch a program just once – you can’t notice everything. If you look at arms, you can’t see edges, if you control closeness of skaters, you can’t watch details of hand movements, if you are catched by girl’s smile, you don’t see what is boy doing and if you watch a couple like one, than you can hardly notice any detail. How can judges mark so many details – bullets than? Official trainings are helpful but nobody is doing full routine there, still judges can at least notice edges work, but only if they stay behind the boards, deep edges are not very visible from far distance from tribunes. So it would probably lead to an opinion that every opening season competition is just a shoot to darkness because judges must mark immediately a program which they know almost nothing about…and only after that competition they run to YouTube Channel and re-watch all programs again and again and compare it with every bullet…so finally at next competitions they are able to come and judge more objectively having better knowledge about couple and their program. Do they really re-watch every program to have a real look on what is happening on the ice and how many qualities a couple have? It is much more simple to just listen to “behind the scene“ talks – officials, Federations, coaches, choreographers – but usually they have their “secret“ plans which are not very objective. So it is much better to go home and made own opinion. Are they doing it?

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    Interpretation/Timing:
    Definition:
    The personal and creative translation of the rhythm and/or character and content of the music to movement on
    ice.
    Criteria:
    •Effortless and correct movement in time to the music (timing)
    •Expression of the music’s rhythm, character, content and style
    •Use of finesse1 to reflect the nuances of the music
    •Relationship between the partners reflecting the character and content of the music
    •Appropriateness of the music
    •Skating primarily to the rhythmic beat for Short Dance and keeping a good balance between skating to the beat and melody in the Free Dance
    1Finesse is the Skaters’ refined, artful manipulation of nuances. Nuances are the personal artistic ways of bringing variations to the intensity, tempo, and dynamics of the music made by the composer and/or musicians.

    …comparing all international competitions for this component (signed ones are with home advantage)
    …Grand Prix + Final + Europeans + Team Olympics + Individual Olympics
    …B&S – Ice Star like the opening competition
    …H&D – Nebelhorn, Golden Spin, Winter Universiade, Europeans, Mentor Nestle, Oly
    … S&Z – Ice Star, NHK Trophy, Winter Universiade, Europeans + Oly
    D&W: 9,89 9,82 9,89 9,82 10,00
    V&M: 9,67 9,82 9,86 9,68 9,86
    I&K: 8,68 9,07 9,21 9,18 9,50
    P&B: 8,96 9,11 9,00 9,21
    B&S: 9,42 8,86 9,07 8,68 9,25 (different program)
    W&P: 9,00 8,93 8,89 9,04
    C&L: 8,79 8,71 8,57 9,04 8,96
    H&D: 6,54 6,90 6,80 6,82 7,33 7,14
    S&Z: 8,25 6,86 7,60 7,86 7,07

    Interpretation can be touched by mistakes and falls, if a couple looses concentration after it, then some bullets can be destroyed - superb expression, motivation from heart, stay in character and also timing can be more problematic as well.

    D&W skated cleanly whole season, their IT mark varied about 0,18 points.
    V&M were in little trouble in Team Olympics where they get 9,68, but their lowest IT mark was at home competition Skate Canada.
    I&K varied about 0,82 points, no matter about mistakes every next skate was marked by judges like better and better performance (with small exception at Team Olympics with 0,03 lower mark in comparison with Europeans where they fell).
    P&B varied about 0,25 points, surprisingly their TEB competition was not with the highest score (like in V&M case). Home advantage was not an advantage so much?
    B&S opened a season with very high score, but it was B-competition where marks are always higher. Thanks to it they varied about 0,74 points, score in Russia and Grand Prix Final were lowered by a fall in non element. Their first really clean international performance was made at Olympics FD, but with different program and with home advantage.
    W&P varied about 0,15 points, that is also strange, their connection with music gets better and better with every next competition but IT mark stays on one place. Why?
    C&L overcome 9 points at Europeans for the only time, IT mark varied about 0,47 points.
    H&D had also B-competitions which is not very comparable with big competitions, mark varied about 0,79 points. The highest mark was given at Mentor Nestle Cup.
    S&Z and once again B-competitions, the highest mark at Ice Star at the beginning of the season. Judges are really getting mad because of this couple, in 3 weeks from Europeans to Olympics judges put about 0,81 point lower, the difference between Grand Prix competition and Europeans is one whole point. All IT marks varied about 1,39 points.

