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Jonathan Cassar: "spread eagles to die for"

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Sylvia, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    geod2 requested a separate thread; I borrowed paskatefan's phrase for the thread title. :)

    Cassar turned 24 this past December. He was planning to do 3Lz+3T in his SP at Nationals but fell on his 3Lz. I saw him working on -- and landing some -- 3Lz+3T and 3T+3T in practices in Greensboro, but didn't notice any 3A attempts.
  2. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

    Has he not been offered the opportunity to do shows? Without a 3A and a triple-triple jump at his age, I don't see him really being competitive. However, he's wonderful to just watch skating and could have a nice career in shows that let him emphasize his good qualities. I hope it works for him.
  3. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    I wasn't impressed when I saw his LP on utube. I think younger skaters like Jason Brown have better overall skating skills and more star quality than Jonathan. Yes, the inside spread-eagle is gorgeous but you can't build an entire competitive program out of that one move alone.
    skateboy and (deleted member) like this.
  4. laire

    laire Member

    I love Jonathan! It's a pleasure to watch him! And it's not all about spread eagles, he has so muxh more. Well, except the jumps (which is a pity, he could be a great contender).
    I hope he knows what to do and won't disappear.

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

    shows what the skater planned vs what he executed, if you click on the + next to the skater's name.
    It shows that Jonathan Cassar planned a 3lz3t in the LP, but did a 3lz2t.
    He also planned a 3F2t2lp but actually did a 3f2t
    He did not plan a 3A, nor did he attempt one.

    In the SP, he also neither planned nor executed a 3A.
    He planned a 3lz3t and did a UR 3lz without a combo, resulting in 17th place in the SP.

    If Cassar doesn't get a 3A or a 3lz that's more reliable, he will not make top 5 or 6 at US Nationals, barring a complete splatfest by everyone else.

    As he turned 24 in December, it is unlikely he is going to get a 3A at this point.

    Has he tried for an audition with a cruise ship? Or Disney?

    That might be a better direction for him to go.

    IMO, he's a one-trick pony-the spread eagle.
  6. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    IMO, Cassar's skating is more than "a one-trick pony-the spread eagle."

    You could have heard a pin drop in the arena during his "Schindler's List" free skate.

    When I first saw him skate years ago, I was just happy he made it to Nationals as a "late-bloomer" junior in 2006. I hoped, but didn't expect, that he would have a chance to compete internationally someday. Well, he competed at Coupe de Nice in 2008 (collegiate international) and finally "for real" at Finlandia Trophy this season. If skating was just about jumps, I wouldn't be watching.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  7. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    He was a dance major in college, and you can tell. Aside from the spread eagle, he just brings beauty to every movement in every program. Dude KNOWS how to move; no KVDP he.
  8. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    I like him though a little more power will make a diff
  9. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    Last year at Nats, I was watching men's practices with friends - they stepped out for a cigarrette break. Cassar's SP music came on - I perked up immediately because it was unusual, complex and not familiar music (Zoe Keating's "We Insist"). I was completely mesmerised with what was happening on the ice. When my friends came back I told them they had just missed the most amazing modern dance performance that happened to be performed on blades.

    We spoke to Jonathan and his family at the hotel after the SP. We gushed that we had been modern dancers and were completely :swoon: over his performance. When he said he was a dancer it all made sense. He moves with awareness of every part of his body, and he performs choreography, not moves.

    It's unlikely that Cassar is ever going to medal or perhaps even break top 10 at Nats at this point - but I don't care. He's fab, in the same way that Overett was fab. I hope post-skating Cassar has a nice dance career (and before anyone starts - mid-20s is NOT too old for a modern dance career. Especially for guys).
  10. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I don't think Jonathan is a one trick pony (but man those spread eagles are amazing) - I just don't think he has what it takes to be the USA #1, or even #5. If he lived in an obscure European country he could probably be national champion and get buried at Worlds.

    I hope he has a long career as a choreographer. I took a workshop from him a few years ago on artistry in skating (and jumps... I think he had to teach jumps because the Czisnys had already called spins and footwork. He actually helped me a lot with my loop and toe loop) and it was fantastic- even with beginning skaters he was able to get us to think about all the times we could be adding something extra to make our skating beautiful.. I'd love to continue to see his movement on the ice through other skaters.
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  11. geod2

    geod2 New Member

    Thank you for that story!

    This might be the best we can do to recreate his performance of We Insist....
    um, yeah mesmerizing and unique...


    The original music in a clean recording without the crowd noise and echoes:


    There are a lot of photos around of Jonathan and Alissa Czisny.
    They look like good friends and their stories of jump problems combined with incredible artistry are hauntingly similar.
    Alissa eventually decided that the burning platform she was standing on careerwise was worth jumping off of.... no matter where she landed, it had to be better.
    Jonathan did not seem to bottom out in the same way, at least that I can find anywhere, and seems to have accepted his jump limitations to a certain degree.
    It would be interesting to know more about his priorities in that regard so we can adjust our hopes accordingly.


