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Thread: The Casual Viewer

  1. #61
    Ice is slippery Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icey View Post
    I think many people feel this way Often, even I do. Same old music, same old costume, same old program. I really find it difficult to believe skaters can't have more than one program per season. There was a time in the GP series finals when a skater had to do two different long programs. And with the skater practicing the same two programs (short and long) day in, day out; week in, week out; month in, month out, it seems odd how often the programs are seriously flawed when competed.
    What about of choreography and costumes? For the costumes I think it would be okay for skaters to cover a bit.

  2. #62
    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    It would be nice if skaters would offer a few SP's during the season IMO. I'm fine with seeing the same FS. To be honest it was fun for me to learn everything about my favorites program and see it develop this year. Maybe not everyone does that but I watched a video from the team event that only showed her coach and all of team Russia and as sad as it may seem...I knew everything she was doing based on the music and their expressions.

    Would it be fun if the skaters could choose to present their FS first if they want? Is it necessary to do the SP first? Could we not let them choose. The strategy would be interesting and throw a wrench in the judges mindset maybe. Maybe even put more emphasis on the skating and away from the placements which could shake up status quo scoring and remove emphasis on things like the final pairings? I admit this would be a nightmare for broadcasters and judges but to the casual viewer..

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    It would be nice if skaters would offer a few SP's during the season IMO. I'm fine with seeing the same FS.
    Except TV often shows only the FS, so all those extra SPs wouldn't get to the casual viewers anyway.

    Depends on the broadcast schedule, of course. If they're covering the SPs anyway, often they will show more of them because they're shorter, or because after the SP only few skaters have a chance at medals anyway.

    Would it be fun if the skaters could choose to present their FS first if they want? Is it necessary to do the SP first? Could we not let them choose.
    No, we could not let them choose.

    It would be possible for a whole competition to be set up to have everyone do the long program first, especially in smaller invitational events like the GP.

    But you couldn't have some skaters do the SP first and others entered in the same competition do the FS first. There would be no way to rank the skaters after the first phase.

    I admit this would be a nightmare for broadcasters and judges but to the casual viewer..
    It would also be a nightmare for sports fans who actually care about the points and how they're earned, and the standings after the first phase of competition. It would only be of interest for very casual fans who watch for the pretty skating and the personalities and the music and don't care about the fact that there's an actual technical competition going on at the same time they're enjoying the superficial aspects.

    I think the desire for variety and novelty is driven by looking at figure skating as show business, entertainment, not so much sport. When we watch dance shows, we expect to see new choreography, to hear new music, to see dancers show off how many styles they can perform in, choosing which moves to use in each dance to convey the theme of that particular dance to that particular music.

    The primary goal of dance as art/entertainment is to communicate to audiences.

    Figure skating can do that too, in the context of shows or artistic (e.g., professional) "competitions."

    But that's not what Olympic-style competitive figure skating is about. Free skating programs are about showing the highest level of difficulty with the best possible quality within 4-4 1/2 minutes, and within the well-balanced program rules, that the skater is capable of. Short programs are the same, with shorter time limits, fewer elements, and more specific requirements.

    Some skaters adopt a strategy of focusing on difficulty, putting out the hardest elements possible, and hope for the best in technical quality and performance quality. Others choose to focus on the skills that they're best at, even if they can also do harder elements not so well or not so consistently. Some pay a lot of attention to the performance aspects, relating the music and the audience, etc., sometimes at the expense of technical content, or to make up for the fact that their technical abilities maxed out at less than their top competitors'. Others just focus on the tech side and give performance only cursory attention.

    The most successful competitors tend to be good if not great at all of the above.

    But the top competitors are trying many really difficult elements, with difficult combinations and connections, in a short period of time. They need muscle memory and concentration to get those difficult elements done successfully.

    Multiple different programs each year, with completely different choreography connecting the elements, still aiming for top content, would mean much less successful elements.

    Remember, when the two free programs at the GP Final experiment was tried, most skaters reused the previous year's freeskate. Those who developed new freeskates generally had messier performances and/or less complex choreography between the elements.

    It would certainly be possible for skaters to practice their same choreography to different music, so they could perform the same program to different music and wear different costumes and the most casual viewers wouldn't recognize that the skater was attempting the exact same moves. Those of us who follow the sport closely would notice.

    Or there could be a completely different kind of competition, where the point is not higher-faster-stronger, top difficulty, but rather art/entertainment/communicating with audiences. Skaters could put together new programs each time, including only those moves that serve the artistic purpose, without worrying about showing a balance of skills or showing all their hardest skills. With fewer/easier jumps, no need for including all the difficult steps or spin positions, only whatever the skater does best and that fits this program best, we'd see a lot cleaner programs as well. Casual audiences would enjoy them better. But this would not be the same kind of competition as we see at the Olympics. If it were scored by IJS, the technical scores would be much lower.

    Maybe the program component scores would set new standards for what we expect from the artistic aspects of skating, and we would no longer see 8s and 9s in sport competition for programs where there is only a vague connection to the music or any sense of artistic purpose.

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