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  1. #1

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    Spins as choreography

    By their nature, it's often hard to integrate spins into the choreography of a program instead of just sticking them in as technical feats.

    This is probably more true under IJS, since the rewards for adding higher levels are more obvious and reliable than rewards for originality or matching the spins to the music or program theme.

    Can we use this thread to celebrate some examples where the spins are used for those purposes?

    How else can spins contribute to the choreography?

    Examples?
    I'll try to come back later with some of my own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    By their nature, it's often hard to integrate spins into the choreography of a program instead of just sticking them in as technical feats.
    I think the same can be said about doubles, triples and quads.

    Paul Wylie flapped his arms during his sit spin to match the beat of the music. A nice fast combo spin to match the fast ending of the music at the end of the program, ie. Todd Eldridge, is always a crowd pleaser.

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    this season, there's much fuss about v/m's spin in their carmen FD--not the fastest, and has been sloppy on centering, but their movements in that spin certainly added character to the whole program and not just your regulation score-as-much-points-as-you-can kind of CoP dance spin.

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    Chen Lu 1995 LP
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzUzMOdtqNg

    Chen Lu 1996 SP after the flying camel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bt98gppjr0

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    murdered midspin?

    phrased to music? If only the commentators would let us hear it better.

    I like the use of rhythm here and the general sense of experimenting with the positions and edges, and the use of the heel on the exit

    use of the arms in the layback and the final upright position

    "swan" arms?
    Last edited by gkelly; 02-07-2013 at 05:34 AM.

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    A popular choice for similar topics has always been Gusmeroli's 2000 LP. While we could (and have) certainly debate whether back-loading the program so heavily with spins was ideal in terms of a well-balanced program, but I think the general consensus has been that it worked well for that program, particularly with the special emotion added when she skated it so wonderfully at both Euros and Worlds.

    At those same competitions, Slutskaya showed how difficult it is to make spins work choreographically, even before COP. Her layback in the middle of a music change was such a big miss. She was my favorite skater of that era, but I remember my jaw dropping as I watched those Worlds live.

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    I really love the entrance and exit of Meryl and Charlie's FD spin this year. The exit is actually my favorite part. The sudden stop adds a lot.

    I do find that dancers have some great integration of spins. I need to go through my YouTube favorites and pay attention to them all now.

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    Not so much "as choreography", but Kwan used to time her spins so perfectly to the music. At 1998 Nationals, the final combination spin in the short program was timed perfectly to the music, especially the change of foot. This season, Wagner is doing the same with her layback spin, with each change in position matching the music in her free skate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    A popular choice for similar topics has always been Gusmeroli's 2000 LP. While we could (and have) certainly debate whether back-loading the program so heavily with spins was ideal in terms of a well-balanced program, but I think the general consensus has been that it worked well for that program, particularly with the special emotion added when she skated it so wonderfully at both Euros and Worlds.
    I thought of that program, too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FLgexOEvvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Not so much "as choreography", but Kwan used to time her spins so perfectly to the music. At 1998 Nationals, the final combination spin in the short program was timed perfectly to the music, especially the change of foot. This season, Wagner is doing the same with her layback spin, with each change in position matching the music in her free skate.
    Actually, many of top ladies do spins to music lately. Mao and Yuna also come to my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainerb View Post
    Chen Lu 1996 SP after the flying camel.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bt98gppjr0
    O that is so beautiful, so beautiful. I would have given her a 6.0 for presentation.
    Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!"

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    I've always loved Anissina/Peizerat's spins...I know it's pre-COP era and and spins were just introduce to the dance cathegory, but I loved all of them and I think they really paid a lot of attention to them and to make them a part of choreography. I especially love those from their Beethowen free dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcHBnitxwLw The positions, speed, entrance and exit....everything is just perfect (and even more, compared to what their competitors did at time) and I think the spins were one of the highlights of the choreography

    And I also agree about D/W's spin this year

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    Forget the jumps, check out this AMAZING choreography, including innovative spins.

