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Thread: Olympic Pairs -2002

  1. #31
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    Tazban01,

    I'm not going to quote your entire post again -- this wouldn't fit if I did -- but I do have the following comments:

    Obviously if I think S/P had it by a nose, I disagree with your pre assessments. For one, the list of the categories doesn't quite agree with the list that the ISU published in the Program for the 2003 European Championships:

    *Composition and its agreement with the music
    *Variation in speed
    *Synchronicity of movements and accuracy in tact to the music
    *Use of the rink area
    *Position and style
    *Originality
    *Interpretation of music
    *Unison (pairs)

    I sometimes feel like I am :banging: when discussing the second: speed is not one of the eight components of pre; variation in speed is. And variation in speed is related to synchonicity of movements and accuracy in tact to the music. If the music changes speed, rhythm, and/or character, then there can be variations in speed that reflect the music. The point is not who gets around the rink the fastest, because, again according to the Program, "speed" is a critera for technical merit, as is "synchronicity of movements," as you noted in your critique of the throws and SBS elements. I think B/S's music cut had fewer contrasts in the music and fewer variations in speed in the music itself, while S/P's had more, and their respective programs reflected this. One of the things that makes me scratch my head about using the Nutcracker pas de deux is that the character of the music is the same for about the first 2/3 of the music, where it picks up, and then levels off again. Not much chance to show variations in speed, but, hey, who cares, it's not a criterion any more. Why worry.

    "Choreography" is not an element, and even under CoP, more and complex choreography does not necessarily mean a higher choreography score. (Otherwise, anyone with a David Wilson program wins that one right off the bat.) There are skaters for whom more choreography keeps them with the program, literally and figuratively; in my opinion, this was true for Lipinski and Hughes, because it kept them busy and focused. But more choreography doesn't mean that it necessarily "agrees" with the music nor does it mean that the movements are synchronous or an accurate reflection of the music, which were the criteria under 6.0. Stroking can be in agreement and reflect the character of the music as much as steps. (Hughes' huge, powerful stroking and steps in the circular footwork in her Rachmaninov SP in 2003 are a great example of this; are the changes of speed and rhythm that Joubert had in various places in the Matrix program.)

    Where you saw facial emoting only in S/P, I saw full-bodied involvement. Where you saw full-bodied involvement in B/S's program, I saw a rather perfunctory response to the music, with the exception of two particularly beautiful elements: the spiral/spread eagle combination and the final position in the pairs spin. (Which for most mortal pairs would have been enough under just about any circumstances, because B/S' equivalent of "counting," most other pairs can't touch.) And I feel that their program was marred by the egregious music cut and the false ending of the music, which, unfortunately, was reflected in the interpretation. I didn't think that B/S's choreography was wedded to the music until the very end, in that I felt I could replace "Meditation" with other pieces in the same classical genre, and nothing would have felt out of place. I didn't think I could replace the music in S/P's program, and I would say that is lucky, since music like "Love Story" isn't really my cup of tea, except for the sentimental value this particular piece had when I was 13.

    I think LS was a masterpiece in its genre. Not my favorite genre, and I wish I could have seen a pristine skate to "Meditation," with the proper ending, which is much more effective and appropriate to the rest of the piece and would have avoided the awkward splice.

    It's impossible for me to tell "use of rink area" from TV, and while I'm willing to concede that B/S had better "use of rink area" if that really was the assessment of those who saw it live, that's not an automatic concession, because the programs by Lori Nichols I've seen live are the equal in that regard to the programs I've seen by Moskvina live; it's one of Nichols' strengths.

    I don't think either program was particularly original. Moskvina had already broken that mold with M/D's programs, which I think, in general, were superior to Meditation. Nothing S/P did could have touched the Chaplin program, particularly if they performed like they did at CoR in the Fall 2001, which I think is the greatest pairs performance I've ever seen.

    Position/style and unison were definitely in B/S's court, but interpretation and composition and its agreement with the music were in S/P's, IMO, as was variations in speed. Synchronicity was a wash, IMO. In pre, I think it was pretty much a virtual tie, or that any differences were insignificant.

    You are right in that unison is less important in CoP. In the old pre system, unison was supposed to be 1/8 of the pre score for pairs, although how each judge emphasized what category is unknowable. Under CoP, unison is one of nine elements of Performance/Execution, so that it's supposed value is 1/45 of the pre score.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Exupery
    bleuchick, you sure are succinct in your reactions! Um....I don't really know what to say about that rather arbitrary analysis

    ...no, it's somehow intimately bound with one's sense of identity or something, judging by the amount of vitriol that I've come across whenever there's a S&P vs. B&S thread, with most of the spite aimed at S&P, it seems to me.
    You don't agree with I write so it's arbitrary. okay. How about actually pointing out what I wrote that you think is so wrong.

    As for the second part. I'm not sure if you're referring to me, but since it's in response to my post, please explain how it applies. I gave an opinion and gave the reasons for coming to that conclusion with no snipes at any of the skaters.
    Last edited by tazban01; 02-12-2005 at 01:22 AM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimena
    I
    Wow. I think you might be right! I hadn't heard that take on it before. Could I ask you why? I'm just curious, that's all.

    FWIW, I'd have B&S first in the SP also.
    I'dd have no real roblem with having B/S first in the SP of S/P first in the LP. However, I'd give S/P the SP on the orginality of Jalousie. It was quite possible the most creative SP I've seen in years. Lafy Caliph was absolutely gorgeous, but it's been done 100 times over. S/P did have unison problems on their sbs jumps, bu I think their advantage on the death spiral and lift was enough to make up for it. Overall, I think these are both gogeous performances, but if I had to make a decision, I'd tie them on required elements and go with S/P on presentaion.

    But in the LP, both teams were slightly off. Both teams were a bit tense, and it showed. I have no clue what S/P were smoking when they called it their best performance ever, because IMO, their program at the GPF was better. But still, Love Story, in terms of choreography, is a piece of crap. Other than the first death spiral, this program does absolutely nothing for me. B/S's Meditation certainly isn't perfect, and of course Anton did have that mistake. But it went with the music better. I give it to B/S on the presentation mark.

    So that's my extremely unique take on the SLC pairs competition.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    *Composition and its agreement with the music
    *Variation in speed
    *Synchronicity of movements and accuracy in tact to the music
    *Use of the rink area
    *Position and style
    *Originality
    *Interpretation of music
    *Unison (pairs).
    I was just going by memory of aspects that have been discussed over the years. I think I mixed up a lot of the COP things. But I'm sure "sureness" was listed at least at one time.

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    speed is not one of the eight components of pre; variation in speed is. And variation in speed is related to synchonicity of movements and accuracy in tact to the music. If the music changes speed, rhythm, and/or character, then there can be variations in speed that reflect the music. The point is not who gets around the rink the fastest, because, again according to the Program, "speed" is a critera for technical merit,
    Fair enough. Though if a skater has the ability to build up greater speed than they can show a greater contrast. I've heard variation of speed before, but I thought you merely had to show ability to skate to various tempos, not necessarily a lot of constant changing. I always thought that was why so many programs have the one slow section in between the fast sections. My impression was that as long as there is at least a slow part to demonstrate that a skater can skate a slow section (and that the speed of the skating was appropriate of course), then the skater fulfilled that requirement.

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    One of the things that makes me scratch my head about using the Nutcracker pas de deux is that the character of the music is the same for about the first 2/3 of the music, where it picks up, and then levels off again.
    That, and it's boring.

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    But more choreography doesn't mean that it necessarily "agrees" with the music nor does it mean that the movements are synchronous or an accurate
    By "choreography", I meant quality of the program as a whole not simply who has the most.


