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View Full Version : Virtue/Moir Thread 15: The Subject for Tonight's Lecture is Rhythm



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aka_gerbil
03-30-2012, 05:50 PM
Another US fan, though I think something exacerbating the situation is the US-based skating media -- the more prominent the (biased) voice, the more validity given to the idea that V/M's win was somehow unjust.

I hear you on the media bias, and IMO, from watching other sports, it's definitely not confined to just ice dance or ice skating in general. It seems to crop up every single time a US team or athlete competes against someone or a team from another country. I understand playing to your audience, but as someone who's nationality blind when it comes to which skaters, gymnast, etc., that I prefer, it all seems a bit OTT and mean-spirited in the way it's approached most of the time.

One of the most maddening skating-specific things to me right now is the insinuation in some places that the only reason that especially the Soviets/Russians, but also Europeans in general, have racked up so many pairs and dance medals over the years was because they cheated and bribed people for those medals. Now, for sure, there were times when a North American team should have placed higher/medaled/won but didn't, but for the most part, The Soviets/Russians/Europeans have all those medals because their skaters were actually better and the US/North Americans really didn't have anyone good enough to medal. (And, if you really want to be fair, there have been times that skaters from the USSR/Russia/Europe should have placed higher/medaled/won and didn't... This is something that goes both ways.) For example, in ice dance, with one or two exceptions (Punsalan/Swallow in 98 comes to mind), there really wasn't a US ice dance team prior to B/A that was good enough to medal and challenge for the top spot internationally. Of course, the US pairs teams are still continuing to struggle and we still don't have anyone at the moment who can compete against the current top pairs.

At the end of the day, it's just not helpful to not be honest about the fact that for the longest time, we didn't really have good enough ice dancers and we still really don't have good enough pairs teams to be winning world and olympic titles/medals.

I also agree that V/M, along with P/B, are getting the kind of resentment usually reserved for Russia #1. If I/K keep improving, it'll be interesting to see if the resentment reverts back to them or if it'll just be spread between V/M, P/B, and I/K.

bmcg
03-30-2012, 05:51 PM
What was probably due to Scott's complaining, the win? If so, can you believe the power of influence Scott has over the judges? Those guys would really do whatever Scott would tell them to do. I assume Scott just had to let the judges know he wanted silver last year and silver it was for Tessa and him.:lol:

Wishing Tessa and Scott a great vacation after a well-deserved victory at Worlds.

If he has that much power then we should get an announcement soon that next seasons polka SDs are scrapped!!

clarie
03-30-2012, 06:14 PM
If he has that much power then we should get an announcement soon that next seasons polka SDs are scrapped!!

:lol::lol: Oh pulease Scotty, have them scrapped!!!:lol::lol:

Well...next year should be entertaining :scream::scream:

Sahararainfall
03-30-2012, 06:16 PM
What was probably due to Scott's complaining, the win? If so, can you believe the power of influence Scott has over the judges? Those guys would really do whatever Scott would tell them to do. I assume Scott just had to let the judges know he wanted silver last year and silver it was for Tessa and him.:lol:

Wishing Tessa and Scott a great vacation after a well-deserved victory at Worlds.

Wow! Truly is Scott's voice that powerful and influential? If his complaints are all that it took to win, he should have used that power long before GPF, could have saved Tessa from the misery of second surgery and rehab and having to change her technique, the poor girl, :lol:


One of the most maddening skating-specific things to me right now is the insinuation in some places that the only reason that especially the Soviets/Russians, but also Europeans in general, have racked up so many pairs and dance medals over the years was because they cheated and bribed people for those medals. Now, for sure, there were times when a North American team should have placed higher/medaled/won but didn't, but for the most part, The Soviets/Russians/Europeans have all those medals because their skaters were actually better and the US/North Americans really didn't have anyone good enough to medal. (And, if you really want to be fair, there have been times that skaters from the USSR/Russia/Europe should have placed higher/medaled/won and didn't... This is something that goes both ways.) For example, in ice dance, with one or two exceptions (Punsalan/Swallow in 98 comes to mind), there really wasn't a US ice dance team prior to B/A that was good enough to medal and challenge for the top spot internationally....

Curious, did the US skating media also complained like they are doing now when B/A didn't win a major event? As I said before, 2006 OLY was the first ice dance event that I can remember clearly and I thought grace-wise or dance-wise, N/K was way ahead. (or maybe that is just my bias showing)

sap5
03-30-2012, 06:16 PM
Agreed. It's also ridiculous to determine in advance what an "audience-friendly" piece of music is -- should the dancers run focus groups comprising a mix of casual fans, ubers, and random people who might accidentally stumble into an arena one day in order to find the most crowd-pleasing selections?

It's not that hard. Everyone knows pieces of music that are liked by most everyone in the world.


It's not an audience ratings game, it's about the music that the dancers can best connect with, best interpret, and thus perform best before a very small judging panel.

Not entirely. Skating as a sport does depend on ticket revenues, sponsorships, etc.

Skating to audience-friendly music can be a win for everybody. If you have two teams that appear to be equal, and both teams pick music the crowd can really get into, things will get interesting. The crowd will know really want to see who does the better job, and no matter what happens, people will generally be in a good mood because fun music is fun. It might even increase ticket sales, tv time, etc.

sequins
03-30-2012, 06:27 PM
Skating to audience-friendly music can be a win for everybody. If you have two teams that appear to be equal, and both teams pick music the crowd can really get into, things will get interesting. The crowd will know really want to see who does the better job, and no matter what happens, people will generally be in a good mood because fun music is fun. It might even increase ticket sales, tv time, etc.

Appearing to be equal and being equal are 2 different things. Also most of the crowd often has no idea who did the better job. Ever over hear some peoples 'knowledge and opinions of skating' at an event? That's why we have judges. BTW polka music is very 'audience friendly':D just sayin'.

lavenderblue
03-30-2012, 06:38 PM
Not entirely. Skating as a sport does depend on ticket revenues, sponsorships, etc.

Well, yes. But my point was that the actual judging element of this -- results -- aren't about what pleases a crowd, or shouldn't be.

As I love Funny Face and have never cared for the music from Die Fledermaus, though, I suppose I'm also just marginally sensitive to the general "audience-friendly" idea as regards comparisons of this year's programs. Honestly, if you'd asked me last year, I'd have assumed FF was right up there as crowd-pleasing and audience-friendly, as familiar, theatrical standards. My spectrum of tastes are not in line with that of most viewers or music fans, clearly, :lol:.

Macassar88
03-30-2012, 06:53 PM
Their win is unpopular to U.S. fans mostly......

And they happen to be the majority on this forum

Bournekraatzfan
03-30-2012, 07:02 PM
Any chance that any techy people can explain the different levels that V/M got vs D/W? I know that they need a certain number of difficult movements, but I can't really identify them, so I generally look at footwork from a GOE perspective, but I can't tell whether something is level 1 or level 4.

good question! I am no expert, but I like to read up on the rules and will try to answer based on what I know.

The judges are looking at holds (duration of the hold and distinct variations in hold ie. killian to a tango), turns (types of turns, so mohawks, twizzles, double twizzles, counters, rockers, brackets, and choctaws...I think I got them all), and extra features. Where you most often see a level lost is in the turns, which is where the clarity of edge comes in. In order to have a turn assessed as difficult, both skaters must stay on a deep edge ('distinct and recognizable edge'). I actually think if the camera angle is right, a fan can often see this. You can see the angle at which the blade makes contact with the ice, and a clear edge (as opposed to a flat) makes the turn cleaner.

In order to achieve a level 4 on the diagonal or circular step sequences (both of which are done in hold), skaters must demonstrate at least 5 different kinds of difficult turns and 4 different kinds of one foot section turns (twizzles, rockers, counters and brackets). And, importantly, the edges have to be placed correctly on the ice and the steps and turns must be cleanly executed. (There's other stuff in there for the level 4, but these are the requirements that are most relevant to this discussion as I feel this is likely where the loss of levels occurred last night for D&W--look especially at Meryl's edges and turns). Neither team had their best circular footwork sequence yesterday, but where I saw a clear difference was in the diagonals. The clarity of edge and the cleanness of turns in Tessa and Scott's is unreal.

This made up most of the difference in the scores between V&M and D&W last night.

I hope that made some sense! I am curious to hear what others thought. Maybe this will help ease the outrage and diffuse the hysteria surrounding yesterday's result...or perhaps that is unfounded optimism...

BellaSTRARSSA!
03-30-2012, 07:05 PM
I completely agree that there's a lot of sour grapes and ignoring of basic facts about the scoring of V&M's FD and D&W's FD this season and here at Worlds. It's a shame that some need to dismiss/insult such amazing skaters like V&M just because they did not prefer their FD. It seems like according to some it's *impossible* that FF could beat DF, which is ironic since it has all season, right? And poor Tessa, she's a perfectionist and now it's getting used against her. :rolleyes: at both the Chicago Tribune and Phil Hersh. I'm American and they do not do American figure skating journalists any favors with such biased reporting.

Anyway, congratulations to Tessa & Scott on their 2nd World Championship! :) I hope they can enjoy it and just use the negativity as motivation for next season. They are tough competitors and people.

sap5
03-30-2012, 07:37 PM
Well, yes. But my point was that the actual judging element of this -- results -- aren't about what pleases a crowd, or shouldn't be.



I agree, but only to a point. Because there is still an element of subjectivity in the judging, it hurts the sport if judges are consistently put in a position where they must give higher PCS marks to a program that is not liked, not understood, or doesn't capture the audience.

Before people jump all over me, I'm not saying that was the case here, or that has happened between these two teams. I am simply saying that it is a bit of an "audience ratings game", and not just about the "music that the dancers can best connect with, best interpret, and thus perform best before a very small judging panel."

ETA: I'm one of those people who hopes V/M will pick a piece next year that gets the crowd going, especially if D/W does so as well. It's exciting when two teams compete using music that energizes the crowd. Plus, if both teams do it, it becomes harder, because now the music can't carry either team. The crowd will want to see who is doing things better. Ultimately, people will still claim that whichever team loses was "robbed", but at least it will be a fun experience. ;)

jl22aries
03-30-2012, 09:03 PM
Yay for Tessa and Scott. I'm excited to see their exhibition.

bbkenn
03-30-2012, 09:43 PM
It is what it is, sour grapes. IMO.


THIS!!!!!:blah::blah::blah:

bbkenn
03-30-2012, 09:52 PM
Can anyone post Eurosport's coverage of the FD? Also can anyone post video of the medal ceremony, or even any video that has footage of the Kiss n Cry area?

Lissa
03-30-2012, 09:52 PM
The Eurosport webiste has a piece on the free dance saying that "Every Man, woman and child in the arena thought the Americans had won".
Was I watching something else last night?.
Yes, it was close, very close. But I still had Tessa & Scott with the Gold.



The Eurosport British judges love T&S, they think they are the greatest ice dancers of the last decade so that must have been written by an American:lol: