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Olympics: dancers' takes on figure skating


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#16 ami1436

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 04:54 PM

I'm an Olympics junky, but this is the first time I've had a TV during the Olympics since summer 2000, so....I've missed a lot in terms of how the sports and coverage of them have evolved. However, this:

And for the men, something really original: how about ... :lightbulb: ... a shirtless variation from Corsaire pas de deux? To please the neophytes, this should contain choreographic revision by Evgeny Plushenko, eliminating all transitions and retaining only the jumps and turns. :sweatingbullets:



BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!

:(

I find the commentary disturbing, but I'm also overall disturbed by NBC's coverage, so that's another story. I did, however, prefer Takahashi, Lambiel, and Lysacek to Plushenko. They were much more musical, impassioned, etc. And how, how, how I wish that Lambiel's footwork and spins could be rewarded more. (Okay, I realize the spins border 'tricks', but his are amazing... and I'm in awe of anyone who has that natural sense...).

Like I said, I didn't follow the changes in scoring, but what happened with the pairs? I found some of the required turns/poses/spiral sequences a bit yawn-worthy... there seemed to be somewhat of a lack of excitement....

I think this is all off-topic... I do like streaming the Prix de Laussane and think I'd watch an IBC, but please, without the commentary!

#17 bart

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 06:15 PM

Marga, thanks so much for those Healy clips. It's good to hear Jacques's voice again. His comments seem to be directed to things that viewers could possibly miss, like "phrasing." He doesn't belabor the obvious. And he knows how to keep quiet. I WOULD like to see more dance competitions with someone like him doing the commentary.

I almost fell over when I heard that Healy was 13 years old ( !!! ) when this was filmed. :sweatingbullets: :lightbulb:

#18 Jayne

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 02:34 PM

I'm an Olympics junky

so am I! And I ain't never going to rehab!

Regarding today's newsmedia controversy over Plushenko's disappointment with silver, I am linking the breakdown of the long program scores. What is most interesting to me is that Plushenko and Lysacek tied in artistic merit (82.8), but Lysacek won on the technical score (84.57) over Plushenko's (82.71).

What I really like about the current judging system in skating is that it rewards skaters who TRY, who don't give up after flubbing one jump - because you can still medal if your total content scores enough to overcome one flub. It also rewards the complete skater, who can skate well, spin, transition, and stamina to jump in the second half of the program. This is why, despite mistakes, so many skaters are above Jonny Weir's clean proram (though I felt he was underscored on his grade of execution).

http://www.vancouver...sm010101eh.html

Click on the "plus" symbol on the right side, and you can compare and contrast the scores for each skater.

Plushenko received some very good scores on footwork (surprise!) but Lysacek received better scores on many of his jumps (surprise!) and his faster, longer, better centered spins. I was really shocked when I read through the scores. I think the old mentality of skating clean = win, or skating big jumps = win no longer applies. The sport is ice skating, not ice jumping.

I'm surprised Plushenko did not use Tatiana Tarasova as his choreographer. She is the master of creating programs that take the best advantage of the code of points system. She designed Shizuka Arakawa's gold winning program in 2006 and Lysacek's world championship winning program in 2009.

I adore figure skating, but ballet dancers deal with competition every single day at work to get roles! I only like ballet competitions to receive scholarship money. I would enjoy watching that on TV far more than watching a Miss America talent competition to win scholarship money.

#19 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:49 AM

I just imagined someone grand-jete-ing into the wings accompanied by John Sterling screaming "It is high.....it is far.......it......is.......GONE!" :) :o

#20 perky

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 05:04 AM

Floor reporter to Male Contestant after his finals performance of the slave solo in Le Corsair,
"You really got the crowd on their feet! How do you feel about your performance?"
Male Contestant: "Well you know Coach and I have really been working hard to stick the landings! (Fist pump to Coach) All you can do is try to stay focused on the prize and give 110 % all the time."
Floor Reporter: "Now that you've won the gold what are you going to do?"
Male Contestant: "I'm going to DisneyWorld!"
:)

#21 bart

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 06:54 AM

:) Why doesn't NBC hire US to do the commentary. :o :wink:

Today's paper quotes Plushenko as follows: "Now it's not figure skating. Now it's dancing." Has "dancing" become a perjorative term? Can't you do a quadruple jump AND dance as well. Shouldn't that be the goal?

