2014 Olympics Free Dance | Page 65 | Golden Skate

2014 Olympics Free Dance


Nov 25, 2006
I think you are reading too much into what they said. Yes, that's a mixed up story and it's a wrong but the judges don't have to mark that because if we go into details than we should also say that if she was Odile than the music used was not the one used for Odile in the ballet.
What I see from that routine is the story of a "woman and man in love and fight", and they chose the black costumes and the Swan music because it suits more, and of course it's beautiful. A white costum for her I think it would've been too much honestly.

Thanks for opinion.

In my opinion if a couple explains a story which may have / may not have anything to do with music, then people and judges should know what is a real story. Annisina & Peizerat had their own story for Carmina Burana, Bobrova & Soloviev and their Psycho FD is not in relation with origin of music they use for it, the same for Pechalat & Bourzat and the Little Prince. So I find it normal to listen what is a dance supposed to be. Notice above that people may use any music to express any story or emotions, so I think it is not about taking Odylie‘s part in ballet to express Odylie. But Odylie character must to be readable from Lena’s movements. I agree that the program looks more like Man and Woman in love and fight. I can see a love. But where is a fight between those two? Final music part leads to minds about fight but where is it visible from choreography or dynamics of movements? And if Nikita is a man in love why he is doing arm movements which imitate wing moves and make a demonic look? And why Lena’s attempts of making ballet/Swan moves? How is it connected with Man and Woman love and fight story?

Odylie is a person with dark soul, Rothbart‘s daughter who plays with Prince knowing that it will kill Odette. Rothbart is a bad person, evil one, who wants to destroy. Man and Woman story should be about love (why is fight included when people are in love I don’t understand, but overall why not). Those four characters are so different from each other.
An example of mixing two stories which are so different…
Watch V&M Carmen until 2:58, than change to Umbrellas from 0:45 to 2:18 and jump back to Carmen since 4:35 to the end. Two stories – they are lovers in first story and the second story is more about fight, passion and from Carmen’s way of view about having power above Don Jose. How is looking to have two stories in one? It doesn’t have sense. You are Carmen or you are loving one, but hardly both.

Not understable concept or mixture of stories is judged by judges – it is a part of more than one component:
Performance – The involvement of the Couple physically, emotionally and intellectually as they translate the intent of the music and the choreography. Do I&K translate Swan Lake story or Man and Woman story? – and what a choreography translates – everything – a little bit of ballet, a little bit of free style, a little bit of love, a little bit of anger…something is suitable for first story line but not for the second story, something is suitable for second story line not for first story – is it possible?
Composition/Choreography: Purpose (idea, concept, vision), Shared responsibility in achieving purpose by both, Unity (purposeful threading), Originality of purpose, movement and design.
Interpretation/Timing: Expression of the music’s rhythm, character, content and style, Relationship between the partners reflecting the character and content of the music.

And once again why the third highest mark in those components… when other couples behind I&K were not fighting with such problems and they had only one story and one purpose which was related to what you saw on the ice greatly? So why I&K still marked higher?

Of course it's not ballet, it's a 4 min Ice Dance performance. I like her arms and finger movements. I think it was there but of course I was not expecting Zakharova. I do agree about the not extended free leg, which is important in this kind of routine. Morozov should've worked a bit more there.

I expected at least Lena’s ballet preparation from 2010/11 season with more mature presentation when she is 3 years older than she was there. My fault.
Why “of course“ we can’t expect a ballet preparation from somebody who is taking ballet music and says that at least one story is a ballet story? (I agree that Zakharova was really not expected.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D89_W1W-iMg – look at Krylova (she was about the same age like Lena), she is dancing Waltz but from the beginning it is obvious that her ballet training was great. Why Lena doesn’t have at least such arms and body posture? Krylova’s movements were much more suitable to a ballet music than Lena’s movements. If Krylova is able to bring a ballet arms and body posture to the ice why shouldn’t be Lena? And it has nothing to do with a changement in judging system.

However, keep in mind that we're talking about a bronze medal performance. Of course there are many things that it could've been done better. The only major problem I have with them is that they are not keeping dance holds and skate close to each other. In an old video on youtube, I think it was 2012, she said to RT news that they have a tendency to lead, both of them, instead of being one couple. I'm afraid they haven't fixed that yet, better hurry up.

They have almost the identical choreography for last three FD, but music and story which was announced are very different. Is it not a problem?

And timing is not a problem?
And simple choreography in comparison with other couples is not a problem?
And not dancing Quickstep to Quickstep music is not a problem?
And the same expression for last three years from Lena and Nikita (a love story) when music and purposes are different is not a problem?
And you don‘t mind that during FD Lena and Nikita spend one minute without touching each other? It is a one fourth of FD.

Which other top couples have such troubles? They all can keep the rhythm better, they can change expression, their dances are more difficult – close holds, difficult steps, variety of movements, holds, less two footed skating or “waiting on one foot“ skating. V&M, B&S, even S&Z with more difficult choreography have the same speed as I&K with the more simple choreography.

So why judges give I&K better marks for all components? Even with judges protecting their marks saying that I&K did majority of criterias and they deserve such points (which I don't agree in some of components), how would judges explain that other top couples are doing worse job than I&K?

By the way, is I&K going to the Worlds?

Yes, they are going.


Record Breaker
Nov 12, 2012
Wow, what stamina. You guys just keep on going, and going...Worlds and off-season can't come fast enough. Ugh!!!:popcorn:


Nov 25, 2006
A little introduction of couples:

D&W – Scheherazade – The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship, The Young Prince and The Young Princess, Festival at Baghdad – The Sea – Shipwreck…a story of Scheherezade, a young brise of Sultan, her tales, a love story, finally Scheherazade finish telling a story and Sultan allows her to stay alive.

V&M - Alexander Glazunov’s The Seasons ballet, Alexander Scriabin’s Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor – about harmony between man and woman, the story of partnership, but probably mainly just a dance in classical way.

I&K – Tchaikovski’s Swan Lake – Act II – X. Scene - Moderato, Act I – II. Scene – Waltz, Act III – Black Swan Pas De deux – II. Andante, Allegro, Act III – Final
…two stories – Odylie and her father Rothbart – two evil ones OR Woman and Man in love and fight.

P&B - excerpts from Cirque du Soleil that was transformed by Maxime Rodriguez and Jeux Interdits – The Little Prince book…more about book here…
http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sh...ion-of-skaters&p=822114&viewfull=1#post822114 post 53
…a story in FD and choreo described here… http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sh...ion-of-skaters&p=822696&viewfull=1#post822696 post 56

B&S – Man with a Harmonica and Tosca – a story a loving couple when a man is mentally ill and closed in a sanatorium in his own word and his girl tries to bring him into life, she repeatedly fails in attemps, so she starts to loose connection to reality as well and in moment when he finally comes back to normal life she falls into madness.

W&P – Maria de Buenos Aires – Alevare, Yo soy Maria - a Tango opera - interpreting the melancholy of tango as they said. (Their coach Krylova noticed that they wanted to be different while they expected that all other couples will come with classical music or musicals.)

C&L – The Barber of Seville – Opera Buffa – Overture – Rosina and Count Almaviva love story.

H&D – soundtrack Surviving Picasso, Le Di a La Caza Alcance by Estrella Morente – a story of Picasso and his Muse Francoise Gilot - a story about love and suffering in one.

S&Z – Norma – a modern version of Opera. A dramatic partly love story…more described here… http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sh...ion-of-skaters&p=823634&viewfull=1#post823634 post 58


Nov 25, 2006
Doris already noticed in 2011/12 posts that judges must give their marks immediately. But we know that if you watch a program just once – you can’t notice everything. If you look at arms, you can’t see edges, if you control closeness of skaters, you can’t watch details of hand movements, if you are catched by girl’s smile, you don’t see what is boy doing and if you watch a couple like one, than you can hardly notice any detail. How can judges mark so many details – bullets than? Official trainings are helpful but nobody is doing full routine there, still judges can at least notice edges work, but only if they stay behind the boards, deep edges are not very visible from far distance from tribunes. So it would probably lead to an opinion that every opening season competition is just a shoot to darkness because judges must mark immediately a program which they know almost nothing about…and only after that competition they run to YouTube Channel and re-watch all programs again and again and compare it with every bullet…so finally at next competitions they are able to come and judge more objectively having better knowledge about couple and their program. Do they really re-watch every program to have a real look on what is happening on the ice and how many qualities a couple have? It is much more simple to just listen to “behind the scene“ talks – officials, Federations, coaches, choreographers – but usually they have their “secret“ plans which are not very objective. So it is much better to go home and made own opinion. Are they doing it?


