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Thread: Musings from a lapsed fan

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cat Lady View Post
    Aww, thanks Honestly, I didn't bother watching the free dance this year because I found myself not interested at all based off the original dance and team event. I don't recall one great dance program since code of points (or whatever it's called these days - must not be COP since I see ISJ written). Of course, I realize that's the self feeding monster - i.e. I don't watch because I haven't seen anything appealing. but how do you see anything great when you don't watch?

    I'm sure the sport has advanced technically but don't know enough about dance to say. To me, it looks like watered down pairs these days. I cringe when I see these extended "dance" spins - tacking the word "dance" on the name doesn't change the fact that it's a pair spin with a few restrictions. These days sbs is required when it used to be restricted.
    To me, dance is about interpreting music by having the bodies work together. Dance used to be skating's greatest art but now I feel like they just mash a bunch of elements while music plays. Just like I find quad after quad with no expression to be boring, I find dance spin followed by sbs step sequence followed by twizzle to be boring.

    I realize that people make the same complaints about the other disciplines. The difference is that all these extra requirements added to the programs - there used to be a lot of empty programs back in the day - so overall, the quality of the programs has improved. In dance, you never saw couples just doing crossovers from element to element so breaking it down like this took away from the discipline.

    I do like that more people seem to understand it more and that people don't create a big controversy at every event - though the cynical part of me wonders if that's just because North Americans are winning instead of the Russians.

    I don't know. perhaps dance just hasn't produced any great artists and that's why it's so uninspiring but it seems to me, in the name of pursuing the sport side over the art, the rules don't allow for great dance programs anymore.
    I think you should give ice dance more of a try. I think because of technical requirements being so "contrived" that teams having a distinct style is imperative to standing out. If you only watched the team event, then you might not be aware that Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir FD was much better in the individual event. My personal preference is drama and I liked the details in Virtue/Moir's program more however whether they won gold or silver, I was moved to tears by how emotionally charged their FD was.

    If you think that there are no great artists, I think you might reconsider and really like the French team of Papadakis/Cizeron's FD; they were not in the team event so you might have missed out on this piece of art. At the very least, watch this FD.

    Both teams are different kinds of artists, an incredibly exciting event.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyndichee View Post
    I think you should give ice dance more of a try. I think because of technical requirements being so "contrived" that teams having a distinct style is imperative to standing out. If you only watched the team event, then you might not be aware that Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir FD was much better in the individual event. My personal preference is drama and I liked the details in Virtue/Moir's program more however whether they won gold or silver, I was moved to tears by how emotionally charged their FD was.

    If you think that there are no great artists, I think you might reconsider and really like the French team of Papadakis/Cizeron's FD; they were not in the team event so you might have missed out on this piece of art. At the very least, watch this FD.

    Both teams are different kinds of artists, an incredibly exciting event.
    This, absolutely. Papadakis & Cizeron’s FD is a must for anyone who enjoys skating or just anything to do with the artistic/cultural realm. Even those who do not enjoy their skate would have a fine time unleashing their inner critic

    I would recommend watching the dance coverage with Belinda Noonan’s commentary, although she talks throughout the performance, she does a great job of breaking down the code and is brilliant for untrained eyes. That will definitely bring you up to speed on the current requirements.
    If you look on YouTube, the Australian Chanel 7 has these clips.

    I’m very glad you’re enjoying the sport again and thank you for your positive post!! Some seasoned fans can grow a little too knowledgeable in my opinion, which leads to more of a critical mindset, not always a bad thing, but something which can detract from the magic of the sport. A bit like knowing a magician’s secrets before watching the show.
    It is great to hear the thoughts of someone with “fresh eyes”

  3. #18
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    I so appreciate this thread and the positive first post! Too often threads get sucked into everything that's ruining figure skating (quads, IJS, TES, PCS - you name it, someone's blamed it for the demise of the sport). I sometimes forget to celebrate the amazing skating that's happening right now. I agree that these Olympics were just incredible and I loved watching every minute.

