Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 38

Thread: Where is Pairs going?

  1. #1
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    20,185

    Where is Pairs going?

    Why are we not getting Pairs the way we did in the past? The geneal rule on Pairs is that it should be skated as ONE. Yet we see one half of the Pairs up in the air more than on the ice. There's nothing wrong with a beautiful lift but do we have to be bombarded with them? Aside from being super dangerous, they get to be boring for me after a while.

    So she's 4'9" and you are 6'2", and you lift her way above your head and turn and turn on the ice. If this was a highlight of the routine, I would appreciate it, but it is a constant continuous trick, and all are about the same but with some variation. In order to do these vaudeville tricks one has to skate with a lot of speed which means crossovers from one lift to the next.

    There are no more transitions. Just movement to the next lift with an occasional side by side jump and spin. The only 'shadow' elements in the whole routine.

    Where are the B&S, the S&P, the Protopopovs, all of whom gave us more than just lifts. The only attempt I saw in Moscow was Orscher and Lucash, a weak team who were performing with transitions.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    517
    I feel the same way.

    I liked O/S a lot when they first started, especially O. Now they don't have a program, they have only "innovative movements" that distract me from their program instead of being the highlights. lots of them are far from pleasant or graceful. Their lift looks awkward sometimes. What a pity.

    I also hate the spiral sequences now more than anything else. Too much holding legs. It was fine at the beginning, but now just more than enough.

  3. #3
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    778
    To the defence of O&S, Moskovina said on numerous occasions throughout the season that this year she was concentrating solely on the technical side of things. The choreography simply received less attention. I don't know what was her reason for this, maybe she wanted O&S to get used with COP and get noticed by the judges?

    Yana

  4. #4
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    517
    Something positive: Does anybody notice the German pair, the girl? She IMO is now the most graceful girl beside Xue Shen. I like her posture and extension a lot. She just carried herself so beautifully. I would put her in my list to watch.

  5. #5
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, Ca.
    Posts
    3,206
    I don't know, Joe. I lost interest in the pair's competition this year when Shen and Zhao pulled out of Worlds. To me, it's the chemistry between the two that makes for greatness. Gordeeva and Grinkov had it, so did Sale and Pelltier. If ice dancers can exude that emotional tie, why can't pairs? 42
    Last edited by show 42; 03-25-2005 at 11:42 AM.

  6. #6
    It's all about Plushenko.
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Red Sox Nation
    Posts
    510
    Shen & Zhao are THE pair of their generation.

  7. #7
    Alexei he's my MAN Panther2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New York, New York
    Posts
    225
    Quote Originally Posted by show 42
    I don't know, Joe. I lost interest in the pairs competition this year when Shen and Zhao pulled out of Worlds. To me, it's the chemistry between the two that makes for greatness. Gordeeva and Grinkov had it, so did Sale and Pelltier. If ice dancers can exude that emotional tie, why can't pairs? 42

    I feel the same way. Shen/Zhao are the G&G of today. I lost interest with them out of the competition. Unlike the mens filed with Plushenko pulled out. That field was wide open. & All brian had to do was reach out & take it. However, with the chinese # 1 couple out then it was a bore.

    I too agree with that there seems to be more focus on the trix & Lifts today instead of the pairs skating as 1 with Passion & fire. I don't see to much of that nowadays.

  8. #8
    Alexei he's my MAN Panther2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New York, New York
    Posts
    225

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by nicole_l
    Shen & Zhao are THE pair of their generation.

    I think so.

  9. #9
    Joey Votto Fangirl KwanFan1212's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Great American Ballpark Watching the Reds
    Posts
    781
    I think the potential is there, at least with a few of our younger/newer US pairs, for a return to that sort of pairs skating, but right now, with the top teams I saw at Worlds, I've got nothing. Shen & Zhao are about it for me too as far as pairs I enjoy watching in the top ranks and I was so bummed they had to withdraw. Its all about the tricks now and racking up points which is totally taking away from the art of pairs skating. That just crushes me since I adore pairs skating, its my fave discipline, and i don't want to see it go this way.

