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  1. #481
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    Not yet sold on the Japan Open version of R&J, but I like this short program for Ashley. Gives her good presence and command.

    Now go fix your spins, Ashley.

  2. #482
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    I don't think Ashley lacks in presence or command. It's just IMO this season's choreography is not nearly as interesting as what she had from Mills.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  3. #483
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I don't think Ashley lacks in presence or command. It's just IMO this season's choreography is not nearly as interesting as what she had from Mills.
    True.

    I think RA has given her more power on the ice and has been even better for her jumps, building on what Ashley and Nicks have accomplished. But since she's no longer working with Mills, maybe she should spend those few day with Nicks (is she still splitting time btw. Nicks and RA?) and refine some of the MITF that would give the programs more 'poise' and appeal. I would think Nicks is good for that.

  4. #484
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I don't think Ashley lacks in presence or command. It's just IMO this season's choreography is not nearly as interesting as what she had from Mills.
    Honestly, I feel like Ashley's Mills programs were highly complete but also generic, whereas this new short program makes her shine a little. It's unique, it's fresh.

  5. #485
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    Ashley's short programs in the past 2 years were outstanding. Pollack was full of details to fit the music, which in itself was intended to depict the splatter of Jackson Pollacks's paintings. It was a fascinating mixed-media study. The Red Violin was dark and abstract with gestures to depict the violin itself. These are some of the best work by Mills.

    I do like the new R&J music a lot.

  6. #486
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I don't think Ashley lacks in presence or command. It's just IMO this season's choreography is not nearly as interesting as what she had from Mills.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    Ashley's short programs in the past 2 years were outstanding. Pollack was full of details to fit the music, which in itself was intended to depict the splatter of Jackson Pollacks's paintings. The Red Violin was dark and abstract with gestures to depict the violin itself. These are some of the best work by
    I thought both The Red Violin and Pollock were pretentious smut. This SP seems more "genuine" Ashley to me.

  7. #487
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    Quote Originally Posted by siouxdonym View Post
    I thought both The Red Violin and Pollock were pretentious smut. This SP seems more "genuine" Ashley to me.
    If you don't like pretentious smut, there are plenty of easily accessible programs with obvious themes and intent out there. I was responding to the comment that the programs were generic. I don't think they are.

    Also I don't know what is or is not genuine anyone. If she performed the programs convincingly, how does one tell it's not genuine her?

  8. #488
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    I think Ashley is looking very good and confident. She's doing a beautiful job on all levels in my estimation. In terms of the choreo and her delivery -- very good. After all, we are talking about CoP era where the emphasis is on athleticism and jumps. I thought Ashley skated superlative to Mao in the fp. Altho' I admire Mao a lot and respect her courage in revamping her technique, and enjoy her lyrical qualities, I am underwhelmed overall by Mao's skating these days, especially last season. There were some brilliant moments in Mao's fp, but some mistakes too. Mao's rep seems to precede her at many competitions. She does appear intent on another Olympic showdown with Yu Na.

    Re the characterization of "genuine," maybe siouxdonym means that there were some overdramatic expressions and poses in Ashley's fp last season. Although I really enjoyed her choreo and music last season, Ashley seems stripped down and more comfortable skating to her new programs this season. Her focus seems to be more squarely on aceing the technique and toning down the over-dramatic expressions and stiffness in her arms that we saw on occasion last season.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 10-21-2013 at 01:06 AM.

  9. #489
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    When there are so many US women who are stuck in junior gran prix at the moment, I wish Caroline Zhang's SA spot had been given to another skater, such as Courtney Hicks or Angela Wang or Mariah Bell or Hannah Miller. I thought a skater had to be "competition ready" at least a month before an international competition before getting the assignment. Nothing personal against Caroline but she did not look ready for SA.

    ****
    Aftershock -- I thought we were discussing Wagner's short programs rather than free skates, and neither Pollock nor Red Violin seems to have excessive arm movements or overwrought content. I don't want to get into an overblown discussion about what is genuine Ashley Wagner and what is not and what's generic and what's pretentious smut. Everyone has his or her own ideas. Ultimately the skater has to decide whether she is comfortable with a program or not, as plenty of them discard and seek new choreography mid-season. One man's pretentious smut is another's innovation.

    (Just for the record, I do like both of her programs this year. She is obviously continuing along the line of non-pwetty princess. They are not mind blowing but then whose program is in an Olympic year?)
    Last edited by Jun Y; 10-21-2013 at 02:30 AM.

  10. #490
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    As for Caroline... Is she dealing with an injury or something? She has skated this poorly in forever! I think the lack of pearl spin is a clue to her physical condition. In the past, if she was dealing with injuries, she's always left the pearl spin out.

    Beyond that, I like Ashley's short program. It is something different from what she's been competing. Like the others said, her choreography isn't as complete as it has been with Mills. I think the thing about Mills is that he takes the music quite literally and tries to match each beat of the music with arm movements as opposed to other choreographers. I still don't like the LP. It is better than when I first saw it, but to be honest, it doesn't highlight any of her qualities. In fact, it weakens her skating to me. The second half of the program seems quite empty to me and the program still doesn't build at all. It just sounds like the same screeching the whole time.

