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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    Do Marina, Krylova, Platov, Igor have to tend to Tarasova's every need? It was Zhulin's choice to coach Russians exclusively leading up to Sochi, right?
    None of those are coaching top Russian teams (if any), except Igor is helping Gorshkov with R&T and Morozov with I&K. And TAT made R&T dump Igor's Pink Floyd program last year for the Godfather (they have performed the Pink Floyd as an EX and it wasn't that hot either).

    The federation told Zhulin to dump P&B and focus on Russian skaters, although he did keep Zlobina & Sitnikov for a while.

    I am guessing TAT has the most control over teams who actually train in Russia. In 2008, when DomShabs were coached by Gorshkov, she made them drop Schindler's List for Masquerade Waltz, then made Gorshkov drop R&T's 2011 FD for the Mexico music, and I think had some kind of input into K&N who were coached by Svinin/Zhuk. AFAIK once DomShabs went to Linichuk TAT didn't "help" so we were left with the fantastic Aboriginal OD... and I haven't heard of her giving her "suggestions" to Morozov/I&K who also don't train in Russia... unless she gave Ghost the seal of approval.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    Do Marina, Krylova, Platov, Igor have to tend to Tarasova's every need? It was Zhulin's choice to coach Russians exclusively leading up to Sochi, right?
    Considering that Marina is a Canadian citizen now, lives in the US, and trains mostly North American teams, I don't think she has to cater to anyone in Russia. Similar story with Igor.

    To my *limited* knowledge Krylova doesn't coach any Russian skaters, so she's not really employed by that federation.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessiebanana View Post
    To my *limited* knowledge Krylova doesn't coach any Russian skaters, so she's not really employed by that federation.
    She coaches Pushkash and Guerreiro but they are not a top team by any means.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by DobrinFan View Post
    She coaches Pushkash and Guerreiro but they are not a top team by any means.
    Huh, I totally missed that they left Morozov.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    Huh, I totally missed that they left Morozov.
    They left 2 seasons ago. This year they went to Krylova, not that you can tell by their declining skating skills.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    I feel for Zhulin because not only did he lose to the gold to Tarasova's team 20 years ago, now he's got to deal with her meddling with his choreographic vision every year. His choreography should always be trusted. Does he need help with lifts and levels? Sure, but don't mess with the man's concepts and choreo!
    Grishuk/Platov were not yet with Tarasova when they won gold in 1994, though I'm not sure that makes it any easier on the man's ego.

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    I would not be happy with my coach either if I were them, but do you know of anyone else in Russia who would be better?
    I always wonder in these cases just how much the skaters themselves are to blame for poor music choices in their Olympic season. Sure coaches can have ideas and make suggestions, but doesn't the ultimate music decision come down to the skaters? (It does in the US, maybe not so much in Russia?)

    The other thing that stumps me is why skaters are hunting for music in the summer as though it came as a surprise that the Olympics are coming. I mean, skaters know 4 years ahead of time which is the Olympic season. Shouldn't their music and choreographic choices have been strategically building to the Olympic season programs all along? IMO, years 1 and 2 are for establishing your credentials and laying a solid foundation, year 3 is time for something arty or experimental to show the judges your range (or maybe you do this in year 2 if you feel you need to get their attention). In the Olympic year you go back to whatever you do best.

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    As someone that liked the original concept of their FD, I think it is a shame to see how much criticism Zhulin and B&S have being receiving. They tried to bring a certain artistic vision that many simply mocked without even trying to understand. It's a pity about the music change. Off course that I would change the sounds effects and the choreo lift but I think they deserve credit for trying to be original. It backfired and I am sorry to see so much hard work being wasted. Their FD last season was very cool and was one of my favorites. It will be good to see it again but it still means that their reputation might suffer and that's terrible in an olympic season.
    There will always be someone thinking that the program was crap or that they weren't good enough to skate it. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for them.
    On a side note I believe that there is still a lot of conservative approach in ice-dance. Last season Virtue & Moir tried something different with Carmen and it wasn't rewarded, including by some audience. Now B&S tried an artistic vision and it backfired.
    Well, Zhulin is still one of the coaches and choreographers that I respect the most.

  9. #69

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    Well, I thought B/S's Birds FD wasn't really anything new or innovative but sort of cliched dramatics done badly.
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    I agree with Casken [again]. With the original music it was quite distinctive and very different - IMO it was a very original piece. They got messed up when they tried to fit the choreography onto music it wasnt made for. Why Zhulin ever thought this would be a good idea I cant imagine.

    I thought they were just starting to get it together at GPF, when Zhulin decides to pull them out of Euros and go back to last year's FD. Two more really bad decisions. Where is his head these days????

    I didnt realize P/G went to Krylova. How easy is it for Russian skaters to train abroad? I thought you'd need exceptional approval or something, so Im wondering how a team like P/G go to Krylova, while S/Z are still stuck with Kustarova. Is it they just didnt apply and P/G did? I would never have thought the Rus Fed would spend that kind of money on P/G.