    What's interesting about ice dance for me is that when I first started following the sport seriously, in 2013-2014, I couldn't have cared less about ice dance. But I started watching events here and there and now it's my favorite discipline! Personally, I think it's where you find the most creative, interesting, and authentic programs.

    PS - Old Cat Lady, please post long and often! I think most of us are here because we don't have as many "real life" friends to talk about figure skating in excruciating detail with.

  4. #19
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    I enjoyed reading your post. It is interesting to learn that all disciplines except ice dance refreshed and re-ignited your love for skating, while in the forum, thoses are the deciplines that have gotten fiercely criticized for lack of artistry; too much focuses on technicality, etc. at least the last four years since I joined the forum. Your review and comparison between times and deciplines give me a new perspective to see the sports.

    I acknowledge that we live in such a rich and innovative skating period. We have Russia that keeps producing SO MANY talented young girls skaters, along with Japan. Men’s and Pairs fields are not as deep as ladies, but are spread out around the world. It is healthy to have a diversity in the field with talented skaters from small AND large skating federations.
    Comparatively, ice dance is the most conservative decipline with the least influx of talents amongst all four.

  5. #20
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    I think you should consider skipping short dance and watch the free. At least until you start to get into it again

    The short dance can be a bit tedious and part of that is because they are all required to be very similar. It can get repetitive, especially this season where it was all Latin. Last year we everyone did blues and either hip hop or swing, so we at least got a little more variety in the SDs... i don't remember what the requirements are for next year. But for now, I think a lot of the free skates would be your speed.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyena View Post
    I so appreciate this thread and the positive first post! Too often threads get sucked into everything that's ruining figure skating (quads, IJS, TES, PCS - you name it, someone's blamed it for the demise of the sport). I sometimes forget to celebrate the amazing skating that's happening right now. I agree that these Olympics were just incredible and I loved watching every minute.

    What's interesting about ice dance for me is that when I first started following the sport seriously, in 2013-2014, I couldn't have cared less about ice dance. But I started watching events here and there and now it's my favorite discipline! Personally, I think it's where you find the most creative, interesting, and authentic programs.

    PS - Old Cat Lady, please post long and often! I think most of us are here because we don't have as many "real life" friends to talk about figure skating in excruciating detail with.
    I agree with everything you said! It's so nice to have people to talk to about the sport!

    Tanith and Ben got my attention in 2006, but it wasn't until the 2010 Olympics when I really got into Ice Dance and I'm with you --it's my favorite discipline, along with the men.

    I will say -- I went back and watched the top three from 1994 Olympic Ice Dance last night and while I adored Torvill and Dean and there are some things where they are superior, I have to say IJS made me appreciate the qualities of Grischuk/Platov and Usova/Zhulin a lot more and could even understand why they beat T&D at the time. I do appreciate IJS in a sense that it gave some sort of objective means to judge the dances -- even if it isn't perfect.

  7. #22
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    I think people romanticize the programs under 6.0. Even if you want to argue that the greatest programs came in that system, for every Chen Lu there were 5-10 ladies lumbering between ugly spirals and 2.5 flutzes. I would argue that there were only a handful of men’s programs that were artistically stronger than any of the top 3, and none that were better than Hanyu.

    I love Plushenko. He’s one of the sport’s greatest benefactors, a champion that pushed the sport, had rock star charisma, huge personality, publicly supported unpopular civil rights issues in his country, and seems to truly love the sport. But I love Plushenko *in spite* of his programs. The fact that he could sell them so well is a testament to the strength of his intangible qualities. Philippe Candeloro was memorable and was fun to watch when he skated with abandon but was sloppy. Ilia Kulik had gorgeous floaty jumps and powerful edges… but not a whole lot more worth noting. I don’t think you could classify anything Elvis or Todd did as artistic.

