Pairs Discussion Thread 2018-19--"Two Skating as One"

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aftershocks

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Cross-posting from Luba & Charlie media promo thread in GSD:

[Lubov & Charlie are] quite a team. I hope its not too many cooks in the kitchen, but I am very glad to Marie France and Guillaume doing the choreography. That will give them an edge right there, if they can handle it this early in their partnership.

Well, Lubov and Charlie are both veterans who need an edge with the goals they have of making a significant impact out-of-the-gate with their new partnership. I'm sure they will be working very hard during the entire off-season to be ready. Their comments make it clear they see an opportunity and they are going for it.

I wouldn't bet on Sui/Han not being ready for Beijing, but Sui has had some surgeries and a lot of rehab over the past few years. Maybe she will be turning a corner to the point of being healed and stronger. However, until Sui's health is fully proven to be stable, there is a sense of vulnerability usually overcome by fierce will, of course. But S/H haven't competed on the GP for the past two seasons, so we'll see if/how they will be pacing themselves this coming season. James/Cipres won everything this season except for Worlds, so they are a team to be reckoned with. IMO J/C have been pushing the excitement envelope in pairs since forever, but especially since their 2017 Euros breakthrough, despite reluctance in some quarters to give them full credit for how wonderful they are in so many ways.

It was obvious that the absence of retired and inactive teams this season had the judges quickly pushing up the scores of teams like Peng/Jin and M-T/M. IMO, both of those teams, while good, still have a bit of work to do before being given full credit for having that extra something that sets them apart. Both are still trying to discover and solidify their styles and enhance what makes them unique. So they are still works-in-progress despite the rise in their scores this season.

As for the Russians, I think T/M need to step it up and prove that they are more than just picture-perfect technicians coddled by the judges whether or not they skate with any excitement, and whether or not they skate clean. I don't see Z/E becoming more interesting or exciting as a team, ever. Just skating clean and technically pleasing but bland performances, IMO, is not enough. Perhaps Boikova/Koslovski will at least begin to surpass Z/E, fingers-crossed, next season. I can see B/K also surpassing T/M too, if politics don't get in the way.

Other teams in top and second tier have different levels of talent. Italy's Della-Monica/Guarise need to change things up with their approach if they desire to make headway. Yu/Zhang may be returning now that China will have 3 teams back for Worlds next year. But frankly, I have seen no evidence that Yu is fully committed in terms of her heart. Yu has just seemed to be gong through the motions, despite judges' tendency to shower Y/Z with PCS gifts on the basis of rep. Top U.S. teams will now have two spots available, and they can threaten for gaining three spots over the next few years due to the increasingly improving talent in their ranks.

So, with this current transitional pairs scene, there's plenty of opportunity for veteran pairs skaters like Lubov & Charlie to make a competitive splash, if they continue to gain significant strides with their new partnership. Skate Canada is fully aware of the need to jumpstart their pairs discipline and they aren't wasting any time getting down to business with that effort. I think it's obvious too that Canada has the edge of bringing more political clout and pairs rep to the table than the U.S., which has not always been fair to some very good U.S. teams. But that's the way of this sport. If you want to stand out, consistency, determined self-belief and unique impact are key, with politics and luck always crucial factors.

As far as I'm concerned, James/Cipres have been leading with the je ne sais quoi factor, with other teams being inspired and attempting to emulate either their moves, music, costumes, and/or ice dance edge factor. Everyone has been taking notice, so that's not a secret. L&C clearly want to make strides in that exciting direction, also traversed by diva Aliona and Bruno Massot. S/H simply didn't have the best fp vehicle at the 2018 Olympics, and Sui was a bit hampered by injury, so that's a couple of reasons why S/H didn't prevail for gold. Another reason is Aliona's will and destiny. :D Beijing 2022 may indeed be featuring Wenjing Sui's will and destiny. :kickass:
 

aftershocks

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Cont'd:

They [P/J] remind me a bit of P/T in terms of style.

