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  1. #1
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    Smile Jonathan Cassar: "spread eagles to die for"

    geod2 requested a separate thread; I borrowed paskatefan's phrase for the thread title.

    Quote Originally Posted by paskatefan View Post
    I also felt that Jonathan Cassar's free skate should have been shown [on NBC] (spread eagles to die for, plus a cute reaction in the K&C - he lost his chain during the short program, the flower sweepers couldn't find it, Jeremy was on next, and had to wait a bit, Parker Pennington was the "hero" and found the chain on center ice, so Jonathan's checking his chest for no chain during the free skate was related to that).
    Quote Originally Posted by geod2 View Post
    Any other thoughts on Jonathan?
    Was hoping his career would move forward roughly in tandem with Alissa's, but that's not the case.
    He has so much to offer, but his coaching change didn't have the same impact.
    What has to happen for him to get to the next level and really get noticed?
    This is OT, and maybe we need a separate Jonathan Cassar thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    How old is Jonathan? Does he have a triple / triple and a triple axel?
    Cassar turned 24 this past December. He was planning to do 3Lz+3T in his SP at Nationals but fell on his 3Lz. I saw him working on -- and landing some -- 3Lz+3T and 3T+3T in practices in Greensboro, but didn't notice any 3A attempts.

  2. #2
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    Has he not been offered the opportunity to do shows? Without a 3A and a triple-triple jump at his age, I don't see him really being competitive. However, he's wonderful to just watch skating and could have a nice career in shows that let him emphasize his good qualities. I hope it works for him.
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  3. #3
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    I wasn't impressed when I saw his LP on utube. I think younger skaters like Jason Brown have better overall skating skills and more star quality than Jonathan. Yes, the inside spread-eagle is gorgeous but you can't build an entire competitive program out of that one move alone.

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    I love Jonathan! It's a pleasure to watch him! And it's not all about spread eagles, he has so muxh more. Well, except the jumps (which is a pity, he could be a great contender).
    I hope he knows what to do and won't disappear.

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    Icenetwork's Results section

    shows what the skater planned vs what he executed, if you click on the + next to the skater's name.
    It shows that Jonathan Cassar planned a 3lz3t in the LP, but did a 3lz2t.
    He also planned a 3F2t2lp but actually did a 3f2t
    He did not plan a 3A, nor did he attempt one.

    In the SP, he also neither planned nor executed a 3A.
    He planned a 3lz3t and did a UR 3lz without a combo, resulting in 17th place in the SP.

    If Cassar doesn't get a 3A or a 3lz that's more reliable, he will not make top 5 or 6 at US Nationals, barring a complete splatfest by everyone else.

    As he turned 24 in December, it is unlikely he is going to get a 3A at this point.

    Has he tried for an audition with a cruise ship? Or Disney?

    That might be a better direction for him to go.

    IMO, he's a one-trick pony-the spread eagle.

  6. #6
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    IMO, Cassar's skating is more than "a one-trick pony-the spread eagle."

    You could have heard a pin drop in the arena during his "Schindler's List" free skate.

    When I first saw him skate years ago, I was just happy he made it to Nationals as a "late-bloomer" junior in 2006. I hoped, but didn't expect, that he would have a chance to compete internationally someday. Well, he competed at Coupe de Nice in 2008 (collegiate international) and finally "for real" at Finlandia Trophy this season. If skating was just about jumps, I wouldn't be watching.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-09-2011 at 04:59 PM.

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    He was a dance major in college, and you can tell. Aside from the spread eagle, he just brings beauty to every movement in every program. Dude KNOWS how to move; no KVDP he.

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    I like him though a little more power will make a diff

  9. #9
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    Last year at Nats, I was watching men's practices with friends - they stepped out for a cigarrette break. Cassar's SP music came on - I perked up immediately because it was unusual, complex and not familiar music (Zoe Keating's "We Insist"). I was completely mesmerised with what was happening on the ice. When my friends came back I told them they had just missed the most amazing modern dance performance that happened to be performed on blades.

    We spoke to Jonathan and his family at the hotel after the SP. We gushed that we had been modern dancers and were completely over his performance. When he said he was a dancer it all made sense. He moves with awareness of every part of his body, and he performs choreography, not moves.

    It's unlikely that Cassar is ever going to medal or perhaps even break top 10 at Nats at this point - but I don't care. He's fab, in the same way that Overett was fab. I hope post-skating Cassar has a nice dance career (and before anyone starts - mid-20s is NOT too old for a modern dance career. Especially for guys).
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    I don't think Jonathan is a one trick pony (but man those spread eagles are amazing) - I just don't think he has what it takes to be the USA #1, or even #5. If he lived in an obscure European country he could probably be national champion and get buried at Worlds.

