Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ice Dancing OR karate?

And oh look who's in first after the compulsory dance... the Russians.

What. A. Shock.

NBC did a really cool simulcam comparison of the Russians to Davis/White and Virtue/Moir. Check out how much more ice the other teams cover during the dance (how they swing out wider and almost travel into the boards in the corners). That's called having a "deeper" pattern. Which is what should be rewarded. And they're also much smoother than the Russians.

BUT - playing devil's advocate here - the Russians also present a more mature, refined style and that's where you could argue they picked more points. Of course, not from me - you'll only hear that from Russians.


And for good measure - I asked the photographer to snap pics of each top team in the exact same spot and we were able to put together this side-by-side comparison of the "roundhouse kick" ... as a former ice skater, I should know better than to call it that, but it's just too hard not to!

Ice dancing - channeling the karate kid since 1976.

I am just so fond of Virtue/Moir and Davis/White - they make dance pretty again. We haven't seen pretty dance since Torvill and Dean. The Russians took ice dance in this aggressive, garish direction and in order to keep up, everyone kind of followed suit.

But ironically - it was a russian coach who ended that trend! Igor Shpilband has been coaching in Detroit for the past ten plus years now and he now coaches Virtue/Moir AND Davis/White. His choreography is always sophisticated and clever, but also fan friendly. It's just hard not to enjoy watching his teams.

It's sometimes hard to actually enjoy watching the russian teams. They're all drama and angst and oh, woe and the feathers and wings and sequins - and that's just the men!

Davis/White skate to a Bollywood medley and it's probably one of the best, most authentic OD's I've ever seen. It's just fun - and incredibly difficult! Virtue and Moir skate a beautiful, subdued program for their free skate - it's just gorgeous in its elegance but it will be interesting to see how it plays in comparison to all of the other completely over the top, fast-paced programs they'll be competing against. The other programs aren't more difficult - they just have more frenetic energy which can sometimes 'look' more difficult.

Tanith and Ben even admitted to adding more movements to their free skate after Nationals in order to make it look "more frenetic" for the Olympics. I don't get it.. I don't understand why it's rewarded. I want to watch dance and feel happy - not itchy.

Because, yes. Frenetic dances make me feel itchy.

Chances are the podium is already set with the Russians on top, Virtue/Moir second and Davis/White third... if the podium is NOT that, I'll be shocked. However, if either team is able to move up and grab gold, I'll be ecstatic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well... that's interessting but actually i have a hard time visualizing it... wonder how others think about this..