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  1. #1

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    Simonentko talks to Staviski: Ilinyh/Katsalapov are miles behind the Canadians.

    The two times world champion Maksim Staviski analyzes Ilinyh/Katsalapov's skate in Moscow for r-sport for rsport.ru


    The first thing that came to my attention was their improvement in the lifts. It was one of their weaknesses. Now it's not as if the lifts became too wonderful, but they are better. I mean the technique and the quality. All and all they look good, skate with a good amplitude and fast. The twizzles both in the SD and the FD were perfect. The steps were not perfect but not bad either. All the elements were done. They are a good team, you don't need to teach them gliding - they were born with it. They are very artistic and are project the right mood both in the SD and the FD. No question marks here.

    Now to what I disliked: both in the SP and the LP the transitions are very easy. The positions are almost primitive. Both the SP and the LP are built like an exhibition number with the key points and the required elements integrated into the programmes. It's not only Morozov's approach -there are other coaches who do the same, but I think it's wrong. It's my personal point of view and you might disagree, but I think you must show your skating skills between the elements. Ilinyh/Katsalapov on the other hand use very simple positions - either hand to hand face to face or just hand to hand. I haven't seen any interesting position changes either. I think it might be the reason they can afford skating on the big amplitude and so freely, but IMO the professionals as they should be who are aiming for the top should show their technical levels between the elements as much as during the elements.
    The fall during the LP just happened - it happens when the skater is completely ready for the competition, falls on the easiest steps and can't understand how did he end up on the ice.

    But there were other things that were not quite clear. Their SD is an Uzbek dance. I don't mind the Uzbeks nor their dances - I actually checked on the internet - mainly it modest dances with hand moves and slight stomps. It is a bit of an Indian kind of dance. Where on earth did they dig a polka? How can you skate a polka and do the polka moves in an Uzbek dance? Of course, kudos for thinking out of the box, not taking the American or other well used polkas and trying to be creative. It's a positive thing. But frankly, I've never heard of a polka as an Uzbek dance and for me it just doesn't work.
    I also think you should consider the skater's looks when creating a dance for them. Elena aside - she is dark haired, though her hear band is not quite Uzbek, but whatever. But what kind of an Uzbek is Nikita? He is a good looking Russian guy and looks nothing like an Uzbek. I think it's my opinion only, but it bothers me.
    I also noticed that for the first 15 seconds of the dance they are skating apart. It's against the rules. 10 seconds are legal at the beginning of the programme, but skating not in the position is not encouraged. It is also written in the rules that it is not encouraged to skate hand in hand far from each other. You can open the rules and just read it. I think the 15 seconds apart is completely against the rules, which the judges overlooked. They also didn't notice the lift that lasted for more than 6.5 seconds while only 6 seconds are allowed. Yet it was counted as legal. Other than that the SD was clean. I think Nikita didn't have the first key point and the 4th key point - it's like getting two C mark at school. The choctaw was ok, though I thought there was a slight jump, but it's not clear on the video and that's something the judges should had watched int he replay. They were skating quite into the music, so nothing further about the SD.
    Now about the FD. Just like in the SD the dismounts from the elements are lacking - they are not always deep enough, though there were no real mistakes. The elements were good, if it's not an A+ it's a solid B. In their spin lift they held for even longer than in the SD. Again, the judges haven't noticed that. I don't mind that - it's a Russian cup and the Russian pairs are treated differently, but they should pay attention to those things in the future. I think they were already notified on that.
    As for the theme of the dance - am not blown by it. I'm not a person to speak poorly about the Americans, but the amount of dances depicting the American Dream is too much. The dance is well choreographed, they do everything they should, but it's just not my style. I just don't like it as much as, say, Virtue/Moir's `Carmen'. Or the last year or the 2 years ago Pechalat/Bourzat's programmes. Or Menshov's programmes.

    To sum it up - it's a good young pair. They should work really hard and pay attention to their elements execution. As for their current level - I think it's uncomparable to the Canadians. I think they are in a different leagues. Virtue/Moir lost a bit in their technical ability after leaving Spilband, but as far as the skating and the choreography goes I think they are miles ahead of everyone. There isn't a single pair that could currently compete with them

    In the end about what happened during Shibutani/Shibutani's FD. I didn't understand why the pair skated two parts of a dance and it was counted as one. If you watch the replay of the lift entrance in the first attempt and the second you'll see the entrances are different - he got his hands wrong. But he caught it on time and said his leg hurt, so they could restart. I would understand if there was a costume malfunction - the referee would have to stop the programme (Monko/Khaliavin lost a point when her hairband fell on the ice, yet they didn't stop the skate and did a whole dance). The Americans stopped, rested and continued to skate. Besides, when stopping the skate you first approach the referee, not the coach. For me it's a not worthy acting from the skater and illogical and a not correct behaviour of the referee.

  2. #2

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    TAHbKA...you are the best!

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    I would rep that post if I could. Very interesting reading and food for thought regarding I/K's program

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    coming from Babrova second coach ..it's understood

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    The whole federation supports b/s. They aren't two time champs for nothing. Not that I/k can't improve so much of their program and tech but you know it's always been more about b/s.

