An intentional, developed and/or original arrangement of all types of movements according to the principles of proportion, unity, space, pattern, structure and phrasing.
•Purpose (idea, concept, vision)
•Proportion (equal weight of the parts)
•Unity (purposeful threading)
•Utilization of personal and public space
•Pattern and ice coverage
•Phrasing and form (movements and parts structured to match the phrasing of the music)
•Originality of purpose, movement and design
•Shared responsibility in achieving purpose by both
•Conformity to pattern and stop requirements (Short Dance only)
Purpose (idea, concept, vision):
FD‘s stories are mentioned above in the introduction of couple.
Since that time, Lena Ilinykh added one more concept of the story, she told in post-Olympic interview that she was inspired and took some moments from Black Swan movie (a psychological movie about a ballerina who sacrifies everything for a ballet and leading role in Swan Lake, who has a rivarly with another ballerina and finally descends to madness). But we already have B&S with psychological program…so I&K FD is finally partly Swan Lake with Odylie and Rotbart, partly Woman and Man in love and fight and partly mad ballerina???? How to look some purpose and concept which would make sense then?
A question…equal in what? Does it mean that dancers are doing some steps all the time, does it prohibit “waiting for“ moments (no, it would kill I&K’s step sequences)? Probably it necessary means that all elements can’t be made in the first two minutes and than nothing.
But overall I would say that all couples and their choreographers made equal parts of programs, I can’t find any empty place in any program longer than 5 seconds.
Unity (purposeful threading):
I&K FD is confusing, it doesn’t have unity – purposeful threading. You can look for three stories which can’t go together, but if you divide a program into five parts, than you can apply stories one after the another and final Lena’s dying pose is probably taken from movie. But a program shouldn’t be made from some pieces, it should be one whole dance.
All other couples don’t have problem with unity.
Utilization of personal and public space:
What is the difference between personal space and public space? Personal space – a distance between partners and public space – utilization of ice cover?
Should be close holds or big distance of partners included? It could be a part of personal space.
The best dance and close holds have V&M, all other couples try to have close holds except I&K, who are not too close even in step sequences and skate almost 1 minute not touching each other.
But even one couple is not able to make all steps being so close to each other like V&M, they are exceptional in it.
Pattern and ice coverage:
I spent many time to watch all couples and realise how much ice they covered, in what directions (I described it in previous Skating Skills component). The result is that no couple has 100% ice coverage. If I divide ice surface into four quadrants and every of those quadrant divide into two halfs – one half is corner of ice surface close to the boards, and second half of quadrant is a half more close to the middle of the ice surface. Almost always all couples skate circular step sequence in those half parts of all quadrants close to the middle. Every couple has some “not favourite“ corner in some quadrant where they simply don’t skate at all or where they skate just once.
Phrasing and form (movements and parts structured to match the phrasing of the music):
P&B – had great choreo which went with dynamics and phrasing of music.
V&M – very well, in the last dynamic part after the spin there were two lifts and one “half“ lift to the main beats and when music rised they had step sequence. I would say that P&B choreo was more into music nuances and phrasing, but it was good too.
I&K – I would say that this couple has choreography which is expressing the main beats in music, but hardly rhythm and phrasing of the music. And a couple who has problems to keep rhythm will be probably in the same problem in having any good phrasing.
B&S – both phrasing, catching the beats was great in choreography.
D&W – very nice, I didn’t see much phrasing in slow part, but overall it was good and Meryl’s arms like Natalie’s arms helped to express phrasing of music.
W&P – yes.
C&L – overall I see more skating to the main beats than phrasing, surprisingly I see quite good phrasing in faster part after combination lift.
S&Z – overall more skating to the main beats, a nice attemp for good phrasing at straight line step sequence, quite good phrasing in last fast part.
H&D – something in the middle.
Originality of purpose, movement and design:
This is a disadvantage for all pure dances, while there is hardly any originality in Tango, Flamenco, Latin dance when so many people skated to it before. Originality of purpose can be B&S‘s Psycho (as well as G&P‘s Hitchcock, who didn’t skate here), but many judges are conservatives and prefer classical music in front of modern pieces. But how can you dance on Little Prince using some classical piece? Which classical piece would be more suitable than Cirque du Soleil’s music? And how about B&S‘s Birds? Original music was more suitable for Bird story and overall feeling, but it was changed to improve the opinion from music – classical music which is always stronger than modern music (at least in eyes of many judges). So is originality of purpose and design really marked? Who won Olympic medals? Rimski-Korsakov, Glazunov/Scriabin, Tchaikovski, in front of who? Cirque du Soleil, Morricone - clasical style of skating in front of not classical and very original stories.
Originality is probably something what would nobody expect. I would say that bringing ballet on the ice is original, but doing ballet moves on ballet music is hardly original. Doing pure Tango on Tango music is hardly original as well. Probably doing a ballet movements to Tango music would be judged like not suitable, but it would be original…
From all dances I take P&B and B&S like very original in this bullet – I would never connected those music with those stories, but it fit with it well, as well as choreo and idea is surprising, but still very successful. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to see pure dances, I do, so this bullet is a little bit problematic to me. I think that love story in program is a good thing (D&W, I&K, C&L, P&B, H&D, S&Z), but it is hardly original.
