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Thread: Style Reversals in Programs

  1. #1
    sk8cynic
    Guest

    Style Reversals in Programs


    The degeneration of the B&S/S&P thread got me to thinking (a dangerous endeavor when I've had too much caffeine)....

    What "European" type of program or selection of music would you like to see skaters/teams who favor the "North American" style create a program to?

    Likewise, what "North American" type of program or selection of music would you like to see skaters/teams who favor the "European" style create a program to?

    Please note: I referred to these styles by region in reference to the battle of the cultures on the aforementioned thread.



  2. #2
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    I know it would be difficult for the skaters, but I would like to see a <strong>Compulsory Skate</strong> where all competitors must skate to exactly the same music, with the same technical content. That would be a very fair way of judging skaters. It would eliminate the Qualifying Round but still count 20 per cent of the total score.

    Let's say we are given Irina's Don Q music. How wonderful it would be to watch the various styles of all the skaters have a go at it. The thought of MK doing Don Q just tantalizers me.

    Joe

  3. #3
    sk8cynic
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    Joe,

    How funny you mention that - it's something I've mentioned before!! Having the skaters each do the same program would eliminate all the debate of "well, Skater X had more moves in the field/better footwork/insert component of your choice, so they should have been scored higher.

    Creating uniformity in the QR by doing this would cut that out and allow the skaters to be judged on the execution and presentation of a program from a more even starting point. I'd even go so far as to have the skaters all wear the same costume in the QR (kind of like they used to do in the swimsuit competitions in beauty pageants) as I am convinced a lot of costumes are designed to minimize or outright hide a multitude of errors, mistakes, or sins.

    My naivete is showing - isn't this what the CD round in Ice Dancing does (costumes being the exception)?

    BTW, ITA about seeing MK skating to DQ. It'd be really interesting to see how skaters would perform other skater's programs. I'd love to see how Alexei would skate Plush's 'St. Petersburg 300.'





  4. #4
    Princess Leppard 625
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    <span style="colorurple;font-family:georgia;font-size:x-small;">I, too, have thought a compulsory program would be a great thing. While I have had the misfortunate of sitting through a dance CD, and it bored me senseless, it does allow you to see which teams are better. Really. And I hate dance.

    I don't know if I'd want them all in the same costume, though. I like Plushenko's flamboyance, but could you see Tim in the same outfit? Oh, heaven forbid, Evgeni in one of Tim's dreary costumes? Please, no!

    Cheers,

    Laura </span>

  5. #5
    Ptichka
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    1) I am really not sure what style reversals I would have wanted to see. It's a tricky thing: my favorite program of B&S's was their Chaplin, which is as American as it gets. I think no matter what kind of music a team chose, they would always bring their personal culture/interpretation to it.

    I remember a few years ago, there was this fluff pro competition, where the skaters got a random piece of music, and had 30 minutes or so to prepare a program to it. As I recall, Scott Hamilton drew a Classical piece. Well, what does Scott do with a Classical piece? He did this really funny number that mocked the "Classical" beautifully. So I doubt music is the ultimate factor in the

    2) I totally agree about compulsories. I understand why they got rid of the figures; but they should have replaced it with something else. While we are on the subject, I also like how in dance the OD is set to a specific theme. It would be fun to try the same concept for singles/ pairs.

  6. #6
    tharrtell
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    I think the idea of a compulsory program to replace the qualifying round is a great idea. It would allow judges an apples to apples comparison. No hiding. For example, the lutz wouldn't be put in a corner far from the judges, it would be in the same place for all skaters. It'd also be interesting from a viewers perspective because each skater is so different. It would really highlight who does what well.

  7. #7
    EllynK
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    What kind of elements would you put in these compulsory programs? For instance, if a lutz (or axel) is a required element, would you give senior skaters the choice between double or triple? require them to attempt the triple even if they haven't actually mastered the jump? require a double in order to compare the basic skill that all senior-level freestylers should be expected to have mastered and save advanced skills like triples for the free program?

  8. #8
    Princess Leppard 625
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    <span style="colorurple;font-family:georgia;font-size:x-small;">Ellyn, I've actually thought a bit about this. For the men, obviously, you wouldn't have a quad in the compulsory. Would you put in a triple axel? Should the men at that level be required to have one? I think a triple lutz for the men should be the hardest jump in the compulsory. For the ladies? Did every lady at Worlds at least try the lutz? I'm not sure. But that sure show who flutzed and who didn't. A flip should be in there, too, so the judges can see who "lips."

    Also, I think a lutz HAS to go into the corner, because it needs a set up, but I guess you could choreograph the program so it was closer to the judges. Hmmm.

    Things to ponder....

    Laura </span>

  9. #9
    tharrtell
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    I was also thinking that determining the requirements would be difficult as not everyone has the same technical skills. However, it's pretty standard that all the competitive senior ladies can complete all the triples aside from the axel. Although, maybe either a double or triple could be performed - depending on the skaters abilities - that would just be one more differentiating point between the skaters.

