Pairs FS Worldwide: The Divine Discipline | Page 8 | Golden Skate

Pairs FS Worldwide: The Divine Discipline

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
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Aug 12, 2014
But that's about what you would expect any new pairing to say.

They're not going to release a statement that they look forward to presenting programs with stale content, haphazard emotional commitment, and boring music.
🤣

B..b...b...but you didn't comment on my points that Eric's injuries have completely healed over 3 years of retirement! And, also relevant, that Eric's height and Vanessa's could in fact turn out to be more pleasing, more compatible and maybe even less hard on Eric's body. (just kidding, of course, my friend:)

I look forward to seeing their programs; they'll have to show me. I'll either like them or I won't, but it's not going to be on the basis of what anyone says... either pro or con.

Right. I'm predisposed to like them because of the very short clips we've seen, but also because I can picture the skaters E & V were with their previous partners, and I can imagine the kind of long lines, fluid skating and emotional engagement that I like.

The following quotes are from the That Skating Show interview, and I think they were from Eric, but maybe Vanessa, as she was saying very similar things. They say they don't expect anything to be given to them, and I take them at their word.

"When it comes to making the Olympics, this is a sport. It doesn't matter how good you are. You have to go out and you have to do your job. And if you don't, then it doesn't happen.... Nothing is going to be given to us. We're going to have to work really hard and we're starting from really far behind."
 

BlissfulSynergy

Final Flight
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Sep 1, 2020
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Mars
Certainly, we can continue to disagree.

I was only commenting on what I saw on the ice between them, and I didn't see unity of purpose or much emotional harmony. I saw two skaters each doing excellent, exciting elements and programs. But as always, YMMV and as I said before, it's all about taste and what I want to see in a pair.

I don't know the history of Aliona-Ingo-Robin off ice or their relationships. Not especially interested now, but I notice how thoroughly you delve into pairs!
Yes, seeing things differently in pairs is not a point of contention, but more-so of conversation, debate and willingness to share with an open mind. And then at the end of the day, maybe it's about appreciating that we all get different things from different partnerships, which is a good thing. Listening to a view that doesn't seem to align with my own can sometimes open up new ways of looking and fresh perspectives. Or, it can allow for me examining more fully my own particular views and departures from agreement with others.

Plus, sometimes it's hard to use words to describe what we feel about the beauty and complexity of pairs skating (at least for me). In regard specifically to Aliona/Robin, I enjoyed watching them at their best, and I was sad for them about the struggles they had to face because German fed came down hard on Ingo for his past. For me, it was kind of interesting to see that the Stasi stuff came out about Ingo just at the time Robin & Aliona were making headway on the pairs scene, which to me speaks of jealousy in some quarters. I also read at the time about certain factions wanting to split Robin & Aliona, because Aliona was seen as a prize after pairing with Robin under Ingo. That's when the uniqueness of her talent and her intensity came to the fore. The thing about it though, is that Aliona also had an equally talented pairs partner in Robin, along with a creative coach in Ingo. As a trio, they crafted a different way of moving on the ice, and a uniquely different and unexpected way of imagining pairs, which stretched boundaries. S/S and S innovated pairs skating, and there's no doubt about that. They inspired many teams, including Duhamel/Radford, Stolbova/Klimov, and Ashtakova/Rogonov, to name a few.

I agree that a deep emotional connection on the ice wasn't as evident between Aliona & Robin, but there was deep respect, bravery, and loyalty toward Ingo during a tough period (of jealousy and harsh forces from the outside complicating their training and their career). Sure, S/S did not exactly skate two as one in the classic, traditional sense. They skated perhaps more counterpoint to counterpoint as they explored creative ways to showcase their differences as individuals and their strengths as a team. They most definitely had 'unity of purpose,' until sadly, they didn't. Robin's body apparently was breaking down from age and injury, which sometimes leads to the mental side not being as strong, thus desire to continue the daily requirements of the competitive grind begins to wane. Ask Chris Knierim.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Yes, seeing things differently in pairs is not a point of contention, but more-so of conversation, debate and willingness to share with an open mind. And then at the end of the day, maybe it's about appreciating that we all get different things from different partnerships, which is a good thing. Listening to a view that doesn't seem to align with my own can sometimes open up new ways of looking and fresh perspectives. Or, it can allow for me examining more fully my own particular views and departures from agreement with others.