The quad may be the way of the future in figure skating, as Plushenko and many commentators insist, but should we give performance awards NOW to something that hasn't been developed fully and cannot as yet be integrated smoothly into other elements of the performance? Maybe the Olympics Committee should come up with a "Most Promising Innovation" Medal. That way you could allow time for training to change enough to make the quad a more plausible, controllable performance option.

Or do audiences actually feed off on the permanent possibity of failure?

#22 richard53dog

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 12:54 PM

Today's paper quotes Plushenko as follows: "Now it's not figure skating. Now it's dancing." Has "dancing" become a perjorative term? Can't you do a quadruple jump AND dance as well. Shouldn't that be the goal?



Personally I disregarded pretty much everything Plushenko has said. He DEFINES sour grapes and poor sportsmanship. He evidently felt he had won ahead of time and the results must have been quite a shock. Talk about having a sense of entitlement.

#23 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 12:57 PM

did you catch the sour puss on his face on the medal stand?? :)

#24 carbro

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 01:40 PM

did you catch the sour puss on his face on the medal stand?? :)

Hard to miss.

Reminded me of Nancy Kerrigan after she took the silver to Oksana Baiul's gold, something to the effect of "No fair! I skated cleaner than she did." Ah, but Nancy, Oksana touched our hearts. :o

#25 Jayne

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 09:51 PM

Personally I disregarded pretty much everything Plushenko has said. He DEFINES sour grapes and poor sportsmanship. He evidently felt he had won ahead of time and the results must have been quite a shock. Talk about having a sense of entitlement.

I have been watching 'The Queen' tonight on TV, and reminded of the emotional reaction to Princess Diana's death, and the media's hysterical willingness to demonize the royal family.

Right now the media is whipping up hysteria both in Russia and North America over this issue. Athleticism vs Artistry has been a debate in figure skating since it became an Olympic sport. I remember this discussion in 1988 during the "Battle of the Brians" and the "Battle of the Carmens".

If you are a diver, you must perform 4 dives in order to win an Olympic Gold Medal. If you perform one amazing 5-turn piked somersalt and hit the water with decent entry, but perform your other 3 dives with large splash entries and wonky mid-air positions, you are not "entitled" to an Olympic Gold Medal. Another competitor could perform a 4-turn piked somersalt with perfect mid-air positions and minimal splash, and do the same with the other 3 jumps - obviously that competitor will score higher on the total dive score.

Same thing for gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, half pipe snowboard, moguls skiing, dressage, ski jumping and all the other judged sports. You have to complete all your elements with great positions to get high scores.

I think if Plushenko and his coach had lobbied the ISU a year ago to give the Quad higher points values, that would be ok. He could even say now "I disagree with the points value given, I think a quad should be worth more, to motivate the skaters to do them'. And yet, he knew what the Code of Points was all about, he won under that system in 2006. He chose not construct a program that took the most advantage of bonus points, or perform spins with higher point values. He has only himself to blame for the result.

To criticize the other competitor as "not a true champion" to the Russian media - not even to Lysacek's face, that shows poor sportsmanship. However, Plushenko always thought he was the winner, even in 2002 at Salt Lake City, under the old 6.0 point system, he and his coach complained to the media that Yagudin and his coach Tarasova were lobbying the judges, and the fix was in....and that was his compatriot! He was also running his mouth off that a "fix" is in because the Americans lack any professional skating opportunities, so giving Lysacek the medal would create them.

If Yagudin was a NFL player, he could face serious fines for criticizing the officiating. But I don't think such censure exists in the ISU.

BTW, I didn't dislike either program, but didn't fall in love with either. Lots of arm flailing masquerading as choreography. Actually I thought Yagudin was one of the best I've seen, light on his feet, great musicality, good scratch spins.

#26 richard53dog

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:44 AM

I think if Plushenko and his coach had lobbied the ISU a year ago to give the Quad higher points values, that would be ok. He could even say now "I disagree with the points value given, I think a quad should be worth more, to motivate the skaters to do them'. And yet, he knew what the Code of Points was all about, he won under that system in 2006. He chose not construct a program that took the most advantage of bonus points, or perform spins with higher point values. He has only himself to blame for the result.