    As to the placement of the lutz, I know it requires set up; however, and please correct me if I'm wrong, I seem to remember that Sarah changed the placement of her lutz last year between Nats and the Olys so that the flutz wouldn't be as noticeable. I'm all for accentuating one's strengths, but this type of choreography seems somewhat dishonest. With a compulsory program, this could be eliminated - at least for a portion of the competition.

  10. #10
    EllynK
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    I've lost my notes from Worlds so we'd have to check out on-line reports from others who posted their notes during/soon after the event.

    I *think* all the ladies who competed in the short program attempted a triple lutz there, although of course not all were successful. Definitely a few of the ladies who did not get past quals were not attempting triple lutzes in their long programs and probably would not have tried it in the short either if they'd skated the short.

    Offhand, I know that Kevin Vander Perrin did not attempt a triple axel at Worlds this year. He may be the only one who got past quals who didn't try, but I think there were some others.

    And when we're talking about jumps on the edge of what some skaters are capable of, you have to keep in mind that different skaters have different approaches from which they are able to complete their hardest jumps.

    E.g., some skaters do quad toe from a forward inside three, more of them do it from a forward outside three and change of foot. Even among those who do the change-foot method may take the three straight down the ice or curve it toward or around the corner, and some may put the other foot down on an inside edge for a toe walley rather than outside for toe loop.

    And some skaters can't do quad toe at all, or not very well, but are much better at quad salchow.

    Because quads are still more or less cutting-edge difficulty even at the highest level, you can appreciate that choosing one of those approaches would put the skaters who learned the jump or are more comfortable or successful with it from a different approach at a serious disadvantage if all were required to do the same jump from the same approach. Well, we're not going to be requiring quads right now anyway.

    But the principle would still apply to jumps that you expect the medal contenders or even anyone who wants to be considered "world class" to complete. And at lower levels, the same would apply to, say, triple toe or salchow at the novice level. Not all skaters at that level can do it all, and those who can do it may have idiosyncratic approaches by which they can land the jump successfully

    For triple salchows you definitely have some skaters who prefer a forward outside three entry and others who prefer back outside three and mohawk. For flips, it's sometimes straight down the ice into forward outside three and sometimes into inside mohawk. Either approach is *correct*, but if you make one compulsory, you penalize the skater who prefers the other.

    Triple lutz is still quite a difficult jump, and even a usually consistent lutzer like, oh, Michael Weiss is capable of missing it in competition.

    I think that requiring triple lutzes for ladies or triple axels for men, especially if you insist on a particular setup and a particular timing to music, would make the results of the program even more about who happens to land the jump that day than about whether the takeoff technique is correct.

    If you want to choreograph every move of a compulsory program, jump approaches, layout on the ice, and timing to the music included, you'd better use only elements that pretty much everyone can complete from the specified entrances. In which case, the programs are going to be pretty easy compared to what you see in the typical short program where skaters include their hardest jumps and hardest transitions to rack up more points.

    Or else be prepared for a lot of splats.

    Or if you give skaters the option to change the connecting steps to fit their own preferred approaches, why not also give them the option to choose which jumps to include in the combination, what music to skate to, etc. . . . in other words, pretty much like the short program as it already exists?

  11. #11
    Ptichka
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    I think it should be the elements that are done by everyone, and done <em>easily</em> by the top contendors. The elite skaters can always compensate by having more height, book-perfect landing, etc. In fact, the point of such program would be basic skating skills rather than the jumps. If you look at Dance Compulories, the twizzles there are not as difficult as what many teams put into their ODs and FDs. So, it would be something like 3 lutz for men, 2 axel for ladies, 2 toe loop for pairs.

  12. #12
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    EllynK - Everyone but everyone would include the same elements in the compulsory skate. there would be no need for quads nor Bielman spins.

    The judging would be based on which skaters have the best basics - not which skaters can revolve the most in the air, or grasp onto their foot to high heaven.

    All senior skaters do triples - that could be an element in the compulsory skate;likewise all can do flying camels, rockers, counters, spread eagles, spirals, footwork, etc.

    What you are looking for will be well covered in the Final Free Skate. The point of the Compulaory Skate would be to see how well skaters compare with each other by centering in on the basics musically. (I'm not keen on gaudy costumes for this proposal.)

    Joe



  13. #13
    sk8cynic
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    Just as long as there's room for gaudy costumes elsewhere figure skating wouldn't be the same without them. :lol:

    So if we, the armchair masses, can figure this out, why in the HELL can't the ISU see this?



  14. #14
    EllynK
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Everyone but everyone would include the same elements in the compulsory skate.[/quote]

    And the same connecting steps?

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>All senior skaters do triples [/quote]

    But not all senior skaters can do all the triples. Especially triple axels, of course, but even so individual skaters have individual triples that give them problems and that they can actually complete rarely if at all.

    And not all senior skaters are comfortable doing even the easy triples from the same entry steps. See my previous post about different ways to get into toe loops, salchows, and flips. If you choreograph the whole program the same for everyone, including the jump approaches, you give skaters who like that approach an advantage over skaters who don't.

    BTW, would there be just one or two triple jumps in this compulsory program, or would you expect to see all six different ones? If the latter, how about giving the option of double or triple -- especially for the ladies and the axel.

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>- that could be an element in the compulsory skate;[/quote]

    Or you could just say "insert triple jump of your choice here, entry approach optional." But that's no different from the current short program.

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>likewise all can do flying camels, rockers, counters, spread eagles, spirals, footwork, etc.[/quote]

    Not all senior skaters can do spread eagles. The ability to do them has more to do with the anatomy of the skater's hip sockets than with skating ability. You'll find some preliminary skaters who can do much better spread eagles than some senior skaters.

    Obviously one can improve one's flexibility in that direction, so if you knew from the beginning that spread eagles would be a required element you could start working on them years before they would be required and at elast be able to manage a semblance of the move. But the skaters who could get into that position with no problem while still beginners could use those years to perfect it, while more closed-hipped skaters are struggling just to be able to do it at all. It goes in the same category as Biellmanns and male laybacks.

    That's why spread eagles have never been a required element. It's one option of something to put into a "field moves" sequence, but skaters are free to do only basic spirals instead.

  15. #15
    rgirl181
    Guest

    Re: Style Reversals in Programs


    EllynK is right about how not all skaters are anatomically able to do a spread eagle as well as the other things she's brought up about a "to the T" choreographed compulsory program. But I've been thinking about a compulsory program replacing the Q round for singles and also the pairs skaters. The way they could get around the different entrances to jumps with which skaters are comfortable is by listing the jump, say a 3lp, but allowing for different entrances. As long as the entrance doesn't take up to much time in the music, I think there can be variation there, just like there will be variation between the skaters who jump clockwise and counterclockwise. As for the Lutz, I think every senior lady at an elite competition such as Worlds should be required to do a 3Lutz. However, a possible solution for those skaters down in the lower parts of the field could be to specify a "2 or 3Lutz." A 2Lutz would receive less points, however, but the skater would know that going in. The idea, IMO, is to give the skaters the same <em>essential</em> program but not the same <em>exact</em> program.

    At ballet competitions, for example, where everyone is required to do the Petipa choreography for the "Don Quixote" (since somebody mentioned it:D ) pas de deux, you still never get every couple and dancer doing the exact same moves. Some guy might do nine pirouettes whereas another guy might only do five. But that's the kind of thing that's taken into account by the judges. Also, slight variations in musical interpretation--does the dancer do the steps exactly on the downbeat or does she make the artistic choice to delay slightly? Such things are considered by the judges. Some may like it, some not, but it's the chance the dancer takes.

    Anyway, in figure skating, I think that with some thought and experimentation by choreographers who have long been working in the field, coaches, and former skaters, that compulsory programs could be designed that would accommodate the individual differences in everyone while still maintaining a certain standard of what senior level figure skaters should be able to do. As Joe said, the point would be to look at the quality of basics according to the COP. The list is on my other computer, but basically the choreography of the compulsory program would be designed to look at sureness, depth, and quality of edges; speed; entrance into a jump, correct take-off edge where applicable; body position and rotation in the air; body position on landing; and run-out on the proper edge. Given that there are quad jumps where the skaters have different entrances and different edges that don't affect the correctness of the jump, just leave that open as optional.

    As for quads for the men in general, again, the skaters could be given an option: A 4toe or a 3Axel. The next year that particular complusory jump option could be, "A 4Salchow or a 3Axel." The compulsory is not to make all skaters equal, IMO. It's a program that I would make about three minutes long designed to set a standard. Not all skaters will be able to do all the elements. As a senior ladies skater who cannot do a 3Lutz, she will either have to do a 2Lutz or probably fall trying to do the 3Lutz. But I think if four or five jumps are included (I'm thinking five as including a fairly simple combination), that will live plenty of time for the choreographers to focus on things that would best allow the judges to compare skaters of similar ability but with different styles on basics. I'd love to see Irina and Michelle, just to name two, do a spiral sequence that neither has ever done before and see how they make the most out of the edges, body position, musicality, etc. Same with footwork, spin combinations, and overall interpretation of the program. BTW, I would have the ladies all wear the same costume: Black leotard and black skirt, no matter what the music is. Same with the men and pairs. Something very basic.

    For me, the whole idea of doing one's LP as the Q Round just gives the judges a energy conserving version of the LP. The judges see some skaters very early in the morning, there is no audience, yet for the LP the skaters have been working on performance quality. I think it doesn't give the judges any more information about the skaters and it just tires out the skaters. A compulsory program might be boring to watch 25 skaters do the same three minute routine, but if seeded right so that skaters with similar capabilities are in the same group, judges could perhaps get a better idea of how deep Skater A's edges are compared to Skater B. How they compare on speed. Perhaps the judges may see that Skater A's strong point is holding positions whereas Skater B's strongpoint is the motion through the positions. Different approaches but in some judges minds, equally difficult. OTOH, some judges might prefer one style over another.

    I would love to see compulsory programs used on a trial basis, say just with the GP series one year. Certainly there are a lot of problems to solve and questions to be addressed, but I have no doubt they could work and would make the whole competition, ie, compulsory, SP, and LP a much better total indicator of the skaters' total abilities.
    Rgirl

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