1999 Cup of Russia - Lifetime

Stefanie

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I really liked B/K's Riverdance free dance. I loved the energy and the steps. :slinkaway I guess I'm not as well-educated in ice dance to know why it wasn't deemed medal worthy at the Olympics...but I obviously know it wasn't as good as K/O and A/P...(or higher than a bronze at Worlds that year). I also need someone to provide an analysis on why G/P's free program in 1998 was so great...I couldn't stand that music to begin with. Anyway, sorry for going off topic.
 
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gk_891

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I really liked B/K's Riverdance free dance. I loved the energy and the steps. :slinkaway I guess I'm not as well-educated in ice dance to know why it wasn't deemed medal worthy at the Olympics...but I obviously know it wasn't as good as K/O and A/P...(or higher than a bronze at Worlds that year). I also need someone to provide an analysis on why G/P's free program in 1998 was so great...I couldn't stand that music to begin with. Anyway, sorry for going off topic.
Technically, G&P's was far more difficult than either K&O's or B&K's free dances. G&P didn't stop in that program as it kept building until the end. They were constantly gliding over fast yet quiet running edges from within complex yet very soft and fluid handholds, carving out gigantic patterns on the ice while extending their free legs in unison with one another and all the moves were performed seamlessly and with little set-up time. They literally come out of nowhere on each and every move. Yet they maintained incredible speed and flow over the ice which is a testament to how strong their running edges were. And they get their speed with such a quiet push to the blade too which is why it seems like their speed comes out of nowhere.

I thought the only free dances that came anywhere near G&P's Memorial Requiem were A&P's Romeo & Juliet and P&S tango FD.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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I think a lot people didn't take to G/P's "Memorial" because it didn't seem like a dance program (dance on the floor) and it seemed more like a skating program where they just skated around doing tricks (I don't mean they didn't do anything extremely difficult but it didn't seem like they were dancing). I remember some commentator's reations to P&S's tango and saying they really hope ice dance goes in that direction. So it seems, some people (mostly North Americans?) were sort of itching for that. I think something like you see on So You Think You Can Dance?/Dancing with the Stars/and ballroom. Of course, we also have people who LOVE that sort of deviation away from dance floor routines and G/P can be described as more dance for the stage (not quite but close).
 

Tony Wheeler

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Back then, I didn't know much about the intricacies of dance, but I was still captivated by the music and the performance of Memorial. As I grew older and learned more of what to look for (and through my own skating), it's really remarkable what they did in this program.

I think the one thing that kept most people on the edges of their seats here is that this FD had a lot of struggles in earlier events, sometimes with big errors, and there was really NO time to regroup if things seemed to go wrong. Their power, the way they kept the speed (as mentioned), her constant twizzles woven into the choreography and how clean and precise they are, and the way they effectively (at least IMO) repeated a lot of the movements several times-- so much control and mastery of the blades.

In this particular Olympic performance, there's a lift around 3:15 that looked REALLY rough and it looks like he's slightly off balance with the way she lands in his arms, and I believe it happened similarly all season so it may just be poor choreography tactics. Otherwise, I can't really find a lot of fault.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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I think you'll find not many will disagree with you now, but I bet during the ice dance fan wars of the late 90s, there was a whole more "discussion" about G/P and their attributes, especially from people who were really convinced B/K should have won gold or something. Hell, I still remember posters saying how FP/M deserved their World title and were serious.
 

Tony Wheeler

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I think you'll find not many will disagree with you now, but I bet during the ice dance fan wars of the late 90s, there was a whole more "discussion" about G/P and their attributes, especially from people who were really convinced B/K should have won gold or something. Hell, I still remember posters saying how FP/M deserved their World title and were serious.
That almost absolutely had to do with the North American media trying to shove B/K down our throats and the ‘free’ dance really being just that— when you don’t know what exactly to look for, the audience reaction and the user-friendly program are going to get the most buzz and somehow == the best in some peoples’ eyes. At least back then.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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That almost absolutely had to do with the North American media trying to shove B/K down our throats and the ‘free’ dance really being just that— when you don’t know what exactly to look for, the audience reaction and the user-friendly program are going to get the most buzz and somehow == the best in some peoples’ eyes. At least back then.
And people being really desperate for some one or something to challenge the Russian-Euro dominance in ice dance because it seemed impenetrable thus thought undermined it as a real competitive sport where people had a chance to win on "merit" (not a North American agenda at all ;)). I think if IJS was good for anything, it's that it gave ice dance elements objective scores so people could know better what to look for because I think people outside of the ice dance fandom really had no idea what to look for back then, even other skaters in other disciplines until they tried it themselves. I guess it's not unlike people who were tired of North Americans dominating from 2010 to 2015.
 

gk_891

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I think a lot people didn't take to G/P's "Memorial" because it didn't seem like a dance program (dance on the floor) and it seemed more like a skating program where they just skated around doing tricks (I don't mean they didn't do anything extremely difficult but it didn't seem like they were dancing). I remember some commentator's reations to P&S's tango and saying they really hope ice dance goes in that direction. So it seems, some people (mostly North Americans?) were sort of itching for that. I think something like you see on So You Think You Can Dance?/Dancing with the Stars/and ballroom. Of course, we also have people who LOVE that sort of deviation away from dance floor routines and G/P can be described as more dance for the stage (not quite but close).
I think that was the year that the rules changed a bit. Ice dance teams no longer had to stay strictly within the ballroom dance genre which is why we saw programs like Memorial Requiem and Romeo & Juliet.
 

gk_891

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That almost absolutely had to do with the North American media trying to shove B/K down our throats and the ‘free’ dance really being just that— when you don’t know what exactly to look for, the audience reaction and the user-friendly program are going to get the most buzz and somehow == the best in some peoples’ eyes. At least back then.
For sure. The way I generally look at it, content and quality of skating should be stressed over everything else (although other aspects shouldn't be completely ignored of course). So whether or not people disliked the music of Memorial Requiem or her awful costume or her fake hair or her crazy personality, these are all pretty much irrelevant. The choreography of Memorial Requiem was insane in terms of program construction and how it demonstrated G&P's skating abilities. If it was based solely on whether or not one 'liked' the program or not, they should get rid of first set of marks and make ice dance into an exhibition-type of event where audience members can cast votes.
 
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essence_of_soy

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For sure. The way I generally look at it, content and quality of skating should be stressed over everything else (although other aspects shouldn't be completely ignored of course). So whether or not people disliked the music of Memorial Requiem or her awful costume or her fake hair or her crazy personality, these are all pretty much irrelevant. The choreography of Memorial Requiem was insane in terms of program construction and how it demonstrated G&P's skating abilities. If it was based solely on whether or not one 'liked' the program or not, they should get rid of first set of marks and make ice dance into an exhibition-type of event where audience members can cast votes.
I hated Memorial with a passion, for all of the reasons you mention. Out of curiosity, I'll have another look, though.
 

Stefanie

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Thanks for all the explanations regarding Memorial.

Now, back to the original topic of this thread, thanks for the YouTube links. I watched some of this trainwreck last night. Ahhh....such drama! And then there was no heat in the arena (that arena looks ginormous! so much empty space at the rink level...yet not many people in the audience)! Poor Stiegler and Stiegler...such a bad performance. I really liked them at 1998 Nationals. I'd also forgotten about Shae Lynn's fake hairpieces/ponytail!
 

her grace

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I really liked B/K's Riverdance free dance. I loved the energy and the steps. :slinkaway I guess I'm not as well-educated in ice dance to know why it wasn't deemed medal worthy at the Olympics...but I obviously know it wasn't as good as K/O and A/P...(or higher than a bronze at Worlds that year).
Riverdance was well-received at the Olympics; B/K finished 3rd in the free dance segment. Bourne/Kraatz's problem was their CDs, particularly the Golden Waltz, and to a lesser extent their OD. They dug a huge hole for themselves with their 5th place Golden Waltz. Check out B/K's golden waltz v. 4th place CD Lobacheva/Averbukh's golden waltz and you'll see the difference in quality, which contributed mightily to B/K's 4th place overall finish.
 

gk_891

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Riverdance was well-received at the Olympics; B/K finished 3rd in the free dance segment. Bourne/Kraatz's problem was their CDs, particularly the Golden Waltz, and to a lesser extent their OD. They dug a huge hole for themselves with their 5th place Golden Waltz. Check out B/K's golden waltz v. 4th place CD Lobacheva/Averbukh's golden waltz and you'll see the difference in quality, which contributed mightily to B/K's 4th place overall finish.
They also made errors in the Argentine Tango CD. It was mentioned years earlier in another thread that he kept his free foot on the ice for way too long before his counter (both times). And her twizzle was done incorrectly as she skated it on 2 feet rather than the required one foot (both times). Not to mention her left forward outside edge right before her faux twizzle wasn't really a left forward outside edge as it's flat (both times!). When you consider their issues with both compulsory dances, their atrocious OD and that their FD was skated entirely side by side, I can't see how B&K could've challenged for any type of medal.
 

dramagrrl

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I effing LOVED that High Society free dance in 1997. I still have it memorized. :lol:
I was a gigantic B&K fan back in the day (and for the newbies here who think I'm some sort of V&M troll, if push came to shove, I would probably still say B&K are my favourite dance team of all time even though I know that V&M were/are obviously better skaters), and I think High Society was their best FD. Some of their Tarasova/Morozov programs had more content, but I was not overly pleased with the "Faux Russian"-izing of their style post 2000, so 97/98 will always be their best program that really represented their style to me.

And I agree with others who say that even though they were big fans, I recognized even back then as a teenaged B&K-lover that their 99/00 programs were garbage. :lol:

As for them not being able to handle programs with a lot of technical content, I think their 02/03 waltz OD disproves that (as does the 02/03 FD to a certain extent).

ETA: I used to love (i.e., laugh uproariously at) the fact that they would subtitle the Russian coaches... when they were speaking English. :lol:
 
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Ice dance has changed so much since 1998. It always been the discipline I've never followed with passion, like the other three, but I did follow A/P with passion, and I really liked Memorial from G/P. After A/P no couple managed to grab me in the same way several years, but one program from different couples did here and there. Then P/C came along...

So, it was really interesting for me to go back and watch Memorial and Riverdance now. Was there a rule change in the FD of some point after 98 regarding lifts (and also other elements, like twizzles?) Of course, now the lifts are longer and such a vital part of any FD. The dance spin is here (looking more and more like pairs spins), and there a lot more edges and define turns and steps, like choctaws. I guess some of that also came with IJS. I will go back and watch Man in the iron mask, which really was the program that pulled me in.
 

gk_891

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As for them not being able to handle programs with a lot of technical content, I think their 02/03 waltz OD disproves that (as does the 02/03 FD to a certain extent).
Their OD and FD that season were good but hardly exceptional. The level of content in both of their programs badly paled in comparison to Denkova & Staviski's programs that year. I vaguely recall Tracy Wilson admitting in the CTV telecast that D&S had the most difficult OD that season.
 

dramagrrl

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Their OD and FD that season were good but hardly exceptional. The level of content in both of their programs badly paled in comparison to Denkova & Staviski's programs that year. I vaguely recall Tracy Wilson admitting in the CTV telecast that D&S had the most difficult OD that season.
Just because DenStav had more content that season, it doesn’t mean B&K’s programs (esp. the OD) didn’t have substantial content. The point I was arguing wasn’t that they ever had the highest or hardest content of the field, but that they did demonstrate more than once that they could handle programs with substantial content without looking slow and/or laboured. I would also argue that even if DenStav’s OD had more content that season (and I would have to go back and watch it to decide, as I don’t remember it at all), B&K’s waltz was, overall, the class of the field.
 

gk_891

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Just because DenStav had more content that season, it doesn’t mean B&K’s programs (esp. the OD) didn’t have substantial content. The point I was arguing wasn’t that they ever had the highest or hardest content of the field, but that they did demonstrate more than once that they could handle programs with substantial content without looking slow and/or laboured. I would also argue that even if DenStav’s OD had more content that season (and I would have to go back and watch it to decide, as I don’t remember it at all), B&K’s waltz was, overall, the class of the field.
I thought B&K's OD had ok content. I didn't think it was all that substantial. And even with Albena's error in the straight line footwork sequence, I thought their OD outshone B&K's both technically and artistically. Technically because it had far superior content and artistically because they presented a less conventional variation of a march and waltz (in the Rococo style as Tracy Wilson labelled it).
 
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