View Full Version : Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov
05-11-2011, 04:22 AM
So now I&K come along and many many people seem to be very very excited about them, ubers even. Already. It puzzles me more than anything. That there's so much excitement about this team, and the almost knee-jerk dismissal of anything that comes out of the S&Z school.
I/K individually each have ice dance basics that are pretty much unmatched across the sport in its current state; only V/M are in that league. I/K have a whole package of skills that have become idealized in dance because so many teams have had success under the new judging system without them, moving up by utilizing COP, and other aspects of their skating to compensate.
Among their strengths, I/K have deep fluid edges, matched feet on the ice as well as amazing free-leg unison, flow, excellent posture, nice arms and overall bodylines, beautifully pointed feet, and compliment each other well on the ice in terms of size, power, flexibility, and artistic nuance. Along with V/M, there is no other team in the field that comes close to possessing all of these basics like I/K.
On top of that, I/K have amazing chemistry on the ice and lots of expression. All of this stuff doesn't automatically add up to great performance and technique, obviously, but it shows a great deal of potential. A lot of teams succeed because they can deliver strong performances, execute elements well, and consistently deliver their programs, but continue working on these basic skills that I/K already have in spades. I think that's most of the reason skating fans are flipping out over them.
That said, there is a lot to be said for work ethic and delivery, and talent alone isn't going to win medals, as we've seen this season.
05-11-2011, 04:43 AM
Perhaps the excitement has something to do with the search for the next stars of Russian dance. For years Russia dominated ice dance and had the runner up in place to ascend to the top position once the top team moved on. There were few but not a whole lot of exceptions to this process (A&P, while French, were acceptable in that at least half the team was Russian). For now, I&K look like the "next ones".
I'm not saying this to criticize Russians - Americans do the same with ladies skaters and Canadians to a certain extent with men. When a country has a tradition of excellence in a discipline, there is a sense of unease - a feeling that something is missing - when no skater or skaters carry it on. And hence the search goes on.
...while it might be true to a certain extent- about Russia, USA, and, yes, Canada, that kind of comment depresses me. Give the fans credit for choosing who they like. As somebody who has had favorite skaters from many skating countries, big and small, after I got over sports Nationalism in my mid-teens, I need to say-No; I like who I like.
05-11-2011, 05:17 AM
I too enjoy B&S and agree that they need better programs. They do remind me of D&S a bit. I think it's the long lines.
Waltz of the Spirits is one of my fave FDs ever. I wish D&S hadn't diverged so much from that style of dance.
Waltz of the Spirits is what made me fall in love with DomShabs. Sadly they never were able to come up with a program that matched that one. The closest they came was last seasons FD and even that one seemed watered down to accomodate the state Max's knees were in.
I admit that this season, I've been off and on the board sporadically so I may have missed it but while I&K have fans who are enthusiastic about what their future holds I haven't seen any true ubers as of yet.
Just taking an uneducated guess but perhaps some of what appears to be the "dismissal" of anything S/Z is due to the fact that for years the same qualities that are being rewarded in the S/Z skaters were widely criticized in other teams. Heck even in the past other S/Z teams were criticized for the same things that are now rewarded and justified.
In another thread I mentioned how amazing a number of us felt S&P were in the 99/00 season and that some felt that S&P maybe should have finished higher in some of their competitions. Others explained that while S&P are sophisticated and polished and had fantastic programs that seemed just as good or better than some of the top teams they (due to their size) didn't have the speed and power some of the other teams did. According to those who saw them live, what the camera didn't catch was that S&P weren't quite strong enough to get the same power out of their stroking and thus didn't cover the ice as well.
Well the Shibs strike me as being quite similar and without S&P's lines and posture. The Shibs are charming and musical but IMO still very immature. Depsite the fall, I feel that P&B have everything in spades over S&S. P&B's loss of the medal is because of the fall yet at the same time I feel as if the judges sent a message that P&B aren't that much better (or not better at all) than the Shibs. Or maybe they didn't want another uproar and having to be in the position of explaining why an imperfect team still beat a team who on the surface were clean.
Of course every few years it seems as if the judges all of a sudden decide to change what it is they want to reward and one can only speculate why. Sadly the nature of icedance always leaves many questions and interpretations on why the judges placed who where.
