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  1. #201

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I think Dai uses his upper body quite a bit more in ways that are unique to a given piece of music. Chan is more stiff in his upper body, and demonstrated less versatility this past season.
    See the respective circular step sequences:

    Takahashi

    Chan

    I guess what I'm talking about is using the rhythm of what the feet/blades are doing to reflect the music in ways that resonate through the whole body, as opposed to primarily the upper body.

    As for versatility, that's hard to score with current trend of using one piece of music per program. You can't ask judges to remember what the skater did yesterday or last year when scoring what they did today.

    Especially since there's no guarantee that any given judge would have seen the other performances. By the time you get to the Worlds freeskate it's highly unlikely the judges wouldn't be familiar with the medal contenders' oeuvre. But the system has to work for skaters the judges have never seen before either, be it 13-year-olds at their first JGP, skaters from small countries in the qualifying round at Worlds, etc.

    Do we want the unity that can come from single musical sources, or do we want skaters to use 3, 4, 5 different pieces of music as was common 30 years ago so we can measure their versatility?

    Versatility is a good way to attract fans, though. And it's a lot easier to show a wider range over the course of a longer career . . . although not all skaters make the effort. Even someone as artistically respected as Michelle Kwan pretty much found her comfort zone and stayed there.

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by jettasian View Post
    Some people liked to accuse the judges were bias at 4CC because Chan's two hands touch down were CLEARLY a fall. Well, Dai had the same thing, but of course, it's Dai, so he did NOT fall
    Did I talk about 4CC and Patrick performance there? No...Daisuke didn't fall at worlds and I didn't complaing anything on 4CC so I don't see the point..

  3. #203

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    Quote Originally Posted by jettasian View Post
    Some people liked to accuse the judges were bias at 4CC because Chan's two hands touch down were CLEARLY a fall. Well, Dai had the same thing, but of course, it's Dai, so he did NOT fall
    ISU changed the application of their rule for fall for Chan at 4CC and was criticized for that, and had to stick with the change at the Worlds. I'm afraid that we'll see more like that until Sochi.

  4. #204

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    What does Takahashi need to do?
    Two salchows and a triple lutz while wearing a blindfold

  5. #205

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    I think we're giving the judges too much credit if we think they are even capable of interpreting the nuances of the music in the same way that many fans with music or dance training can. This is an athletic event and as such they are judging the athletic merits of a particular performance. As long as the skater makes an attempt to interpret their music, that has to be sufficient to get credit.

    As I mentioned earlier (perhaps in another thread), whether a particular performance is better interpreted/choreographed than another has as much to do with the talents of the person who designed the program, usually the choreographer and/or coach. Obviously, skaters who can afford good programs will get a bump in their scores as a result, but should the bonus points be that great? For those who complain that Dai isn't credited for his amazing performance skills, of course he is. I tend to agree with those who think that for most judges of this athletic competition, skating skills will and should trump performance skills if the comparison is with a skater who also has decent presentation skills and has made an attempt to interpret the music as outlined in the rules.

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlyoung View Post
    I think we're giving the judges too much credit if we think they are even capable of interpreting the nuances of the music in the same way that many fans with music or dance training can. This is an athletic event and as such they are judging the athletic merits of a particular performance. As long as the skater makes an attempt to interpret their music, that has to be sufficient to get credit.

    As I mentioned earlier (perhaps in another thread), whether a particular performance is better interpreted/choreographed than another has as much to do with the talents of the person who designed the program, usually the choreographer and/or coach. Obviously, skaters who can afford good programs will get a bump in their scores as a result, but should the bonus points be that great? For those who complain that Dai isn't credited for his amazing performance skills, of course he is. I tend to agree with those who think that for most judges of this athletic competition, skating skills will and should trump performance skills if the comparison is with a skater who also has decent presentation skills and has made an attempt to interpret the music as outlined in the rules.
    First of all, I think you greatly underestimate figure skating judges. Not only have they spent years watching skaters interpret music and comparing them, but they are mostly former skaters who also did it themselves. Many of them also probably learned a certain amount of ice dance, even if they never became certified to judge it.

    Second, look at how many programs Lori Nichol has been credited with as choreographer and look at how many of those programs actually look as well-choreographed as Carolina Kostner's. Very few. That's because there are a lot of good choreographers out there, but very few skaters who are able to do all of that choreography and do it well. They may dismiss it the first time they try it, or they may try to master it but fail to do it with fluidity so they water it down or just do something simpler instead. Also, don't forget skaters like Braden Overett, who actually choreographed his own programs and was brilliant. Regardless of who comes up with the choreography, those skaters who manage to actually master really good choreography deserve credit for that!