    I hope he has a long career as a choreographer. I took a workshop from him a few years ago on artistry in skating (and jumps... I think he had to teach jumps because the Czisnys had already called spins and footwork. He actually helped me a lot with my loop and toe loop) and it was fantastic- even with beginning skaters he was able to get us to think about all the times we could be adding something extra to make our skating beautiful.. I'd love to continue to see his movement on the ice through other skaters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    Last year at Nats, I was watching men's practices with friends - they stepped out for a cigarrette break. Cassar's SP music came on - I perked up immediately because it was unusual, complex and not familiar music (Zoe Keating's "We Insist"). I was completely mesmerised with what was happening on the ice. When my friends came back I told them they had just missed the most amazing modern dance performance that happened to be performed on blades.

    We spoke to Jonathan and his family at the hotel after the SP. We gushed that we had been modern dancers and were completely over his performance. When he said he was a dancer it all made sense. He moves with awareness of every part of his body, and he performs choreography, not moves.

    It's unlikely that Cassar is ever going to medla or perhaps even break top 10 at Nats at this point - but I don't care. He's fab, in the same way that Overett was fab. I hope post-skating Cassar has a nice dance career (and before anyone starts - mid-20s is NOT too old for a modern dance career. Especially for guys).
    Thank you for that story!

    This might be the best we can do to recreate his performance of We Insist....
    um, yeah mesmerizing and unique...

    http://susanfieldofgold.blogspot.com...st-by-zoe.html

    The original music in a clean recording without the crowd noise and echoes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjQfyK65gKQ


    There are a lot of photos around of Jonathan and Alissa Czisny.
    They look like good friends and their stories of jump problems combined with incredible artistry are hauntingly similar.
    Alissa eventually decided that the burning platform she was standing on careerwise was worth jumping off of.... no matter where she landed, it had to be better.
    Jonathan did not seem to bottom out in the same way, at least that I can find anywhere, and seems to have accepted his jump limitations to a certain degree.
    It would be interesting to know more about his priorities in that regard so we can adjust our hopes accordingly.



    .

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    He was a dance major in college, and you can tell. Aside from the spread eagle, he just brings beauty to every movement in every program. Dude KNOWS how to move; no KVDP he.
    Absolutely, he has good dance training. Just look at his hands. No frying pans, no lobster claws, no antler fingers, his hands are just beautiful. And his port de bras. And his line. He has that ability to draw you in even when he's very still. Definite hidden gem.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    You could have heard a pin drop in the arena during his "Schindler's List" free skate.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    It's unlikely that Cassar is ever going to medla or perhaps even break top 10 at Nats at this point - but I don't care. He's fab, in the same way that Overett was fab.
    Exactly.

    Anyone else think he looks like a younger, hotter version of Trent Reznor?
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  14. #14
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by geod2 View Post
    The original music in a clean recording without the crowd noise and echoes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjQfyK65gKQ
    I bought the cd as soon as we got back from Nationals. Zoe Keating rocks!
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    When my friends came back I told them they had just missed the most amazing modern dance performance that happened to be performed on blades.


    That's awesome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Absolutely, he has good dance training. Just look at his hands. No frying pans, no lobster claws, no antler fingers, his hands are just beautiful. And his port de bras. And his line. He has that ability to draw you in even when he's very still. Definite hidden gem.
    And no starfish hands (a la Patrick Chan)! Really, really aware of every part of his body (alas, this hasn't translated to huge jumps, but I can live with that).

  17. #17

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    Spread eagle
    The Junior Grand Prix: Where skaters who "come out of nowhere" come from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    He was a dance major in college, and you can tell. Aside from the spread eagle, he just brings beauty to every movement in every program. Dude KNOWS how to move; no KVDP he.
    A agree completely!
    Definitely was one of the highlights of the Men's LP for me at Nationals (along with Brown and the 1-2-3 powerhouse performances of Rippon/ Dornbush/ Mahbanoozadeh). I really wanted to see his " Schindler's List" live and was so happy I did.
    Yes, the jumps and speed are somewhat lacking, but what Jonathan does is so gorgeously deliberate, I couldn't care less about what he does not do.
    Actually, one movement that took my breath away was not the spread eagle, which I expected to be amazing ( and it was), but the way Jonathan slowed down on his Camel Spin before changing into donut spin. Everybody slows down, of course, happens naturally. But he slowed down with music, and as he slowed down arched his back more and slowly opened his arms. It was completely deliberate, not " I've done my revolutions" , and a thing of beauty.
    Here it is, between 4:07 and 4:20
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYcbhaue69U

    Champion or not, I'd pay to see him live in the future.
    improving my ballad- like lines

  19. #19
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    Like Braden Overett I think Jonathan could find a career as a choreographer for skaters if he wanted. No, he will not be a top American skater, especially without a 3A, but the partial standing O for his free skate from the audience in Greensboro speaks volumes about his ability to blend sport and art.

    Also, I think his jumps have improved in his time under Frank Carroll's tutelage; and Jonathan seemed more composed and confident than I've seen him at other competitions.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  20. #20
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    I agree that he has improved under Frank. Plus, the Jonathan and Frank show in KnC is worth the price of admission right there!
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