  12. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Absolutely, he has good dance training. Just look at his hands. No frying pans, no lobster claws, no antler fingers, his hands are just beautiful. And his port de bras. And his line. He has that ability to draw you in even when he's very still. Definite hidden gem.
  13. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress



    Anyone else think he looks like a younger, hotter version of Trent Reznor?
  14. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    I bought the cd as soon as we got back from Nationals. Zoe Keating rocks! :cool:
  15. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member


    That's awesome!
  16. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    And no starfish hands (a la Patrick Chan)! Really, really aware of every part of his body (alas, this hasn't translated to huge jumps, but I can live with that).
  17. Lanna

    Lanna Well-Known Member

    Spread eagle :swoon:
  18. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    A agree completely!
    Definitely was one of the highlights of the Men's LP for me at Nationals (along with Brown and the 1-2-3 powerhouse performances of Rippon/ Dornbush/ Mahbanoozadeh). I really wanted to see his " Schindler's List" live and was so happy I did.
    Yes, the jumps and speed are somewhat lacking, but what Jonathan does is so gorgeously deliberate, I couldn't care less about what he does not do.
    Actually, one movement that took my breath away was not the spread eagle, which I expected to be amazing ( and it was), but the way Jonathan slowed down on his Camel Spin before changing into donut spin. Everybody slows down, of course, happens naturally. But he slowed down with music, and as he slowed down arched his back more and slowly opened his arms. It was completely deliberate, not " I've done my revolutions" , and a thing of beauty.
    Here it is, between 4:07 and 4:20

    Champion or not, I'd pay to see him live in the future.
  19. peibeck

    peibeck Simply looking

    Like Braden Overett I think Jonathan could find a career as a choreographer for skaters if he wanted. No, he will not be a top American skater, especially without a 3A, but the partial standing O for his free skate from the audience in Greensboro speaks volumes about his ability to blend sport and art.

    Also, I think his jumps have improved in his time under Frank Carroll's tutelage; and Jonathan seemed more composed and confident than I've seen him at other competitions.
  20. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    I agree that he has improved under Frank. Plus, the Jonathan and Frank show in KnC is worth the price of admission right there! :lol:
  21. geod2

    geod2 New Member

    I would too.
    That was awesome...:swoon:
    On another thread someone complained about the "lack of individuality between skaters nowadays" (or words to that effect).
    I wonder if they have seen Jonathan's SL and could still say that.

    Is there any chance that Jonathan would/could eventually transition to ID?
    ... or is it like his missing 3A, probably too late? Or maybe he's not interested.

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  22. ryanbfan

    ryanbfan Active Member

    I love that Jonathan is a dancer, and it is VERY refreshing to see someone actually do their choreography... in dance we said someone dancing with no feeling in their movement or not feeling the music was just 'going through the moves', Jonathan does not do that.

    And the spread eagle is amazing. When he did the show at the galleria in 2009, it was a gorgeous program and everyone watching was totally into it.

    Jon @ the Galleria, Practice

    Jon @ the Galleria, Show
  23. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

    Thanks for posting those links, he is AMAZING!!:eek:
  24. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

    I was was definitely one of the ones standing Greensboro! Jonathan's skating is absolutely beautiful to me, whether he has a triple axle or not. Skaters like him are what have always made me love figure skating. I don't think he is ever going to be a top skater in the U.S., but I think he could have an amazing career as a choreographer as others have mentioned.

    Next year, I would really like to see him go for really different, modern music choices.
  25. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

  26. Angela-Fan

    Angela-Fan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting that, I had wanted to see his long program. He is :swoon: I love the way he moves.
    He was funny in the KissnCry. And he managed to make Frank crack a smile too. lol
  27. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Well I hope he sticks with it a while to see if he can get that 3A. I'd love to see him skate for a few more seasons regardless of what jumps he lands. I like to see late bloomers!
  28. Kati

    Kati Active Member

    I had a pleasure to see him at Finlandia Trophy last October. I really enjoyed his skating (and Grant Hochstein's as well!)
  29. JamieElena

    JamieElena Well-Known Member

    I agree he's more than a OTP - Cassar was a standout for me in that 2006 Junior mens field as well - back when I didn't even really know what I was looking at or looking for. Like Genevieve, i was treated to a breathtaking practice from him at 2009 Nats and well, at 2011 Nats too - we were headed to our seats but stopped in mid-aisle to watch & wait 'til he finished. Part of it was the music - there's something almost sacred about SL but the other part was just not wanting to break the spell or disrupt the mood Cassar was creating out on the ice.

    I've decided that watching Frank with his students during practices is one of the most endearing and entertaining things about competitions. I love how he physically positions his student (i jokingly refer to it as "Frank's laying on of hands" :lol:) in that straight body, arms out jump landing position over and over again. I think I spied video clips of Maribel doing the same with students in some of the RISE1961 film we saw over the week.

    We had the view from directly above the K&C....it was icing on the cake! :)
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  30. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member