NHK 2023 Rhythm Dance - Big (GOE) in Japan

once_upon

Better off than 2020
Messages
30,672
Honestly, with Worlds in Canada, I would expect the top 2, but I don't think G/F will be off the podium. Of course, this is assuming everyone skates their best.
Yeah....In no particular order
Madi/Evan (1 or 2)
Piper/Paul (1 or 3)
Charlene/Marco (2 or 3)

From there a whole bunch of candidates (4-10) at least 3 of the can play big time spoiker
 

Matryeshka

Euler? Euler? Anyone?
Messages
16,569
So now that we've seen all the major players' RDs at least twice this season, it is time for my completely unhinged (and STILL UNINFORMED) opinions, that for some reason I have a real need to share:

The Pros of 80s Themes (or 90s Themes, or any general themes like this including "Folk Dance")
1. Almost every country experienced the 80s. From New York to New Orleans to Moscow to Addis Ababa to Montevideo, you know who Michael Jackson is. I'm willing to give North Korea a pass on this, but that's about it.

2. Which given #1, it's not as culture specific. While most skaters have decided to go with the American/British 80s, you could do 80s as your country experienced it (as the Fabulous French, L/B). If they really wanted to, they could find something they relate to. The problem with traditional ice dance, and why it was all Europe, Europe, Europe winning titles for so long is the only styles of dance were European-based, and Europe is not the only continent with culturally-significant, beautiful, and difficult styles of dance. I don't think it's entirely a coincidence that new themes have allowed new countries to be more competitive. It would be really, really, really fun in a decade to have a Kpop theme, because like Michael Jackson, everyone young now knows who BTS is.

3. It's not as structured, so you can make the music, so long as it fits the rhythm, fit your strengths. You're not struggling to do a waltz the entire time if you're more tango. If you're not flowy and romantic, you don't have to be. If you are, you can be.

4. It's easier to develop a story/character when you have such a large variety of music to choose from, not that all of them have, but the option was there.

5. It's more variety, and before everyone starts telling me all the skaters doing MJ, it's better than everyone doing that one same damn Astor Piazzola song. As problematic as it is, I would rather listen to Liberian Girl than suffer through an entire season of Libertango.

6. I know a lot of people who became fans of skating in the 90s was because of either the Knee Heard 'Round the World or Michelle Kwan or even a few, the cuteness of Ilia Kulik (a friend of mine was absolutely in love with him and made little "Misty Kulik" drawings in her English notebook with hearts on them) but for me, it was the ice dance. I fell absolutely head first in love with the Rock and Roll themed dance. I'd never seen anything like it, and I stayed up to watch the FDs and just fell completely in love with the sport--A/P's Romeo and Juliet sealed the deal; it was the most beautiful, over the top dramatic thing I'd ever seen and made my little teenage heart burst with emotion. I related to it, I liked it, and I picked up a new sport as a result.

The Cons of 80s Theme, or general themes like this (or, in praise of Waltz, Tango, etc):
1. 80s/90s/Folk Dance isn't A DANCE. Waltz, Tango, and yes, Hip-Hop, are both dances and a style of music. Because it's so nebulous, you can slap on some neon and call it 80s. Unless everyone is doing break dance and the Worm or the Kid n Play or the Roger Rabbit, which sadly, none of them are, 80s is a theme for a bachelorette party or 50th birthday--it's not a dance theme, it's a cliche party theme

2. It's harder to compare skaters. To a certain extent, I'm sympathetic to judges going in rank order because a lot of these teams are comparing apples to giraffes. It's now a game of playing to the letter not the spirt of the law, which has allowed teams like F/G to rise. It's the same problem as the Folk Dance theme for the Olys--a good, even great, idea on paper, but in execution/ability to judge...not so much.

3. I don't know whose idea it was to incorporate the Silver Samba, but it's ridiculous and does not go with the 80s. Very few couples are seamlessly including it, because it's weird. You were never meant to Silver Samba to Queen. That's just silly. I think all of us, even the more knowledgable of us, are judging programs based on music choice and not the dance itself.

4. Vague rules can be an advantage in that it allows for more creativity, but this is a sport, not an art, and many of the RDs are just confused in a way that Tango/Waltz/Jive RDs are not. In the 90s there was a Rock and Roll themed RD, and IIRC, Pasha criticized the Punsalan and Swallow of not being rock enough and not understanding the music, which is hysterical in so many ways...and going back and watching them knowing a little more about skating, absolutely true. :lol:

5. For skaters who did not grow up in a culture that hypes up/is nostalgic for the 80s, it might as well be the waltz in how well you relate to it, and it's not like there's an 80s pattern or instruction besides "evoke the feeling of the 80s" which I think is an almost word-for-word ISU directive to help you along.

