A. Savchenko/R. Szolkowy: 10 amazing years

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Eislauffan, May 20, 2013.

  1. Eislauffan

    Eislauffan Well-Known Member

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    This May, it has been exactly 10 years that Aljona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy teamed up and started training under Ingo Steuer. I think they deserve their own cheering and news thread. :)

    A video collage was published to celebrate their amazing career: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=622853117743225&set=vb.170719959698522&type=2&theater

    Aljona and Robin's achievements include four World titles, eight consecutive titles at Worlds and a medal at each Grand Prix event of their career since they started competing on the GP in fall 2004.

    At a training camp combined with vacation in Florida, the team and Ingo Steuer started working on the new programs, according to this Icenetwork article: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130517&content_id=47785416&vkey=ice_news

    I try to get going this thread by asking you
    What is your favorite program of Aljona and Robin?
     
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  2. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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  3. Eislauffan

    Eislauffan Well-Known Member

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    The video collage unfortunately was deleted by Facebook and youtube as apparently it violated copyrights. :-( Too bad.

    They posted a different video on youtube which is unfortunately geoblocked in Germany, but maybe not in all countries (I can see it in Russia): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2mpgSG_aFQ
     
  4. Eislauffan

    Eislauffan Well-Known Member

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  5. Eislauffan

    Eislauffan Well-Known Member

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    As for the favorite programs, I agree it is very hard to pick. Most of their programs are unique and pushed the limits.
    I especially loved Pina (2011/12 season), Pink Panther (2010/11 season) and the Bollywood SP, but also a lot of others (L'Oiseau, Souvenir de Chine, Out of Africa, The Mission....)
     
  6. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

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    So many beautiful ones, but I'll go with "Somewhere in Time."
     
  7. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much, Eislauffan for starting this tribute thread and for posting the videos. :)

    I can't express how much I have enjoyed watching Aliona, Robin and Ingo create magical and memorable moments. What a remarkable and legendary team! I most admire their loyalty to each other and the way they have consistently challenged themselves and not rested on their laurels.

    Here's one of my favorites that I was looking back at today (and posted in the German skating thread in GSD):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXG19Nhttmk Out of Africa 2009 (S/S are in top form here)

    In addition to the above performance, I love the program that introduced S/S to the World stage in 2005: Casablanca, and I love, love Pina, Schindler's List, and Send in the Clowns. Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Souvenir de Chine are also fun signature programs, and Asoka, Lost in Space, Korobushka, and The Pink Panther were all risks that paid off. Of course they skated many wonderful exhibitions that also demonstrated great depth, range, and versatility.

    My favorite program of all is The Mission lp (their first European championship in 2007, and a hard-won victory during a difficult season. They weathered challenges during that period which might have broken up most teams):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ipkwkZBK2Q


    Thank you Aliona, Robin and Ingo!!! :swoon:


    ETA: Ah, the pictures of young Robin and young Aliona from the tribute videos -- sooo cute!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  8. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Robin hasn't changed a bit since he was a kid (other than becoming a bit bigger and taller ;))! Thanks for sharing, any chance that someone could translate the captions? My German is, well, non-existent.

    Favorite programs - so tough to pick! I first noticed them when the skated The Mission, so I have a soft spot for that. Send in the Clowns is really good even with the awful makeup. The Pink Panther is so fun, Out of Africa so pretty, but I'll go with Pina because it was difficult, innovative, really cool and and interesting. I just wish they could have had a truly :kickass: performance of it at Worlds... I also hope they can do something of that level rather a blah effort like this season's LP. And not that I want to wish another pair ill, but unless V/T make mistakes, S/S will not be allowed to win and they so deserve an OGM. I hope they get it and do so after skating brilliantly.
     
  9. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    Pina (LP from 2011-12) is definitely my favourite.
     
  10. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    Souvenir, Korobushko, Out of Africa, The Pink Panther, and Pina are my favorites. They are so versatile - more than many ice dancers! They really spend time crafting a performance that is not just a bunch of level 4 elements but which sets a mood in the character of the dance.

    I admit, I used to think they were overrated from 2006-2009 when they became successful while having many messy performances, but they have grown into all that difficulty and now they are outstanding and do things no one else can do, including V&T. It has now come full circle to the point where I don't believe they are being credited fully for what they're doing, and they won't be given a chance to win over V&T again, possibly even if V&T have mistakes. What a shame. They have been the leaders of pairs skating for the past 7 years in my book even if they weren't always the champions.
     
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  11. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ ITA, and yes indeed, what a shame. Especially so after the difficult 2010 Olympic season for S/S when Shen & Zhao came back as favorites and ultimately received the much deserved Olympic gold medal that they'd missed out on being awarded in 2006. Now after last season being hampered by illness and artistic choices that did not pay off, S/S seem to have a mountain to climb in Sochi, as judges (and politics within the sport) clearly seem to prefer sending the message that V/T are the be-all, end-all.

    In fact, I think some judges would have liked to reward V/T with gold at 2012 Worlds but S/S's chutzpah in attempting a throw 3-axel and their innovative Pina could not be denied. V/T were awful in their 2012 sp and superb in their fp, and still nearly edged S/S in Nice, which shows to me that S/S do not necessarily receive reputation advantage (despite all the clamor in some quarters re S/S edging D/R for silver at 2013 Worlds). Clearly S/S were a bit low-balled in their 2013 Worlds sp marks in order to keep them far behind V/T. IMO, S/S have to constantly prove themselves, as their slightest show of weakness is grounds for pushing them aside (i.e., S/S paid heavily for not having a stellar showing at 2013 Europeans, and for not exhibiting great music and costume choices last season. OTOH, V/T had okay but not very strong or innovative programs and they were sloppy during the early part of last season, yet still won everything with consistently high marks).


    That said, I expect Aliona, Robin and Ingo to give it their all and their absolute best this coming season. No matter what, I'm looking forward to enjoying every moment of their final competitive season, and I hope they will be energized!

    S/S will need to bring their brilliant innovation and mastery apparently to even distance themselves from D/R and other challengers, as per the writing on the wall at 2013 Worlds. (Of course D/R are an entertaining, competitive, and solid pairs team and I appreciate them a lot. I think D/R are quite wonderful, but they do not possess the overall polish and track record of S/S). V/T are a strong and highly competitive team and they definitely improved over the course of last season with their performances even though their programs were not great stand-outs. However, I feel V/T need to bring a great deal more to the table before being heavily anointed as so much greater than Aliona and Robin.
     
  12. geoskate

    geoskate Well-Known Member

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    Pina, undoubtedly. To me that was their signature piece, and exemplified everything that is great about this team - creativity, difficulty, unison, power as well as great skating, of course. I don't think they could have done it until this stage in their careers. Right now I think they are the only team capable of doing a program requiring that much maturity and confidence.

    But perhaps this year's programs will eclipse even Pina? I hope so.
     
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  13. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    I thought S/S received reputation advantage at the 2011 Euros over K/S, and maybe over D/R at the last worlds but it seems like usually they are held down in favour of V/T. :(
     
  14. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I think Send in the Clowns was my fave but it's so hard to pick just one.
     
  15. la.louise

    la.louise New Member

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  16. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    You asked for it, you got a (very incomplete and somewhat dicey) translation. Help, someone who is actually fluent!
    It's been a very long time, and I was never anywhere near fluent.

    I think I first noticed these two with their Mission program (that year it seemed like everyone had a Mission program, darnit)--found them so interesting, and they weren't afraid to not be "pretty-pretty" with their skating and do some different stuff. Sure, they've had some bizarro costuming choices over the years, but I really appreciate how they just go into it full throttle--you have to admire a man, especially, who's not afraid to wear lavender pleather or pom poms. Total :respec: for Robin and Aliona both.

    I do hope they can win OGM over V/T, who I find very uninteresting.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  17. reut

    reut Active Member

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    Thank you for the translation, LilJen!
    Really nice videos...

