Alexandra Paul & Mitchell Islam

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by skatingfan04, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    I was very impressed by P&I at this year's Nats. Already, they have excellent posture and lines, skate close together and match beautifully - these are attributes that many teams struggle with for years and never achieve. Alex's positions in lifts are fantastic. Chemistry is coming along decently.

    IMO it's easier to start with these characteristics, then add power and speed, than it is to clean up skating that is speedy but lacks refinement.

    They've had enough people tell them and their coaches that they resemble a younger V/M to get the message, I'm sure. Whether it was intentional or not, with any sense they'll avoid comparisons in packaging next season. They definitely need to grow into a "sense of themselves" as a team.

    I do think that they can challenge for the podium at Nats next year, if they work really hard and listen to feedback.
     
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  2. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    I couldn't agree more. I do think they've got great chemistry for a newer team, but I think the real test of that will come with the Rhumba SD. Based on how good their chemistry was in their tango SD this season at Thornhill, though, I doubt they'll have to much trouble in that area.

    As for the V/M comparison thing, I really don't see it as much of a problem. Honestly, for me, the comparison was more in Alexandra's look and carriage than it was in their style. Paul & Islam have only had one romantic program to date, which I guess is what many people consider to be Virtue & Moir's signature style (although they're so versatile I honestly don't see why), and its not as if Virtue and Moir invented that style. The stylistic similarities really came from great lines, excellent unision and a natural ease across the ice. While I think that exploring new styles is exactly what Paul & Islam. or any new team for that matter, should be doing, I really hope that they don't take this Virtue & Moir comparison too seriously. I would hate to see them try and sacrifice the traits that make them such a beautiful team to watch because they're afraid of looking too much like another team. If the things that make Paul & Islam look like Virtue and Moir are all of the qualities of a world class team, then its crazy to expect them to change anything.
     
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  3. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

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    Agreed very much with this. I think the qualities in which P/I naturally show the greatest promise overlap to a degree with certain of the qualities which make V/M as great as they are; the newer team shouldn't feel pressured not to emphasize those strengths simply because of the "they're ripping off V/M!!!" outcries from some, especially when it's those same strengths that have allowed them the success they've had thus far. And to be honest, their FD this season reminded me more in some respects of D/L than V/M -- not totally surprising, given the choreographers, but something worth noting. The romantic, lyrical style doesn't belong exclusively to V/M, nor would they or should their fans want that to be taken as a given.

    I'm very excited to see what they do next season, and I do believe they have a shot at making the world team even assuming that V/M compete in 2011-12. One of their greatest assets is their connection, which is something that, combined with continued technical progress, could give them an edge over a team like C/P. C/P started off strong this season with a more abstract, technically challenging FD, but I think their lack of connection really hurts them in the end -- with them there's always eventually a sense of watching two skaters skating at the same time, more than of two performing as one. It will be interesting to see how each Canadian team responds to this year's results in their plans for next season's programs.
     
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  4. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

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    :) I think P/I's team may not have tried to create a V/M vibe so much as just not go out of their way to avoid it. The main thing that they could have done to lessen the effect would have been to go with a different choice of FD costume for her. Intentional or not , I agree they should avoid any such similarities in future.

    Actually, Alexandra has even more balletic lines than Tessa, which is an asset they'd be foolish not to take advantage of occasionally, so I do expect to see more soft , romantic programs from them in the future ( but I hope not exclusively ).
    So far, Alexandra always seems to have well designed, beautifully executed costumes, she should just try to avoid the same palette as Tessa. If her last year's FD costume had not come so close to the colour of Tessa's Mahler costume , I don't think there would have been as much talk of them trying to emulate V/M .( In fact, it couldn't hurt for Mitch to adopt a more Scott-like silhouette in his costumes. I think his pants are too baggy ,which makes you think he's too skinny..especially when combined with suspenders. He's not ever really going to look like Scott , he's a totally different build. )