  7. #207

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doubletoe View Post
    First of all, I think you greatly underestimate figure skating judges. Not only have they spent years watching skaters interpret music and comparing them, but they are mostly former skaters who also did it themselves. Many of them also probably learned a certain amount of ice dance, even if they never became certified to judge it.
    You make a good point, and I will confess to having made an over-generalization in my original post as, of course, not all judges are created equal. I do, however, stick to my original argument that some judges are not as qualified to understand the nuances we're talking about here. Just because a judge has skated in the past, even taken a few dance classes, does not make them an expert at defining "art", though they should be trained to understand "interpretation" as defined by COP. My point was not that they couldn't judge, just that the qualities they should be looking for are not necessarily the same as those one would expect to find in a professional dance performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doubletoe View Post
    Second, look at how many programs Lori Nichol has been credited with as choreographer and look at how many of those programs actually look as well-choreographed as Carolina Kostner's. Very few. That's because there are a lot of good choreographers out there, but very few skaters who are able to do all of that choreography and do it well. They may dismiss it the first time they try it, or they may try to master it but fail to do it with fluidity so they water it down or just do something simpler instead. Also, don't forget skaters like Braden Overett, who actually choreographed his own programs and was brilliant. Regardless of who comes up with the choreography, those skaters who manage to actually master really good choreography deserve credit for that!
    I would argue that Carolina's performance was so brilliant precisely because of her technical mastery of the elements, and as such, of course she should get credit for it. But it is credit for her command of the technical aspects of the performance as much as anything else. It would perhaps not have been as interesting a program with different choreography, but had she performed it as well, it would have been just as beautiful. Great choreography performed poorly would certainly not have the same impact.

    Those skaters who "water down" choreography are, in fact, lessening the technical content, and won't get the same credit. The tricky part is in comparing the simpler but clean performances with extremely complex, difficult choreography that is perhaps sloppy in places. It doesn't matter how great the choreography, without technical mastery it won't have the same impact. Patrick Chan is an interesting case, because he tends to have "burps" in his performance, with brilliance in between. His mistakes often don't impact his delivery of the rest of the performance, which is why he still gets credit from the judges for the material he has completed. This is the way COP has been set up as a way to reward technical elements performed well.

  8. #208

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    PCS through the years (free program worlds and Olympics):

    Chan Takahashi

    2008 67.62 76.75
    2009 76.10 Did not compete
    2010 O's 82.00 84.50
    2010 W's 82.40 86.50
    2011 91.52 82.08
    2012 90.14 85.78

    Note that the PCS score for Takahashi that seems to be upsetting people is the second highest he has ever received, and not much lower than when he won worlds.

    Chan won by 6.45 points overall - what argument can be made to reduce his PCS/increase Takahashi's PCS by a total of 6.46? Not enough of one I don't think.

    In TES they had the following issues
    Chan
    SP - 4T slight stepout - GOE: - 0.86 compared to SP - 4T-3T UR (<<)& bad landing GOE: - 2.86

    Chan bobble in footwork - reduced to level 3 and GOE of 0.57 = 4.0 compared to Takahashi SlSt4 = 5.6

    LP - FCCoSp1 - level 1 GOE: 0.79 = 2.79 compared to Takahashi FCCoSp4 = 4.21

    Chan 3Lz+1Lo<+2S GOE = -1.4 total = 7.07 compared to Dai: 3Lz+2T+2Lo = 10.41

    Chan - waxel 0.0 and -1.0 deduction (lost about 5.5 points here) Takahashi did a second TA: - 10.36

    Takahashi also had two other jumps with -ve GOE

    It seems that Chan got penalized for his mistakes according to the rules so I don't think there is any points to help make up that 6.46 difference here.
    Last edited by Dave of the North; 04-12-2012 at 12:28 AM.

  9. #209

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    Quote Originally Posted by nlyoung View Post
    You make a good point, and I will confess to having made an over-generalization in my original post as, of course, not all judges are created equal. I do, however, stick to my original argument that some judges are not as qualified to understand the nuances we're talking about here. Just because a judge has skated in the past, even taken a few dance classes, does not make them an expert at defining "art", though they should be trained to understand "interpretation" as defined by COP. My point was not that they couldn't judge, just that the qualities they should be looking for are not necessarily the same as those one would expect to find in a professional dance performance.
    Hmmm speaking as a judge music is actually something I feel very strongly about. It think it helps to have actually learnt music and been a musician. Because then you not only understand timing (although that is pretty instinctive) but look at phrasing, nuances and all the other things you want to see the skater create pictures for you.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  10. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Hmmm speaking as a judge music is actually something I feel very strongly about. It think it helps to have actually learnt music and been a musician. Because then you not only understand timing (although that is pretty instinctive) but look at phrasing, nuances and all the other things you want to see the skater create pictures for you.
    You would be included among those judges who are qualified to judge the nuances. I wish all were like you.