    What also worries me is that she's suddenly having strange jumping issues again (despite being with a technician coach)... At Japan Open, she was underrotating a lot of her jumps, and even here, she underrotated the lutz (the loop I don't agree with) and two footed two jumps again in the LP, which she hasn't done in 2 whole seasons! I wonder if she's starting to have issues with the lutz... She underrotated it at Japan Open and here too (with a two foot).

    And also, someone needs to kick her butt to start working on her spins. She lost probably over 3 points total in the SP and LP combined because she didn't hit her spin levels.
    Last edited by smarts1; 10-21-2013 at 02:48 AM.

  11. #491
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    The impression I got from watching the free skate was that Wagner looked a bit tired in the second half and the jumps became smaller/lower. I wonder if the underroation is an issue of stamina.

    What worries me the most about Wagner is her spins. Not only are the levels low, but she looked uncomfortable and slow with both the Biellman and the ending sit spin. I hope this is fixed soon.

  12. #492
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    I thought that may be Rafael wants her to work on 3/3 and be comfortable in the knowledge that she can do them while leaving everything else in the program bare for now. I hope that's the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Honestly, I feel like Ashley's Mills programs were highly complete but also generic, whereas this new short program makes her shine a little. It's unique, it's fresh.
    Did you really consider Black Swan generic?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  13. #493
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    I was responding to the comment that the programs were generic. I don't think they are.
    They weren't generic but that doesn't make them "outstanding". The job of a choreographer is to bring attention to the skater, not themselves. Ashley didn't need programs with bloated philosophies behind them. IIRC, The Red Violin was supposed to tell the story of a violin's life over the course of a century.


    If she performed the programs convincingly, how does one tell it's not genuine her?
    Well she didn't perform them convincingly IMO.

  14. #494

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    2013-14 U.S. Ladies

    Top International Scores (through 10/20/13)
    1. Ashley WAGNER, Skate America (193.81)
    2. Karen CHEN, JGP Slovakia (179.08)
    3. Courtney HICKS, U.S. Classic (171.88)
    4. Polina EDMUNDS, JGP Mexico (171.21)
    5. Samantha CESARIO, Skate America (167.98)
    6. Gracie GOLD, U.S. Classic (164.68)

    7. Mirai NAGASU, Finlandia Trophy (164.51)
    8. Amber GLENN, JGP Czech Republic (164.18)
    9. Ashley CAIN, Nebelhorn Trophy (162.39)
    10. Angela WANG, JGP Czech Republic (155.87)
    11. Mariah BELL, JGP Mexico (153.17)
    12. Christina GAO, Nepela Trophy (152.84)

    13. Vanessa LAM, Finlandia Trophy (152.28)
    14. Agnes ZAWADZKI, U.S. Classic (151.27)
    15. Barbie LONG, JGP Slovakia (148.19)
    16. Tyler PIERCE, JGP Estonia (143.91)
    17. Yasmin SIRAJ, JGP Latvia (142.32)
    18. Hannah MILLER, JGP Estonia (128.20)
    19. Caroline ZHANG, Skate America (110.12)

    Upcoming events:
    • Coupe de Nice: Kiri BAGA, Rachael FLATT
    • Skate Canada: GAO, GOLD, HICKS
    • Cup of China: ZAWADZKI
    • NHK Trophy: GOLD, NAGASU
    • Trophee Bompard: CESARIO, GAO, WAGNER
    • Ice Challenge: TBD
    • Rostelecom Cup: NAGASU, ZAWADZKI
    • JGP Final: CHEN, EDMUNDS
    • GP Final: TBD

  15. #495
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    Based on early comp results, I would say the girls with the ability to be in the final flight after the shortprogram at US nationals in Boston 2014 are Wagner, Gold, Hicks, wang, Edmunds,
    maybe Agnes, Mirai, Gao if they get stronger

  16. #496

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    Skate Canada should be a great showdown for the U.S. ladies. Based on their past inconsistencies, I can see any of the three (Gao, Gold, Hicks) as the top American there.

  17. #497
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    Oh I can't wait for next weekend. I want to see what shape Gold is in, what FC has accomplished, if anything; and who wants that 3rd spot. I am hoping for Gao.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  18. #498
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Did you really consider Black Swan generic?
    Perhaps 'generic' is the wrong word. What I meant was it wasn't the masterpiece that many regarded it to be. It was good, it wasn't great. There wasn't anything in it (or in S&D) that wow-ed me. Highly complete, very well put together, just not 'special'.

  19. #499
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    Ashley's short programs in the past 2 years were outstanding. Pollack was full of details to fit the music, which in itself was intended to depict the splatter of Jackson Pollacks's paintings. It was a fascinating mixed-media study. The Red Violin was dark and abstract with gestures to depict the violin itself. These are some of the best work by Mills.

    I do like the new R&J music a lot.
    Yes she was able to highlight the music well and the programs were strong, just not that memorable.

    I feel like she was able to move and express herself a lot more naturally with this new short program.

    The loop was one of her better triples so UR-ing it at both Japan Open and Skate America is worrisome. Please get it looked at along with your spins Ashley.

    Another issue is that she was visibly thinking through the whole step sequence and it made no impact whatsoever because she was busy balancing herself. I am also not used to her not highlighting her spiral which I think is a strong element for her. The whole choreographic sequence was very much a give-away.

  20. #500
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    It's a matter of taste then. I thought her last two free skates really were masterpieces and am quite underwhelmed by both the SP and especially the FS this season. I expected more edginess and originality from the Pink Floyd program and just didn't see it there.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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