    While I&K get the highest IT mark with home advantage, B&S at home competition or B-competition. S&Z get poor marks being home. Althought for V&M and C&L the Individual Olympic FD was their best FD performance this season, they didn’t get the highest all season score. P&B, W&P got the highest this season IT score at Olympics but there was no big difference in comparison with other competitions. B&S had the best skate of season at Olympics, still mark from B-competition (for program with mistakes) got higher score.

    Range from 9-10 points:
    skaters/music/nuances as one
    motivation from “heart”
    wide range of inspired movements, gestures
    skaters stay “in character” for the whole program
    exceptional ability to relate as one and to reflect music, theme
    superb expression of the music’s style and character
    timing: 100% correct
    
    expression of Rhythms (SD): 100% correct

    skaters/music/nuances as one:
    D&W – yes, they express music and changes in music beautifully, especially Meryl‘s arms highlighted program in this bullet.
    V&M – yes and they are always dancing
    I&K – overall no… last minute of program is behind music in dynamics, intensity and gradation, maybe two or three times there is an attemp of making more dynamic move from Nikita but it is not enought even in those moments… what also persuades me that “no“ - is an expression of part after second lift, there are many beats and Lena does few toe steps to it, which is good, but Nikita is doing nothing just waits for his a half turn and while he is doing a half turn, then Lena doesn‘t express the music well, then they accept a big beat in music with a small lift… The waltz part should be majestic and ball-looking, it was not… and once again in final part it is the same problem, the final part music is not suitable for “waiting for“ moments the couple has during step sequences, it wants action from both of them, they are doing nothing together there – this is not a Swan Lake, this is not even a fight.
    Watch other couples and compare – when music wants more expression then usually both man and lady expresses it.
    P&B – yes, probably the biggest variations in mood of music during a program and all expressed greatly.
    B&S – yes, intensity in music goes with intensity in their movements.
    W&P – there is a gradation in dance, I see it and I like it, but if I would want 100%, then I woud say no to that bullet… there are great moments when they greatly express music, but there are two parts where …in first part – from spin to great hand gesture from Kaitlyn few seconds before straight line lift - they are dynamic but not that intense like music is… since that Kaitlyn’s gesture - it is great…the second problematic moment starts with twizzles when music goes down in intensity and starts to be smooth but the couple stays dynamic, too dynamic for this part, they should go to smoothness as well and finally when music starts to be passionate and dynamic again – it is OK, Kaitlyn and Andrew are on the right place with expression.
    C&L – 9 seconds in diagonal step sequence was not expressed with the music which was too fast for them, the rest of program looked OK, dynamic arm movements helped a lot in fast parts to match the music…9 seconds from 4 minutes, it is 96,5%, if I would be a detailman I will say no to that bullet, if I wouldn’t be a detailman I will forgive those 3,5%
    H&D – well, I have problem answering, I prefer to say yes, the skater/music/even some nuances as one…while I have to answer how much good is a couple in expressing the music, I start to imagine that the same program would be skated by top couples. While I can imagine that P&B and V&M would be able to skate this program at the same or better level than Spanish couple did in this bullet, I would say that other five couples from top 7 wouldn’t be able. It leads to say yes to that bullet…but on the contrary I feel that skating to final part of music when a gradation is not only in speed but very much in intensity and imperativeness – a Spanish couple can do better expression then they did, they didn’t put 150% into that part…maybe they are not persuaded about their own abilities as dancers and it stops them before opening their dancing talent fully. So, probably I would say no to that bullet, but like in W&P’s case, they are able to improve and catch the bullet fully.
    S&Z – yes.

    timing: 100% correct:
    The biggest problem had I&K – in waltz step sequence, in diagonal step sequence as well, Lena missed the main beat, final Nikita’s arms movements beside the music beat. C&L sometimes don’t catch fast music, in the beginning of program with half rotation Anna’s jumps and from time to time throught program. S&Z face few gestures slightly out of beat. The rest of couples looks to be OK.

    motivation from “heart“ (one partner or both partners?):
    I would say B&S, S&Z, probably P&B, partly W&P

    wide range of inspired movements, gestures:
    I found a big range of interesting, unusual (on the ice) movements from all couples. Maybe V&M had the most classical style of movements. Meryl with a kind of Persian movements, Natalie with many details, even flower movements, Ekaterina with quirky movements to quirky story, Lena with Swan/ballet movements included, Kaitlyn and her gestures, simply all couples. It is interesting but most of movements and gestures which are different and unusual – the biggest work is made by arms, there are not many legs position which would be new, unusual and still elegant. Looking at who danced with whole body in FD (not only legs, arms) – I would point Meryl, Tessa, Ruslan Z., B&S both of them, Natalie, partly Kaitlyn and Sara.

