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  1. #981
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    Quote Originally Posted by change of edge View Post
    One of Mirai's performances at The Ice in Japan:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd5UiMxOiC4
    It is such a beautiful program. I have always loved her arms and upper body but so nice to see the way she is holding out her movements and reaches out to the public.

    Mabye she is starting to take a bit of command of her own skating, growing up really..I hope she will get it all together as no matter how much I was impressed with Ashely and Gracie last season, Mirai will always have that "something" I am looking for in a skater

  2. #982
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    I had forgotten how beautiful Nagasu's skating can be. The way she had been skating her competitive programs in recent years is quite unfortunate.

    I don't think it's just me, but I didn't like the I spin on Cohen, and I don't like it on Nagasu. For me, the Y spin that Czisny and Kwan do is much more elegant because you get to arch your back and look out.

  3. #983

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    I particularly dislike Mirai's I-spin more than most. It takes quite a while for her to get into the final position, and even then it looks laboured.

  4. #984
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    I agree about Mirai's program. It's nice to see her doing something a bit more mature and she really pulled it off nicely...though I do wish she'd smile a bit more or something.

    I'm a fan of Mirai's I-spin when she gets it to the vertical position...sometimes it takes a while though.

    And I love her new-look layback. She's capable of so many interesting and difficult positions so it's nice to see her switch it up. I like the variation of the one arm up and then the grab at the end too. I hope we'll see that in her competitive programs this year.

    I feel like this is truly Mirai's make it or break it year. She's slid so far down the standings that she's only received one GP this year. She has got to knock it out of the park and then show up at nationals and kick ass if she wants to have any hope at being considered for Soichi.

    I'm done expecting great things from her (so much talent!) but I will continue to hope and pray that she finally pulls it together and becomes that skater people have been waiting on since Vancouver...

  5. #985

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    I....I feel like this is truly Mirai's make it or break it year. ...
    Wasn't it last year? Then again, a lot of people thought the same way about Ashley Wagner, year after year. Not to forget Czisny. It ain't over 'til it's over.

  6. #986
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    ^ I think they mean that this HAS to be the year Nagasu breaks through or else she's done.

  7. #987

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    I agree about Mirai's program. It's nice to see her doing something a bit more mature and she really pulled it off nicely...though I do wish she'd smile a bit more or something.
    The program seemed pensive. Would smiling have been appropriate for it? It seems that for this program, smiling wouldn't have been appropriate.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  8. #988
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    Wasn't it last year? Then again, a lot of people thought the same way about Ashley Wagner, year after year. Not to forget Czisny. It ain't over 'til it's over.
    Mm-hmm... Indeed. Well said

  9. #989
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    And I love her new-look layback.
    I like the one arm up much better also. Mirai's layback often looks "heavy" to me, but the one in this program has a lightness to it that I like.

  10. #990
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    I had forgotten how beautiful Nagasu's skating can be. The way she had been skating her competitive programs in recent years is quite unfortunate.

    I don't think it's just me, but I didn't like the I spin on Cohen, and I don't like it on Nagasu. For me, the Y spin that Czisny and Kwan do is much more elegant because you get to arch your back and look out.
    this is true...sometimes the extreme-looking degree of bending is distracting. you fear the leg is going to break off. especially when they rotate super fast...much faster than the music. not very artistic!

  11. #991
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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    The program seemed pensive. Would smiling have been appropriate for it? It seems that for this program, smiling wouldn't have been appropriate.
    True. I guess smiling would have looked a little out of place, but that's where the "or something" comes into play. A lot of the time Mirai looks a little dead in the face when she skates. She doesn't have to plaster a smile to her face a la Alissa Czisny, but it'd be nice to see something coming through when she skates. She may be feeling it inside but she needs to learn to emote a bit more with her face. That doesn't mean be super voidy or fake with her facial expressions...I'm just looking for that connection to her music and movements. There was improvement in those areas in that program but I'd like to see more...just my opinion.

  12. #992

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    True. I guess smiling would have looked a little out of place, but that's where the "or something" comes into play. A lot of the time Mirai looks a little dead in the face when she skates. She doesn't have to plaster a smile to her face a la Alissa Czisny, but it'd be nice to see something coming through when she skates. She may be feeling it inside but she needs to learn to emote a bit more with her face. That doesn't mean be super voidy or fake with her facial expressions...I'm just looking for that connection to her music and movements. There was improvement in those areas in that program but I'd like to see more...just my opinion.
    I get what you mean. I feel that a lot watching Mirai lately. Last season, I usually wanted to jump onto the ice and shake her a bit because it didn't seem like she was emoting at all (which made it seem like she wasn't connecting to the program). I felt the same way after watching her LP at Glacier Falls. Even after this program, her facial expression was hard to read (although I think she did a lot better than she has done for most of the past two seasons).
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  13. #993
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    i think it's fine, the level of expression mirai has in the exhibition from the ice. even in glacier falls LP, to be honest. my sense from afar, knowing nothing, is... mirai is working her way back to the top, figuring out how she and figure skating get along with each other now that circumstances have changed. and i'd rather not see an expression that's patently plastered--one of the charms of mirai is she shows us how she feels. i don't get the sense that she's disengaged or unhappy. maybe she'll feel more and more at home with her programs and fans will soon sense her comfort and ease. or maybe i'm just glad to be spared the overwrought O-face or the catatonic grin-- i always prefer too little expression to too much.

  14. #994
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    I'm really really impressed by Courtney Hicks. The last time I remember seeing her, her packaging and lack of body awareness left me to her skating. It was hard to make it through her programs, especially when her huge jumps were off. This LP shows an incredible amount of improvement in one year, which combined with those huge jumps leaves a really nice impression. Using Kwan's arrangement (with some adjustments) of Aranjuez and that beautiful choreography doesn't hurt either. I think her entire use of her body and especially posture have improved ten fold. I'm very impressed with her, and I think with the talent starting to blossom in the US and Russia, coupled with the veterans sticking around or coming back - we are on the verge of a great era of ladies skating.

    I was expecting something really bad before watching Mirai's program based on some of the comments I have read, but my gosh. If you look past the early season stuff it really is a winner long program. It's her best LP I think I can remember since Coppelia in 2008. When first viewing any of her Frank/Lori programs in the early competitions, it's like watching paint dry. She was too micro-managed and given very very generic choreography and packaging with them, while she was in shape and brought out the best of the programs eventually, I haven't really felt her genuinely get into the choreography in a long time, just the performance if she's in shape and landing the jumps.

    This just felt so much fresher and freer, especially this early in the season. More of a self-assured woman, less of a program put together in order to win a pageant. With the way this program is set up I feel like she already "gets" it, and it's very dramatic and striking. Nothing spectacular choreography wise but it's just like a completely different league in a positive way from her Spartacus LP from last year. The choreography is detailed when its there and more importantly, the elements are much more musically significant. I really hope she can get into good peak shape by the end of this year and really fight to make a statement, because I do think this program if done cleanly could win her another National title and put her on the World team. She also has the potential to set herself apart from the field on the PCS mark with the way the generations are clashing and she's a fully developed skater now. I hope she does well, I'm happy to see her taking this seriously and improving her artistry in spite of the over leaving Frank.
    Last edited by Karpenko; 08-23-2012 at 08:04 AM.

  15. #995
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    ^^I'm a big hater on Courtney's skating but I can admit her LP is a definite improvement. I detest the fact that she picked Aranjuez, especially that particular version...sorry, but that draws an immediate and very harsh comparison to the Kween. It was a bit hard to focus on her program b/c all I saw was Michelle. Not everyone has that issue, but I certainly do.

    I think the slower pace of the music makes her a bit more tolerable to watch. She's a talented jumper but she needs a ton of work in other areas. Her body lines still make me cringe (she needs to drop that Biellmann until she can actually do it) but I do see a bit of improvement. Her LP is better this year...she appears to be skating to the music instead of through it in this program. Same can't be said for her SP though. I do think the end of the program is a bit aimless up until that final spin; it could use a bit of tweaking. Overall though, it's an improvement.

    She's a work in progress and is nowhere near the Russian ladies. It will be interesting to see where she fits in among this newer crop of pre-Soichi newbies.

    As for Mirai, once she works on really bringing her personality back out onto the ice (a la 2010) she'll be fine. When she puts that energy, sparkle and charisma into her performances, it drives her skating to another level. I really like her SP and I think she can bring the house down with it if she wants to. I'm not completely sold on her LP yet, but it has more potential and likable moments than all of Spartacus combined. I'm hopeful for her this season. It will break my heart to see her fall out of the standings completely...but if she can't make some kind of mark this season, that's exactly what will happen. For the past two seasons I've been saying it's her make it or break it year, but this time it's true. If she can't get her act together, the USFSA won't even glance her way when it comes time to start boosting people for Soichi. Across the board, she is still the most complete skater the US has...but she has to prove it.

    As for Ashley's music choices, she's biting off a large mouthful going for Red Violin...it's an iconic Kween program (like all of them). Still, I think it's an interesting choice for her. It's not the same as last time and it will definitely be a challenge to skate to. For some reason, I'm not so worried about her skating to it. Ashley has proven herself in my eyes. I like her drive, I like her conviction...she wears her "I'm gonna kick ass" hat well and with pride. I really enjoyed both of her programs last year. I'm excited to see what she can do...

    I'd really like to see Christina Gao come into her own as well.

    I'm interested to see if Agnes can pull it together too...she's got the goods. If she can put it together, she'll be an undeniable threat.

  16. #996
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    Here's the link to the Champs Camp article on Ashley, Christina, and Agnes: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news

    Caroline Zhang has been assigned to Nebelhorn Trophy, Sept. 26-29, in Obertsdorf, Germany.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  17. #997
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Here's the link to the Champs Camp article on Ashley, Christina, and Agnes: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news

    Caroline Zhang has been assigned to Nebelhorn Trophy, Sept. 26-29, in Obertsdorf, Germany.
    Ashley: 3f-3t. Agnes: 3z-3t. I'm glad to see the ambition in these ladies

  18. #998
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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Ashley: 3f-3t. Agnes: 3z-3t. I'm glad to see the ambition in these ladies
    Both will need those respective jumps- not only that, but it would be nice to get some consistency on them...

  19. #999

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    The senior ladies event at U.S. Nationals this year will be amazing! Four former champions + (potentially) the top 3 juniors from 2012 + some amazing story lines + lots of triple/triple threats + a pre-Olympic year + only 2 spots at Worlds = . This should be one of the better ladies events in recent years...

  20. #1000
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    Both will need those respective jumps- not only that, but it would be nice to get some consistency on them...
    At least Ashley is mostly mostly consistent (w/ only the occasional 2-foot) after moving to Nicks. Agnes has a taller order to fill

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