    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    Where you saw facial emoting only in S/P, I saw full-bodied involvement. ... in that I felt I could replace "Meditation" with other pieces in the same classical genre, and nothing would have felt out of place.
    I agree that the changes to the music cuts was a step down for meditation. I'm not sure what music would be considered in the "same classical genre" as meditation. The choreography doesn't suit any music that comes to my mind, but I'm not all that familiar with classical music outside of skating. What music were you thinking? As for the rest, I respectfully agree to disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    I don't think either program was particularly original. Moskvina had already broken that mold with M/D's programs,
    I acknowledged that it wasn't a brand new thing. I just meant in comparison between S&P and B&S (as opposed to against the history of skating).

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    *Composition and its agreement with the music
    *Variation in speed
    *Synchronicity of movements and accuracy in tact to the music
    *Use of the rink area
    *Position and style
    *Originality
    *Interpretation of music
    *Unison (pairs)

    I sometimes feel like I am :banging: when discussing the second: speed is not one of the eight components of pre; [i
    variation[/i] in speed is. And variation in speed is related to synchonicity of movements and accuracy in tact to the music. If the music changes speed, rhythm, and/or character, then there can be variations in speed that reflect the music. The point is not who gets around the rink the fastest, because, again according to the Program, "speed" is a critera for technical merit, as is "synchronicity of movements," as you noted in your critique of the throws and SBS elements. I think B/S's music cut had fewer contrasts in the music and fewer variations in speed in the music itself, while S/P's had more, and their respective programs reflected this.
    Thanks hockeyfan for showing the list to be considered in a program which being the old fashioned figure skating fan still believe in the Whole Program. Each of these classifications are worthy of a 10 page discussion, and imo, all are interrelated to make up the whole program.

    Singling out Variations in Speed I totally agree with you that it does not mean one has to skate like Eric Heiden. It's the variations in tempo that one has to demonstrate for the variations in speed. Better still, it all must conform with everyone of those items listed to make up the whole package.

    As to Nucracker, when I think of Tschaikowsky's genius and having Petipa hanging over his shoulder telling him he wants 8 bars of this and 12 bars of that, I am in total sympathy with Peter Illich. What symphonies those melodies could have made as themes!

    Joe

  6. #36
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    I have no clue what S/P were smoking when they called it their best performance ever, because IMO, their program at the GPF was better. But still, Love Story, in terms of choreography, is a piece of crap.
    -Originally posted by boggartlaura

    I strongly disagree. S/P weren't smoking anything, they were telling the truth, they were telling it how it was.That program is one of the most amazing, breath-taking, amazingly, brilliantly choreographed programs I've ever seen and nobody could ever skate it as well as S/P did that night. I have nothing against B/S. I think they are equally great skaters, so nice to watch, very balletic and graceful. They are fantastic, theres no doubt about it! And IF B/S had had a clean skate that night, it could've gone either way.

    One question-did the judges take into account the fall at the end of S/P's short? Is that why they were in 2nd? Because if not, they should've been in first.
    Last edited by ceg15; 02-13-2005 at 01:37 PM.

  7. #37
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    If you think about the premise of the Jalousie program (Jamie is teaching a clutzy David to Tango), a fall in the closing pose is really the perfect ending. If Lori didn't choreograph it that way, she should have!

    Mathman

  8. #38
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    tazban, I wasn't referring to you when I made the comment about some fans going a bit overboard....again, it was just a general observation. Maybe I should have made that clear. And no, I don't think what you said was so wrong, you were just expressing your opinion and that's fine. And the word 'arbitrary' - I had in mind the meaning of 'based on or subject to individual judgment or preference'.
    I don't even know why I used that word....it's rather redundant and causing more fuss than I intended. Anyway, your analysis is your analysis. If there's one point where I strongly differ with you, it's your take on S&P's presentation/expression. Yes, they use facial expressions well, but I always thought Love Story also excelled at using body movement and choreography to convey the story. There's a power in their movements, they seem to be propelled by the music itself. I always get this 'organic' feel about their choreo and Love Story is no exception. First of all, there's an economy of movement, nothing extraneous....and then there's this musical affinity that's hard to describe. It's such a cliche to say this but they really seem to be one with the music.

