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  1. #1

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    What do the Shibs need to do?

    Okay, I'm obviously going along with the similar threads about other skaters here, but I really have been thinking about the Shibs. Despite the mistakes at Worlds, I was sorry to see them lose so much favor with the international judges this season. Here's what I think:

    1) Ditch the cutesy swing programs. Last year they were new on the senior worlds scene, they were cute as buttons and the program was endearing. This year's program seemed like a not-so-great sequel to last year's effort.

    2) Being siblings, they can't do a romantic number, but I think they could pull off a really serious program (ala Duschenays). Maia strikes me as incredibly serious and mature for her age. Alex seems like much more of a goofball (which I say in the best sense), but he is a first-rate skater with gorgeous lines. They're a very talented team and I'd love to see them pursue a new creativity. I think they could pull it off.

  2. #2

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    I LOVED the little quick step sequence during their SD. I was at the GPF and their SD was forgettable (I CANNOT have seen myself not remembering this sequence so I watched my tv recording of the event and yep, it was not in that program), and I never saw their US Nats and 4CC SD. So, this part was new to me. I replay that little part over and over. It makes me happy.

    Alex tilts his head kind weirdly, esp. during a twizzle. Scott and Andrew had a similar problem in the past.

    They're a young team who will go through their ups and downs. I expect them to explore new styles eventually. I'm not all that concerned about that (I rarely am).

    I think a lot of the pressure will be off next season and they will skate better because of it.
    Last edited by manhn; 04-12-2012 at 08:26 AM.

  3. #3
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    Their FD this year was a hack job, and Zoueva should be really ashamed of herself to have presented an almost exact copy of last year's FD only with elements moved from one corner into another. The Shibs unfortunately aren't mega impressive as far as their basics go (barely moving twizzles, generally smallish skating), but they have nice unison and they rarely make serious mistakes. They need different, more inventive choreography. They risk falling behind H/D otherwise.

  4. #4

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    I liked the concept of their FD this season, but given the similarity in both music and dance style, it likely was too soon on the heels of last year's, particularly given the splash they made with that one.

    I should think, though, that with a year to go before Sochi they're more likely to try something unusual than at any other time. What's worth recalling are their junior programs; while not every program was entirely successful, for whatever reason, they presented a rather different face than what they've demonstrated with just two senior FDs:

    2007 Junior Nationals (Novice) FD - Memoirs of a Geisha

    2008 Junior Nationals FD - Sakura Variations

    2009 Junior Worlds FD - Cinema Paradiso

    2010 Junior Worlds FD - Tango

    They and Team S/Z (behind all but the first linked program) have it in them to give the Shibutanis more than just foxtrots and swing, and I'd be shocked if they didn't return to a more serious route for this season's FD, especially as a contrast with the Yankee Polka SD. I'm curious if they would go lyrical again, though, or try something more modern. One thing I love about them is their sheer fluidity and grace -- their elegance could really be highlighted with a return to something more balletic, which would also help break that stylistic image they may be developing as seniors.

    Quote Originally Posted by manhn
    I LOVED the little quick step sequence during their SD.
    Seconded! I couldn't stand their SD at Finlandia and the GP series, but the dancier revisions (and somewhat improved music) made for the latter half of the season were fun.

  5. #5

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    For the Shibutanis, the technical side isn't as big a concern; they're good, and mostly just need to keep working - but I get the sense that there's some untapped potential artistically.

    They need to sit down and do a marathon viewing of programs by other sibling teams. Maia and Alex, as well as Marina and Igor, have to realize that while being a sibling team can be limiting, it shouldn't be that limiting. But it does require creativity, and figuring out where their strengths lie.

    I would stay away from anything too cute; they've done it enough, and it comes across as juniorish (but I fear they may go with cute for the Yankee Polka). I'm not sure a serious program is the way to go yet, but maybe they could do some kind of character or story-driven FD.

  6. #6
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    1) They need to separate and find other partners maybe one of them will be successful as of now they are one of the most boring ice dancers along with B/S

    2) ditch the cutesy programs and act more grown up.

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    thanks for starting this thread, skateboy.
    I think they have gorgeous basics, and exquisite line and carriage. They are so clean that I am able to just relax and enjoy their skating. They are young and had lots of pressure on them, coming in as defending bronze medalists. As manhn has mentioned, they will likely skate better next season without all of the expectations that came along with their high placement last year.

    What I think they really need to take their skating to the next level is stronger presence and deeper engagement with/of the music. They greatly improved their SD and had some nice moments in there, but I felt like they didn't quite grab onto the rhythms enough. And I found myself thinking the same thing in their FD in the 'Chatanooga choo choo' section...I just didn't see them respond to the changes in rhythm and tempo as much as I would have liked. What I did appreciate, aside from the run of their edges, was the attention to detail in their body positions...everything down to their fingertips is polished and beautifully placed. I can't think of a more elegant team. so imo, they need to work more with the rhythm (which will allow them to really accentuate variations in rhythm) and establish their on-ice personas. These things, along with greater power and amplitude, will come with age and more experience. They have such a solid foundation upon which to build, that I have no doubt they will have a very successful career (barring injuries and other bad and unexpected stuff). They are incredibly talented and I really enjoy watching them and cannot wait to see them next season.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    ...I would stay away from anything too cute; they've done it enough, and it comes across as juniorish (but I fear they may go with cute for the Yankee Polka). ....

    How can anybody be anything BUT cute with the Yankee Polka? This is tailor-made for them. However, I hope that they can follow the SD with a more mature FD. Not that I expect to hear them screaming "Je Suis Malade!!!!!"...still, something more mature, such as a lovely Chopin waltz, for example.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    How can anybody be anything BUT cute with the Yankee Polka? This is tailor-made for them.
    Well, there are different ways to approach it, and it doesn't have to be super-twee. Though I don't see the Shibs going the Delobel and Schoenfelder route.

    I don't think they need a waltz; they should try to think outside the box and show us something new (for them).

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    Last year was a complete surprise to everyone, including the Shibutanis, and had several other top teams not faltered rather significantly, the Shibutanis would never have won the bronze medal.

    They have fabulous technique, but they did mess up at Worlds this year. Had they not messed up, they still probably would have finished about fifth, which is about where they would have finished last year had it not been for the strange mistakes others made. I don't see that they're on some major downward slide.

    I do hope that they get a much better FD next year -- this year's FD was meh.

    The Kerrs managed to bring great excitement to ice dancing as a brother-sister pair -- if they'd had even close to the Shibutanis technical skills they'd have been on the podium at Worlds a number of times. The Shibutanis need better choreography (and no execution mistakes!) -- that's all. Training with the best in the world isn't hurting them, imo.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    The Shibutanis need better choreography (and no execution mistakes!) -- that's all. Training with the best in the world isn't hurting them, imo.
    This. I'd love to see a "meaningful" FD from them. Maia could do it, she's already at least 27 years old.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lavenderblue View Post
    Seconded! I couldn't stand their SD at Finlandia and the GP series, but the dancier revisions (and somewhat improved music) made for the latter half of the season were fun.
    I particularly liked the way he lifted from the waist. I hope they continue to work with Ballas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    Though I don't see the Shibs going the Delobel and Schoenfelder route
    Hmmm, Alex Shibutani in pleather with tassels! (Must stop; I have shoes way older than AS.)

    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Last year was a complete surprise to everyone, including the Shibutanis, and had several other top teams not faltered rather significantly, the Shibutanis would never have won the bronze medal.
    I think W/P's SD was underscored all year, and they had to prove that they were a top 10 team, especially having lost the Can Nats title to a flawed Crone/Poirier.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  13. #13

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    What they need most ? Personnality. Because it looks on the ice that they have none.
    IMO of course.
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  14. #14
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    ^
    This. Maybe it will come with time, I dunno. But I have a feeling that Zoueva just does not see them in different characters and wants them to stick with cutesy Broadway style programs. They should explore different styles, maybe go to different choreographer and take, for example, circus or contemporary dance theme. But frankly I can't imagine Maia and Alex doing something similar to Kerrs' 'Muse' , 'Aliens' and 'Last of Mohicans' programs.

  15. #15

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    I wonder if the Shibs would do well with a more balletic program - perhaps something like I/K's Don Quixote, which was no more overtly "romantic" than the Shibs' most recent programs, but would push them to express themselves on the ice in a new way. Maia certainly has the lines & posture to pull it off.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by equatorial View Post
    Their FD this year was a hack job, and Zoueva should be really ashamed of herself to have presented an almost exact copy of last year's FD only with elements moved from one corner into another. The Shibs unfortunately aren't mega impressive as far as their basics go (barely moving twizzles, generally smallish skating), but they have nice unison and they rarely make serious mistakes. They need different, more inventive choreography. They risk falling behind H/D otherwise.
    This.

    Do they have any range though?

    They can do cutesy-pootsey programs well but remember their tango fail from two seasons ago.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    This.

    Do they have any range though?

    They can do cutesy-pootsey programs well but remember their tango fail from two seasons ago.
    they can't. that's why they can never be dynamic
    and them being siblings made it worst, I don't think you can
    go on for seasons doing all cutesy and juniorish

    they have better chance of being successful if they break up their
    partnership and find decent new partners.
    one of them will bound to be successful

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Do they have any range though?

    They can do cutesy-pootsey programs well but remember their tango fail from two seasons ago.
    Even if they do, they stubbornly refuse to exhibit it Tango is to Shpilband's teams what "Take Five" is to Canadian men But that time tango befell the most unsuitable team ever, hence a fiasco. They can try somewhat abstract modern-ish choreography, although I wouldn't bet a dime on Zoueva taking risks and giving them anything like that.

  19. #19
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    they shouldnt break up. why for me hubbell and hubbell shouldnt have broken up despite you fans.

    they can do it -they was successful siblings partners in the past. the only reason they (supposed) cant now is the fact so many fans don't like the siblings . for me they was a bit underscored .

    alot of teams was overscored.

    the teams should do want they want despite the outcry from the public, because when it comes to PAIRINGS IN DANCE/PAIRS. The Skaters know Best, not the fans who see them skate.

    they know whether or not they own goals meet what they want, how they want it and when.

    this years worlds was undermarked despite the mishap. why who knows maybe due to the fact many U.S. dance teams didn't like the fact got bronze medal last year and complain stating if they don't drop we wont stay in etc.

    sorry but the Shibutanis are better than most U.S. dance teams except for Davis/White.

    you can tell by the way the practice, how they practice, how they try their best at every skate. the other dance teams just skated or in case of hubbell/donohure came out swining at nebelhorn and skated the rest of the way. they was blase the whole year =yet was overscored at worlds.

    chock bates came out trying in first event and gave up rest of year.

    so shibs isn't to blame but skaters themselves.

    you want it you work despite setbacks and despite what you hear. you don't give in and keep going for it ;despite what stated on forums.

    you skate to prove people, fans, coaches wrong--give your best all times--sometimes work, sometimes don't; sometimes takes longer than anticipated.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by equatorial View Post
    They can try somewhat abstract modern-ish choreography, although I wouldn't bet a dime on Zoueva taking risks and giving them anything like that.
    Why not? She did for V/M in the year before the Olympics.

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