2020 NHK Trophy: Thoughts on Ice Dance

ladyjane

Medalist
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Country
Netherlands
I thought the outcome was the right one. Much as I love Daisuke and his daring switch to Ice Dance, I thought the other two couples were better. Misato and Tim especially, I've never seen them skate so well before. It's going to be an exciting Nationals, because I'm sure Daisuke and Kana will continue to improve.
 
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gsk8

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Country
United-States
Takahashi, the 2010 Olympic bronze medalist in the Men’s discipline, has had to train a great deal with the transition into the world of ice dance.

“I had to change meals,” he noted. “In singles, I had to refrain from eating, but now it was about weight training and eating more. I stop breathing in my lifts, so still lots to work on. The single skater in me is still there, so every day I heard instructions on the free leg, toes and hold.”
 

draqq

FigureSkatingPhenom
Record Breaker
Joined
May 10, 2010
Daisuke and Kana are still very much a work in progress, but they show signs of potential. On side by side sequences, his edge quality from singles are getting high GOEs. They still have a lot to work on in terms of their levels, their comfort with holds, and the security of their lifts. I'm sure that with all their coaches (I think there were at least five, oh my), they'll improve quite a bit. The judges are ready to give them the marks once they earn them.
 

Weathergal

Medalist
Joined
May 25, 2014
I think Komatsubara / Koleto have really improved, even just over last season. Although I'm not a huge fan of their RD music, I think it's much better this season, and I actually enjoyed watching it. They look sharper and faster, and just more...put together, for lack of a better way of putting it. Things like lifts seem more effortless than before. This is especially noticeable in their FD. I like their new costumes for it as well.

I'm really cheering for them to make the Olympics, and especially now that Tim has cleared the huge hurdle of getting Japanese citizenship, I would hate to see them miss this opportunity. But as people often point out, you have to be judged by what you put out on the ice, and medals/Olympic berths, etc. are not "lifetime achievement awards".

But...I'm also a huge Takahashi fan. He is one of my most favorite skaters, and I rewatch some of his programs frequently. And I enjoyed Muramoto / Reed a great deal. So I'm rooting for them as well! Also it's great to see more competition in Japanese ice dance, which should hopefully help everyone improve as the skaters challenge each other. So...I'm torn.

I think Daisuke's amazing skating skills and musicality were on full display and certainly have helped Muramoto / Takahashi come so far so quickly. In particular, I thought they handled the "balletic moments" well in their FD. I don't think they were even practicing until sometime in January? Where they need to grow - understandably - is with things like lifts. Some looked a little awkward and labored. But this will come in time, I think. I'm honestly amazed at how good they are already.

Also, as I said in the competition thread, props to Daisuke with his RD costume for joining the "brotherhood of the traveling yellow pants" with Maxim Trankov, Ondrej Hotarek, and Deniss Vasiljevs. :laugh:
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Komatsubara/ Koleto are definitely the class of the field. They have shown huge improvements. Fukase and Cho have also improved dramatically from last year. So, this made the new pairing of Murakami/Takahashi stand out a bit (and not in a good way). But, Kana is really a fabulous ice dancer and Takahasi is beauty itself. So, I believe they will get better quickly! If nothing else, I believe that Takahasi will make it cool to go into ice dance. For a country which has generally strong basics, Japan has long been weak in this discipline. I hope that changes. (and while they are at it they need more pair teams .. maybe Yuzuru and Satoko can switch to pairs when they retire and Japan will have 20 teams in 10 years 🤣)
 

CanadianSkaterGuy

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Lovely to see Dai on the ice again! Misato and Tim were obviously miles ahead but there is a lot of potential with Kana/Dai. I am a bit dismayed that they almost won silver though when there is clearly a lot of work that needs to be done.

I don’t want to criticize too much what is clearly a WIP but Dai needs to be more confident with his edge work. Some places he was definitely tentative. Performance wise he’s great as usual.
 
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