You and I are in absolute agreement about this. I really enjoy conversations when people are able to be open to considering another point of view and even open to possibly shifting their own. But I also enjoy when listening well serves to be good for solidifying my own viewpoint. Listening openly is a magical dynamic.

Sure, S/S did not exactly skate two as one in the classic, traditional sense. They skated perhaps more counterpoint to counterpoint

Yes! Like call and response. That's one of the things I like about Anastasia and Aleksandr. In M/G, I feel that those movements showcase their emotional connection. I always enjoyed the counterpoint shapes of Ina/Zimmerman when they were skating. I'm not sure it meant harmony in their case. But it worked on the ice. I read that John Zimmerman only agreed to take on James/Cipres when they promised to stop bickering in practices. He'd learned ... from Moskvina, no doubt. In a recent interview, Tamara said that one of the changes in Boikova/Kozlovskii was that once M/G joined Tamara's group, B/K stopped arguing on the ice; apparently before they'd often argue about who'd made a mistake, etc.

Robin's body apparently was breaking down from age and injury, which sometimes leads to the mental side not being as strong, thus desire to continue the daily requirements of the competitive grind begins to wane. Ask Chris Knierim.

:( You said that well. Apparently that's what Eric Radford was dealing with in the last couple of years before he and Meagan retired. And the 3 years off allowed his body to heal more completely. I guess my favorite example of this is Deanna Stellato, who was plagued by multiple injuries as a teen-ager but took a 16-year break. She has the wonderful muscle memory for the skating elements, but didn't have the wear and tear on her body for 16 years which must be more likely when one trains constantly at a high level during those years. Although there's always an exception, such as Aljona S. seems to be. Still, maybe she was very diligent about taking time to heal. After 2018, I read an interview where Aljona said that was why she and Bruno finally stopped trying for the throw triple axel -- she would get injured in an attempt, and then she'd have to be off the ice for two weeks. It wasn't worth the missed training.

Only yesterday, I finally watched Deanna with Maxime Deschamps in their 2021 skates for the Canadian challenge. I hadn't watched them skate in over a year, and I'm impressed and sort of mesmerized. They have a fluidity that is gorgeous. And they've crammed their FS with difficulty, especially in their lifts. The complexity plays out so beautifully. It doesn't give me the feeling of "oh, yes, there's tick-tick-tick on the position changes," etc. I think it's partly Deanna's arm movements that create this feeling of fluidity.

I looked to speak of this in more detail in Deanna/Maxime's fan fest ... and they apparently don't have one. At least, it isn't listed in the FF Index. I didn't explore further.
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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Only yesterday, I finally watched Deanna with Maxime Deschamps in their 2021 skates for the Canadian challenge. I hadn't watched them skate in over a year, and I'm impressed and sort of mesmerized. They have a fluidity that is gorgeous. And they've crammed their FS with difficulty, especially in their lifts. The complexity plays out so beautifully. It doesn't give me the feeling of "oh, yes, there's tick-tick-tick on the position changes," etc. I think it's partly Deanna's arm movements that create this feeling of fluidity.
Yes, I really enjoyed seeing how much Maxime and Deanna have grown since last season. I like the unexpected theme of their fp. They have certainly added difficulty to both sp (from last season) and their new fp. A fan fest should surely be started for Deanna & Maxime. Deanna landed a beautiful throw in the sp. In the fp, Deanna had problems on both throws for whatever reason. She wasn't happy about the mishaps, but it didn't take away from the compelling quality of their program.

Here's the link to the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge Virtual Competition videos, available to re-watch:


Yes! Like call and response. That's one of the things I like about Anastasia and Aleksandr. In M/G, I feel that those movements showcase their emotional connection. I always enjoyed the counterpoint shapes of Ina/Zimmerman when they were skating. I'm not sure it meant harmony in their case. But it worked on the ice. I read that John Zimmerman only agreed to take on James/Cipres when they promised to stop bickering in practices. He'd learned ... from Moskvina, no doubt. In a recent interview, Tamara said that one of the changes in Boikova/Kozlovskii was that once M/G joined Tamara's group, B/K stopped arguing on the ice; apparently before they'd often argue about who'd made a mistake, etc.

Well, that's something I wasn't aware of. Do you recall where you read about these tidbits regarding conflict during training issues? I'm sure it happens between a lot of teams, until they are able to work it out and better mesh the different sides of their personalities. That's interesting about the dynamic between B/K as well.