    skaters stay “in character” for the whole program:
    They all stay in character, only Lena and Nikita jumps from one character in the beginning – Swan + Rothbart to another character in love part, to came back to Swan and Rothbart for twizzles and then I am lost and I have absolutely no idea who they are in diagonal step sequence, in final pose it is Swan again.

    exceptional ability to relate as one and to reflect music, theme:
    In this FD I would point V&M, P&B, B&S, S&Z, D&W with W&P with C&L, H&D, I&K – in this order… D&W on fifth place with two other teams because I think that they reflect the music with choreography very very well, but the connection between those two is something what is more pale in comparison with couples which I put in front of them, I&K behind all teams because I think that love romance is great to watch (once, not all seasons in row), but Tchaikovski music is much more than that, and personally every time I see this couple skate I have a feeling that the main important for them are themselves and music is only something low graded in Lena and Nikita’s eyes. From all other couples here I have a feeling that a music plays the major role in their skating and that all those couples are doing everything possible to express music as much as possible. While my feeling from I&K is that a music must be there because it is required (so Morozov choose a real hit for Olympics) but kids don’t really care if it is Ghost, Swan Lake, Adele’s song, Vysotsky’s song, Ave Maria, Apologize by One Republic and Timbaland, Adagio – they skate all those melodies in one mood, with same dynamics, with same facial expression, I don’t accept this. This is not exceptional.

    superb expression of the music’s style and character:
    This is partly connected with previous bullet, but I would say that choreography is more important here. If I would accept a character like character of music, not story in the program, I would put here D&W on first place with first three couples who were in front of them in previous bullet. Than S&Z with C&L, W&P (because of those two parts), H&D, I&K.
    If I would take character like dancing and expressing story which is in a program (except V&M and W&P whose dances I take like pure dances without story), I would point P&B, B&S, S&Z, D&W, H&D, I&K (thanks to double story line).

  11. #1286
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    Skating Skills:
    Definition:
    Overall skating quality: edge control and flow over the ice surface demonstrated by a command of the skating vocabulary (edges, steps, turns etc.), the clarity of technique and the use of effortless power to accelerate and vary speed.
    Criteria:
    •Balance, rhythmic knee action and precision of foot placement
    •Flow and effortless glide
    •Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps and turns
    •Power/energy and acceleration
    •Mastery of multi-directional skating
    •Mastery of one foot skating
    •Equal mastery of technique by both partners shown in unison

    Deep/fluid knee action:
    …it is very well visible in step sequences…
    …great knee action from V&M
    …very very good knee action and very fluent knee action from I&K, there is not a good balance in diagonal step sequence where Lena bends her knee less then Nikita - overall in diagonal step sequence they both have less deep knees in comparison with V&M, S&Z and B&S, (in circular step sequence everything is OK and in unison)
    …S&Z have great and deep knee action also
    …P&B and W&P, more B&S are a little bit stiff in knee action, W&P – Andrew is sometimes in deeper knee than Kaitlyn, sometimes both could try to have deeper knees, P&B have good depth, but it could be also deeper, B&S have deep knees, sometimes Dima more than Ekaterina
    …D&W are not fluent or deep in knees in most of time, sometimes stiff in knee action as well
    …H&D overall fluent work of knees, in first step sequence more than in second, deep knees done only sometimes (more in first step sequence)
    …C&L has almost no knee action and no depth

    Precision of foot placement:
    Foot placement on the ice? Then all top couples plus S&Z and H&D know exactly where to put their skates on the ice.
    Placement of free leg which have to be extended usually if a choreographer doesn’t have another idea? Then Andrew Poje and Lena Ilinykh would be in trouble.

    Flow and effortless glide:
    Great flow in skating goes to V&M, I&K, S&Z, B&S, D&W, other couples are a little bit inferior I think.
    Effortless glide mainly to V&M, I&K and S&Z.
    But once again it is affected by steps which helps increase speed, more flow with many jumps in, a tendency for less flow with more steps with changement of edges.
    More easy flow and glide while having space between partners and without close holds.