This is the aspect that puzzles me a bit. Maybe Plushenko DID lobby the ISU to bump up the point value of the quad. Who knows? But that would certainly have been a good strategy to position himself for coming into this Olympics and I certainly wouldn't have faulted him for that.

But how could he and his coach not be aware of how the Code of Points is constructed? Or was this just a casualty of human shortsidedness. (My brain is substituting "arrogance" for "shortsideness" but I really don't want to go there....that's too similar to the way Plushenko and his whole support system ...up to the big guy, Comrade Putin, ...is operating)

#27 Helene

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:09 AM

But how could he and his coach not be aware of how the Code of Points is constructed? Or was this just a casualty of human shortsidedness. (My brain is substituting "arrogance" for "shortsideness" but I really don't want to go there....that's too similar to the way Plushenko and his whole support system ...up to the big guy, Comrade Putin, ...is operating)

They are aware of how COP is supposed to work, but Plushenko received huge Program Component Scores and Torino in 2006 and in Tallinn a month ago, although not quite as high as before his comeback. It's not that his PCS were so much higher than his competitors -- it was the 8-10 points of positive Grade of Execution (quality on jumps, spins, and footwork) that gave him substantial leads -- but by giving him similar or equal PCS, the nullified the complex choreography, transitions, and interpretation of his closest competitors. Even in skating skills, which have a list of criteria apart from power, I would argue that he was overrated in the past, when he had speed and power -- in Tallinn and even more in Vancouver, he was not exceptionally fast or strong -- because he does not use his edges all that well. He has remarkable athletic ability to power his jumps, even when he doesn't approach them with speed.

Given the way he was rewarded in the past, Team Plushenko had every reason to believe that he would be judged the same way. He was within a point of beating Lysacek for the title with a sloppy, uninspired skate, however impressive it was that he came back after 3 years of not competing and with a 4/3 combination. I still believe he was overrated enough in GOE -- sloppy landings, bad air positions, no compensating jump entrances -- and PCS in Vancouver that it's possible to make a case for Takahashi winning the silver medal.

#28 Helene

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:54 AM

:wink: Why doesn't NBC hire US to do the commentary. :dunno: :wink:

Our commentary would sound like the title of Johnny Weir's SP Music: "I Love You/I Hate You".

#29 dirac

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 11:47 AM

Today's paper quotes Plushenko as follows: "Now it's not figure skating. Now it's dancing." Has "dancing" become a perjorative term? Can't you do a quadruple jump AND dance as well. Shouldn't that be the goal?


Personally I disregarded pretty much everything Plushenko has said. He DEFINES sour grapes and poor sportsmanship. He evidently felt he had won ahead of time and the results must have been quite a shock. Talk about having a sense of entitlement.


It was not Plushenko's finest hour, but I understood his feelings. Losing is one thing. Losing to the likes of Evan Lysacek....urrrgggh.

This is the aspect that puzzles me a bit. Maybe Plushenko DID lobby the ISU to bump up the point value of the quad. Who knows? But that would certainly have been a good strategy to position himself for coming into this Olympics and I certainly wouldn't have faulted him for that.


Well, he's right. The quad should be worth more, given its difficulty. But he knew the current rules going in. (I suspect it wasn't so much his scoring in the long program as the close grouping of the leaders in the short that really bugged him. Under the new system it often happens that the favorite collects such a whopping lead in the short that even a relatively weak performance in the long can't affect the final result much. Didn't happen here.)

But we seem to have wandered far off topic. :)

Floor reporter to Male Contestant after his finals performance of the slave solo in Le Corsair,

"You really got the crowd on their feet! How do you feel about your performance?"

Male Contestant: "Well you know Coach and I have really been working hard to stick the landings! (Fist pump to Coach) All you can do is try to stay focused on the prize and give 110 % all the time."


Or excuses, after a lackluster effort: "I didn't bring my A game today....I didn't dance my best....My knee has been giving me problems...."

#30 Jayne

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:06 PM

I started a new thread in the "other performance arts" secton, so we can discuss the meandering tangents to our hearts' delight.

http://ballettalk.in...showtopic=31302

Today - my thoughts on the Ice Dance Folk Dance portion of the competition! Feel free to join in!


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