6. I feel certain this theme was created to pander to audiences, not show off skating at its best. Yes, I came to this sport because of an RD I related to, but I'll bet I'm unique in that area. Some of these dances are so odd that it's more likely to have the opposite effect.
 

skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,645
McNamara, Lorraine/Spiridonov 🇺🇸
Coach: Alexei Kiliakov, Elena Novak
Music: Kiss, Slow Love, Let's Go Crazy

Choreo Rhythm Sequence
SqTwW4+SqTwM4 - synchronization issues on the 2nd set
Pattern Step Sequence 2
MiStW2+MiStM2

Rotational Lift 3

A bit of an issue on the twizzles, and the lift entry looks difficult, and awkward.

65.65 = 1st Place
 

skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,645
Komatsubara, Misato/Koleto, Tim 🇯🇵
Coach: M.-F. Dubreuil, P. Lauzon, R. Haguenauer
Music: Ghostbusters, True, Ghostbusters

DiStW2+DiStM2
SqTwW4+SqTwM2 (3 after review) - he spun the 2nd twizzle
Rotational Lift 4 >
Pattern Step Sequence 1

Choreo Rhythm Sequence

-1.00 Extended Lift

I don't remember Bill Murray showing off his midriff, but I haven't watched the movie for awhile.

64.12 = 2nd Place
 
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skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,645
Bratti, Emily/Somerville, Ian 🇺🇸
Coach: Greg Zuerlein, Charlie White, Tanith White
Music: When Doves Cry, Let's Go Crazy by Prince

MiStW2+MiStM2
Pattern Step Sequence 2 (1 after review)
SqTwW4+SqTwM4
Choreo Rhythm Sequence

Rotational Lift 4

Nice skate for Bratti/Somerville. I think Emily skated much better her than at Cup of China, and her performance was more evident compared to Ian than that previous competition.

71.47 = 1st Place
 
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skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,645
Lauriault, Marie-Jade/le Gac, Romain 🇨🇦
Coach: P. Lauzon/M.-F. Dubreuil, R. Haguenauer
Music: Need You Tonight, Never Tear Us Apart

MiStW2+MiStM2
SqTwW4+SqTwM4
Pattern Step Sequence 1
Choreo Rhythm Sequence
Rotational Lift 4


Those people pointing to the theme of rhythm dance being too broad, and not really about dance need look no further than this team. It's good music, and a fun program, but there's nothing about it that says 80's.

71.35 = 2nd Place
 

skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,645
Demougeot, Loicia/le Mercier, Theo 🇫🇷
Coach: Karine Arribert-Narce, Mahil Chantelauze
Music: Rapper's Delight, Why Can't We Leave Together

SqTwW4+SqTwM4
Pattern Step Sequence 1
Rotational Lift 4
Choreo Rhythm Sequence

MiStW1(2 after review)+MiStM3

Love the music, the choreography, and the performance - I wish they'd been more adventurous with the costumes cause they don't seem to match everything else.

73.58 = 1st Place
 
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skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,645
Reed, Allison/Ambrulevicius 🇱🇹
Coach: M.-F. Dubreuil, P. Lauzon, R. Haguenauer
Music: Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City

SqTwW4+SqTwM4
MiStW2+MiStM2
Pattern Step Sequence 2
Rotational Lift 4

Choreo Rhythm Sequence

One of the few teams to really pull off a proper 80's rock program. :respec:

78.71 = 1st Place
 

skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,645
Turkkila, Juulia/Versluis, Matthais 🇫🇮
Coach: Maurizio Margaglio, Neil Brown
Music: Tell it to My Heart, I'll Always Love You

SqTwW4+SqTwM4
MiStW2+MiStM1
Pattern Step Sequence 3
Stationary Lift 4 >

Choreo Rhythm Sequence

-1.00 Extended Lift

The battle for European bronze medal is clearly tilted towards the Lithuanians.

74.66 = 2nd Place
 
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skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,645
Fear, Lilah/Gibson, Lewis 🇬🇧
Coach: R. Haguenauer, P. Lauzon, M.-F. Dubreuil
Music: Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics

SqTwW4+SqTwM4
MiStW3+MiStM3
Pattern Step Sequence 3
Choreo Rhythm Sequence
Rotational Lift 4


They have a style that works for them, and the judges respond to it - no reason to change it up.

84.93 = 1st Place
 

skatingguy

decently
Messages
18,645
Guignard, Charlene/Fabbri, Marco 🇮🇹
Coach: Barbara Fusar Poli, Roberto Pelizzola
Music: Holding Out for a Hero, Against All Odds

SqTwW4+SqTwM4
Choreo Rhythm Sequence
Pattern Step Sequence 2
Straight Line Lift 4

MiStW3+MiStM2

The technical panel giving them levels for steps lower than what we usually see.

85.27 = 1st Place
 

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