    Sure, there were several standout programs but it’s not like the fields were littered with them - it was a couple beautiful programs a year accompanied by a bunch of programs you hope to forget.

    Don’t get me wrong - sounds like I’m bashing the 90’s - I enjoyed watching them and there were a lot of great skates. I just don’t see how what they put out there is better than what I witnessed at the Olympics. I think overall skating is the best it’s ever been.

    I do miss when the original dance was just that. I’m sure I liked a few programs that came out when it became a combo dance, but I can’t recall them. The only thing memorable from the 2018 Olympic short dance was a flying boob. As lovely as she is, I’d much rather watch Grishuk & Platov’s Libertango, Krylova & Ovsyannikov, Anissina and Peizerat. 3 great programs in one year as well as a bunch that I can’t recall off the top of my head. There were several years with multiple good programs - O.D. used to be my favorite part of skating and this year I couldn't even finish watching the segment.

  8. #23
    Bona Fide Member Anyasnake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cat Lady View Post
    I do miss when the original dance was just that. I’m sure I liked a few programs that came out when it became a combo dance, but I can’t recall them. The only thing memorable from the 2018 Olympic short dance was a flying boob. As lovely as she is, I’d much rather watch Grishuk & Platov’s Libertango, Krylova & Ovsyannikov, Anissina and Peizerat. 3 great programs in one year as well as a bunch that I can’t recall off the top of my head. There were several years with multiple good programs - O.D. used to be my favorite part of skating and this year I couldn't even finish watching the segment.
    Did you watch the Free Dance event ? There were some great performances out there.

    I agree in a way that the original dance was very dance-oriented and today the Short Dace is technical-element oriented, especially since the pattern is included now. Next year will be Tango, maybe you'll like it ? Plus, there will be a bit more freedom put into stylistic and music choices. But if you want to watch Dance without feeling like you're watching a series of elements, I'd go with any of the last Papadakis/Cizeron Free Dance since 2014. There is a focus on Dance over execution or acrobatics.

    I think it's amazing that you can find love for figure skating once again today, especially with all the rambling about Technical taking over Presentation here over the forums Since Ice Dance is my favourite discipline, I hope you can find the love for it again. I was more of a casual fan before, watched it when it was on, and Papadakis/Cizeron drew me in big time - the same way Sui/Han and Savchenko/Massot in 2016-2017 brought me to Pairs skating, so maybe you'll find some teams or programs that you can really appreciate for the years to come

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cat Lady View Post
    Hi. I was one of those crazy obsessive fans through the 90’s until 2006. Then, for various reasons, only followed the sport sporadically. But, except for dance, this past olympics has reignited my passion for the sport. I’ve been meaning to gush about it earlier, but have been on youtube trying to catch up on what i missed in the past 12 years (holy crap I’m old, has it really been that long?!?!), which has been further slowed by watching Semei over and over and over and over.

    I remember all the negativity surrounding code of points when it first came out but I’m amazed at how much it has pushed the sport. While I see some of the issues with it and I hate what it did to dance, I’m amazed at how much the sport has moved forward since it began, and even since the Chan era (which I just started watching).

    For years, pairs made only minor technical progress. Love Story got gold with a collection of poses and crossovers. Neither gold couple was pushing the boundaries technically. But in 2018, I feel like pairs has become ice dancing combined with the most difficult of elements. Every top couple brought elements I’ve rarely or never seen in previous eras and most combined it with fully choreographed programs. Previous years you saw maybe one top couple push the sport technically, but this year we had quad twists and so many of the more difficult sbs jumps and throws. I still have to catch up on pairs, but previous to this year, the only successful quad of any kind that I saw was a quad twist by G&G way back when and almost all the pairs only did toes, double axel, and salchows. I found Sui and Han to be so dynamic, Savchenko and Massot to be both innovative and beautiful, and Tarasova and Morozov were a reminder of classic pairs skating at its most glorious. Not only were the programs difficult and beautiful, but the quality of the elements were consistently outstanding - so many enormous twists and level 4 everything!