I still view M/G as a young, developing team. Moskvina has helped fast track them to success. But they still have a lot to work on, which includes working on their connection. As a devoted fan perhaps you feel or sense a connection, but for me, M/G previously didn't show much of a connection, and they didn't perform as energetically and purposefully as they do now. They seemed caught up in moving cautiously from move-to-move, without good projection, and less than remarkable emoting between them. Moskvina brought them out of their shells and helped increase their confidence with the right music and choreo that suits them extremely well.
 
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skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Well, that's something I wasn't aware of. Do you recall where you read about these tidbits regarding conflict during training issues? I'm sure it happens between a lot of teams, until they are able to work it out and better mesh the different sides of their personalities. That's interesting about the dynamic between B/K as well.
The comment from Zimmerman about his condition for taking on J/C was in an interview around the time J/C won GPF and Europeans, I think. I should keep track of these, because I'm not the best at finding the references later.

When Ina/Zimmerman were competing, I heard Terry Gannon (or Dick Button?) mention the fact that they didn't see eye to eye, or had conflicts while training, something to that effect. Terry would bring that up about Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir too. It seemed to be repeated.

I may be able to find the comment that Tamara made. It was in her interview right after Worlds.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Final Flight
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Country
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The comment from Zimmerman about his condition for taking on J/C was in an interview around the time J/C won GPF and Europeans, I think. I should keep track of these, because I'm not the best at finding the references later.

When Ina/Zimmerman were competing, I heard Terry Gannon (or Dick Button?) mention the fact that they didn't see eye to eye, or had conflicts while training, something to that effect. Terry would bring that up about Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir too. It seemed to be repeated.

I may be able to find the comment that Tamara made. It was in her interview right after Worlds.
Yes, it's well known about the personality differences between Marissa & Simon. But they made a commitment to stay together for mutual career goals. Post the 2014 Olympics, their relationship apparently broke down and they split. Ironically, Marissa admittedly never fully adjusted to competing with a new partner in Mervin Tran, who wasn't as tall as Simon. This, among other technical complications Marissa/ Mervin never overcame, despite how smooth and fast they were over the ice.

I had heard about Ina and Zimmerman not getting along personally. I suppose they learned under Moskvina how to sublimate their differences to their mutual goals. Thus Zimmerman understood, I suppose, the importance of pairs athletes having a positive attitude together in order to train effectively. At least, that seems to be the lesson.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Final Flight
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So, there's a lot happening in pairs, particularly in Canada. There isn't a specific Canadian pairs thread, and what's happening for Canada will impact pairs worldwide, so I'm bringing this development here, cross-posted from James/ Radford thread where it is not directly on topic:

It's very interesting that Dylan M, who helped break the James/Radford pairing news on That Skating Show, has teamed up with Meagan Duhamel to skate professionally on tour with SOI. I am curious to know who approached whom! Did Meagan give Dylan a call or vice versa? Or did someone from SOI approach each of them with the suggestion? Inquiring minds want to know. ETA: thanks to @Dreamer57 for pointing out that this detail is in the announcement! Duh! :palmf:

Slightly off-topic but related news:
According to the Stars on Ice website, Meagan is partnering with Dylan (Moscovitch) for Stars on Ice 2021! This sounds like an exciting pairing for the tour, I imagine they'll have some great, crowd-pleasing tricks. I'm glad Meagan has this opportunity to continue skating shows, maybe if they enjoy skating together for SOI, they can book more tours together.
Here's their SOI profile: https://www.starsonice.ca/skaters/meagan-duhamel-dylan-moscovitch
 
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Dreamer57

Medalist
Joined
May 20, 2018
So, there's a lot happening in pairs, particularly in Canada. There isn't a specific Canadian pairs thread, and what's happening for Canada will impact pairs worldwide, so I'm bringing this development here, cross-posted from James/ Radford thread where it is not directly on topic:

It's very interesting that Dylan M, who helped break the James/Radford pairing news on That Skating Show, has teamed up with Meagan Duhamel to skate professionally on tour with SOI. I am curious to know who approached who! Did Meagan give Dylan a call or vice versa? Or did someone from SOI approach each of them with the suggestion? Inquiring minds want to know.
It says in the quoted profile that she reached out to him.
I hope this will be a successful team up for them and that they are able to train safely!
 