Nov 25, 2006
The personal and creative translation of the rhythm and/or character and content of the music to movement on
•Effortless and correct movement in time to the music (timing)
•Expression of the music’s rhythm, character, content and style
•Use of finesse1 to reflect the nuances of the music
•Relationship between the partners reflecting the character and content of the music
•Appropriateness of the music
•Skating primarily to the rhythmic beat for Short Dance and keeping a good balance between skating to the beat and melody in the Free Dance
1Finesse is the Skaters’ refined, artful manipulation of nuances. Nuances are the personal artistic ways of bringing variations to the intensity, tempo, and dynamics of the music made by the composer and/or musicians.

…comparing all international competitions for this component (signed ones are with home advantage)
…Grand Prix + Final + Europeans + Team Olympics + Individual Olympics
…B&S – Ice Star like the opening competition
…H&D – Nebelhorn, Golden Spin, Winter Universiade, Europeans, Mentor Nestle, Oly
… S&Z – Ice Star, NHK Trophy, Winter Universiade, Europeans + Oly
D&W: 9,89 9,82 9,89 9,82 10,00
V&M: 9,67 9,82 9,86 9,68 9,86
I&K: 8,68 9,07 9,21 9,18 9,50
P&B: 8,96 9,11 9,00 9,21
B&S: 9,42 8,86 9,07 8,68 9,25 (different program)
W&P: 9,00 8,93 8,89 9,04
C&L: 8,79 8,71 8,57 9,04 8,96
H&D: 6,54 6,90 6,80 6,82 7,33 7,14
S&Z: 8,25 6,86 7,60 7,86 7,07

Interpretation can be touched by mistakes and falls, if a couple looses concentration after it, then some bullets can be destroyed - superb expression, motivation from heart, stay in character and also timing can be more problematic as well.

D&W skated cleanly whole season, their IT mark varied about 0,18 points.
V&M were in little trouble in Team Olympics where they get 9,68, but their lowest IT mark was at home competition Skate Canada.
I&K varied about 0,82 points, no matter about mistakes every next skate was marked by judges like better and better performance (with small exception at Team Olympics with 0,03 lower mark in comparison with Europeans where they fell).
P&B varied about 0,25 points, surprisingly their TEB competition was not with the highest score (like in V&M case). Home advantage was not an advantage so much?
B&S opened a season with very high score, but it was B-competition where marks are always higher. Thanks to it they varied about 0,74 points, score in Russia and Grand Prix Final were lowered by a fall in non element. Their first really clean international performance was made at Olympics FD, but with different program and with home advantage.
W&P varied about 0,15 points, that is also strange, their connection with music gets better and better with every next competition but IT mark stays on one place. Why?
C&L overcome 9 points at Europeans for the only time, IT mark varied about 0,47 points.
H&D had also B-competitions which is not very comparable with big competitions, mark varied about 0,79 points. The highest mark was given at Mentor Nestle Cup.
S&Z and once again B-competitions, the highest mark at Ice Star at the beginning of the season. Judges are really getting mad because of this couple, in 3 weeks from Europeans to Olympics judges put about 0,81 point lower, the difference between Grand Prix competition and Europeans is one whole point. All IT marks varied about 1,39 points.

While I&K get the highest IT mark with home advantage, B&S at home competition or B-competition. S&Z get poor marks being home. Althought for V&M and C&L the Individual Olympic FD was their best FD performance this season, they didn’t get the highest all season score. P&B, W&P got the highest this season IT score at Olympics but there was no big difference in comparison with other competitions. B&S had the best skate of season at Olympics, still mark from B-competition (for program with mistakes) got higher score.

Range from 9-10 points:
skaters/music/nuances as one
motivation from “heart”
wide range of inspired movements, gestures
skaters stay “in character” for the whole program
exceptional ability to relate as one and to reflect music, theme
superb expression of the music’s style and character
timing: 100% correct
expression of Rhythms (SD): 100% correct