    PLEASE O SKATE GODS - HEAR ME - Let S/Z go to Igor full time! I want to see them as OGM in 2018.

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    I don't think Carmen wasn't rewarded. It was never executed very well for most of the season. At World's though, it had an almost identical score. They received a handful of 10s (most of which were for performance, choreography, and interpretation/timing) and weren't given anything lower than 9.25. They lost the title because of a mistake made in the SD, not because they were punished for the FD. You can try something new, but that doesn't mean judges are supposed to overlook flaws to do that. Also, not everyone considers a slightly more modern and racy Carmen that new.

    Bottom line is trying something new is a risk. Trying something more difficult, like say a throw triple axel, is a risk. Part of the risk is not everyone will like it and it's the responsibility of a skater to do that risky element well and not to be expected to be rewarded for simply trying it.
    Last edited by Jessiebanana; 01-19-2014 at 02:11 AM.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaiKozOda View Post
    On a side note I believe that there is still a lot of conservative approach in ice-dance. Last season Virtue & Moir tried something different with Carmen and it wasn't rewarded, including by some audience. Now B&S tried an artistic vision and it backfired.
    Also, this season, Gilles/Poirer tried something very different and out-of-the-box and lost the Olympic spot to Paul/Islam's snoozefest bland-o-rama (don't get me wrong, it's a nice program that works for them and suits their style but...).

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Well, I thought B/S's Birds FD wasn't really anything new or innovative but sort of cliched dramatics done badly.
    I thought the storyline of a dying bird was a nice idea (fairly original for competition, even though it had been used on a TV show). It was a departure from the typical love themes or ballroom/latin dancing. I also generally appreciate it when skaters create a storyline on their own to a piece of music rather than just skating to a movie soundtrack and following the story.

    As far as the actual choreography, though, I agree with you. Only the idea was innovative. They didn't really have any new or interesting moves whatsoever; in fact the program was empty. The storyline was told through arm and face gestures, and worse, sound effects. That's what it made it cheesy theatrics. This is where I think Zhulin can be lazy. The ideas really don't get developed over the season or in the choreography. The "madness" FD to me is just intro and ending posing, and does not build through the dance. He also dropped the ball with I&K's Don Quixote.

    I think the bird idea could have worked with the original music and with using very subtle choreography. I really like that lift where she's high in the air, gets shot again, and then falls. We see those type of level changes in positions all the time in CoP, and that lift actually gives it meaning, which is great. They don't need the literal gunshot though. The ending part where he mourns her could have been very moving, if done correctly. The "caw"... I mean there are no words.

    I feel like in the past ice dancers had their concepts but didn't need gimmicks like this. I wouldn't know that "Missing" was about kidnapped South Americans if I hadn't read it, or that K&P's Lawrence of Arabia was about the wind and the air if I hadn't been told, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the beauty of the program.

    As I write that, I'm thinking this is how Zhulin interprets the ISU saying that the dance should be understandable to the audience. I really don't think it has to be that literal as to need sound effects though. And if he and his skaters need all of that to tell a story, then they shouldn't try to do an abstract FD.

    I do believe they have put their complete trust in him, because he has said they are "soldiers" and not particularly creative people, and that's fine, you don't have to be creative to be a great skater, but it's just terrible what he's done with them and how uncomfortable they look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    I feel like in the past ice dancers had their concepts but didn't need gimmicks like this. I wouldn't know that "Missing" was about kidnapped South Americans if I hadn't read it, or that K&P's Lawrence of Arabia was about the wind and the air if I hadn't been told, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the beauty of the program.

    As I write that, I'm thinking this is how Zhulin interprets the ISU saying that the dance should be understandable to the audience. I really don't think it has to be that literal as to need sound effects though. And if he and his skaters need all of that to tell a story, then they shouldn't try to do an abstract FD.

    I do believe they have put their complete trust in him, because he has said they are "soldiers" and not particularly creative people, and that's fine, you don't have to be creative to be a great skater, but it's just terrible what he's done with them and how uncomfortable they look.
    Exactly! I'm a huge fan of ballet and sometimes ballets are dances and sometimes they are dance theatre. If you don't read the synopsis ahead of time you might be a bit confused, but that's to be expected. Without words you can't really convey anything literally. You should get the general concept and feeling, but there is a lot more room for interpretation. Figure skating takes that one step further, having fewer people and no sets.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessiebanana View Post
    I don't think Carmen wasn't rewarded. It was never executed very well for most of the season. At World's though, it had an almost identical score. They received a handful of 10s (most of which were for performance, choreography, and interpretation/timing) and weren't given anything lower than 9.25. They lost the title because of a mistake made in the SD, not because they were punished for the FD. You can try something new, but that doesn't mean judges are supposed to overlook flaws to do that. Also, not everyone considers a slightly more modern and racy Carmen that new.
    I was simply referring to the artistic side of things. If my memory tells me well, many people thought their Carmen was to sexual and it wasn't proper.

    Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for B&S. Since they're going back to last years FD maybe they can incorporate some new stuff to make the choreo richer.

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    I thought the storyline of a dying bird was a nice idea (fairly original for competition
    Dying bird is original only if you overlook all those Swan Lake programs. The lesson here (and one Poirier and partner du jour should also have notice) is that arty and experimental rarely works in an Olympic year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan M View Post
    Dying bird is original only if you overlook all those Swan Lake programs. The lesson here (and one Poirier and partner du jour should also have notice) is that arty and experimental rarely works in an Olympic year.
    I think it can if the choreographer/coach has a clear vision, the choreography is actually good, and the skaters are actually up to the task to sell it convincingly, and the tech. doesn't fall through.

    Those are a lot of factors that are difficult to juggle, which is why we see safe choices in an Olympic year.

    I do agree though that V/M's Carmen (which I didn't think was all that unusual considering all the Carmens we've seen that have had a similar, more sultry/sexual overtone) had some and surprisingly frigid reactions from some people on this forum. I had no idea people were so chaste nowadays that they can't even take ice dancers doing character and thematic appropriate lifts. I also thought maybe some of the critics were D/W fans just finding things to pick on V/M last season. But I don't have anything to back that last claim up.
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  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaiKozOda View Post
    I was simply referring to the artistic side of things. If my memory tells me well, many people thought their Carmen was to sexual and it wasn't proper.

    Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for B&S. Since they're going back to last years FD maybe they can incorporate some new stuff to make the choreo richer.
    That's what I was speaking of. Regardless to what people said on the boards or opinions of commentators, the judges were giving them very good PCS scores for performance, choreography, interpretation/timing...aka the artistic things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    I thought the storyline of a dying bird was a nice idea (fairly original for competition, even though it had been used on a TV show). It was a departure from the typical love themes or ballroom/latin dancing. I also generally appreciate it when skaters create a storyline on their own to a piece of music rather than just skating to a movie soundtrack and following the story.

    As far as the actual choreography, though, I agree with you. Only the idea was innovative. They didn't really have any new or interesting moves whatsoever; in fact the program was empty. The storyline was told through arm and face gestures, and worse, sound effects. That's what it made it cheesy theatrics. This is where I think Zhulin can be lazy. The ideas really don't get developed over the season or in the choreography. The "madness" FD to me is just intro and ending posing, and does not build through the dance. He also dropped the ball with I&K's Don Quixote.

    I think the bird idea could have worked with the original music and with using very subtle choreography. I really like that lift where she's high in the air, gets shot again, and then falls. We see those type of level changes in positions all the time in CoP, and that lift actually gives it meaning, which is great. They don't need the literal gunshot though. The ending part where he mourns her could have been very moving, if done correctly. The "caw"... I mean there are no words.

    I feel like in the past ice dancers had their concepts but didn't need gimmicks like this. I wouldn't know that "Missing" was about kidnapped South Americans if I hadn't read it, or that K&P's Lawrence of Arabia was about the wind and the air if I hadn't been told, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the beauty of the program.

    As I write that, I'm thinking this is how Zhulin interprets the ISU saying that the dance should be understandable to the audience. I really don't think it has to be that literal as to need sound effects though. And if he and his skaters need all of that to tell a story, then they shouldn't try to do an abstract FD.

    I do believe they have put their complete trust in him, because he has said they are "soldiers" and not particularly creative people, and that's fine, you don't have to be creative to be a great skater, but it's just terrible what he's done with them and how uncomfortable they look.
    Great post, Cherub721!
    I hate the idea that the programs have to be palatable and easily understood. I really liked the concept of their Birds dance and liked the original version, though some of the choreo was perhaps a bit heavy-handed, but the reworked version just didn't work, especially with the sounds you mentioned. And the thing is, B&S actually move well, and have shown they are capable of conveying a theme through their movement. But like DaiKozOda, i wonder if such abstract concepts just are not desirable to the ISU.

    I loved last year's FD and will be happy to see it again, but i hate that this is happening so late in the season. I still don't understand Zhulin's decision to change the original FD--it seemed to occur on a whim (lauravvv translated from an interview that it came to him in a dream). This is an Olympic season, one in which B&S were well-positioned to medal and after the major improvements they showed last season it is sad to see them go through all of this, especially given that this is a home Olympics. I hope things come together for them. Like DaiKozOda said, they could enrich the choreo with new stuff.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Also, this season, Gilles/Poirer tried something very different and out-of-the-box and lost the Olympic spot to Paul/Islam's snoozefest bland-o-rama (don't get me wrong, it's a nice program that works for them and suits their style but...).
    G/P lost to P/I because of the quality of P/I's skating and dancing in Ottawa. Watching those two teams on the ice side-by-side in practice it was no question which team was better.

    I know people get into the program themes, but at the end of the day, if we're going to say this an Olympic sport and not theater, placements are supposed to be about who danced and skated better. It's not supposed to be about the theme of the program.
    Last edited by aka_gerbil; 01-19-2014 at 04:49 AM.

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