Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Ninchen, Nov 4, 2011.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/spor...2223365&utm_campaign=Shared Web Article Links
This is being discussed in the Anissina/Americanization thread.
ok, i'm sorry. please, some admin feel free to close the thread
I like having a separate thread as the other is about dance this regards all disciplines.
Here's Sonia Bianchetti's open letter (referenced in the Globe & Mail article):
After watching all the atrocities being committed post-2010 Vancouver, I'd have to agree with her that figure skating should go back to ordinal system without anonymous judging.
I also think that CoP markings should be continued as a mean to provide references, since CoP and protocol sheets does has it's merits in giving skaters feedback and providing accountabilities to marks that judeges give.
My personal opinion -- based on having watched as many videos from as many decades as I can find, but without having lived through participating in the sport for decades, at an international level, as Bianchetti has ...
I don't think that, on average, freestyle skating was more artistic in the 1980s or earlier than it is now. There were some high points that had clear artistic purpose, a few masterpieces (Bolero, anyone?) but most of the performances look like just want to get the technical elements done and look nice while doing them.
By the 1990s and early 2000s, school figures were out and professional choreography was in, so we saw a lot more coherent programs. Some were masterpieces -- more than I could name here. Many were coherent in the sense of having a theme established by one piece of music or pieces with a specific relationship between them, and through costume and a few shapes and movements matching the music and theme. Others were just technical showcases.
And now perhaps we have just as many in the two latter categories, successful or unsuccessful depending on the skaters' performance, and fewer that transcend the sport to become coherent art as well.
I do think there significant advantages to breaking down the scores according to the current IJS or some other system not yet devised and implemented.
I also think that the competitive sport side of figure skating, which is what the ISU oversees, should be focused on technical and athletic accomplishment and fairness to the athletes as athletes.
So I would not like to see all the changes of the past 8 years thrown in the trash and the scoring reverted to what it was in 2002 (or in 2003-04 with anonymity added).
I definitely do not think that skating competition should be conceptualized as primarily or even 50% about "art."
But I also think that the possibility for skating performances to transcend the athletic and technical context and also become coherent art should be allowed for and encouraged. And that ideas of good technique that drive scoring and training should consider that mastery and high quality (which would correlate with beauty) should count for more than difficulty for the sake of difficulty.
And I agree that skating that emphasizes beauty or other aspects of artistry is a more attractive "product" to offer general audiences.
So I would love to see well-balanced program rules, choices and requirements for levels, values of positive GOEs, wording and application of the component scoring, etc., to be revised in ways that would encourage quality over difficulty (and give high rewards for combining both), that would better encourage variety and originality, that really reward excellence in program construction and music interpretation over mere competence, etc.
I think the current judging system has the potential to do a better job than it currently does at leveling the playing field for all competitors without forcing everyone into the exact same boxes of skills. So I would hope that visionary rule makers would consider some revisions in that direction -- I have often posted some of my personal suggestions.
I also think the ISU might want to consider establishing a separate discipline of artistic skating where artistic coherence would be more valuable than technical content, although technical mastery of the content chosen would be rewarded. (After all, poor execution is rarely beautiful.) It might not be something the IOC would want to accept in the Olympics, but I think it would be a good vehicle with which to engage audiences and with which to engage skaters who aspire to be more than just athletes, or those whose skating skills and presentation skills continue to develop even after their jumping ability declines below the level they need to compete successfully in freestyle.
Uggh. Kat always picks this one up every few years. Yeah Kat, like in the era of the 80s when our Mistress of Emotion Claudia Leistner could win TWO World silvers.
I don't know if Kat is just goaded into this or is just calling attention to herself. WE GET IT. You had THE ARTISTIC program of the 80s. It's in skating lore, her Carmen. Her West Side Story could have gotten there, but she was wearing bat-wings so you really never knew what those arms were doing. But she was competing against other mostly boring non-anything Euros (Ivanova? hello?) too. It's not like everyone was out there emoting and having these great programs. It stopped in Euros after Kat. Well Anna Kondrashova was lovely to watch, but no, who else?