skaters/music/nuances as one:
D&W – yes, they express music and changes in music beautifully, especially Meryl‘s arms highlighted program in this bullet.
V&M – yes and they are always dancing
I&K – overall no… last minute of program is behind music in dynamics, intensity and gradation, maybe two or three times there is an attemp of making more dynamic move from Nikita but it is not enought even in those moments… what also persuades me that “no“ - is an expression of part after second lift, there are many beats and Lena does few toe steps to it, which is good, but Nikita is doing nothing just waits for his a half turn and while he is doing a half turn, then Lena doesn‘t express the music well, then they accept a big beat in music with a small lift… The waltz part should be majestic and ball-looking, it was not… and once again in final part it is the same problem, the final part music is not suitable for “waiting for“ moments the couple has during step sequences, it wants action from both of them, they are doing nothing together there – this is not a Swan Lake, this is not even a fight.
Watch other couples and compare – when music wants more expression then usually both man and lady expresses it.
P&B – yes, probably the biggest variations in mood of music during a program and all expressed greatly.
B&S – yes, intensity in music goes with intensity in their movements.
W&P – there is a gradation in dance, I see it and I like it, but if I would want 100%, then I woud say no to that bullet… there are great moments when they greatly express music, but there are two parts where …in first part – from spin to great hand gesture from Kaitlyn few seconds before straight line lift - they are dynamic but not that intense like music is… since that Kaitlyn’s gesture - it is great…the second problematic moment starts with twizzles when music goes down in intensity and starts to be smooth but the couple stays dynamic, too dynamic for this part, they should go to smoothness as well and finally when music starts to be passionate and dynamic again – it is OK, Kaitlyn and Andrew are on the right place with expression.
C&L – 9 seconds in diagonal step sequence was not expressed with the music which was too fast for them, the rest of program looked OK, dynamic arm movements helped a lot in fast parts to match the music…9 seconds from 4 minutes, it is 96,5%, if I would be a detailman I will say no to that bullet, if I wouldn’t be a detailman I will forgive those 3,5%
H&D – well, I have problem answering, I prefer to say yes, the skater/music/even some nuances as one…while I have to answer how much good is a couple in expressing the music, I start to imagine that the same program would be skated by top couples. While I can imagine that P&B and V&M would be able to skate this program at the same or better level than Spanish couple did in this bullet, I would say that other five couples from top 7 wouldn’t be able. It leads to say yes to that bullet…but on the contrary I feel that skating to final part of music when a gradation is not only in speed but very much in intensity and imperativeness – a Spanish couple can do better expression then they did, they didn’t put 150% into that part…maybe they are not persuaded about their own abilities as dancers and it stops them before opening their dancing talent fully. So, probably I would say no to that bullet, but like in W&P’s case, they are able to improve and catch the bullet fully.
S&Z – yes.

timing: 100% correct:
The biggest problem had I&K – in waltz step sequence, in diagonal step sequence as well, Lena missed the main beat, final Nikita’s arms movements beside the music beat. C&L sometimes don’t catch fast music, in the beginning of program with half rotation Anna’s jumps and from time to time throught program. S&Z face few gestures slightly out of beat. The rest of couples looks to be OK.

motivation from “heart“ (one partner or both partners?):
I would say B&S, S&Z, probably P&B, partly W&P

wide range of inspired movements, gestures:
I found a big range of interesting, unusual (on the ice) movements from all couples. Maybe V&M had the most classical style of movements. Meryl with a kind of Persian movements, Natalie with many details, even flower movements, Ekaterina with quirky movements to quirky story, Lena with Swan/ballet movements included, Kaitlyn and her gestures, simply all couples. It is interesting but most of movements and gestures which are different and unusual – the biggest work is made by arms, there are not many legs position which would be new, unusual and still elegant. Looking at who danced with whole body in FD (not only legs, arms) – I would point Meryl, Tessa, Ruslan Z., B&S both of them, Natalie, partly Kaitlyn and Sara.

skaters stay “in character” for the whole program:
They all stay in character, only Lena and Nikita jumps from one character in the beginning – Swan + Rothbart to another character in love part, to came back to Swan and Rothbart for twizzles and then I am lost and I have absolutely no idea who they are in diagonal step sequence, in final pose it is Swan again.

exceptional ability to relate as one and to reflect music, theme:
In this FD I would point V&M, P&B, B&S, S&Z, D&W with W&P with C&L, H&D, I&K – in this order… D&W on fifth place with two other teams because I think that they reflect the music with choreography very very well, but the connection between those two is something what is more pale in comparison with couples which I put in front of them, I&K behind all teams because I think that love romance is great to watch (once, not all seasons in row), but Tchaikovski music is much more than that, and personally every time I see this couple skate I have a feeling that the main important for them are themselves and music is only something low graded in Lena and Nikita’s eyes. From all other couples here I have a feeling that a music plays the major role in their skating and that all those couples are doing everything possible to express music as much as possible. While my feeling from I&K is that a music must be there because it is required (so Morozov choose a real hit for Olympics) but kids don’t really care if it is Ghost, Swan Lake, Adele’s song, Vysotsky’s song, Ave Maria, Apologize by One Republic and Timbaland, Adagio – they skate all those melodies in one mood, with same dynamics, with same facial expression, I don’t accept this. This is not exceptional.

superb expression of the music’s style and character:
This is partly connected with previous bullet, but I would say that choreography is more important here. If I would accept a character like character of music, not story in the program, I would put here D&W on first place with first three couples who were in front of them in previous bullet. Than S&Z with C&L, W&P (because of those two parts), H&D, I&K.
If I would take character like dancing and expressing story which is in a program (except V&M and W&P whose dances I take like pure dances without story), I would point P&B, B&S, S&Z, D&W, H&D, I&K (thanks to double story line).


Nov 25, 2006
Skating Skills:
Overall skating quality: edge control and flow over the ice surface demonstrated by a command of the skating vocabulary (edges, steps, turns etc.), the clarity of technique and the use of effortless power to accelerate and vary speed.
•Balance, rhythmic knee action and precision of foot placement
•Flow and effortless glide
•Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps and turns
•Power/energy and acceleration
•Mastery of multi-directional skating
•Mastery of one foot skating
•Equal mastery of technique by both partners shown in unison

Deep/fluid knee action:
…it is very well visible in step sequences…
…great knee action from V&M
…very very good knee action and very fluent knee action from I&K, there is not a good balance in diagonal step sequence where Lena bends her knee less then Nikita - overall in diagonal step sequence they both have less deep knees in comparison with V&M, S&Z and B&S, (in circular step sequence everything is OK and in unison)
…S&Z have great and deep knee action also
…P&B and W&P, more B&S are a little bit stiff in knee action, W&P – Andrew is sometimes in deeper knee than Kaitlyn, sometimes both could try to have deeper knees, P&B have good depth, but it could be also deeper, B&S have deep knees, sometimes Dima more than Ekaterina
…D&W are not fluent or deep in knees in most of time, sometimes stiff in knee action as well
…H&D overall fluent work of knees, in first step sequence more than in second, deep knees done only sometimes (more in first step sequence)
…C&L has almost no knee action and no depth

Precision of foot placement:
Foot placement on the ice? Then all top couples plus S&Z and H&D know exactly where to put their skates on the ice.
Placement of free leg which have to be extended usually if a choreographer doesn’t have another idea? Then Andrew Poje and Lena Ilinykh would be in trouble.

Flow and effortless glide:
Great flow in skating goes to V&M, I&K, S&Z, B&S, D&W, other couples are a little bit inferior I think.
Effortless glide mainly to V&M, I&K and S&Z.
But once again it is affected by steps which helps increase speed, more flow with many jumps in, a tendency for less flow with more steps with changement of edges.
More easy flow and glide while having space between partners and without close holds.

Deep, quiet, sure edges:
…I don’t understand why is a part of bullet anything like “quiet“ edges – I know that it means that technique is better and only best technical couples can skate quietly, but how can judges notice it when music is playing???
…this bullet leads to watch skates only…
…deep edges have V&M, but also P&B, I&K, B&S, S&Z, and yes W&P also…H&D partly, D&W very rarely and C&L almost never
…I&K are doing long arcs and they spend in every arc more time then other couples, their deep edges are very visible thanks to it (Morozov knows how to show all advantages throught choreography, but unfortunately their holds are sooo open)
…B&S had less deep edges in second step sequence in comparison with first step sequence or in comparison with the rest of the dance
…D&W almost don’t have deep edges
…C&L – it is not good – they work hard to get some edges in step sequence and diagonal step sequence had better edges then circular (first two opening steps here had good edges), but the rest of skating has very decent edges or no edges
…W&P – I am surprised, they are always presented like couple with not so good skating skills, but in this bullet they are pretty good – they have very very nice edges in step sequences (even I would say great edges in most of steps in circular step sequence), overall their edges are better than D&W’s edges
…S&Z - deep edges
…H&D – for the bigger part of the program they have deep edges while skating apart, if they hold each other blades are more narrow, but still in few moments in step seuences (especially in circular one) they have deep edge – Sara has better edges then Adria
Depth of edges is affected by closeness of partners – it is more problematic to keep deep edges skating close to each other.

Elegant and precise steps/turns:
…the best for V&M, I&K, P&B
…B&S had sometimes shaky moment, S&Z had very elegant steps/turns, but not always precise
…H&D have elegant steps/turns
…elegant steps/turns by D&W, but whether it was precise thanks to their blade’s work, I am not sure
It is more easy to make all turns having big space around without close holds. It is more difficult when both partners are doing turns in one moment (I&K are doing turns only when the other one is waiting).

Effortless acceleration:
…by all of them - V&M, I&K, B&S, S&Z, D&W
…then P&B and W&P, not good for C&L and H&D

Seamless use of all directions:
…all skaters can skate in all directions, I didn’t met even one couple who would be in trouble in any direction…
…I also looked at skating in couple in some hold – at direction the couples use – while V&M, W&P, B&S, P&B and I&K and S&Z changes direction almost regularly – they skate clockwise and immediately counter clockwise, H&D skate almost always counter clockwise, D&W uses more often counter clockwise direction as well, and C&L only counter clockwise with two exceptions (once before twizzles and secondly before diagonal step sequence)
…all couples with exception of V&M and H&D did a circular step sequence clockwise

Mastery of one foot skating:
Who is great in edges (which are done on one foot usually), turns (done on one foot usually) and steps – that skater must be good in this bullet as well.

Equal mastery of technique by both partners shown in unison:
All couples have very similar level of technique comparing partners together. There are small differences when Nikita and Ruslan are faster than their girls, Nikita doesn’t have problems with free leg extension and Lena does, but both boys are doing more frequent mistakes than ladies also. Andrew has a little bit better edges than Kaitlyn sometimes, but she has better free leg extension. Scott with Tessa and I would say that Natalie with Fabian and Ekaterina with Dmitri are equal like partners on almost 100%. Meryl looks more sure in skating than Charlie sometimes. Sara is a little bit better skater than Adria. I think that people are saying that Luca is better than Anna, but I don’t think so.

Ease in accelerating even during difficult steps:
…this is one of bullet needed for range 8,00 to 8,75…and for me it is a nice example of not well done judging system…while for getting 10 points you have to met all those knees, edges, accelerations – but you can do it with simple steps, because there is no criteria for it…but while you want to get 8,00 to 8,75 points, you have to come with difficult steps…that is ridiculous…difficult steps should be always taken into account, especially in getting higher points, because having deep edges, speed and great knee action with simple steps is much more easy than doing the same things with difficult steps…that is really a mistake in judging system. Another problem is definition of difficult steps, somobody may say that level 2 and 3 in step sequences means that a couples has difficult steps, I would prefer difficult choreography of whole program.

What also affects skating skills (already mentioned above) are close partners positions, all turns and steps are more difficult when your partner is close. It is a nice example when single skaters couple and try to make so elements together, they immediately looses all edges and looks very unpolished (but they are single skaters of course, they don’t need to skate close to somebody).
Also Volosozhar & Trankov had problems in their “dance part“ of step sequence in this season SP, it was much more difficutl for them then when they skated apart.
For comparison Tessa & Scott’s and Lena & Nikita’s step sequences…
Why isn‘t closeness in skating marked in skating skills, while it affects it?
Cicular step sequence:

Diagonal step sequence:

Range from 9 to 10
deep, quiet, sure, seemingly effortless edges
deep/fluid knee action
elegant and precise steps/turns
seamless use of all directions
effortless acceleration
extensive skill range for both

Do they need to have every bullet on 100%, or having it on more than 50% is OK?
Extensive skills for both of partners – what skills? – only those mentioned above (but it would be nonsense to judge every skill and that to have bullet which would include all bullets above), or close holds and extended free leg, because it is also a part of great technique? V&M, I&K (but question about free leg extension), B&S, S&Z, but I would also say that P&B can included and W&P also, I hesitate about D&W because of lack of deep edges.

For me V&M would meet all bullets.
D&W meet one bullet fully – acceleration, but other bullets are problematic in my eyes – their knees are not deep, but they are sometimes fluid – probably 35% of this bullet, their steps and turns are not precise always – sometimes done on toe pick, but it is usually elegant – about 75 %, all direction – but they skate more counter clockwise in free skate, so it would be probably about 85 %, extensive skill range – I wouldn’t give more than 70% thanks to not great edges.
B&S would meet four bullets without problems, other two can be counted not on 100%, knee action on 60%, because their knees are sometimes stiff, and steps/turns on 70% because they are not always elegant in it.
I&K would met 5 bullets if I didn’t think about their simple choreo, extensive skill range on 90% thanks to not extended free leg, but if I start to think how many bullets they would met with difficult choreo…who knows
P&B – knees on 75% (they are not always in deep knees), edges are OK, acceleration on 80%, extensive skill range OK, precise steps and all direction yes – 4 bullets fully, two bullets partly.
C&L – wouldn‘t be suitable for this range of points.
H&D – first four bullets a couple meets partly, fifth bullet probably no, sixth bullet probably not yet – not in this range also.
W&P – knees on 40%, edges OK, precise turns not always – step/turns on 70%, acceleration on 80%, extensive range skills – 90%, all directions yes.
S&Z – edges yes, knees yes, acceleration yes, extensive skill range OK, precise turns not always – steps/turns 80%, all directions yes.

I wouldn’t have problems to put V&M only to this range only, and all other couples to put under 9. But if a judges want to give high marks – I find B&S, S&Z, P&B and even with simple programs (when a difficulty it is not in requirements for high marks) I&K above 9 points, but nobody is good enought to be higher than 9,50, because it would really need superb skating skills (but every couple has still some work to do less or more). W&P probably around 9, for other couples lesser points. S&Z had a shaky one move when Ruslan lifted Victoria before a spin – so it would make skating skills lower for some tenth of point (unsuccessful choreo lift should touch GOE only, because the mistake was not done with skates, but there was a bad placement of Ruslan’s hand).

Once again my personal point of view only.


Wicked Yankee Girl
Jul 26, 2003
Re hearing skate noise in arenas over the music -it is very easy - some teams sound like they dragging a whole bag of assorted cutlery behind them. :eek: It is more noticeable the closer to the ice you sit, so I sm sure it can be very intrusive and annoying at the ice level where the judges sit.


Nov 25, 2006
Re hearing skate noise in arenas over the music -it is very easy - some teams sound like they dragging a whole bag of assorted cutlery behind them. :eek: It is more noticeable the closer to the ice you sit, so I sm sure it can be very intrusive and annoying at the ice level where the judges sit.

It is a perfect image. :laugh:

I don't remember that I would here it so much, maybe it depends on noisy/silent music also, on big orchestral music or simple instrumental. Or maybe I was so much into the music and program that I just didn't pay attention to it. :think:


Wicked Yankee Girl
Jul 26, 2003
It may well have to do with the good (or bad) acoustic qualities of the arena as well. Boston Garden is about average. However, the arena for Skate America 2007 was particularly bad for hearing skate noise. Btw, at that point in their careers, P&B, who were doing their Madness fd were noisy, but Faiella and Scali, skating to Yentl, were really very loud. Davis and White, skating to Eleanor Rigby were quite a bit quieter than either team. But they were a bit slower then too, than they are today.


Nov 25, 2006
It may well have to do with the good (or bad) acoustic qualities of the arena as well. Boston Garden is about average. However, the arena for Skate America 2007 was particularly bad for hearing skate noise. Btw, at that point in their careers, P&B, who were doing their Madness fd were noisy, but Faiella and Scali, skating to Yentl, were really very loud. Davis and White, skating to Eleanor Rigby were quite a bit quieter than either team. But they were a bit slower then too, than they are today.

Maybe also a quality of ice may influence a noisiness - but it would affect all couples.

P&B were not good technicians during their first senior international years, season 2007/08 including, they made a big improvement under Zhulin, and Krylova and Camerlengo kept the level.

Faiella & Scali were never too good in technique, while during first years Federica was obviously better, then in last season or two - Massimo was more sure on the ice.


Nov 25, 2006
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.


Nov 25, 2006
Look at judging Choreography component during this season:
…comparing all international competitions for this component (signed ones are with home advantage)
…Grand Prix + Final + Europeans + Team Olympics + Individual Olympics
…B&S – Ice Star like the opening competition
…H&D – Nebelhorn, Golden Spin, Winter Universiade, Europeans, Mentor Nestle, Oly
… S&Z – Ice Star, NHK Trophy, Winter Universiade, Europeans + Oly

D&W: 9,82 9,86 9,82 9,89 10,00
V&M: 9,63 9,64 9,64 9,68 9,89
I&K: 8,57 8,61 9,36 9,25 9,54
P&B: 9,07 8,89 8,86 9,18
B&S: 8,78 9,11 8,93 9,21
C&L: 8,79 8,75 8,43 9,14 8,86
W&P: 9,00 9,00 8,71 8,82
H&D: 6,43 7,15 9,70 6,93 7,17 7,25
S&Z: 8,25 7,04 7,75 7,93 7,11