    On the other hand, I am the eternal optimist about our US pairs from watching two years of the junior and senior pairs at Nats who never get shown on TV. I do think we have a lot of potential in a few of the younger pairs who aren't all about the tricks and this year in St. Louis, I can foresee about a four way battle for spots on the US Olys team if they all keep improving as they have the last two years. Katie & Garrett, Rena & John, Marcy & Aaron, and Amanda & Mark are our top four US teams, in terms of the top pairs who are all still together and not going anywhere. If they all skate the way I've seen them skate in practices before, then we have the potential for a really stellar group for the younger teams to look up to and maybe our US pairs can finally build up our US pairs program. We have a few younger junior teams who have the goods and just need to mature a little bit more so they can really come out swinging. Our US pairs don't necessarily lag behind in the tricks and choreography, they just need to learn to become stronger competitors so that they can stand up there with all those other teams at competitions. I am seriously more excited about our potential in the US pairs than I was about the entire top ten at the most recent Worlds. Yikes, that's pretty scary!! But I really do believe this, as crazy as I sound, and I think the next couple of years are going to be great for the US in pairs. Now, everyone can go off on me and laugh their heads off but I will come back to this thread after St. Louis and say, I told you so!!! LOL

    OK, pairs rant over, I think I need a nap! LOL

  10. #10
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    819
    I agree somewhat with Heather, but not as enthusiastically.

    I saw some great potential for pairs teams in the US Junior ranks. The only reason whay I'm not completely crazy with joy is because I don't know how many actually plan on staying together. Of those that stay together, how many will be able to transition up to the sbs triples and throw triples.

    I did like the Novice Pairs Champions because he skates were silent during a lift. He was balancing himself and her quite nicely. Most of the Novice lifts scared me to death, but this team was great.
    Back to the pairs competition at Worlds. I like Totmianina and Marinin, but Shen & Zhao have my love. I hated to see my favorite team withdraw and the competition did lose some excitement for me.

  11. #11
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    4,677
    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Why are we not getting Pairs the way we did in the past? The geneal rule on Pairs is that it should be skated as ONE. Yet we see one half of the Pairs up in the air more than on the ice. There's nothing wrong with a beautiful lift but do we have to be bombarded with them? Aside from being super dangerous, they get to be boring for me after a while.

    So she's 4'9" and you are 6'2", and you lift her way above your head and turn and turn on the ice. If this was a highlight of the routine, I would appreciate it, but it is a constant continuous trick, and all are about the same but with some variation. In order to do these vaudeville tricks one has to skate with a lot of speed which means crossovers from one lift to the next.

    There are no more transitions. Just movement to the next lift with an occasional side by side jump and spin. The only 'shadow' elements in the whole routine.

    Where are the B&S, the S&P, the Protopopovs, all of whom gave us more than just lifts. The only attempt I saw in Moscow was Orscher and Lucash, a weak team who were performing with transitions.

    Joe

    Hey Joe:

    Well said. What I miss is the chemistry between the two skaters and their connection to the music and each other. That is what makes Sale and Pelleteier so special, they "ooze" chemistry and really connect to the music. Paul Martini and Barb Underhill also were electrifying when they skated.

    The great pairs teams of the past did simpler programs, but they skated with passion and flow. Now it is all about lifts, the same thing is happening in dance.
    Oh, for the good old days!!!

  12. #12
    Medalist
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    90
    Well after watching worlds I have to agree there is not much there that draws me into the pairs or their programs and the reason for me is they lack "the It factor!" I loved S/P, B/S, and G/G for that reason alone. And can still turn on an old tape of them and love watching their simple programs!
    In the new COP system I think we are going to see better unison, skating, and transitions both in and out of elements as that is how teams get extra points internationally and hopefully soon here in the US.
    Personally, I like the lifts and understand some of the difficulty it takes to execute them so elegantly, but what I worry about is the ability the US has in keeping pairs together for a long period of time so they can acquire consistency in the more difficult sbs elements and throws.
    The other issue with pairs that I see is that most American Girl skaters tend to outgrow their partners. We dont have a large base of male skaters any way and then it just so happens that the smaller framed men are choosing pairs and the girls hit puberty and seem to pass some of them by.
    I watched Nationals in Portland this year and I thought to myself there were very few girls who had a LONG future in pairs considering the size differential with their skating partners. The men, who tended to be older and done growing with the young girls on the verge of their growth.
    I am hopeful, however, that in the Novice and Junior ranks we have some talent and it was evidenced by some well put together programs with good execution of elements - which has always baffled me at the Senior level.
    So . . . I guess we will just have to see what comes of our Pairs. But I do hope we get some to the top 5 at Worlds in the next few years.

  13. #13
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Greater Boston, MA
    Posts
    782
    I agree that chemistry is critical in pairs skating. Shen & Zhao have it in spades; no one else really does right now. (Despite the fact that Tomianina & Marinin used to be an off-ice couple, and I think Petrova & Tikhonov still are!)

    Chemistry isn't everything, but it counts for a lot in pairs. It makes the difference between a good program and a great program.