  11. #211

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Hmmm speaking as a judge music is actually something I feel very strongly about. It think it helps to have actually learnt music and been a musician. Because then you not only understand timing (although that is pretty instinctive) but look at phrasing, nuances and all the other things you want to see the skater create pictures for you.
    You would be included among those judges who are qualified to judge the nuances. It would be great if all were like you.

    We have to remember that not all judges come from countries with strong federations and a pool of qualified applicants to choose from. Obviously many judges of smaller federations would be equally qualified, but not all would have had the same developmental opportunities yet they are given equal weight on a judging panel.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave of the North View Post

    Chan won by 6.45 points overall - what argument can be made to reduce his PCS/increase Takahashi's PCS by a total of 6.46? Not enough of one I don't think.
    The point is we should leave the way things are. Scoring needs to change, not to help Chan lose. But for others just to have a fair chance at winning.

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I think Dai uses his upper body quite a bit more in ways that are unique to a given piece of music. Chan is more stiff in his upper body, and demonstrated less versatility this past season.
    Chan's upper body was not stiff. His is more ballet like. Meanwhile, Dai's just moving all over the place, that's a mess.

    Just looking at the long programs for Chan and Dai, Dai's program was much more choreographed to reflect the mood, tenor, and style of the music. Chan's program could much more easily be transposed onto another piece of music. That's where the interpretation mark comes in--how well did the skater interpret this very particular piece of music? On that, I think Dai did a far better job. And that, of course, gets into choreography as well as performance and execution.
    Chan's CH is well balance, and every note is CH.

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeko View Post
    ISU changed the application of their rule for fall for Chan at 4CC and was criticized for that, and had to stick with the change at the Worlds. I'm afraid that we'll see more like that until Sochi.
    But did Dai get the outpour complaint like Chan did? Nope. Those people who complained about Chan didn't get a fall call turned a blind eye when it happened to their favorite. Hypocrite much?

  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave of the North View Post
    PCS through the years (free program worlds and Olympics):

    Chan Takahashi

    2008 67.62 76.75
    2009 76.10 Did not compete
    2010 O's 82.00 84.50
    2010 W's 82.40 86.50
    2011 91.52 82.08
    2012 90.14 85.78

    Note that the PCS score for Takahashi that seems to be upsetting people is the second highest he has ever received, and not much lower than when he won worlds.

    Chan won by 6.45 points overall - what argument can be made to reduce his PCS/increase Takahashi's PCS by a total of 6.46? Not enough of one I don't think.

    In TES they had the following issues
    Chan
    SP - 4T slight stepout - GOE: - 0.86 compared to SP - 4T-3T UR (<<)& bad landing GOE: - 2.86

    Chan bobble in footwork - reduced to level 3 and GOE of 0.57 = 4.0 compared to Takahashi SlSt4 = 5.6

    LP - FCCoSp1 - level 1 GOE: 0.79 = 2.79 compared to Takahashi FCCoSp4 = 4.21

    Chan 3Lz+1Lo<+2S GOE = -1.4 total = 7.07 compared to Dai: 3Lz+2T+2Lo = 10.41

    Chan - waxel 0.0 and -1.0 deduction (lost about 5.5 points here) Takahashi did a second TA: - 10.36

    Takahashi also had two other jumps with -ve GOE

    It seems that Chan got penalized for his mistakes according to the rules so I don't think there is any points to help make up that 6.46 difference here.
    Yup. Chan got penalized for his mistakes. And I think that waxel has costed him the potential of 8-10 points. He missed a 3rd combo, so he could have done a 2A+3something.

    Some people were upset because as I said before, they couldn't accept that other skaters could beat Dai in PCS. They only saw the ulmighty god of Dai's PCS, no one else. When the judges disagreed and awarded the PCS to someone like Chan, it's pretty much a sin in their eyes

  16. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by DELTA View Post
    The point is we should leave the way things are. Scoring needs to change, not to help Chan lose. But for others just to have a fair chance at winning.
    you are contradicting yourself. The system should change. Why? Because Chan's winning too much? So the system should change so others could win? Isn't that the same as changing the system so to make sure Chan can't win?

    And what should the changes be? Even with some changes, the disadvantage may not fall to Chan but other skaters, so be careful what you wish for.

  17. #217

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Hmmm speaking as a judge music is actually something I feel very strongly about. It think it helps to have actually learnt music and been a musician. Because then you not only understand timing (although that is pretty instinctive) but look at phrasing, nuances and all the other things you want to see the skater create pictures for you.
    Hi Aussie Willy, Just curious what sort of exams or training are judges expect to pass or to receive that qualifies them to 'judge' at world class level performance, choreography and musical interpretations to account for 60% of PCS? For example, are they able to give credible literal appraisals about each performance and capable of identify with small degree of musicality difference between the 10 skaters performing to the same music and rank them in order?