Once again components at B-competitions caused biger difference in all Choreography marks.
D&W - CC mark varied about 0,18 points. V&M – CC mark varied about 0,26 points. I&K had a difference of 0,97 points. P&B varied about 0,32 points. B&S varied about 0,67 (thanks to Ice Star, with only major events it would be 0,46 points, but they changed a program for Olympics also). C&L had a difference of 0,71 points, W&P 0,29 points, H&D 0,82 points, S&Z 1,21 points.
Once again judges don’t know what to do with S&Z, at Europeans the couple gets 7,93 points, after a months of hard training and with no changes in choreography their mark gets down about 0,82 points with home advantage, funny.

Looking at panel of judges at top competitions this season, some names are repeating. There can be an idea that different judges are so objective/subjective in their opinions like fans and while one is able to give 5,25, the second one gives 7,75. But one judge who is judging the same couple at two different competitions…one suppose that the judge knows rules and requirements for Choreography (so that person knows that there is almost impossible to move with this component when choreography of program is still the same)…but it happened. I was looking at Coomes & Buckland at the Olympics and compared it with CC mark at TEB…there was one judge who was marking at both competitions…while range of marks at TEB was from 6,00 to 7,25 points, at Olympics the range of mark was from 7,75 to 8,25 points. So even if that judge would be that one who gave 7,25 points at TEB and 7,75 points at the Olympics, still there is 0,50 points space between it. But choreography stayed the same, only Interpretation was better at the Olympics. How is it possible that one judge judges the same program differently even with knowing the fact that choreography mark shouldn‘t vary, there is no space for it in all bullets?

Let’s take top couples and their first half of season (only top competitions – Grand Prix, Grand Prix Final)…and compare how great was choreographies in judges eyes…
D&W 9,86
V&M 9,64
B&S 9,11
P&B 9,07
W&P 9,00
C&L 8,79
I&K 8,61

The result and placement is almost identical with situation from Grand Prix Final with the only changement of P&B and B&S (probably thanks to fall of B&S in FD at Grand Prix Final). Also B&S got their best CC score at Cup of Russia with a home advantage. If I would take their second best score at Grand Prix (without home advantage and with a fall), they would be on fifth place. I&K had the worst CC mark from all Olympic medal contenders and Morozov probably got nervous that situation was not looking well…
But at Europeans situation changed dramatically…suddenly…why and how it could happen, when bot C&L and I&K didn’t changed anything in choreography, it is hard to say. European Championships helped C&L to get 0,35 points more and their best CC mark was 9,14 points now. I&K fell (but in elements and the entire choreography was not touched, only Interpretation and Skating Skills should suffer) and got 9,36 points. So after this competition, I&K jumped from seventh place to third for Choreography mark and C&L to fourth place.

Comparison of CC marks at the Olympics:
D&W 10,00
V&M 9,89
I&K 9,54
B&S 9,21 (different program)
P&B 9,18
C&L 8,86
W&P 8,82

First six couples improved in CC mark, I&K once again improved more than others. Also V&M improved their CC mark (but there was some small changement in lifts and step sequence, no?). W&P with the best skate this season got lower CC mark at the Olympics (while in the beginning of season judges prefered this couple over C&L, at the Olympics a piece of classical music won over Tango).
During whole season all couples with minimum or no changements of choreography (with exception of B&S who changed whole dance) stayed on one level of marking and in the same range of points (from 8 to 8,75 – very good, 9 and more – outstanding). C&L with mark called “very good“ in high 8 and one jump to low “outstanding“ at Europeans, W&P with “very good“ and the lowest score for “outstanding“ at Grand Prix, the best top couples with score for “oustanding“. I&K are the only ones from top who having exactly the same choreography throught the whole season jumped from middle range for “very good“ to middle range for “oustanding“. How?


Nov 25, 2006
OMG why do you feel a compulsive need to write these constant rambling posts?

So time ago somebody asked me to judge all couples, not only one couple…why not, I tried. If you didn’t notice a component mark includes five components and every component has his criteria/bullets and all of them should have anything to do with what is happening on the ice.
To understand this you would probably need to visit isu.org and read anything about it.

This is Figure Skating Forum…people write about figure skating and rules…you are writing about…well, not about figure skating definitely…are you sure that you are on the right Forum and in the right thread? If you are sure on 100% that you are in right thread than talk about Olympic FD.