    Aside from the chemistry issue, I agree that the current focus on super-difficult lifts is also something of a problem. I always think back to seeing Gordeeva & Grinkova at the 94 Olympics. Their lifts probably weren't the most technically difficult. As I recall, they did a fairly simple star lift in their long program, along with a classic swan (?) lift with just one different air position and a kind of jump-like dismount. So maybe their lifts weren't the most difficult. But they were so perfectly executed! Sergei's turning speed was excellent and Katia's positions in the air were absolutely flawless. Their lifts were just gorgeous.

    Whereas, a lot of the lifts we're seeing now look clunky and awkward and, in some cases, even ugly. The lifts may be difficult, but they're not aesthetically pleasing or, often, well-executed. So that is a problem.

    Much as I respect and admire her, I have to partially blame Tamara Moskvina for this trend. Tamara's always been really big on innovative moves in pairs, and while her best pairs, such as Mishkuteniok/Dmitriev, could handle the really difficult and innovative choreography and tricks, it really doesn't work for pairs of lesser quality.

  14. #14
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,235
    Quote Originally Posted by nicole_l
    Shen & Zhao are THE pair of their generation.
    See, I think pairs started going downhill after S/P and B/S left leading to the onset of the S/Z era, if you will. To me, this team is totally lacking in chemistry to this day and are all about tricks rather than beautiful skating. They certainly have features I can appreciate, but I can't love them and all the superlatives regarding this team just annoy me. It always leaves me wondering why nobody seems to be able to see their faults eg. the fact that they still grasp at each other push/pull each other (noticeable particularly in pairs spins) and that he consistently drops her the final foot to the ice after lifts and the twist. I have reluctantly concluded the last several years, however, that at the moment they are the top in the world. But how much more I'd rather watch Pang/Tong (the most musical and expressive of the Chinese teams IMO) or the new German team or even Wakamatsu and Fecteau. T/M, S/Z, the Zhangs and the second Russian pair all leave me cold.

    On the issue of lifts - I don't find them particulalry to be the problem, though the constant changing of air position, which often looks awkward, and some of the entrances and exits the teams are trying to make them worth more points just muddies the waters, IMO and often takes away from the beauty of the lifts. I think just as distracting are the sometimes three side-by-side (not including combos) jumps that a lot of the pairs are trying to jam into their programs now, to accrue points (I think I have yet to see a pair successfully complete all three). After watching this year's worlds I also complained about some of the lack of decent death spirals and side-by-side spins - basis stuff for senior pairs, but many, notably, could hardly do them. I tend to agree that the basic pairs qualities are being sadly left by the wayside. I'm hopeful this is just some of the growing pains of COP, not to mention that a number of the pairs are still quite new as well. But what I wouldn't give to watch some Mishkotounik or Kazakova and Dimitriev choreography!

  15. #15
    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Panama
    Posts
    854
    Quote Originally Posted by rain
    See, I think pairs started going downhill after S/P and B/S left leading to the onset of the S/Z era, if you will. To me, this team is totally lacking in chemistry to this day and are all about tricks rather than beautiful skating. They certainly have features I can appreciate, but I can't love them and all the superlatives regarding this team just annoy me.

    I think I understand where you are comming, and I agree with you that B&S had a beautiful presentation and skating skills (I absolutely loved their Chaplin program, I think it will be my favorite of their programs), however I have to disagree with all you said about Shen and Zhao, and we both will have to "agree to disagree" like they say around here . I cannot explain you the feeling and emotion that Shen and Zhao have and portray through their skating, because it is just something the audience feel when we see them.

    For me, Shen and Zhao are THE pair, like another poster said, because not only they have the awesome tricks, but they skate with power, and every element and choreography they perform has a meaning, and that comes from the connection they have. I also love Pang and Tong, their skating is so different from Shen and Zhao and I agree about their musicality, but to me they still don't have they same connection between each other as Shen and Zhao, or at least they don't show it yet...that or maybe I haven't felt it yet (could be).

    I missed them terribly at this worlds, however even with the small mistakes they made on the short, I loved the intention of their Clair de Lune. That music suits them very well, and they make it justice.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Evergrowing list of Skating Tapes available for copying...
    By springerluv in forum 2012-13 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 65
    Last Post: 10-28-2009, 03:53 PM
  2. My List of Skating Tapes for Sale!
    By G MAN in forum 2012-13 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-21-2005, 06:58 PM
  3. Extensive, updated list of tapes for trading or copying...
    By springerluv in forum 2002-03 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-27-2003, 07:08 PM
  4. Newest list of tapes available for trading/copying
    By springerluv in forum 2002-03 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-14-2003, 01:39 AM
  5. List of Tapes available for trading/copying - updated 12-02
    By springerluv in forum 2002-03 Figure Skating archives
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-28-2002, 11:20 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •