Difficult or Effortless?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by essence_of_soy, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago I attended an Australia versus China gymnastics meet, and the thing that struck me the most was, that while the Australians made everything look technically difficult, the Chinese made the same moves look effortless.

    Both teams however, made for a spectacular evening of competition.

    I'm wondering if the same applies to elite skaters.

    Off the top of my head, Kristi Yamaguchi comes to mind. I remember seeing one of her best performances at the 1992 US Nationals in person, where, after landing 7 triples in the free, she barely broke a sweat.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJNs1esR0_Y
  2. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

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    Making the hard look really easy: Grishuk/Platov.
  3. zilam98

    zilam98 New Member

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    gordeeva/grinkov were always praised for making everything look effortless despite the difficulty and the huge size difference. gordeeva herself is still praised for such. it takes a special strength and talent to make difficult things look easy.
  4. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

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    I agree with all above. For me Yuna Kim comes the closest to those great skaters mentioned. And let's face it. She's the only one to be praised for her effortlessness on ice by skating/non-skating media around the world in recent history of FS-hello, remember the olympics and worlds09? She absolutely qualifies for the list of skaters who make difficult things look so easy no matter what she does on the ice.
  5. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    G&P, G&G, and Yuna Kim, what all these skaters mentioned above have in common is great skating skills. IMO, ability to create natural flow over the ice serves as a foudation for making all the moves effortless.
  6. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    Whenever I think of difficult moves looking "easy" I think of Kwan. She was the master of that, especially in her prime.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FehcN5tiuo

    "Ease of movement" was one of the criteria for high presentation marks in the old system, and I can't think of anyone who moved through her elements with more ease than Michelle.
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  7. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    I agree, and Gordeeva&Grinkov were the first to come to my mind.
    It's a question of lightness. Patrick Chan is now someone very special in that regard.
  8. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    Just wonderful.
    She has such an amazing ability to shape her skating talents into a wonderful package of a performance.

    Whenever I watch her skate, I worry that I might get tired of it, but thankfully I never to.
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  9. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

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    Michelle, Sasha, YuNa, Joannie, Laura, Caro and Mao especially her exhibitions. These ladies imo have great effortless flow across the ice and imo do not skate like they are connecting the dots.
  10. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    I should also add Lu Chen and Kurt Browning as skaters who made intricate choreography look effortless.
  11. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    I would also mention Klimova & Ponomarenko. Their programs always had such an amazing range of steps, edges, handholds, etc but they were so smooth and effortless. The best example might be their famous 1987 OSP (Viennese Waltz) which was made into the Golden Waltz compulsory dance. Many ice dancers say that it's harder than an entire free dance.
  12. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

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    IMO, the "new" effortless pair are the Shibutanis. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain that effortlessness as they take on more difficult choreography and increased speed over time.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  13. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    I think effortless skating is what I'm looking for when I watch a skater. The ease in the moves, the flowless technic are what make a skater interesting to watch. That way I feel the artistry better and that transcends the sport.
    G&G, Yu Na Kim, G&P, K&P, Torvill & Dean also as well as Mao Asada and some other I forget, are all very "easy" to watch because they just skate like they breath.
  14. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    When skaters reach the level where their moves look "effortless"; the difficulty of what they do isn't always appreciated.
  15. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Plushenko's quad toe always looked effortless, so the difficulty was underestimated.

    I would add Yuka Sato's footwork and B&S's connecting moves (too many to list here) looked so effortless that they were considered easy.
  16. periperi

    periperi New Member

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    The first two skaters that popped into my head when I finished reading the OP were Takahiko Kozuka and Carolina Kostner.
  17. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    They certainly didn't show it at last year's Worlds. :confused:
    Nevertheless, I do like them and would like to see how they develop over next few years. :)
  18. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    Miss Asada's jumps have been quite painful to watch for last couple of years though.
    She does have nice bouncy knees but knee action isn't exactly my definition of effortless skating. Then again, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. ;)
  19. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    They were wonderful too. :swoon:
    I have seen numerous GW over the years performed by best ice dance teams of respective eras, but still haven't seen one that can match that of K&P.
  20. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

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    As for making things look difficult I'd nominate Butyrskaya. Her jumps never looked easy. Doesn't mean I don't love her skating though.
  21. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    What is your definition of effortless skating? Just curious~~;)
  22. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    Yes, she had lots of other wonderful qualities. :)
  23. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    Great use of edges, flow over the ice, nice posture, all without too much upper body action. :)
  24. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    And also quality.

    Such as Kwan's and Kozuka's stroking; Czisny's spins; Takahashi's movement across the ice; Oda's overall skating (OK, except steps and jump counting)...
  25. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    Ah, I see. They aren't extraordinary criteria after all. But I guess you just apply them selectively. ;)
  26. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    Are you wondering why Miss Asada didn't make my list, by any chance? ;)

    I think strength of her skating lies in her soft knees, but I feel that she relies on it too much rather than getting the most out of her edges. Some people may find vertical body action that results from this tendency interesting, but it isn't my cup of tea.
  27. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    :lol: No, I just want to get to know your thoughts better. No sarcasm intended. I'm in a good mood today. :)
  28. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    I'd nominate Emily Hughes. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated her energy and attack, but the girl certainly let you know she was muscling through most of her elements.

    Today, I feel that 99% of Lv4 spins and footwork look far from effortless which is a real shame IMO.
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  29. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the elements. Yuna makes speed and a triple-triple combo look easy. Sasha and Michelle had effortless spirals. Alissa and Stephane have spins. Patrick and Takahiko make deep edges look natural.

    If we're including all elements, I don't know if any skaters have effortless skating overall. Everyone has a weakness in something.
  30. robinhood

    robinhood Active Member

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    On the top of my head, Shizuka Arakawa comes to my mind, as well as Yuka Sato. Of course, Kim and Kwan as well, but I don't feel so at "ease" watching those 2

    In pairs, Elena and Anton, though they're inconsistent they seemed to skate on air. It was breathtaking.

    I too agree with K&P, and I'm sort of discovering G&P right now. I couldn't get them when I was younger and I thought their results was part of :blocjudge, but they're amazing and technically the strongest ice dancers ever, imho

    I'll go with Kozuka too. I just think he's so natural...and Robin Cousins, amazing flow and ease
  31. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Oh yesssssssssssssss
  32. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

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    Ooh, love the mention of B/S' transitions.

    Chan may be inconsistent, but "Take Five" at Worlds was the textbook definition of effortless.

    I think Virtue/Moir fit this too.
  33. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    With all due respect to Japanese skaters, I find it interesting how they (eventually) win the boards though they never win polls. :p
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  34. calbskate

    calbskate New Member

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    I agree with butyrskaya making it seem difficult to skate for most of the time when she was competing...but somehow she's one of my favorite skaters and her short program at 2000 worlds is still my favorite short program of the ladies...somehow she made that specific program seem effortless...miss her!
  35. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    As in Kwan performing year after year in a way rarely seen today to only be called lazy ...
  36. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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  37. clarie

    clarie Well-Known Member

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    Virtue and Moir. I was surprised how fast they were but made it look to smooth easy and effortless.
  38. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    They also have an ease with one another that comes with the amount of time they have skated together. I appreciate this kind of ease from many longstanding partnerships.
  39. os168

    os168 Active Member

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    Master of anything require the greatest difficulties done effortlessly, then achieve the easier elements simply, purely, often with some aspect of signatured originality that makes the choreography the performer's own.

    From the Brits present: John Curry, Robin Cousins, Torville and Dean doing the Bolero....enough said :)
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011