Kat needs to remember more clearly how others skated when she was in it. Debi Thomas, always a fave, just didn't ever gain the polish and artistic command. Kadavy? Well possibly when she wasn't head planting on a 2axel, and she pretty much always underperformed. Roz? Pretty as a picture, had IT, but a 2axel can only get you so many titles. I could not even tell you one thing artistically/emotionally that any other skater put out in ladies in the 80s. (I like that "Ladies in the 80s"). ETA: Tiffany Chin: the potential, alas the mother...
What cracks me up is her Carmen, though legendary, LIKELY would have only placed 3rd in Calgary had Debi Thomas cared and fought for her program. Behind non-artistic/emotional Manley and non-artistic/emotional Thomas. Or did Witt place 3rd in the LP behind Ito? Another non-artistic/emotional skater.
Kat got away with the absolute minimum for an Oly gold, the idea that she's trying to rewrite history is humorous. When Manley went over Witt in the LP at Calgary, everyone knew it was in the bag for Debi IF she skated cleanly, and ALL her practices indicated it. I think that the skating cogniscienti for a split second after Manley's marks looked at each other and said "Witt is going down. Judges are killing her, and it's all Debi's if Debi goes clean".
kinda of agree with her.
alot of skaters -skate with no emotion.
Of course she thinks this. Fatuous artistry is the only reason she ever won anything, since she was out-teched and out-skated by many other skaters throughout her reign in the eighties. If she admits that the IJS does a better, fairer job of rewarding figure skating the Olympic sport, and not just vampy posing, she'd have to admit that her Olympic title in 88 and most of her World titles were not really deserved. I suppose her marks in figures might actually have been deserved, but as a freeskater, she was not very good at all. I wouldn't even call her "artistic", because to my mind standing on the ice and dancing/posing just doesn't count. Good artistic skating programs should be skated all of the way through with beautiful skating skills, and she couldn't even do that with easy jump content that was retrograde even at the time.
Witt didn't win because she was a very artistic skater. She got high artistic marks, because she was ... H.O.T (...and she won because she had competitive nerve of steel.)
Figure skating certainly needs more skaters to literally die after basically sexualising the Olympic spectators.
Regarding PCS scoring, I am still hoping for a panel specifically judging the component marks, separate from the technical judging panel. Since there are so many technical judges (because the ISU finally saw the problem with 'block judging,etc'), if one used half these judges to judge only the component marks with no input into the technical mark, perhaps each segment could be judged more fairly.
Okay here is my considered and well-expressed opinion about all of these articles:
Seriously, I get so tired of any of the "things were so much better in the olden days" crap whether it's figure skating, judging, children, schools, society or whatever. Do these people have NO MEMORY?
I have been watching figure skating at various levels of intensity since 1960 when the Olympics were first broadcast on tv. Most of what you see in a competition is completely unartistic. Most skaters have a set jump list that they use from program to program and even set moves in a set order. Most are skating only nominally to the music.
While the common elements you see does change over time that doesn't stop the programs at any given point in time to largely look alike. Certain tricks are seen as being rewarded at certain times and so everyone who can throws one in. Certain jumps are being performed by the contenders so anyone who wants to be a contender does them too and the up-and-comers look for a jump no one is doing so they can stand out even though the rest of their skating isn't there yet.
And the fans bitch about the results, question the judging and debate how to improve things.
All of that has been true since the beginning of time. The only thing that's different now is that COP makes it harder to have empty programs compared to 6.0 and there are less judging scandals.
Maybe three panels?
*technical panel (more or less as it currently exists) to call elements
*technical judging panel to judge quality of elements and overall skating skills
*performance judging panel to focus on the rest of the components
Or get rid of levels, which would reduce the role of the tech panel almost to data input, and let the technical judges reward difficulty and punish underrotations and incorrect takeoffs with GOEs from -5 to +5? In that case, expect lots more disagreement on the GOEs.
Worth a try. I'd like to see more test events or shadow panels trying out different approaches to see what kind of results they get without the work-in-progress changes affecting real results of important competitions.
