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OY! Nathalie and fabian. Have they lost too much ground?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by arakwafan2006, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

    Looking at Nathalie's face this weekend was agonizing. I want this team to win bronze in Sochi pretty badly. If that could not happen, I would at least like for this team to retire knowing that their work and creativity is respected by the judges. With that, here is my opinion about their material this season as well as their abilities as a whole


    • I believe that Igor was correct in slowing down elements such as the twizzles and making them more precise and well done. Why do an element poorly but with speed?
    • Fabian's facial expression has done a 180! His energy is complementing Nathalie this season and he looks far more confident in his movement and technique this year.
    • Again, they have sought to bring unique perspectives to ice dance and not that which is necessarily understood. They have almost niche taste level in what they select in material.
    • I can't take my eyes off of Nathalie. Her smile and presence are gorgeous.
    • The lift that they do where Nathalie is upside down balancing on Fabian's shoulders is the end all be all lift LOL.
    Room for improvement
    • I agree with the female Eurosport commenter who said that this team looks a bit messy. Some of their positions look weak and are tough for the eye to totally take in. I get that this team is not big on the classical movements as they look to bring a more modern perspective to ice but currently, their movements, body line, and the way that their arm/ holds etc. are show how much of a gap it is between them and other teams. There has been improvement however not quite enough.
    • I have seen these two train in Detroit and they have great ability however when you compare their programs to other teams, their material is way too heavy on the acting side to really rack up the points. While i understand that creativity is in their blood, they are competing in a system that has clearly defined rules (though tough to understand sometimes). If being true to their creative vision is the most important thing to them, why be mad when the judges don't give you the marks?
    • I am not over the moon about the free dance choreography. The music i love but the concept is not clear to me. I think that the material is understood by P&B far better than they are able to convey through movement. I dont think that it would be a bad idea for them to rework the program to showcase their ability to have great speed and flow. The straight line sequence in the short dance looks very slow and calculated. I get that the Chicago music calls for the staccato steps however when compared to the other top teams flowy and curvy patterns, P&B's looks slow and weak BUT it's probably the most music appropriate choreography. Whatever the case, i think that reworking things might be necessary.
    • key points in the short dance- nuff said
    • Spins. Their spins are so slow in general. I believe that they are capable of far more

    These are my opinions and observations. I am curious to hear peoples thoughts and opinions about this team, their material, their placements ( fair/unfair and why) as well as predictions. I would also like to hear opinions about how you guys think the coaching change has went. My opinion on that is that While i admire how Igor didnt tamper with the work their French choreographers gave this team, I dont know if that was the best decision. I also remember what Tatiana Tarasova said about the split of Igor and Marina. Paraphrasing, she said that before the two came together, they were just good at their craft however together they are great. I totally understand people not liking Marina's choreography all the time however her eye to detail and her teaching of body movement and how to skate with power and lightness could have benefited this team
  2. kirkbiggestfan

    kirkbiggestfan Well-Known Member

    To me, their weaknesses come from the insufficient ballet and ballroom training during their development years. In Russia and in Detroit, that is the first thing they asked them to do: take more ballet classes. Their postures look sometimes sloppy and that would never happen to Elena I. (no matter what she skates to) They enjoyed modern dance and I am glad that they often show us this genre, but in ice dance, judges expect pointed toes, perfect back and shoulder position and refinement up to the tip of the fingers. Their modern dance choreographers are brilliant at hiding their weaknesses though. If you had them skate to Swan Lake, it would be a disaster like Carron/Jones.

    I see a lot of improvement in the step sequences this year. So the change to Igor paid off.
    I would expect better pair spins after the change to Igor, but it is just 1 element to improve.
  3. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

    You are spot on. To me their material this year is bigger than their abilities. I believe they have ignored some of their weaknesses instead of addressing them behind the scenes and the result is their marks and placements this weekend. It is like when a R&B singer takes on an opera. I love Anita Baker but she should not attempt Nessun Dorma! lol. The only thing though is that there is a genre of music that Anita excells at. There is no modern dance category in Olympic Ice dancing.
  4. BreakfastClub

    BreakfastClub Active Member

    Then how do you explain Bobrova who has the worst posture for a top ice dancer since the days of Shae-Lynn. :shuffle:
  5. PairSk8Fan

    PairSk8Fan Banned Member

    Sorry. Not a fan of theirs. They lack a dance quality I feel is needed to perform Ice Dance well and creatively. They do elements. But they skate, they do not dance. It is this that will hold them down, not anything else, in their marks.
  6. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

    I agree, I also find that I&K, despite their terrific line, have weaker posture than P&B at times.
  7. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    I can understand not liking P/B due to technique issues, skating style, or just personal preference - but to argue that they of all teams do not perform creatively strikes me as a very strange assessment. It's not like they're working their way through the Warhorse Catalog unlike some teams whom I will not mention.

    Honestly, I don't think there's much point in predicting any team's prospects - for good or bad - based on a small sample size of fall events. It's one of the classic skating blunders, yet people fall for it every GP season. Just last week it was I/K who were doomed, last season there was much concern that W/P had stalled, etc. We'll know more once we see everyone go head to head at the GPF.
  8. PairSk8Fan

    PairSk8Fan Banned Member

    I opined nothing about their creativity. What I typed was that I feel they lack a DANCE quality that would allow them to perform Ice Dance creatively and well. Ice Dance at the Elite level must be done creatively and well.
  9. Golightly

    Golightly Well-Known Member

    Not really. Sadly, it doesn't work like that these days.

    I agree with the poster above, though. I-K, while better skaters than many of those teams, often hit bad positions. They have improved, but that cannot go ignored either. Bobrova, for instance, is a better dancer than Elena, but not a better skater and then there's the posture issue, which she worked on last season, but kind of forgot to do this year. I like I-K a lot, I think they could be the next big team, but there's work to do.
  10. elif

    elif Well-Known Member

    I don't like their programs this season. I feel like they are copying themself with that FD. Idea, costumes, expressions, lifts all coming from previous seasons. I think If they want to get a medal they should skate faster and also maybe add some dance holds. They are stopping or posing too much for me. Short dance not really working too. This is reminding me Virtue/Moir's Yankee Polka which don't really have polka feel like Pechalat/Bourzat don't have finnstep feel.
  11. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

    Considering they were only 6th at Worlds and have beaten Bobrova & Soloviev this season already I would say they gained ground. They are in the hunt for the bronze. However many other teams are too. Ultimately I think Weaver & Poje are the most likely to win the bronze right now, so they will not get it in the end. The Russians on home ice have a better shot than them too (both teams if I&K can keep their act together) and the tiny Italians have about equal odds to them also.
  12. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    To answer the question - no, I dont think they've lost TOO much ground. They had a bad performance - it happens. V/M didnt skate great either. Look at I/K last week with all those level 2's. Not their best moment either. But they came bouncing back this weekend and P/B can too. On the plus side they beat the bronze medalists. I think what all this up and down tells you is that in the eyes of the judges there are a bunch teams basically on a par with each other [I mean P/B, B/S, C/L, W/P, I/K] and whichever one of them hits their levels and makes the least mistakes will win. IMO that's exactly how it should be. The tension in Sochi is going to be unbearable, as I think all of these teams have a legitimate chance at the bronze. So I'd say maybe the team that copes with the pressure the best will win. But who that is, I dont know.