  9. #39
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    For starters this topic has been discussed to "ad infinitum." It's become one of those topics similar to discussing an old NHL Hockey game play by a bunch of disgruntled hockey fans. It's time to move on.

    S&P had the skate of their lives on that night; B&S made mistakes and by rights should have come second.

    I have seen both pairs skate live and have never been disappointed by either pair. To compare them is like comparing apples to oranges. Both pairs have their "special features."

    S&P are very musical and do wonderful lifts. Jamie is fearless. They are both very versatile and able to interpet different types of music. They also bring a very youthful and fresh appeal to their skating.

    B&S are trained in the traditional Russian school of pair skating. Skating to classical music suits them. Elaina is very flexible and of course this is featured in their skating; always adds to any pairs program.

    Probably, S&P and B&S are tired of hearing the rhetoric surrounding this topic and have moved on with their skating and their lives. Strangely enough, both pairs have remained good friends and even toured together. It shows class and good sportsmanship on both sides of the map.

    Of course, the media was all over this when it happened and helped to fuel the fire that resulted in a double gold medal at that particular Olympics. Jamie and David would have accepted the Silver and gone home with pride knowing they skated their best. After all, it would not have been the first time for a judging controversy in figure skating or any other sport, at the Olympics.

    It's too bad it had to happen; but, one could say it was inevitable. Figure skating judging is at best controversial and something was bound to happen sooner or later. I would have thought the ice dance discipline would have brought it on more than pairs, but that is how it played out.

    We are all hoping the new judging system will improve things, but I would not count on it or "bet the farm." People are people and judging any sport - especially the Olympics - involves politics. It usually manages to "raise it's ugly head" and spoil things. That is why competing is not necessarily a good thing.

    Okay, now I am "off my soap box." I will continue to watch figure skating for the love of it and appreciate all the skaters.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    Where you saw facial emoting only in S/P, I saw full-bodied involvement. Where you saw full-bodied involvement in B/S's program, I saw a rather perfunctory response to the music, with the exception of two particularly beautiful elements: the spiral/spread eagle combination and the final position in the pairs spin. (Which for most mortal pairs would have been enough under just about any circumstances, because B/S' equivalent of "counting," most other pairs can't touch.) And I feel that their program was marred by the egregious music cut and the false ending of the music, which, unfortunately, was reflected in the interpretation. I didn't think that B/S's choreography was wedded to the music until the very end, in that I felt I could replace "Meditation" with other pieces in the same classical genre, and nothing would have felt out of place. I didn't think I could replace the music in S/P's program, and I would say that is lucky, since music like "Love Story" isn't really my cup of tea, except for the sentimental value this particular piece had when I was 13.
    Ahhhh....That's something I've been trying to put in words but couldn't. That was the same impression I had. Thanks!

  11. #41
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    Pandora's box has opened again. Seems this subject has the likelihood of staying around for quite a while. I wouldn't be surprised if during the 2006 Olympic figure skating coverage, during the pairs competition, this subject will come up again and be discussed. Wouldn't it be something if once again we have Scott and Sandra discussing and showing clips of what happened in 2002!
    I read earlier Vash 01's post and I agree. The competition was very good but I believe that E&A's was better. I give the gold to Elena & Anton. And don't get me wrong, I like both pairs very much. I think that awarding a second gold medal was also wrong because it opens up the problem that in the future others will protest if something goes wrong and will want to get a gold medal too.
    I haven't seen E&A skate in a while since I can't afford to go see live skating until someday in the future when my finances are better. I can't comment on how they have improved or not. I have seen J&D skate a coupld of times and have enjoyed their programs but I think they have many nice lifts but have not improved in other areas. I would love to see these two pairs skate and/or compete often. Unfortunately professional competition barely exist. Please let's get to the point, some day soon, when we can close Pandora's box on E&A and J&D 2002 Ollympic performances.

  12. #42
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    hmmm.... what's that sound I hear......

    Ah yes! That's it! The faint sound of whinnying as a horse is beat to death......