    Musicality and Interpretation are critical aspect of the performance many have mentioned already. It is the essence that blend all 5 components together; the heart beat of the fully realised program as oppose to just delivering them proficiently with no mistakes. Without musicality, a performance has no purpose, no direction, no heart, no emotion, no objective except to rack up points. It won't able to gain new audience and are barely adequate for spectators unless you happen to be a hardcore fan of the skater.

    It seems the winning COP optimised program these days by Nichols and Morozov (which I will politely call 'COP smart') are no longer even about challenging a higher artistic and sporting realisation but about appealing to an intermediate level of universal 'taste' no different than Joe Public down the road who likes to listen to Classical FM but have never played an instrument, never danced, can't carry a tune, don't care who wrote the music, the meaning behind the phrasing, but enjoy something 'pleasant' that won't be too much work. The winning choreography became an exercise of colouring by numbers, design by consensus, do enough at a leisured pace based on tried and tested safe benchmark of skater's proven capability just to rack up points.

    When skaters who tries to do a bit more avant garde, they are nearly always at a disadvantage. Which is unfortunate, when these are the very thing that can grow the sport. Instead we continue to find controversial call unable to separate the good and the bad, and kept seeing the same performance time and time again playing to more or less similar music just packaged differently. I do wish those who takes greater risks, attempt a higher realisation and continues to challenged themselves should deserve to be recognised and get properly rewarded rather than marked according to their impression ranking based on previous performances and not what they did on the day.

    The above is only achievable through higher quality judging with courage, and given the delicate and highly skilled task that separate the pros to the amateurs, it should be a specialisation all on its own similar to technical callers who are not anonymous and are accountable for all their bad calls.

  18. #218

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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Hi Aussie Willy, Just curious what sort of exams or training are judges expect to pass or to receive that qualifies them to 'judge' at world class level performance, choreography and musical interpretations to account for 60% of PCS? For example, are they able to give credible literal appraisals about each performance and capable of identify with small degree of musicality difference between the 10 skaters performing to the same music and rank them in order?
    To be perfectly honest I have no idea about the process of how you become an international judge because I am not at that level. And I don't think I am going to give you the answer you want. How do you quantify it. Because how people see music and the interpretation is a subjective thing. Two different judges may see things totally differently. But at the end of the day the reason why both judges made the decision they have is explainable and relevant.

    It is like the question "How do you define music?" I have watched a couple of documentaries where even world renowned musicians say you cannot define music. Because it is so based on the emotional reaction to it.

    Just as skaters have strengths and weaknesses, so are some judges more comfortable with certain aspects of the components and technical. For me the music is my strength and the area I need to work on is identifying transitions.

    The one thing you have to do when judging is justify your decisions. At Nationals for myself I write like crazy between skaters because if I get asked a round table discussion why I gave a particular mark or component I have to explain it.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  19. #219

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    That is a brilliant post, os168. I agree to the bottom of my heart.
    With one caveat- this year's program's by Kostner, her last year's "Faune" LP and , to a degree, Patrick's "Aranjues" go a long way for me to find a new respect for Nichol. It seems she CAN do unusual choreo that is highly attuned to music, but only, as is a case with Carolina, when a skater wants to step out of the box to create smth. highly memorable. I was so happy Carolina was rewarded in PCS. Her SP was brilliant and avantgarde, and LP- a vision of musical understanding. But often if unusual choreo is not by the biggest name in choreography, it is not easily accepted.

    BTW, as a professional musician, I do not think musicality is so very subjective, personal preferences aside. It is just that it is hard to put in writing. If I could illustrate with jestures, or in musical notation, it would have been much easier.
    The reason I keep not finding time to to play by play is that it is tedious and would take forever to write: "55 seconds in, when violins do so and so, the hand jesture accentuates the first phrase and goes in syncopation in the next measure, while feet do a rhythm of whole note- quarter/ quarter... etc". But it is possible to verbalize, just very difficult; and if one is trained, one notices those things rather automatically. Professional musicians and dancers still disagree like cats and dogs ( any musical competition is a testament to that), but I don't think there would be quite so much of somewhat easy 'reputation consensus" .
    Last edited by dinakt; 04-12-2012 at 06:42 AM.
    improving my ballad- like lines

  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafter View Post
    Considering Takahashi is what? 5 years older and has MUCH more experience than Chan, is it any really surprise that he is the more mature skater?

    Is maturity a criteria in PCS?
    Artists are born not made

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