Chiming into this discussion late as I haven't read everything upthread, but I wanted to say that this particular recording of "Valse Triste" isn't exactly an uplifting selection for her, if inspiration and self-confidence is at all an issue. (For example, somehow I remember Virtue/Moir's recording being a bit faster in tempo and slightly more upbeat in character.)
From my perspective in the audience at SA and at Nats, Valse Triste feels like it's a funeral on ice. And, from a spectator's (and potentially judge's) perspective, when combined with the relative lack of choreographed movements, the excessively tense, drawn-out nature of the music only enhances her perceived tendency to telegraph and/or delay her jumps as long as possible, instead of attacking and going all out.
It's probably too late in Alissa's career for her to remake herself in, say, a Katarina Witt-like sex symbol coming out onto the ice in a leather bodysuit skating to heavy metal, but all I've got to say is that Valse Triste probably does her no favors psychologically, and, packaging-wise, sends her further into a choreographic and stylistic hole.
I don't know her or anything, but from what I can see she definitely does NOT strike me as that type.It's probably too late in Alissa's career for her to remake herself in, say, a Katarina Witt-like sex symbol coming out onto the ice in a leather bodysuit skating to heavy metal, but all I've got to say is that Valse Triste probably does her no favors psychologically, and, packaging-wise, sends her further into a choreographic and stylistic hole.
I think she tried loosening up a little in one routine she did at an SOI show I went to. While it worked fine for a gala, I'm not sure it would appear comfortable for her as a competition routine. And if you're not comfortable, it shows...and we all know even with the status quo, confidence is not her strong suit, at least on the ice.
Perhaps she should have brought back last year's FS, but of course it's far too late to do anything now.
I still haven't seen anything that confirms Alissa is a vegan.
I've brought it up myself, calling Alissa's LP mediocre and boring, but not with the additional thought that it might affect her jumps.
Maybe it allows the time for Alissa to think too much .....not a good thing?
I do notice that, during her long traverse across the ice leading up to a jump, I say to myself "For crying out loud, Alissa, jump already!!".
To sell it to the audience and judges, you have to sell it to yourself first.
I can't understand what she and her coaches ever thought was inspiring about this music and choreography.
She sure doesn't look like she's enjoying it one bit out there. Even if she is, she doesn't appear to be selling it.
I'm also not completely convinced that the music she skates to shouldn't have a moderate tempo. Something where we can get past the "jump already!" speed.
I appreciate the insight into Alissa's psyche & into her training regimen & diet. I didn't realize so many people here know Alissa so intimately. And that so many are trained dieticians. You learn so much at FSU.
Not to mention how the music just dulled the audience at SA and Nats into being deathly silent. The whole atmosphere was seriously funereal. I was half expecting grim reapers to walk out onto the ice with scythes and a coffin.
I realize all of these thoughts are from our perspectives as barely knowledgeable fans, but if you're the skater out there, the lack of energy from the audience should be obvious and must affect your performance execution at least somewhat. Slightly less palpable: the fact that, through those long, nervous pauses in Valse Triste before her jumps, the audience is really staring at you silently, literally holding their breath, and just waiting for you to fall so they can release all that nervous tension with a huge sigh and a big "Awwwwwwwwww...."
(And, by the way, I lurrrrrrve Alissa so it pains me to see her fall short of her full potential.)
I love Valse Triste but may be you have a point--I am starting to come around to the idea that perhaps it's not the best music for skating. Although I think if Alissa had been nailing the jumps in the program and had a bit more choreography, no one would complain about the music.
"Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."
from Speedy Death
Yes, the music is drab, but I think the bigger issue is that Czisny has not sold the program all season. She's had numerous mistakes in every one of her performances to that piece this season, so hard to tell. You need to build tension throughout the program and when you fall or screw up bad, all that tension is released and you're left with a deflated stadium.
Folks have offered a number of reasons for Alissa's inconsistent performances - insufficient protein and/or, insufficient carbs leading to lack of strength/energy, uninspiring music, uninspiring choreo, competition nerves. I honestly don't think it is any of those things.
I think it is simply a case that most triple jumps are at the limits of her physical capability. That means she may sometimes land them but will also mess up a lot. More strength training, more practice, different technique aren't going to help. She already re-worked her technique and she is as likely to fall in practice as in competition. I think she has simply maxed out what her body can do. Not everyone has the genetic potential to be a champion in a given sport, no matter how hard they work or how perfect their diet and coaching.
She is a lovely skater and especially beautiful spinner, but if you look back at the events she has won, it is amazing to see how often her successful performances still only involved 4 good triples. Maybe instead of asking what is wrong with Alyssa, we should be asking what is wrong with us that we continue to expect her to do any better in spite of the mounting evidence.
Last edited by Susan M; 03-13-2012 at 04:56 AM. Reason: fix spelling & typos