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    What does "depicting the American Dream" mean (in this context)?
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Cause all Americans dream about getting murdered and cavorting about as a ghost afterward? ?

    Maybe it should read American Story (since Ghost is from an American movie) rather than an American Dream?

    This is fun

    it's a Russian cup and the Russian pairs are treated differently, but they should pay attention to those things in the future. I think they were already notified on that.
    Hokay fine.

    It is true that in the NHK SD, I&K got caught for the overlong rotational lift.

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    Their FD is well choreographed? Nooooooooo. Sorry to disagree with you Maksim...but that is not a well choreographed program. I don't think comedy was their aim.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

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    I don't get how he can say both dances are built like exhibitions, with the elements and little to no transitions, simple hand holds, etc, and then say the FD is well choreographed.

    Anyway, most of his points are pretty good, and I like that he's basing his comments on specific technical things, not just saying "it sucks."

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    It seems like he thought Alex Shibutani was only acting injured? That's sort of a grand charge, isn't it?

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    It is also written in the rules that it is not encouraged to skate hand in hand far from each other. You can open the rules and just read it.
    The judges have been ignoring that for years. See every Shpilband/Zueva team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    [URL="http://rsport.ru/interview/20121116/630905975.html"]
    I also think you should consider the skater's looks when creating a dance for them. Elena aside - she is dark haired, though her hear band is not quite Uzbek, but whatever. But what kind of an Uzbek is Nikita? He is a good looking Russian guy and looks nothing like an Uzbek. I think it's my opinion only, but it bothers me.
    .

    For a blond slavic guy who won his first world medal costumed as a freaking egyptian, this comment seemed very

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    The problem with I/K's FD all starts with the choice of cuts. It's as though the person who cut the music doesn't really understand what the story is about. There are much better selections than those (although I do like the "Unchained Melody" section). And this is one of those tasteless cases of music with words. :/ Then, the costumes...what lovely things can I say about the costumes? Suffice it to say, they're boring and don't work. Add in some messed-up choreo and Morozov having his stamp on it and this program is just doomed.

    I/K should have much more drama in their free skate. Elena has such a great look. She could play so many interesting characters on the ice. Never really thought of the character from Ghost as one of them. If they wanted a Broadway musical from last year, Once might have been cooler. If they just wound up with some random movie they caught during a Lifetime marathon, they could've--and can--do much better.

    I really want to see them progress from middle-of-the-pack to top-tier, but for that to happen, they have to really up the ante on their programs, work ethic and, yes, coaching--anyone but Morozov would probably be a step up, sadly (my vote is still with Shpilband, but Linichuk could really push them). As for choreo, if Linichuk coaches, can they hire another choreographer? I don't really like her choreo, but she's the kind of hard-a$$ they need.

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    I also wonder what he means by that comment? That Nikita is a "good looking Russian guy" and therefore there's no way he can pull off being Uzbek? As in Uzbek men are more unattractive than Russian men?

    I know he probably means that Nikita looks too Russian, not that Uzbek men are inferior in looks, but it reads like the latter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamuraiK View Post
    For a blond slavic guy who won his first world medal costumed as a freaking egyptian, this comment seemed very
    But that's different: it's ancient. Just like everyone knows Jesus was a blond-haired, blue-eyed, light-skinned guy. It says so in centuries of portraits.

    Katsapalov rocks that costume.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  16. #16

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    I'm not overly optimistic that the overlaying the spoken words with music is all that great of an idea. I'm assuming they're hoping to avoid the music deduction that they were close to in Russia. I guess all will be revealed in a few hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriaheidi View Post
    I/K should have much more drama in their free skate. Elena has such a great look. She could play so many interesting characters on the ice. Never really thought of the character from Ghost as one of them.
    The only connection I see is she looks like Demi... perhaps she should've gone for Indecent Proposal, Striptease, or GI Jane? She would rock the shaved head for sure.
    If they wanted a Broadway musical from last year, Once might have been cooler. If they just wound up with some random movie they caught during a Lifetime marathon, they could've--and can--do much better.
    I also thought of "Once" for them when I heard the acoustic guitar version of "Unchained Melody" they're using... that's my favorite part of the FD, so I was thinking there's lots of great music in "Once" that would suit them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriaheidi View Post
    I/K should have much more drama in their free skate. Elena has such a great look. She could play so many interesting characters on the ice. Never really thought of the character from Ghost as one of them. If they wanted a Broadway musical from last year, Once might have been cooler. If they just wound up with some random movie they caught during a Lifetime marathon, they could've--and can--do much better.
    I'm still waiting for someone to skate to "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom"

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    Quote Originally Posted by lulu View Post
    I'm still waiting for someone to skate to "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom"
    Oh come on, "Mother May I Sleep with Danger" is the best Lifetime movie.


    And... it kind of works for Elena.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    Oh come on, "Mother May I Sleep with Danger" is the best Lifetime movie.


    And... it kind of works for Elena.
    !!! I would so rep you if I could...

    Not Lifetime material, but if anyone skates to the infamous "I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so...SCARED!" scene from Saved by the Bell, they will automatically become my favorite skaters-EVAH. Bonus points if they do their LP to the most horrific moments on Little House on the Prairie.

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