    Ilia Klimkin - Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T746wFOKplA

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    A popular choice for similar topics has always been Gusmeroli's 2000 LP. While we could (and have) certainly debate whether back-loading the program so heavily with spins was ideal in terms of a well-balanced program, but I think the general consensus has been that it worked well for that program, particularly with the special emotion added when she skated it so wonderfully at both Euros and Worlds.
    This was the first program I thought of when I saw this thread title. It was really special the way she put all the spins at the end and worked beautifully with the music. It also had some really beautiful choreographic moments such as at the start of the program with the arrow movements to the music.
    Last edited by Aussie Willy; 02-09-2013 at 12:02 PM.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    I've always found the biggest drawback to using spins in choreography is that unlike footwork and jumps they don't provide any ice coverage, and skaters are judged on how well they use the entire ice surface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    I've always found the biggest drawback to using spins in choreography is that unlike footwork and jumps they don't provide any ice coverage, and skaters are judged on how well they use the entire ice surface.
    if that were the case, then the skating federations shouldn't have made spins a requirement in the skaters' programs

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    I've always found the biggest drawback to using spins in choreography is that unlike footwork and jumps they don't provide any ice coverage, and skaters are judged on how well they use the entire ice surface.
    Sorry but where did this concept come from? Ice coverage has nothing to do with how a spin is used. And judging takes into consideration much more than just ice coverage.

    Spins are a required element in a program. So skaters have to do them. They get judged on their own merits for the GOE. But in the GOE guidelines skaters can earn positive GOE for if the element fitting into the musical structure and phrasing. And if the spins work as part of the choreographic structure, that can be considered in the components.

    In fact if consideration is not given to where the spins are placed in the program ie the skater just does them without consideration for the music, then that should be reflected in the CH mark.

    If Gusermoli did that program today, the one thing you would definitely give her credit for is the way the spins were used. They may not have been used throughout the program, but they fitted in with the music so well and made the program what it is. You definitely remember that program for those spins alone. That is why a few of us have mentioned it.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    One thing that's so disappointing about COP has been the lack of creativity on the part of coaches and choreographers, IMO. COP obviously creates a challenge and is fairly restrictive, but I've never understood why, for instance, we haven't seen a 4th spin at the end of a program- a fast scratch spin or classic layback can make such a wonderful statement at the end of a program. It would receive no technical points, but I would have to believe that a Nikodinov-style layback at the end of a LP would have some influence on a judge's CH or PE mark.

    Same thing with spirals- sure, they aren't required in the SP anymore, but they weren't required in LPs either until COP (of course, the well-balanced program guidelines that were introduced in the 90s recommended moves in the field, but AFAIK, spirals were never explicitly required). Yet, skaters still did them.. Why have we seen so few? I get that it takes time and energy, but a nice CoE spiral should make up for it in CH, PE and/or TR. Oh well, this is a thread on spinning so I'll stick to my first thought.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    Same thing with spirals- sure, they aren't required in the SP anymore, but they weren't required in LPs either until COP (of course, the well-balanced program guidelines that were introduced in the 90s recommended moves in the field, but AFAIK, spirals were never explicitly required).
    IIRC, ca. 2000-2003 the well-balanced program rules required a spiral sequence from ladies and a "field moves" sequence from men, along with a step sequence and at least four spins -- which very quickly became at most for spins (for points) under IJS, and then at most three a few years later.

    As for why skaters and coaches don't put extra elements at the end when they won't gain points, one reason may be that they don't have enough time or energy left after working hard to get as many points as possible on the elements that will earn points.

    The other reason would be just failing to think outside the actual element boxes.

  19. #19
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    I never understood why under 6.0, the powers that be wanted a spiral sequence in the LP. The SP I understood since it was an element-by-element comparison. I prefer spirals to be isolated and placed where they made sense like in Kwan's Song of the Black Swan LP. I always loved how she placed her spirals there.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 02-10-2013 at 06:43 PM.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainerb View Post
    Chen Lu 1995 LP
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzUzMOdtqNg

    Chen Lu 1996 SP after the flying camel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bt98gppjr0
    Thank you for posting those links. It is easy to forget just how lovely Chen Lu's skating really was. The first program was a Toller Cranston, the second a Sandra Bezic. It is interesting to note that both choreographers used the spin, at least in part, as a choreographic element. I haven't noticed Bezic doing that in other skater's programs.

    The second links to an ABC program with Dick Button and Peggy Fleming doing commentary. If you watch to the end, there is a classic Dick and Peggy colloquy: Dick is unhappy with Lulu's leg position in the layback and Peggy starts in about her lovely upper body position. Do I ever miss those two!

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