A Divine Sport blog

clairecloutier

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So, I started a skating blog called A Divine Sport! Anyone interested can check it out at https://adivinesport.wordpress.com/2014/10/.

I'm kicking it off with a review of the Ice Theatre of New York show in Boston this past weekend. I'll try to update it somewhat regularly. (Although I will never be as prolific as SkateGuard or NakedIce!)

This is definitely version 1.0 of the blog; hopefully I'll be able to add more bells and whistles later on.
 

Spun Silver

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Claire, I don't have time to respond at length now but I think it's great that you are doing a skating blog and I look forward to watching it develop. I had to smile at your comments on musical warhorses. For Balanchine lovers, the Tchaikovsky third suite is almost as familiar as SL - one of his great masterpieces, danced by many companies, is to the theme and variations, and he expanded that to include the whole suite which has been done for decades by the NYC Ballet. Also, when an ice dance team used a less familiar Tchaikovsky piece this season (I forget which team and piece) it was panned on FSU, hopefully not by those who criticize the warhorses! But I agree with you!
 

clairecloutier

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That's interesting about the Tchaikovsky piece! Thanks for the info. I don't know very much about ballet, so I didn't recognize that music.

I think skating fans need to be more open to new music in general. People complain about warhorse music, but then when skaters try new music, they often complain about that, too. Can't have it both ways.

Thanks for checking out the blog! :)
 

kwanfan1818

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Balanchine original choreographed "Theme and Variations" for Ballet Theatre (as it was then known) in 1947. It starred Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch, and Melissa Hayden was in the premiere. As far as I know, NYCB didn't perform it until 1960. In 1970 Balanchine added the first three movements, calling the ballet "Suite No. 3," later changed to "Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3." The first movement was filmed for Nonesuch in "The Balanchine Library: Choreography by Balanchine," and you can see it if you can get the DVD. (There are two volumes. The piece is titled "Elegie" and is on this volume.) Balanchine famously punted Peter Martins from the male lead in the first movement, deciding he just didn't "get" it.
 

aftershocks

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Oh thanks, clairecloutier. I really enjoyed reading your SC pairs review. I agree with many of your points and I find your views very thoughtful. While Sui/ Han have improved, I still find them to be an acrobatic-centric team, which is not a negative in terms of executing tricks well. But I don't think they are strong enough musically/ interpretively, even though they tend to get the PCS points since their amazing tech abilities tend to camouflage their lack of interpretation and connection with each other and the audience.

Sadly, I agree with you re Jones/ Reagan. But they do look good together visually. I wonder if they really committed to ballet training for stretch, better posture, and performance improvement (amp up the drama/ energy and project more), whether that might help them. If they don't work on those aspects of their skating, ITA, that they will have difficulty making competitive progress.

I wish the best for Kirsten and Michael, but they have a lot of work to do and adjustments to make, particularly for Kirsten in terms of her being used to top pairs success. They need to take the time to evaluate and work on improving their weaknesses without any self-imposed pressure of trying to reach the podium quickly.

Canadian Nationals will be very interesting too with the new team of Purich/ Wolfe. They have seemed to progress together fairly quickly for a new team. Drew's ice dance background and height give him an elegant look on the ice. Plus he knows how to present and support Natasha to her best. They seem comfortable and happy together. I hope they have a good showing at Cup of China this weekend. :)

What a lovely quote by Frank Carroll featured on your blog, and which inspired the name of your blog. ITA! Wise words from Frank. :BNS1:
 
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aftershocks

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^^ Thanks clairecloutier. I'm almost afraid to read it, but I will after I finish my rants in various threads here.

Unbelievable! :duh: I'm sorry, but I must be from a different generation or something, because I didn't see much figure skating on the NBC broadcast today at Cup of China.

I mean kudos to Richard for his absolute brilliance particularly early in his program. Okay yes, he popped to doubles on his final triples and he fell on a fully rotated lutz (seems he lost energy toward the end of the program), but he had a complete and well-rounded program otherwise. I guess his lack of solid rep and consistent quads the judges feel warranted keeping his PCS scores down. Me, I'm just a sucker for beautiful skating and lovely well thought out choreography to engaging music.
 
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clairecloutier

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Thanks for checking out my blog, Aftershocks. I don't think you'll find it too upsetting, because pairs was the least drama-ridden event at COC!