    So, apart from the one costume , and the fact that both girls have had a lot of ballet training and have generally similar colouring , I don't see any great likeness between the two couples and I think the V/M lite thing has been a bit overplayed. I certainly wouldn't want Alexandra to lose her beautiful carriage , floaty arms , stretch , or pointed toes just so she won't be compared to Tessa. ( Let's face it , probably every female Canadian Ice Dancer is going to be compared to Tessa from here on out. )

    I admit to feeling a bit ambivalent about the Z/S choreo tease , because even though I think Zueva , in particular , is a genius at designing programs that enhance the skaters' skills and talents, if she choreographed for P/I , it might invite even more of this V/M wannabe business....OTOH , it could help them to establish their own persona as a couple. ;)

    ETA: Hear, hear flowerpower , skatingfan and lavenderblue.. I obviously agree !( I was stuck in mid-post limbo while you were posting )
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
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  5. skfan

    skfan Member

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    i think p/i should do whatever they want to do and not worry about, oh gosh, what if somebody thinks we're imitating? so what? if you're good at *whatever it is you do*, you will put your own stamp on it. no style belongs exclusively to any one couple.

    a bit off topic but come on, what did grinkov say when oleg protopopov grumbled about G&G skating to moonlight sonata? the music belongs to beethoven, not oleg protopopov, or something like that?

    i like both v/m and p/i. given tessa's health concerns, the possibility that she may not be able to continue as long as fans would like--heck, even if she were perfectly healthy and hasn't had to endure multiple operations, i'd still love to see as many v/m clones as possible. v/m can't possibly skate long enough for me to see them skate to all the wonderful music and rhythm that exists in the world. i like that 'look', that sappy young in love... thing...

    come on, you think if grinkov were still around, and G&G were the undisputed master of the 'in love' style, people would be bashing every russian newcomer pair who tries to skate to romeo and juliet?
     
  6. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    Couldn't agree more with everyones comments. Its nice to see that I'm not the only one who thinks some have taken the V/M lite thing way overboard.:D

    BTW, lavenderblue, I totally agree with your comments on C/P. You were able to put into words what I've been trying to get at in my earlier posts.

    Actually, thanks to everyone for their great comments. I was hoping for this type of livelyt discussion when I opened the thread. :)
     
  7. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    According to the Skate Canada Central Onatrio website, Paul & Islam were in a show a few days ago, along with Patrich Chan, Crone & Poirier and Andrei Rogozine. I belive it was called the Margaret Garrison Memorial Gala. Now, this event was broadcast on Skatebuzz (Skate Canada's other official site), but I saw no promo for it this time around. Did anyone attend the show, take any pictures or find video from the event? I'd love to hear a review. Thanks!!
     
  8. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

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    Aw, it was broadcast on Skatebuzz? I'd seen the notice on the Athletes Appearances page but didn't realize it was going to be streamed anywhere (er, assuming it wouldn't have been geoblocked for someone in the US...).

    I'd love to hear something as well!
     
  9. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

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    I checked skatebuzz, but the most recent vids are of the recent Adult championships. So I don't know if they streamed it ( events usually stay up for a while ) maybe they will post it after the fact?

    For future reference ,they don't geoblock. And when they have commentary..it's really fun.
     
  10. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

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    Oh, excellent. I've caught a few things on there with no trouble, but I was unsure as to whether that would apply for all or if some things might be blocked.

    Hoping they post it, then!
     
  11. clarie

    clarie Well-Known Member

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    Jeesh. I wish I'd known. I really like this team.....they've got all the goods so far with lots of potential and a great connection to each other.
     
  12. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    Sorry for the confustion:slinkaway What I meant was that this event was broadcast through Skatebuzz LAST year. There was no indication that this years' version, which took place a few weeks ago, would be broadcast.
     
  13. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

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    Not video, but Justine Chiu has posted some lovely photos from the event on her website. Looks like Alex and Mitch performed their FD.
     
  14. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    Thanks for the link, lavenderblue. Those are lovely shots!
     
  15. sadie

    sadie New Member

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    I saw the COS gala show and it was great. Patrick Chan was awesome as usual, and the whole show flowed wonderfully. Unfortunately Alex and Mitch did not have their best skate with a few stumbles and I believe a missed lift but they are a great team none the less. The rest of the dance teams skated flawlessly. A highlight for me was the icemen. If you haven't had a chance to see them live, try to, they were great fun.
     