    My favourite program of theirs is definitely "Pina". Though it will be hard for me to name some their program I don't like. :) Somehow I always loved their competitive programs much more than their exhibitions though (except "Leningrad" maybe).
    Oh, and I loooove their crazy costumes. I embrace their creativity even if sometimes they looked pretty weird. :D

    I was really sad for them in Vancouver. But I bless that bronze medal for the chance to see them competing for four more years.
     
  18. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

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    Sigh.....

    I love The Mission because it's pretty much perfect. I love L'Oiseau because it creates such a fascinating mood. I love Out of Africa because the chemistry they share is palpable. I love The Pink Panther because it showcased a revitalized team after a disappointing Olympic season. I love Pina because it's easily the most ambitious pairs choreography since Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze's heyday. They're going to be the first four-time pairs champions to not win the Olympics in nearly 80 years, and that's a crying shame. But they are what is exceptional about COP.
     
  19. lmarie086

    lmarie086 Well-Known Member

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    I have pretty much loved all of their programs from 2009 onward. Schindler's List, Out of Africa, Korobushko, Pink Panther, and Pina have all been absolute masterpieces IMO. Admittedly I was irritated previously when they did so well with so many mistakes, but the level of difficulty in everything they do, and the precise technique they show, makes it understandable. And they have grown so much as a pair.

    I'm definitely rooting for them to win OGM in Sochi. It's a heck of a long shot, but if they have special programs with special performances, I think they have a shot.
     
  20. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, I think S/S have always been much better than K/S, even at Euros 2011!

    S/S have definitely been kept close to V/T in the marks over the last few seasons, even when I feel V/T were not as strong. When S/S are strong but not stellar, V/T are given the edge. And this season, with S/S slightly more vulnerable, V/T were scored out of sight. I thought S/S were a bit low-balled in the sp marks at Worlds 2013 and should have been scored higher. D/R were very good but I don't think they were better in every way than S/S, although I get people's feelings re the fp results.


    ETA:
    Yeah, yep. There is just something that's still missing with Max and Tatiana -- a unique identity perhaps to set them apart from the same old aesthetically-pleasing classic Russian style. And sometimes they are a bit sloppy and boring. However, there is also something there that could be great, but it just hasn't gelled yet for them. V/T are beautiful to watch most of the time but they're not as dynamic and innovative as S/S.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  21. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Double post --
     
  22. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    I think S&S are an amazing pair and I love what they've done over the years (though I wasn't particularly taken with their programmes this past season). I think it's genuinely exciting to have V&T battling it out with them because I think having close rivals when you'r that good really pushes you to be better (Yags and Plush, and dare I even mention B&S and S&P).

    I think where S&S stand out from V&T is their choreography and the concepts of their programmes - they appear more in tune with one another, compared to V&T where I find Tatiana beautiful, clean and understated, whereas Max is a little hammy and over the the top - they need to meet somewhere in the middle (or my my personal preference would be for Max to reign it in a bit and bring it more in line with Tatiana).

    My hope is that S&S have two programmes that showcase the beauty of something like the Mission, and the creativity and interesting side of Pina - really showcase their talent.

    I love both S&S and V&T and hope that both have great programmes for the Olympic season and that they give us plenty to dissect and analyse after each competition.

    Again, dare I even mention it, but the rivalry that was set up between S&P and B&S was equally phenomenal (up until the judging scandal in SLC), and despite it being popular to dump on S&P these days I think the season or two leading up to the Olympics was great for pairs skating having those two stand out pairs competing and I feel the same about S&S and V&T and see some parallels between the couples.
     
  23. Jeschke

    Jeschke Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I will be the only one to mention, but 'You'll never walk alone' could have been a great programme if it wouldn't have been dumped that fast (don't know if they would act like that again, now, almost 4 years later). the concept and the dramatic building of this program was brilliant, this could have been their absolutely triumph march, if skated clean in vancouver.

    now i fear, there might be no triumph in sochi either, but s/s remain as a brilliant pair.

    as to the programmes. i pray for an olympic short like 'send in the clowns'. this was absolutely faboulous and heart-warming.
    schindler's list is my fav LP. never realized such silence during a program in the arena.

    all the best for those 3 for the upcoming season!
     