Which, back then, was a bit difficult, since the musical cuts read like someone hit the "shuffle" button.
Oh, please don't
I have to agree with La Witt. How I miss the emotional intensity of Beatrix Schuba!!!
This. Witt always made a pretty picture out on the ice so it was easy to forget what a tough and savvy competitor she was. She had the ability to skate a clean program when she needed it. That was her special gift as a competitor, imo.
Empty programs or empty arenas?
you guys are cracking me up!
In most disciplines, with a few simple changes, I think the sky's the limit! If they can somehow level out the awarding of GOE, and not have it be a function of fame, world rank or country, the sport would be in great shape.
Men's skating is the most exciting it's ever been, imo. In part, this comes from the fantastic depth. And the depth comes directly from COP and volatility it allows for in the standings. The programs we're seeing are phenomenal! I honestly wouldn't change anything here.
On the ladies side, if they simply did to step sequences what they did to the spirals, I predict all would be right with the world within a few seasons.
1) no credit for side by side elements performed without synchronicity
2) set one base value amount for each type of death spiral as well as one for step sequences, no levels awarded
(I suppose at this point there's no way to "De-Moskvina-fy" all the crazy stuff going on in lifts.)
Currently, people are trying to stand out through achievement of levels. When you take the levels away, I predict they will return to using choreography and emotion to try to separate themselves from the pack.
What was so emotional about Witt's Carmen? It was kind of bimboesque if you ask me. But she does make some good points about COP.
But flirting is an art form… along with extreme wedgies.
Toot-toot, heyyyyyyyyy, beep beep.
Me too ..
I've just come to accept that I'm like Elaine Benice trying to make it through The English Patient, when it comes to Witt's Carmen. I just don't get it, but I know that 90% of world just drools all over themselves watching it.
Honestly, competitions like Skate America have always had empty arenas.
Do 90% of the world really drool over it? I've never heard anyone drool over it. If you are out there and think it's drool-worthy, please speak up!
I think it's drool-worthy and I guess others do too (maybe not 90%) considering they made a whole Carmen on Ice special out of it and she won an Emmy for it. But everyone's tastes differ... for example I feel like berthesghost does about Witt's Carmen with regard to Kwan's Lyra Angelica.
I don't really agree with Witt's general point though cause I find her the only interesting lady from the 80s, so it's not like times were much better then, IMO.
And spark...the ever-puke evoking spark..
I love the Carmen on Ice special. It still holds up very well. However, her Olympic Carmen number left me very cold. I didn't think it was much of anything.
It was a million times better than Debi Thomas's horrendous "Carmen". It wasn't much of a battle in the end. Even in a country where skating interest is practically non-existent everybody remembers Witt's "Carmen".
Yes, Witt was a much better competitor. The program not so great. YMMV
MMDV. It's an iconic programme for good reason.
Eh, really? I think people remember the battle and that Witt won but do they really remember the program? I do remember the dress and that's about it.
That's how I feel. Witt had nerves of steel. And while I don't care for her Carmen, it was Debi's program to lose, and Debi choked horribly. I was a little pissed at her for it.
To me Witt is Carmen. The woman every man wants, the heart breaking vixen. I think Debbie should have chosen other music. I don't think Debbie has that same type of charisma.
I'm sure that Katerina Witt - and others including fans - feel the same way. Figure skating has changed dramatically. I think personally as a fan who appreciates both the artistry and the technical, I do miss the freedom skaters once had. But I also recognize that this was the only way to solve the problem. Every sport has to be accountable and figure skating especially ice dance was in the dark ages about this. I do respect what Katerina said though.
I'm not saying that I'd call Witt the greatest artistic or technical skater of all time. But I think that Carmen was the perfect role for her. And Witt clearly lived her Carmen and felt the part, Debbie not so much.
Not sure what's so emotional about a short program skated to The Muppet Show or a long program to Superman...
Katarina wants to know where all the emotion has gone? Maybe the same place as all the flowers.
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