BlissfulSynergy

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^^^ Ah, thanks. That's cool. Their tryout must have felt good for them both. And this is a way for Dylan to make extra money on the show circuit, so it stands to reason he'd be interested. Plus, Meagan has always been a go-getter, so she didn't waste anymore time being upset with Eric and worrying about lost show revenue, after she had her say publicly.

Dylan has said he isn't interested in competing eligibly again. Meagan also said the same, so this move would seem to work out well for both. It should also be fun exploring all the nuances and fresh perspectives of a new partnership, but in the less heavily pressurized tour setting.

Meagan surely had Dylan sign a contract before the announcement. ;)

ETA:
Nice write-ups/ backgrounds for Meagan & Dylan on the SOI site. I just wish the references to being Olympic medalists would specify 'Team' where appropriate. Meagan holds a bronze medal in the 2018 Olympic pairs event with Eric Radford, and two team event Olympic medals (silver 2014; gold 2018). Dylan has an Olympic silver medal in the 2014 team event. So where it leads with Olympic gold medalist for Meagan, and Olympic silver medalist for Dylan, '(Team)' should be inserted after both references. I know some fans don't think it is necessary to specify. I do think it is important.
 
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ladyjane

Medalist
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Jun 26, 2012
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Netherlands
ETA:
Nice write-ups/ backgrounds for Meagan & Dylan on the SOI site. I just wish the references to being Olympic medalists would specify 'Team' where appropriate. Meagan holds a bronze medal in the 2018 Olympic pairs event with Eric Radford, and two team event Olympic medals (silver 2014; gold 2018). Dylan has an Olympic silver medal in the 2014 team event. So where it leads with Olympic gold medalist for Meagan, and Olympic silver medalist for Dylan, '(Team)' should be inserted after both references. I know some fans don't think it is necessary to specify. I do think it is important.
I agree. Of course one can read it in the write-up, but I also think it's important. It's a different kind of medal. It says something about the level of skating across disciplines within a National Team. Same with Kaetlyn as Olympic Gold Medallist. She has an Olympic Bronze and World Gold in het own right, as well as an Olympic Silver and Olympic Gold as part of the Team. It looks like a small thing, but I think there's a big difference.

Back to the Pairs now...It made me very happy to see this development. Do we call Meagan and Dylan an Adagio Pair now?
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
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Aug 12, 2014
Yes, it's well known about the personality differences between Marissa & Simon. But they made a commitment to stay together for mutual career goals. Post the 2014 Olympics, their relationship apparently broke down and they split.

Apologies for the lateness of this; it's been a busy couple of weeks. Here are my impressions and memories of Marissa and Simon in 2014. Marissa announced she was not continuing with the partnership, and I think it was before she took tryouts with others. She'd said earlier that the trouble was that she and Simon were both very strong-willed and equally convinced when they were right about something. My impression -- which was confirmed by an interview between events at Nationals with Marissa's mother a few years ago -- is that Marissa didn't like the experience of constant conflict or maybe, going a step further, was conflict-averse. It took a toll. Which can be true even of someone who's very strong-willed. (Ahem: don't ask me how I know this 🤪). Whereas Simon didn't seem to be bothered by it. He may have seen or experienced it as part of the give and take of any relationship. Family background is key here, as some families aren't bothered at all by conflict with each other, while others respect each other's opinions just as much, but as a habit they create ways of smoothing out differences and coming to agreement without feeling like they're in a constant struggle, fight, or even an argument.

I remember thinking that Simon was blind-sided by Marissa's announcement. He'd already been talking openly about making another Olympics, since he'd loved the experience so much. I just think he didn't realize that their relationship in training took a toll on Marissa. She didn't want to continue. And when she chose Mervin, she talked a lot then and later about being friends on the ice. (I re-watched a couple of their programs recently, and they did have so much going for them, such charisma and sparkle.)
I had heard about Ina and Zimmerman not getting along personally. I suppose they learned under Moskvina how to sublimate their differences to their mutual goals. Thus Zimmerman understood, I suppose, the importance of pairs athletes having a positive attitude together in order to train effectively. At least, that seems to be the lesson.
(y)

Another thing I remember is that commentators, interviewers, etc. questioned Ina and Zimmerman teaming because they had such different styles of skating. Moskvina replied serenely that it didn't bother her -- she planned to use it. That's something that makes her so brilliant. She looks at the skaters as they are, and uses it, or brings it to fruition. ETA: That just made me wonder what Moskvina would have done with Meagan and Eric.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
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Aug 12, 2014
Here's a quote from Eric Radford about skating with Vanessa James that I think is discussion worthy. @BlissfulSynergy posted it in another thread. The quote just makes me happy, that they hope to attain "two skating as one" and that their improvement is happening so fast it's like a positive feedback loop. Linking that to their self-belief, that they can do this. The whole quote is inspiring.