  24. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Same with Out of Africa, no ? I loved Out of Africa. :p
    Anyway, I agree with you that there might be no triumph in Socci either. Too bad because they are fabulous.
     
  25. Jeschke

    Jeschke Well-Known Member

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    No, Out of Africa would never have been a triumph march it would have been a silent, emotional, in some way classic routine to their title.

    You'll never walk alone had that absolut dramatic power, great ending which could have lead two tremendous standing ovations and a crowd out of their minds, if it had been skated well (ok, maybe would have happend with put of africa perhaps :p)
     
  26. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Interesting to hear everyone's favorite programs and reflections about this great team. Thanks!

    Well, if S/S don't win Olympic gold, they will not be the first extraordinarily gifted skaters who have contributed sooo much to the sport who did not get that (now in my mind, waayy over-rated) medal. I mean yeah to get it is huge, a crowning achievement, and finger-lickin' icin' on the cake, but it ain't everything, and not to get it certainly don't erase genius ... Maribel Vinson, Janet Lynn, Toller Cranston, Tai & Randy, Norbert Shramm, Ingo Steuer, Chen Lu, Midori Ito, Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Michelle Kwan, Johnny Weir, Jeremy Abbott, et al.

    I'm just interested in seeing S/S rise above obstacles and any physical limitations to achieve a great personal triumph with a powerful and magical performance that could transcend the ultimate skating event, and just provide wonderful moments to remember as the Swan Song to their eligible careers.

    As to a music/ program choice, frankly I think it'd be cool and interesting to see what S/S and S could do with a retro-modern score to Othello -- or just an unusual alternative version of any traditional or classical score. Lots of different versions out there, especially in the theatrical sense ... In any case, Othello is surely an interesting theme/ story to explore in a uniquely different way on the ice. And what better team?

    Such a program doesn't have to be cliche either. If S/S and S want to challenge themselves, IMHO, Othello has hugely more depth and interest than the annoyingly repetitive Bolero (even the Latin version they chose). Only the creative mind of Christopher Dean choreographing to ice dance was able to make Bolero compelling with unexpected visual shapes, moves, nuances and tension.


    BTW, Jeschke, is there any vids available of S/S skating to You'll Never Walk Alone?
     
  27. care bear

    care bear Active Member

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  28. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    I'm ashamed to ask this, but, why did they change this LP in 2009 to Out of Africa ?
    Obviously, the mistakes at TEB were not because of the program. So, why did they decide to change it ?
     
  29. Laney

    Laney Member

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    AFAIK Aljona didn´t liked the music and the program. The saying is that she also split from Ingo in the summer and maybe also that´s why she didn´t liked the program Ingon wanted so badly for this season? I don´t know! I only know that she didn´t liked the program and when they had so many mistakes, ´they changed it. I saw it at the Nebelhorn-Trophy that year and thought with more practice it could have been a great program for winning. But I also think it only works well when there are no mistakes. Then it can push you to gold :)
     
  30. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting. I missed this program/ performance -- glad I did in retrospect :(. I do recall S/S had a lp that season which they had problems with before switching to Out of Africa. For making such a switch so late in the season, Out of Africa turned out to be a gem for them, even though they didn't skate it strongly at the Olympics. Maybe the TEB performance of You'll Never Walk Alone left such a sour taste in their mouths/ stomachs that they felt like scrapping it altogether. They were in third overall with that and clearly lost a lot of points due to the unusual technical miscues. Who were they up against at TEB that season?

    I agree with those who feel YNWA would make a wonderful exhibition program.


    Interesting, Laney, re the fact Ingo wanted the program so badly and Aliona was unhappy with it from the beginning, and that they had broken up during the summer before that season began. The title in and of itself is interesting in that respect. Maintaining a partnership together in skating is hard enough I suppose without a romantic involvement, although some in the skating world have been able to make such a combination work.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013