Speaking for myself, I don't think V&M should be included in the complaints about the S/Z monopoly. The only thing I could see that some could find fault with is that because of their coaches V&M haven't yet established themselves as a team who have done programs that are seen as classics by the majority; programs that have gotten everyone talking and agreeing about how good they are. I'm thinking back to A&P's Carmina Burana, DenStavs Handel or DelShoes Frida. When it comes to skating skills and the connection between the two partners V&M are beginning to peak in the area.
While I&K are different in feel from V&M I also see the same "it" and have the same feeling that this team is going places that I got the first time I saw V&M. It is a bit disconcerting that aliona22 mentions work ethic or a lack of? when it comes to I&K. I hope that isn't the case and if it is it needs to be dealt with. ITA that talent alone won't get I&K to the top. As good as T&D were, even they wouldn't have accomplished what they did without being willing to put in the time in between competitions.
Can I borrow the "I agree with Asli" banner too? :D
05-11-2011, 05:43 AM
I have a question about I/K's work ethic.
Are all those theories that they are somehow lacking in work ethic coming from TAT harping on Zhulin early in the season? That, possibly combined with their not-as-good-as-Euros FD at Worlds? If it's only that, it's really not enough hard data to support that claim.
TAT ( I admire her, please not assume I am anti- Tarasova) has made plenty of politically motivated and/or manipulative statements in recent years about various teams. Publicly criticising Zhulin's training methods early in the season might have had a miriad of behind- the- scenes reasons, and not be based on hard fact. It is also known that Nikita had some back troubles in summer, and Zhulin took it easy on him because of that. Since then TAT went on record saying that she cries ( from overwhelming emotions) when she sees that team, and that Zhulin is a genius. No doubt after the Worlds they are back in the dog house.
Now, maybe they are slackers- but is there anything to actually substantiate that?
The only thing I've heard about their work schedule was what Tarasova said in September: that they shouldn't have been given a six weeks summer vacation and that Zhulin doesn't spend enough time with them. I've read nothing whatsoever about Elena and Nikita's own work ethics. Just an urban myth IMO.
05-11-2011, 10:29 AM
Zhulin also told in press that Lena and Nikita do not work properly. For example, in this article, that was published before Worlds http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/453380
He says they are very creative and artistic, but they don't understand how much they need to work to become first.
He complains that while Nathalie and Fabian can do both Short and Free Dances at practice, Lena and Nikita even do not try to do the same, they "work on their own plan". He said "I hope they will read this interview and will make right conclusions".
05-11-2011, 01:43 PM
Bad news from :sekret: : I/K already left Zhulin
Even worse news: Morozov was mentioned as the most likely new coach for them
But there's still a hope, rumors says I/K already left Zhulin before but then back so maybe it's not serious this time too
05-11-2011, 02:13 PM
Let's hope they DON'T do this !!!
Morozov is the worst choice for them.
05-11-2011, 02:37 PM
Mind you, sounds like I/K could potentially be qutie a handful (I mean this politely) so maybe Morozov is a good move in that regard. From what I've been hearing, hasn't Zhulin been more of a "part-time coach," and perhaps been unable to instill real discipline in them?
Zhulin also told in press that Lena and Nikita do not work properly. ... He says they are very creative and artistic, but they don't understand how much they need to work to become first....He said "I hope they will read this interview and will make right conclusions".
Well, if they really go to Morozov he will not let them get away with this. If they want to be a challenge to V&M ond D&V up to the Sochi-games - and I am sure they want - they have to learn that they will not achive it by relying on the it-factor they doubtlessly have.
05-11-2011, 03:16 PM
I just don't get Morozov's attraction. For anyone.
05-11-2011, 03:26 PM
Please, let that not be true. :(
Zhulin was/is perfect for them.
05-11-2011, 03:41 PM
Please, let that not be true. :(
Zhulin was/is perfect for them.
I agree with you... this is a bad move, who ever decided the move
05-11-2011, 04:26 PM
Among their strengths, I/K have deep fluid edges, matched feet on the ice as well as amazing free-leg unison, flow, excellent posture, nice arms and overall bodylines, beautifully pointed feet, and compliment each other well on the ice in terms of size, power, flexibility, and artistic nuance. Along with V/M, there is no other team in the field that comes close to possessing all of these basics like I/K.Oh please - just for starters, Samuelson & Bates have all of this, too.
05-11-2011, 04:37 PM
Oh please - just for starters, Samuelson & Bates have all of this, too.
yeah, but they are boring. ;)
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