  16. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    Thanks sadie!:D
     
  17. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    I found some really cute practice videos from before the COS show on Youtube. There is very little Paul/Islam, but a lot of Patrick Chan, Bryce Davison and Dylan Moscovitch.

    http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1R1uHrDDfg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr7F5W_qFWQ

    There was also a clip of the final bows from the show...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fZwl50_EFU

    ... and a couple of different clips of The Ice Men performing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VV9aHStCkc&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuZCyI9VhmY&feature=related

    There was also a short photo gallery posted on Flikr.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/janetliz/sets/72157626699190851/with/5767290055/
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  18. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    Crone & Poirier have officially split up. :( This is definately going to shake things up nationally this year, although I think its now safe to assume that the world team for 2012 will be Vritue/Moir, Weaver/Poje and Paul/Islam, barring any injuries or unforseen major improvements from other teams.
     
  19. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

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    Yep. It's unfortunate on C/P's end -- though I thought they were great at Skate Canada, but stagnated past that point -- but certainly a boon for P/I. I wonder what this will mean for GP assignments?
     
  20. Rafter

    Rafter Well-Known Member

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    Well obviously not much. They've only been assigned to NHK.

    I am very surprised that they weren't assigned to Skate Canada. I wonder who Skate Canada is saving that third "TBA" spot for? Harvey & Gagnon? Arnold & Trjoek? Ralph & Hill?

    It's sad that they are really losing momentum and reputation vs. their world junior contemporaries like I&K and the Shibutanis.
     
  21. NorthernDancers

    NorthernDancers New Member

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    Paul/Islam are a really interesting team who appear to have a ton of potential. They had some unfortunate injuries/poor performances last season on the GP. They are still really young, and very much in development mode, and can be inconsistent at times. I personally think she is very fabulous, and to me he looks like he isn't fully done growing even physically yet. Some young men just grow up and bulk up when they are a little older. I think the door for another GP is open, should they perform well before the GP season opens. But perhaps maybe the best thing for them is to continue to just work really hard, and continue to develop and improve. Then, when the opportunity is there, and they are fully ready, the GP experience will be a positive one. Weaver/Poje have had to do the same thing for a number of years, only finally making it back to Worlds this year. Instead of losing momentum, they are 5th in the World, and some of us think they should have been higher. Assuming Paul/Islam are again 3rd at Nationals, they will not only have 1 GP assignment, but also a trip to Worlds. And a spot on the 2014 Olympic team is also very much possible for them.

    The team I really feel a little sorry for is Ralph/Hill. They have the first GP event of the season, which means they must be well-prepared early, and then will skate against some really, really strong teams. There is no way they can possibly medal, and quite possible they will finish quite low in the standings. This can only reinforce some commonly held beliefs that they are past their prime as a team. The only way they can shake this situation is to have really, really strong quality skating in the pre-GP season, and show new, surprising, positive programs...like a team re-born. They've been looking tired and ragged these last couple seasons. Only time will tell on that. I do believe that if they do poorly internationally and in the pre-GP season, they will drop in the rankings within Canada at Nationals. It is quite possible that Harvey/Gagnon, with continued strong training, and Arnold/Trojek, who are now in their 3rd season together as a team and have consistently shown improvement year over year, will surpass them. And we don't yet know what other Canadian teams can surprise us this season.
     
  22. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

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    As they were only guaranteed one spot in the first place, I suspect SC opted to take the TBD route for the time being and allow another federation to select them. Had SC slotted them in now, it seems to me that would officially relegate them to that single event. With this arrangement, they have a far better shot at two.
     
  23. DORISPULASKI

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

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    I imagine that a lot of the teams with one event will be doing Senior B's in Europe.
     
  24. Dave of the North

    Dave of the North Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what you mean - they had one GP at Skate Canada where they finished 4th with a well received freedance; the year before they were on the JGP and finshed second at Junior worlds.
     
  25. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

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    Yikes ! the senior B's could get quite crowded , wouldn't you think ? Even with the addition of Thornhill this yr. and one in the States next yr. ( hope , hope )... it looks like more skaters will need to do them..some of them already have really large fields , don't they ?

    Pairs and dance seem to be getting the shortest straw.. e.g.Thornhill won't have ( accredited )Dance..( time to pony up more money for a dance panel ?...or make sure the US Senior B has one ?..but that still makes things tight this year..)

    I hope P/I get the third SC slot ( or some other slot ), it rankles me to see teams that they were competitive with at Jr.World's getting 2 slots and having a chance to compete. Just because other teams ( like W/P ) have had to suffer through this in the past , wouldn't make me feel any better about it.

    I feel R/H are in desperate need of a coaching change if they're to progress , so I can't be quite as worried for them..until I see what they're doing. H/G could really be left hanging in the wind , and I'd love to see them have a slot..but would I like that better than a second one for P/I...not really.

    I think both O/W and A/T are eligible for the JGP, aren't they ? ... So they're not as great a concern, at the mo..
     
  26. skatingfan04

    skatingfan04 Active Member

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    Sorry, I'm not really familiar with the rules for GP entry, so I would love it if some of you could give me some more info. I'm assuming that P/I were only assigned to one event because they are lacking the points needed to qualify for two (Since they only competed internationally once last year). I highly doubt, given how they skated at SC last year, that the federation would choose to restrict them mo TEB. If P/I compete in some senior B's in the next few months, as I suspect they will, is it possible for them to gain the points necessary in time to be assigned to a second event? If so, I was thinking that SC might be leaving that last vacant spot open in the hopes that P/I amass enough points in time.
     
  27. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

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    The number of rule changes this season is a bit mindboggling.

    1. I suspect the reason SC left that slot open is to allow either of Harvey/Gagnon or Arnold/Trojek the chance at competing at a GP by doing well at a senior B (A/T beat H/G last season at Nebelhorn, so when V/M withdrew, they got the spot).

    2. Paul/Islam actually ranked 18th on the season best list. Of the 17 teams that beat them

    • The Kerrs have retired
    • Crone/Poirier and Chock/Zuerlein have split
    • All but two teams have two or three spots

    3. So I suspect that Skate Canada (federation) took a bit of a gamble here to assure Ralph/Hill get the chance for two spots as well by politicking them. They got SA. So if they do well, they get on the season best list (likely underneath P/I, because they're not as good).

    4. The teams ahead of P/I that don't have a full complement of spots are Hoffman/Zavosin (1 spot) and Faeilla/Scali (0). So that means that the first three WDs will likely go to them (provided they don't get bumped down the list by a stronger skate). Now, further to that, I suspect that F/S given the topsy-turvy nature of their season, might skip the GP season, so P/I could be bumped up the subsitute list. Recall that last season had a few withdraws (V/M 2x, C/L from SA at the top of my head, Alessandrini/Vaturi from their two events, the Kerrs from CoR). So P/I are well positioned to take advantage of the subsitute list.

    5. Now, if they don't (and this is pure chicanery and speculation)... Weaver/Poje have three slots. While making the GPF will be difficult, if they happen to be well positioned to do so or have no shot, they could conceivably withdraw from CoR (if say, Skate Canada covers the financial penalty that accrues from WDing from a third event) and allow countrymates P/I to take that slot.
     
  28. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that countrymates can take over a slot. In case of a withdrawal, the host federation will invite another team from the substitute list. So P/I would have to be at the head of the substitute list for such a strategy to work, if I understand the current process correctly.
     
  29. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

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    Yep. My supposition would be that they be at the head of the list at that point, in a year of unusually lean withdraws (which is what we're all hoping for, right! Last season was rather devastating in that regard).
     
  30. DORISPULASKI

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

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    They had 2.

    P&I had a really bad error in the GW part of the SD at SC, which is why they were 4th instead of 3rd overall.

    They also had a injury and had to withdraw from CoR, after a less than stellar SD. (they finished last of 8 teams)