    Deep, quiet, sure edges:
    …I don’t understand why is a part of bullet anything like “quiet“ edges – I know that it means that technique is better and only best technical couples can skate quietly, but how can judges notice it when music is playing???
    …this bullet leads to watch skates only…
    …deep edges have V&M, but also P&B, I&K, B&S, S&Z, and yes W&P also…H&D partly, D&W very rarely and C&L almost never
    …I&K are doing long arcs and they spend in every arc more time then other couples, their deep edges are very visible thanks to it (Morozov knows how to show all advantages throught choreography, but unfortunately their holds are sooo open)
    …B&S had less deep edges in second step sequence in comparison with first step sequence or in comparison with the rest of the dance
    …D&W almost don’t have deep edges
    …C&L – it is not good – they work hard to get some edges in step sequence and diagonal step sequence had better edges then circular (first two opening steps here had good edges), but the rest of skating has very decent edges or no edges
    …W&P – I am surprised, they are always presented like couple with not so good skating skills, but in this bullet they are pretty good – they have very very nice edges in step sequences (even I would say great edges in most of steps in circular step sequence), overall their edges are better than D&W’s edges
    …S&Z - deep edges
    …H&D – for the bigger part of the program they have deep edges while skating apart, if they hold each other blades are more narrow, but still in few moments in step seuences (especially in circular one) they have deep edge – Sara has better edges then Adria
    Depth of edges is affected by closeness of partners – it is more problematic to keep deep edges skating close to each other.

    Elegant and precise steps/turns:
    …the best for V&M, I&K, P&B
    …B&S had sometimes shaky moment, S&Z had very elegant steps/turns, but not always precise
    …H&D have elegant steps/turns
    …elegant steps/turns by D&W, but whether it was precise thanks to their blade’s work, I am not sure
    It is more easy to make all turns having big space around without close holds. It is more difficult when both partners are doing turns in one moment (I&K are doing turns only when the other one is waiting).

    Effortless acceleration:
    …by all of them - V&M, I&K, B&S, S&Z, D&W
    …then P&B and W&P, not good for C&L and H&D

    Seamless use of all directions:
    …all skaters can skate in all directions, I didn’t met even one couple who would be in trouble in any direction…
    …I also looked at skating in couple in some hold – at direction the couples use – while V&M, W&P, B&S, P&B and I&K and S&Z changes direction almost regularly – they skate clockwise and immediately counter clockwise, H&D skate almost always counter clockwise, D&W uses more often counter clockwise direction as well, and C&L only counter clockwise with two exceptions (once before twizzles and secondly before diagonal step sequence)
    …all couples with exception of V&M and H&D did a circular step sequence clockwise

    Mastery of one foot skating:
    Who is great in edges (which are done on one foot usually), turns (done on one foot usually) and steps – that skater must be good in this bullet as well.

    Equal mastery of technique by both partners shown in unison:
    All couples have very similar level of technique comparing partners together. There are small differences when Nikita and Ruslan are faster than their girls, Nikita doesn’t have problems with free leg extension and Lena does, but both boys are doing more frequent mistakes than ladies also. Andrew has a little bit better edges than Kaitlyn sometimes, but she has better free leg extension. Scott with Tessa and I would say that Natalie with Fabian and Ekaterina with Dmitri are equal like partners on almost 100%. Meryl looks more sure in skating than Charlie sometimes. Sara is a little bit better skater than Adria. I think that people are saying that Luca is better than Anna, but I don’t think so.

    Ease in accelerating even during difficult steps:
    …this is one of bullet needed for range 8,00 to 8,75…and for me it is a nice example of not well done judging system…while for getting 10 points you have to met all those knees, edges, accelerations – but you can do it with simple steps, because there is no criteria for it…but while you want to get 8,00 to 8,75 points, you have to come with difficult steps…that is ridiculous…difficult steps should be always taken into account, especially in getting higher points, because having deep edges, speed and great knee action with simple steps is much more easy than doing the same things with difficult steps…that is really a mistake in judging system. Another problem is definition of difficult steps, somobody may say that level 2 and 3 in step sequences means that a couples has difficult steps, I would prefer difficult choreography of whole program.

    What also affects skating skills (already mentioned above) are close partners positions, all turns and steps are more difficult when your partner is close. It is a nice example when single skaters couple and try to make so elements together, they immediately looses all edges and looks very unpolished (but they are single skaters of course, they don’t need to skate close to somebody).
    Also Volosozhar & Trankov had problems in their “dance part“ of step sequence in this season SP, it was much more difficutl for them then when they skated apart.
    For comparison Tessa & Scott’s and Lena & Nikita’s step sequences…
    Why isn‘t closeness in skating marked in skating skills, while it affects it?
    Cicular step sequence:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqM6-...etailpage#t=77
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBDWI...tailpage#t=129

    Diagonal step sequence:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqM6-...tailpage#t=233
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBDWI...tailpage#t=255

    Range from 9 to 10
    deep, quiet, sure, seemingly effortless edges
    deep/fluid knee action
    elegant and precise steps/turns
    seamless use of all directions
    effortless acceleration
    extensive skill range for both


    Do they need to have every bullet on 100%, or having it on more than 50% is OK?
    Extensive skills for both of partners – what skills? – only those mentioned above (but it would be nonsense to judge every skill and that to have bullet which would include all bullets above), or close holds and extended free leg, because it is also a part of great technique? V&M, I&K (but question about free leg extension), B&S, S&Z, but I would also say that P&B can included and W&P also, I hesitate about D&W because of lack of deep edges.

    For me V&M would meet all bullets.
    D&W meet one bullet fully – acceleration, but other bullets are problematic in my eyes – their knees are not deep, but they are sometimes fluid – probably 35% of this bullet, their steps and turns are not precise always – sometimes done on toe pick, but it is usually elegant – about 75 %, all direction – but they skate more counter clockwise in free skate, so it would be probably about 85 %, extensive skill range – I wouldn’t give more than 70% thanks to not great edges.
    B&S would meet four bullets without problems, other two can be counted not on 100%, knee action on 60%, because their knees are sometimes stiff, and steps/turns on 70% because they are not always elegant in it.
    I&K would met 5 bullets if I didn’t think about their simple choreo, extensive skill range on 90% thanks to not extended free leg, but if I start to think how many bullets they would met with difficult choreo…who knows
    P&B – knees on 75% (they are not always in deep knees), edges are OK, acceleration on 80%, extensive skill range OK, precise steps and all direction yes – 4 bullets fully, two bullets partly.
    C&L – wouldn‘t be suitable for this range of points.
    H&D – first four bullets a couple meets partly, fifth bullet probably no, sixth bullet probably not yet – not in this range also.
    W&P – knees on 40%, edges OK, precise turns not always – step/turns on 70%, acceleration on 80%, extensive range skills – 90%, all directions yes.
    S&Z – edges yes, knees yes, acceleration yes, extensive skill range OK, precise turns not always – steps/turns 80%, all directions yes.

    I wouldn’t have problems to put V&M only to this range only, and all other couples to put under 9. But if a judges want to give high marks – I find B&S, S&Z, P&B and even with simple programs (when a difficulty it is not in requirements for high marks) I&K above 9 points, but nobody is good enought to be higher than 9,50, because it would really need superb skating skills (but every couple has still some work to do less or more). W&P probably around 9, for other couples lesser points. S&Z had a shaky one move when Ruslan lifted Victoria before a spin – so it would make skating skills lower for some tenth of point (unsuccessful choreo lift should touch GOE only, because the mistake was not done with skates, but there was a bad placement of Ruslan’s hand).

    Once again my personal point of view only.

  12. #1287
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Re hearing skate noise in arenas over the music -it is very easy - some teams sound like they dragging a whole bag of assorted cutlery behind them. It is more noticeable the closer to the ice you sit, so I sm sure it can be very intrusive and annoying at the ice level where the judges sit.

  13. #1288
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Re hearing skate noise in arenas over the music -it is very easy - some teams sound like they dragging a whole bag of assorted cutlery behind them. It is more noticeable the closer to the ice you sit, so I sm sure it can be very intrusive and annoying at the ice level where the judges sit.

    It is a perfect image.

    I don't remember that I would here it so much, maybe it depends on noisy/silent music also, on big orchestral music or simple instrumental. Or maybe I was so much into the music and program that I just didn't pay attention to it.

  14. #1289
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    It may well have to do with the good (or bad) acoustic qualities of the arena as well. Boston Garden is about average. However, the arena for Skate America 2007 was particularly bad for hearing skate noise. Btw, at that point in their careers, P&B, who were doing their Madness fd were noisy, but Faiella and Scali, skating to Yentl, were really very loud. Davis and White, skating to Eleanor Rigby were quite a bit quieter than either team. But they were a bit slower then too, than they are today.

  15. #1290
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    It may well have to do with the good (or bad) acoustic qualities of the arena as well. Boston Garden is about average. However, the arena for Skate America 2007 was particularly bad for hearing skate noise. Btw, at that point in their careers, P&B, who were doing their Madness fd were noisy, but Faiella and Scali, skating to Yentl, were really very loud. Davis and White, skating to Eleanor Rigby were quite a bit quieter than either team. But they were a bit slower then too, than they are today.
    Maybe also a quality of ice may influence a noisiness - but it would affect all couples.

    P&B were not good technicians during their first senior international years, season 2007/08 including, they made a big improvement under Zhulin, and Krylova and Camerlengo kept the level.

    Faiella & Scali were never too good in technique, while during first years Federica was obviously better, then in last season or two - Massimo was more sure on the ice.

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