The more I think about where there's "space" for them in pairs competition, the more I think that their new team, with so much experience albeit with other partners, really does have the potential to shake up the predicted "order" in pairs. If for no other reason than that they hope to show something that's up till now unseen. But I don't care so much about their placement as that I'm really looking forward to seeing how they come together. It's already making me long for next season. :love:

"It really comes down to the belief that Vanessa and I have in our ability to mesh probably on the fastest level we've ever seen before.
I think that in the last month, we've been skating for about a month now, every day, we've seen incredible improvement… Trying to attain that goal of two skaters skating as one, it's happening so fast. Because it's happening so fast it's like a positive feedback loop where it makes us believe more and more that we can actually do this as more time goes by."
 

Seven Sisters

Medalist
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Apologies for the lateness of this; it's been a busy couple of weeks. Here are my impressions and memories of Marissa and Simon in 2014. Marissa announced she was not continuing with the partnership, and I think it was before she took tryouts with others. She'd said earlier that the trouble was that she and Simon were both very strong-willed and equally convinced when they were right about something. My impression -- which was confirmed by an interview between events at Nationals with Marissa's mother a few years ago -- is that Marissa didn't like the experience of constant conflict or maybe, going a step further, was conflict-averse. It took a toll. Which can be true even of someone who's very strong-willed. (Ahem: don't ask me how I know this 🤪). Whereas Simon didn't seem to be bothered by it. He may have seen or experienced it as part of the give and take of any relationship. Family background is key here, as some families aren't bothered at all by conflict with each other, while others respect each other's opinions just as much, but as a habit they create ways of smoothing out differences and coming to agreement without feeling like they're in a constant struggle, fight, or even an argument.

I remember thinking that Simon was blind-sided by Marissa's announcement. He'd already been talking openly about making another Olympics, since he'd loved the experience so much. I just think he didn't realize that their relationship in training took a toll on Marissa. She didn't want to continue. And when she chose Mervin, she talked a lot then and later about being friends on the ice. (I re-watched a couple of their programs recently, and they did have so much going for them, such charisma and sparkle.)

And here we might also want to mention those poster children for pairs who couldn’t stand each other, Stolbova & Klimov :) Their obvious distaste for each other was palpable on the ice, creating a weird dynamic that actually enhanced their appeal IMHO. They were utterly fascinating to watch, and of course, had a very successful career together.
 
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BlissfulSynergy

Final Flight
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Country
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^^ Ah yes, Stolbova/Klimov. The wonderful thing about S/K is that when push came to shove, at the height of their struggles, they figured out how to make their oppositional relationship work for them on the ice. Abracadabra! I Put a Spell on You! :love2:


Rockin' sizzlin' sexy outfit worn by Ksenia! Diva Magic, yessiree!

@skylark, ITA regarding Simon & Marissa. I once spoke to them about their partnership travails, pre their 2014 Olympic season. At a certain point they'd made a commitment to make things work. One of their issues tho' is that they are both strong-minded, hard-headed Leos! Always butting heads. After the Olympics, Marissa had enough apparently.

Marissa later teamed unexpectedly with Mervin Tran. But yet, despite matching very well with Mervin and being friends, they ended up having a lot of unforeseen challenges they weren't able to overcome. Part of it seemingly is that Marissa never adjusted to having a not-so-tall partner, in addition to tech inconsistencies. Toward the end, apparently Mervin and Marissa were not seeing eye-to-eye, compounded unfortunately by bad luck, like the time their car was broken into after Nationals in, I believe, San Diego.
 

Dreamer57

Medalist
Joined
May 20, 2018
Some Australian pair skating news:

Ice Skating Australia Online Event
Anastasia Golubeva/Hektor Giotopoulos-Moore 148.13 (51.12 SP, 97.01 FS)
Campbell Young/Lachlan Lewer-Parr 93.87 (32.54 SP, 61.33 FS)

One couple has 3T-3T, the other couple can do lutzes.
I think this is all really exciting for pairs skating in Australia!
 
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