    Canuck

  13. #43
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    Again, the eight components of presentation are each important and deservedly worthy of nitpicking.
    To some posters, Variation in Speed means fast skating only without any variation. IMO, no skater has more consistent speed (not all that with variation) is Carolina Kostner. Unfortunately, the seven other components do not give her much to go on, imo, except maybe Use of Rink Area.

    Regardless of any one nitpick, it does not make another skater better if the other skater has problems with all the components. IMO, it is ok to point out a skater's perceived weaknesses but it does not convince other posters that that particular skater should lose a competition or be beaten by another skater unless you speak of the whole package.

    However, a nitpick could be written in the style of corrective criticism and not a bash.

    Joe

  14. #44
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    Choice of material matters

    This debate will continue on forever, but I have gone back and reviewed this event, and I have made a few observations. One thing is certainly clear, and that is the totally subjective nature of interpretation of the rules for judging the event. Purists view the rules one way, some view the rules very liberally and most fall somewhere in between.

    Several things are very clear. The event is to demonstrate excellence and mastery of the sport of Pairs Skating.

    ((((Side Note: Pairs Skating is NOT Singles Skating. To learn either, a knowledge and mastery of basic skating skills is required, but they are not the same at all. The techniques your learn developing as a Pairs skater with your partner are vastly different from learning how to be a singles skater. Stroking is different biomechanically in Pairs, jump timing and entrances are different, Pairs spinning is a completely different technique from solo spinning, unison techniques are integral and not taught in singles, and are different, and how to form one unit performing moves with another person is vastly different than being a singles skater.))))

    Singles skating techniques are a relatively small portion of the focus in Pairs skating, but are highlighted at the Olympic level by the side by side jumps and spins, as well as in footwork and transitions. These highlights within Pairs skating are to demonstrate skating abilities and unison, but are more duet skating than Pairs skating.

    Beginning Pairs often use more of the duet style of skating, where they do shadow skating, and skating side by side barely toughing each other in unison because this is relatively easy to learn, and is part of the beginnings of learning to be a Pair. Later, the team develops programs that encorporate more Pair skating, doing elements and skating as a unit rather than a duet. You see more of this type of skating at the Novice and Junior level, as well as in Ice Shows, because duet skating is more basic than Pairs Skating.

    If you examine the "Love Story" program, it is clear, especially after Jamie and David's subsequent "Tristan" and "Orchid" programs, that this program was more duet skating/show skating than Pairs Skating, and was a program from early in their development as a team. They were play acting the "Love Story" in a very literal interpretation, very concrete, and in a very theatrical way. But, they had no original moves, no original transitions, lots of skating on two feet, lots of crossovers, lots of side by side skating, and they were apart and not touching for a great portion of the program.

    So this much is also clear: Sale and Pelltier demonstrated excellence in Duet Skating and Show Skating with high quality Pair Elements sprinkled into their program. But did they demonstrate mastery of Pairs Skating with "Love Story"?

    I say that they did not. Their choice to do "Love Story" openned up the door for B & S to win even with errors because "Love Story" is a Junior Level program that has too much emphasis on duet skating and show skating elements, and deserved a much lower base mark than "Meditation", which has an emphasis on Pairs Skating: two skaters performing the program as one unit.

    I believe that both the Technical and Artistic base mark for B & S should have been 0.2 or 0.3 higher than S & P and 0.1 to 0.2 higher than the Chinese, Americans and other Russians.

    As Scott Hamilton said, "Maybe they are a tenth or two better than everybody else." I believe they were that night becaise S & P decided to play it safe and do the easier "Love Story".

    Maybe if they kept "Orchid" and skated it flawlessly and with passion like "Love Story", they would have won hands down by being better PAIRS SKATERS that night instead of DUET SKATERS.

    In my view, B & S deserved their placement, and S & P chose the wrong material to present at the Olympics.

    But all is subjective, and the debate will go on forever.

  15. #45
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    S&P had the skate of their lives on that night;
    I disagree. I thought they performed LS better at the GPF. Then, Sale didn't land the throws forward.

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