BTW, I completely agree about Richard, I thought his long program was absolutely wonderful. I loved every moment of it.
 

kwanatic

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I think the Russian home-cooking was crazy at COR for the pairs. Stolbova/Klimov getting over 15 points in GOE is a bit redonkulous IMO...they were good but come on! I did watch their SP and I remember wondering if they were supposed to be Power Rangers or something! Lol! His costume reminded me of the black ranger. :rofl:

Unfortunate that Denny/Frazier missed out on a medal by only 0.01...that's gotta hurt.

Great review! Can't wait to read more :fan:
 

aftershocks

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Thanks clairecloutier. I enjoy reading your reviews and I mostly agree with your insights. I know a lot of people are in love with Tarasova/ Morosov, but I have to say that for me their surnames generate more heat and buzz than their on-ice personalities. Obviously, they do have the classic aesthetic Russian pairs look and technique, but right now I don't see much personality or style exuding from them. Perhaps over time, Robin Szolkowy can help them bring out more of their inner charm and uniqueness. In the interim, I personally find them rather bland but gorgeous, not unlike Totmianina/ Marinin.
 

clairecloutier

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I think the Russian home-cooking was crazy at COR for the pairs. Stolbova/Klimov getting over 15 points in GOE is a bit redonkulous IMO...they were good but come on! I did watch their SP and I remember wondering if they were supposed to be Power Rangers or something! Lol! His costume reminded me of the black ranger. :rofl:
LOL! Yeah, both of their SP costumes are pretty questionable, I think! :)

With the scoring, I feel like Rostelecom Cup is always crazy. 15 points in GOE was a LOT--I was amazed when I looked at the protocol. Granted, they did put on a clinic in the LP. I do think Astakhova/Rogonov probably wouldn't have walked away with a medal if the event had been held elsewhere.


Thanks clairecloutier. I enjoy reading your reviews and I mostly agree with your insights. I know a lot of people are in love with Tarasova/ Morosov, but I have to say that for me their surnames generate more heat and buzz than their on-ice personalities. Obviously, they do have the classic aesthetic Russian pairs look and technique, but right now I don't see much personality or style exuding from them. Perhaps over time, Robin Szolkowy can help them bring out more of their inner charm and uniqueness. In the interim, I personally find them rather bland but gorgeous, not unlike Totmianina/ Marinin.
Thanks for reading, aftershocks! :) I appreciate it! I wasn't sold on Tarasova/Morozov at first, either.

The first time I saw them was in clips from a Russian exhibition this spring, and I wasn't impressed, for whatever reason. At the time, Ziggy posted that T/M looked good to win a medal in Pyeongchang. I argued that point with him, and said no way. Now, every time I see T/M, I just think of Ziggy and wish I could tell him, "You were right. I see what you mean now."
 

aftershocks

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Yes, thanks for the explanation clairecloutier. ITA that T/M have something. It's just not fully defined and not fully realized yet. Ziggy who known d probably get a kick out of the fact that Robin S is helping coach T/M. :D

I know Ziggy really liked the potential of Castelli/ Tran, and he even got to see C/T's first outing with their so in early August. I will be thinking of Ziggy this weekend watching C/T at Eastern Sectionals. I have high hopes for C/T but I don't want to have too many high expectations right now. I just went to sit back and enjoy watching them develop.
 

aftershocks

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^^ Boy, I (or auto-correct) sure made a lot of errors that I didn't realize when I typed that post on a mobile device. Too late to edit now. :duh:
 

aftershocks

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Wonderful reviews clairecloutier, thoughtful and insightful. I particularly enjoyed reading your thoughts about Castelli/Tran and Lubov/Dylan. ITA.

Very sorry to hear about James/Cipres' coaching snafu in Russia, likely thanks to Didier's meddling. They never seemed comfortable with S. Morosov in the kiss 'n cry. Although it is obvious J/C have been working on line and refinement, they seem to have undergone setbacks in their on-ice chemistry and confidence. I wonder if they might have a better shot at improving with coaches in the Detroit area, or whether they will be staying in France.

I would love to see Duha/Rad pull out a win at GPF.
 

clairecloutier

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Thank you, aftershocks! :)

I wonder if James/Cipres should switch to Gauthier/Marcotte in Montreal. That coaching group has had a lot of success, other top couples train there, and it's a French- and English- speaking city, which seems perfect for them.
 

aftershocks

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^^ That sounds like an excellent idea. I guess it would depend on a few things, including if the Montreal team have room for another pair, and whether Didier would allow it.
 

joeperryfan

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I confess I haven't read the full article but the part where you say that the skaters are unhappy, it's quite jarring to watch a novice or junior competition and compare to the same age groups in other sports, the skaters tend to be tense and look worried, far too much for their age. I don't know if it's always been that way but it certainly happens now.
 

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