    On a related topic - could someone who understands this dance [P/B's] please take me through it. Maybe I would like it better if I could understand what Im seeing. I know it's supposed to be The Little Prince, but both the music and costumes look more like Cirque de Soleil to me and the opening where it looks like they're juggling something - it looks more like a circus/clown type program. If I hadnt read what it's supposed to be about, I would never have known it. Im usually good at interpreting Dance, but I dont get this program at all. Last year they had some rule about if you have a story line it has to be clear to the audience. Is that still in effect? Because they might be in trouble with this dance.
  13. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

    I know I commented in this thread already...but honestly, what have you been watching ? Bobrova is a Russian skater, and one half of Russia's number one pair, and her posture is just disgraceful (I'm sorry,but it really is). As for I&K IMHO Elena is very lovely, but she actually has poor posture at times too. Looking at their SL FD, she tends to drop her shoulders when turning , and Nikita actually has a very sloppy back. Their upper body movements look rushed and unfinished. I don't see a whole lot of pointed toes in this FD either. It was actually very noticeable and distracting during their fw. I&K are capable of very lovely positions, but they seem unable to sustain them when it comes to going into any kind of hold,or skating together (which they hardly do :shuffle:). I actually think P&B are stronger in this regard. As for Detroit, well I could write a book about how Meryl Davis is the antithesis of everything bolded, but the judges don't care.

    This is the new ice dance.
    Cherub721 and (deleted member) like this.
  14. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

    Interesting points so Far.

    I think that there are a lot of people who are confused about what on earth this free dance is! I am with the poster who said circus theme. I am really unsure about what I am watching and thats not good. At the end of the day though, given that they have worked with some great coaches, it's not a good thing that they cant do most things far better than the rest. I still think that their weaknesses were not viewed by them as such or were blatantly ignored. Also, for as creative as they try to be, this years material is lacking. The Chicago theme needs more drama IMO and better execution of elements. I also dont like the glaring starting and stopping.
  15. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    I like that this story isn't hit-you-over-the-head obvious. In ballet, the best "story-ballets" should repel instant verbal description or understanding (otherwise just go to a play or read a book). I'm certainly not seeing a lot of the Scheherazade storyline when I watch Davis/White's FD, but because that's such a warhorse, we go with it and sort of subconsciously give them the benefit of the doubt on the narrative. P/B are trying something much more complicated here and I give them enormous credit for that.

    FWIW, I think the costumes are very clever (and pretty clear)-- Fabian looks like the little prince and I absolutely think Nathalie's costume, with the tutu and the slightly green tights, reads as a rose. When she is "juggling" as the dance opens it looks to me like she is "blooming" very confidently. In the book the rose is the prince's love; the rose is very charming, yet arrogant. I see that in the way Nathalie dances this part.
  16. fanof

    fanof New Member

    Juggling??? I see:D I didn't know about juggling:D thank you
    I tought she doing something else whith cleavaege :D:lol:
  17. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    I don't understand this comment. Ice dancing is rooted in ballroom dancing, but even in the OD/SD the ISU sometimes goes outside of that with the folk and hip-hop (in juniors) options. In the free dance, teams can do any type of dance as long as there is a discernible beat and they skate to it, be that classical, ballet, jazz, modern, ballroom, etc. It sounds to me like your frustration is more about the abstract nature of the work than the actual skills displayed. It shouldn't really matter, IMO, whether we understand the storyline if the program is danced and skated well.

    I think P&B dance more than nearly any other current team. They have unison, pointed toes, and most importantly, actual rhythm. I was disappointed that this dance was rather staccato. That's not what I was expecting. They have beautiful flow and Zhulin really captured it in 2011 with Lara's Theme and Chaplin. They should have contended for the world title that year (until the fall, and I think they should have stayed on the podium even with it). When they went to Krylova and did that Arabian FD, that dance had a lot of angular lines and movements the choreography did not showcase smoothness. Same could be said about the Rolling Stones and this FD. However, they've still got a lot of good qualities, and there is real partnering in their programs, unlike D&W, B&S, or I&K (which it pains me to say because I love them). They skate together, their bodies interact with each other, and it means if one is off there is a greater risk of falling. Others skate apart, get on two feet a lot, and don't do anything risky outside of the elements.

    All of this!
  18. bunhead

    bunhead Member

    WORD. As I said in Tessa and Scott's thread, I also found Elena's bent free legs during their FD's SS to be distracting. She basically lost me within the first 5 seconds of their Swan Lake FD as she was doing "bourees" on ice (on her toe picks) with her knees separated. Even 13 year old baby ballerinas who are just starting pointe work in ballet can tell you you never do that step with your legs apart. You legs stay crossed while you move your back leg quickly to initiate movement.

    In contrast, I found Nathalie and Fabian to look much more refined and precise in this FD than in their previous work. I was impressed. Maybe other posters are confused by this FD because your commentor didn't mention that it's based on the French children novel, The Little Prince, and that Nathalie is the Rose, the Little Prince's love interest. I read a recent interview posted here on FSU that they found all the pieces of music on their own; some are from Cirque so that could have added to the confusion.
  19. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

    I am not sure about "bad" performance. They lost a level on their spin and had one extended lift. Of course, those were exactly the two points that they needed to win over I/K overall. Other than that, the levels were fine - level 3 on both step sequences (also some higher GOE than I/K there) which is to be expected more often than not, level 4 on twizzles and all the lifts. They lost some GOE on twizzles, and I doubt that it can be helped if I/K execute their twizzles cleanly as they are faster and have (at least seemingly) greater ice coverage than P/B's, and P/B already improved their twizzles. The rest of the GOE they lost on lifts - the choreo lift that they changed after China and the rotational lift that was not executed very well this time. That can be improved for sure. But I/K's combination lift was marked higher than any two lifts by Nathalie and Fabian, and I am not sure what can be done here. They can't possibly get new, more spectacular lifts now - anyway, what could be more spectacular for them than that upside down lift?

    Is the second piece in their SD from 'Chicago'? I don't really remember. 'Big Spender' is from the 'Sweet Charity' musical, and the last one is from the 'Cabaret' movie as sang by Liza Minnelli. Anyway, I think that the theme of this SD is not merely a 'Chicago' theme - it's a Bob Fosse theme with an emphasis on certain kind of people from the show business/entertainment world.

    All of this. Nathalie's costume is absolutely rose and Fabian's is very much Little Prince. And I agree - in the beginning she looks like a rose blooming/waking up to life.

    As I understand, only one piece is from a 'Cirque du Soleil' soundtrack, others are from two French movies, and one is an original piece.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  20. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member


    I do like dances that are subtle as well as obvious. However, when it becomes too esoteric, it loses the audience and I think that is the danger here. Especially since this is an Olympic year and lots of people who wouldnt ordinarily watch ice dance will probably be viewing.

    I watched it again with your points in mind - Im sorry, I just couldnt really see it. I can see the "blooming" maybe in her first position, where she is bent over and then stands up - the flower opening up in the morning. But honestly, my first reaction to viewing that was she's sleeping and she woke up. The opening music to my ear is very circus like, and just adds to the effect. The "juggling" thing she does with her hands in no way says "flower blooming" to me - and you see what some other poster thought she was doing [?!]. There's also the thing they do with their hands before going into the twizzle - reminds me of someone walking the high wire. That lift where she balances on his shoulders is very acrobat-like and certainly that last lift where he swings her around is like a trapeze. This dance for me is just loaded with circus overtones. If I had seen this and knew nothing about it, I would have called this A Day at the Circus.

    Maybe you [or some other kind poster] could take me through this program and show me the connotations of the rose and how he expresses himself as the prince - something like you did for the opening? I might be able to understand it then. I dont see the arrogance either from Natalie - playfulness, but not arrogance.

    I see Im not the only one who thinks "circus" when watching this program. I think maybe they need to take another look - especially at the hand gestures. But that's just my opinion. I would really like to "get" this program more - but I need some help to visualize it.
  21. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Pechalat/Bourzat are driftwood. I think that nothing is really working for them at the moment.

    Compared to other top teams, they seem quite slow and technically they haven't been very sharp at their two GP events.

    Both of their programs miss the mark.

    SD is fun and they sell it well but it's a program that could have been skated by any other team. It's not creative or original, it doesn't stand out and it doesn't make a strong statement.

    FD looks like an early draft. I appreciate the thought process behind it but the movements seem unfinished and the program lacks highlights. It falls flat.

    I really wanted them to show something truly epic in their last competitive season but they just seem out of shape and the programs aren't anything special either. :(

    Maybe it wasn't the best idea to experiment with the coaching change before the Olympic season?
  22. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

    I think the coaching change was thanks to Dear Didier, not an experiment P/B initiated themselves.
  23. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Yes, reportedly he forced them to move to Shpilband.

    I'm not saying that he is a bad coach or even that he's bad for them. But you need time to gel, to connect, if you're changing your technique that takes time as well. I just don't think it's all working out particularly well for them at the moment.
  24. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

    I must really be missing something when watching them. While it's not their most original work, it's a much stronger FD than what they have been doing over the past 2 seasons. I find them to be looking sharper and more polished this season. I actually think it's one of the stronger FDs this season. I see much more content and detail than what I have seen from a vast number of programs this year. If not for the extended lift, they would have gotten silver at TEB. They're hardly driftwood :rolleyes:. I admit, I do feel like they are revisiting earlier ideas with this program.

    But to be fair, this isn't the strongest year for dance all around as far as FD choreography goes .

    I&K- I am not getting the love of I&K and their Black Swan. It's genuinely puzzling to me how a program filled with so many open moments, no real use of hold or close skating, and a lack of details /overall sloppiness is being touted as balletic, or an example of good posture in any way. It's generic Morosov junk

    B&S -everyone can agree are just embarrassing to look at this season.

    D&W- Generic , frantic, nothing of Scheherazade in anything they do. It's Samson and Delilah revisited, but Samson and Delilah had nicer music.

    V&M- Beautiful, but bland, it's basically Mahler revisited...I think Mahler had nicer music.

    C&L- Not a bad program. They've improved, but nothing remarkable .

    W&P- I like the program. They have improved, but they're honestly too vanilla to really do the program any justice. I don't see Tango or Latin when I watch them.
    IMHO P&B are in good company.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    reese and (deleted member) like this.
  25. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Their material was awful with Krylova and Rico Suave. I don't know how much the coaches were responsible for that, but I really wish they'd gone straight from Zhulin to Igor.

    I love this year's FD, everything about it. They are a bit snakebit, though, since losing the bronze in 2011 to the Shibs.
  26. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    I like it too, quite a bit.
    They seemed slow at TEB, but I much prefer this sophisticated program to I/K's fast but udefined (IMO) Swan Lake. But I think unless Pechalat/ Bourzat increase the speed and flow, they will be buried in the stands, with Russia hosting and other teams ( markedly W/P and C/L) quite strong this year.
  27. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    When they left Zhulin Shpilband was still at Canton with Zoueva and all the world medalists, so that was a non-starter.

    I believe P/B have mostly been working with external choreographers rather than their coaches for the past few years.
  28. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    It's very funny to me that in pretty much every interview this year Nathalie and Fabian have fallen over themselves to point out that Igor was ONLY involved in the design of their technical elements and had nothing to do with the choreography or the concept.
  29. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I've always thought their strength was their originality and their willingness to take risks with choreography and costumes. I think they lack the physicality of Davis/White and the grace of Virtue/Moir. Their moves are not as clean and their lines are not as good. Maybe being shuffled around so much has hindered their progress.
  30. Golightly

    Golightly Well-Known Member

    Really, judges don't really care about clean moves or good lines, this is very obvious (see numerous explanations above). The problem for P-B is that they aren't consistent. They were very bad at CoC and improved here, but it was not enough. I also think I-K PCS marks were too much. They cleaned up the program, but already in the nines? With all those partnering issues in that program? Guess the judges don't care about that either.

    I do not think all is lost for P-B, but if I'm W-P and see what's going on, I'd feel pretty good about my chances. It is sad because they, P-B, are better ice dancers than W-P, but their lack of consistency might cost them a medal.