    Medvedeva was so hauntingly beautiful. Zagitova seems to have nerves of steel. She skated the most technically demanding ladies program I’ve ever seen almost perfectly while still having strong presentation. I think there should have been more of a gap between her and Medvedeva’s components scores, but both are worthy champions. And Osmond had a wonderful bronze skate with the most beautiful jumps of them all. People complain that the ladies are technically stagnant, and perhaps they are slower to progress, but it was still the most phenomenal group of skates that I can recall ever seeing in a ladies Olympic competition. All skating lovely programs with the most technically demanding content and not one real mistake in the top 3!

    Most inspirational of all were the men. Even though there were a lot of mistakes, they are doing things that no one could have fathomed. Not only are the men doing multiple quads, but they skate such full programs these days. While I hope Nathan improves on the performance aspect, he does manage to combine the highest technical difficulty with a solid program and decent presentation. Even though Patrick Chan didn’t skate well, I enjoyed his actual programs more than any of the other ones I’ve seen from him. Misha Ge was mesmerizing. Hated Kolyada’s free skate but still loved watching him skate when he wasn’t falling. Aliev’s jump landings are the most gorgeous of them all. Fernandez is a wonderful performer. Uno vaguely reminds me of Alexei Yagudin. I liked Jin too though I have nothing specific to say about his skate It’s also interesting to see the influence of Plushenko - I don’t recall any male skater doing Bielmans and donuts and very few laybacks before him but it was fairly common in this competition.

    I missed the men’s competition in Sochi, so this was the first time I’ve really seen Hanyu skate. I literally fell in love with him. I find myself thinking of him every day. And the more I learn about him, the more enamored I am with him - so expressive on and off the ice, such a great sportsman,the desire to constantly improve, a palpable love for the sport, and what a charming personality. The short program was enchanting. The long was so powerful while also graceful and distinctive. I think it’s the best men’s free skate I’ve ever seen - while NHK and GPF were skated cleaner, the performance of the Olympic skate was so strong. I’ve never seen such difficult jumps done with so much finesse while integrated so perfectly into superior performance quality and masterful elements. And charisma out the wazoo to top it off.

    The only nitpick I have is that I wish he’d extend better sometimes. But his overall package is the greatest I’ve ever seen.

    Most impressive to me of all, is how deep the fields are these days. Strong competition at the top as well as enjoyable skates in every group. In the 90’s, there were times that even skaters in the last flight became painful to watch - just skating around from element to element. In this Olympics, I found enjoyment from first group to last.


    whew! long gush but I have no one in real life to talk about skating with
    Welcome, I love you nick 😍 and your post, so positive and full of love for this sport, thank you! ❤️❤️❤️

  10. #25
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    Thank you so much for your great post. I agree that Tarasova and Morozov have the classic lines and vibes, tok bad their free skate wasn’t a great choice. I wished they used the free skate last season and that was not even my favorite, still better than this.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyndichee View Post
    I think you should give ice dance more of a try. I think because of technical requirements being so "contrived" that teams having a distinct style is imperative to standing out. If you only watched the team event, then you might not be aware that Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir FD was much better in the individual event. My personal preference is drama and I liked the details in Virtue/Moir's program more however whether they won gold or silver, I was moved to tears by how emotionally charged their FD was.

    If you think that there are no great artists, I think you might reconsider and really like the French team of Papadakis/Cizeron's FD; they were not in the team event so you might have missed out on this piece of art. At the very least, watch this FD.

    Both teams are different kinds of artists, an incredibly exciting event.
    There are many artists in ice dance. Even a lower tiered team like Piper and Gilles have shown interesting programs and interpretation. Virtue and Moir are perhaps the most versatile artists everything from pop to tangos to lyrical

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