Shared responsibility in achieving purpose by both:
I don’t understand much this bullet. We already had that Purpose and Unity bullets and here we have to mark the same thing but thinking about both skaters. Why to mark one thing twice. If both parners are not able to express the idea, than Puprose and Unity bullets will suffer as well, no?
Range of 9 to 10:
wide range of steps, moves, and required elements superbly motivated by music
ingenious use of music, space, symmetry
memorable highlights distributed evenly
change of pace/tempo incorporated seamlessly
total utilization of personal and public space
choreography gives the feeling of a completely unified dance (SD): 100%
Range of steps, moves, and required elements superbly motivated by music:
V&M, D&W, B&S, P&B, W&P – yes.
S&Z, H&D – partly.
I&K – not really, definitely not in final part of music and cicular step sequence.
C&L – not really.
Ingenious use of music, space, symmetry:
What should I imagine? What is ingenious use of music? And space? Is there any other possibility than to use space on the ice – four quadrants – skating straight, to the circle, doing arcs etc.? Symmetry of what? This is more about anybody‘s imagination…
Memorable highlights distributed evenly:
D&W – jump into first lift, arm work in combination lift – rotational part.
V&M – step sequences with closeness to each other, last two lifts were good, last move with bow – not WOW effect, but simple, surprising and not expecting.
I&K – first lift
P&B – first lift, for me also last minute of the program where a couple increases dynamics and speed and follows music perfectly like I never saw from them before.
B&S – original beginning and ending the program with holding that one standing closer to judges, the intensity of movements and tension in the second part when Tosca started, lift with holding Ekaterina’s neck.
C&L – maybe it is not a typical highlight but I like those small jumps in the beginning of music when Luca holds Anna’s arms – it is so perfect to express the music in this moment, I also like the final Anna’s gesture when she hits Luca with her elbow and then they make a bow, it is funny
W&P – a moment after a circular step sequence, when Kaitlyn falls on Andrew‘s hand, I like Kaitlyn’s turn on knee in the first half of program as well.
H&D – some of Sara’s arm moves – after twizzles, first lift.
S&Z – the beginning of slow part, last choreo lift (if it is performed well) and final movement od execution, the beginning of final fast part.
I doubt if it is OK to make a lift like highlights in components, I know that people loves lifts, but it is an elements (which has nothing to do with dancing usually), and like an element it is already judged in element score, but no component describes lift as a part of something what should be judged.
Overall I don’t know if it is good idea to have some highlights, I think that a dance should be one whole composition, not something what is divided into few interesting seconds – highlights…and then other not interesting parts – the rest of the program. I can take Coomes & Buckland and maybe Chock & Bates and say that all their lifts are highlights and because their lifts are distributed evenly during dance, so it would mean that they are better in doing highlights than top couples including V&M…and it is not true, they have those lifts but nothing more looking at choreo…so it is probably not the best idea to have such bullet.
Change of pace/tempo incorporated seamlessly:
V&M, D&W, B&S, S&Z – great.
P&B – this time great too.
W&P – yes, H&D – not really, they expressed the music very well, but the whole composition looks to be in the similar tempo, so there was not much what to change.
I&K – not in waltz part, not in final fast part – the music was faster.
C&L – they fought for it, and it was good with small exception of those few seconds in diagonal step sequence.
Total utilization of personal and public space:
Sorry, nobody had total utilization of space – ice cover, every couple forgot about some corner, only Sinitsina Zhiganshin met all corners, but two of those corners only once. Personal space – all couples skated in close holds, I&K spend very long time in no holds, all couples skated in open holds as well, the closeness was the best for V&M, so all other couples could skated more close to each other – should it be a total utilization then?
Choreography component looks to be problematic in my eyes. While I know that choreography is very important for every skater and with bad choreography you can’t get good component marks…I don’t understand why it is a component when it has nothing to do with skaters only…they are not creating a program, it is a choreographer‘s work…if a choreographer makes bad choreography, then a couple suffers in marks like Interpretation, Transitions, it partly touches Performance/Execution also. So why to pay for choreographer’s mistake even in Choreography mark? If we don’t have a component like Costumes, Make-Up, Hair-style – this all creates a final image of the dance, why we have Choreography component? How can judges judge something what is not a product of a couple?
The second thing is the fact that all bullets can be hardly changed throught season, so the component should be stable. Once a couple gets their choreography, then it has or it has not all bullets. I don’t see any possibility how the Choreography component could change during the season – purpose, proportion, space, ice coverage, originality – all of this in choreography can’t be changed, it is done once and forever. But surprisingly different marking at this component is usual. How is it possible? If you have a program about love romance, it is a purpose to have love romance, if a couple skates it in more believable way, than it is still the same purpose with the same movements, phrasing – Interpretation is better, not Choreography component. The only thing which could be partly skated differently at different competitions is a change of tempo – a couple can be so tired that their change of tempo is not how the music goes and how choreographer supposed. But even phrasing to music is a lot about choreography, but also about a couple who can made the moves in right moments – but still I think that phrasing of the music is mainly influeced by choreographer.