Really? I see nothing in Peng/Jin's style that reminds me of Pang/Tong. I believe that Tong was formerly a dancer and I always loved watching him, moreso than Pang. P/T overall were never one of my fave pairs, but I enjoyed watching them and they had some memorable performances.

P/T are taller than P/J, and Peng has much more expression and personality on the ice than Pang displayed. Tong was expressive and a good partner. Jin is expressive and he pairs very well with Peng, but for me, Pang/Tong skated 'two as one' better than P/J. I also think at this point that Tong was a stronger partner than Jin.

For me, P/J have great potential, but they have not yet managed to put everything together consistently or magically. Reasons why their scores were higher on the GP in part is because Sui/Han were out, Yu/Zhang were not competing either, and this past season was transitional post-Olympics, with a number of teams having retired, or split in the case of Ashtakova/Rogonov, et al.

I haven't heard that Sui's injuries are continuing to hamper her, or will cause chronic problems.

The long term remains to be seen. Sui has obviously had problems that have kept them from competing at some competitions the last two seasons. That didn't keep them from winning 2017 Worlds and 2019 Worlds though, so that's why I say Sui has a strong, fierce will. And of course, S/H are dynamite together when they are in-the-zone. Sui has been inconsistent sometimes on sbs jumps because that's where her foot injury has been most vulnerable. She landed her jumps a bit tight at Worlds, but she landed them nonetheless.
 

aftershocks

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Thanks for finding... I always thought TAT was an ice dancer.

I want to give credit to @floskate for uploading the video! :saint:

I also thought TAT had been an ice dancer since she choreographed for ice dancers. But then the sport of pairs figure skating became so much more athletic since the time TAT skated pairs. What she and her partner were doing back then seems a bit closer to ice dance than not these days.
 

Mad for Skating

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AngieNikodinovLove

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Ah, good old Grandma TAT! Thanks for digging this up!

But you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen Moskvina/Mishin: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GvgetX767jA

OH LOVE!

Keep em coming!!!!!

Look at them! 10s across the board Sweetie!!!!

One thing that I find interesting in watching these videos from the early to mid 60s are the use of the arms..... Ive watched all the videos from USA 61 Nats and others and we held our arms straight out...like we are using them for balance.. I see it in M/M video as well.. how the arms are just held straight out a lot of the time.

Love it!

Lordy, now long was a free program back then? Even 2 SBS spins in it.

So did Moskvina invent the Biellman then?
 
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Mad for Skating

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OH LOVE!

Keep em coming!!!!!

Look at them! 10s across the board Sweetie!!!!

One thing that I find interesting in watching these videos from the early to mid 60s are the use of the arms..... Ive watched all the videos from USA 61 Nats and others and we held our arms straight out...like we are using them for balance.. I see it in M/M video as well.. how the arms are just held straight out a lot of the time.

Love it!

Lordy, now long was a free program back then? Even 2 SBS spins in it.

So did Moskvina invent the Biellman then?

Moskvina is such a Queen, I love watching these videos even though they’re such poor quality LOL.

I don’t know who did the first Biellmann, but Moskvina is rocking it!
 

mjb52

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I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the Tarasova skate. Usually with the older routines, I want to appreciate them but the sport was just so different then that it is a challenge, but Tarasova's was really good, and different than I would have expected from her, very light (I would have thought there would be more sturm und drang) and really just delightful. It's not the kind of thing I tend to like, b/c I love the drama, so it surprised me that I found it so appealing.
 

aftershocks

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But you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen Moskvina/Mishin: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GvgetX767jA

:glamor: Ha ha yes, I've seen Moskvina/Mishin before from back-in-the-day. Amazin' :encore: Tremendous one-two punch figure skating coaches!

Now, let me pull out something from years later that's quite memorable, but I'd forgotten just how good this U.S. team was in their time:
https://youtu.be/RWWWPqMkLp0?t=137
Very athletic, fast, exciting lifts and unique moves. Biggest problem: they did not get along well. Still, a memorable team, even though they were rough around the edges. This was a good long program for them, choreographed by Philip Mills.

I love the lunge by the female into a throw 2-axel. I'd love to see a team perform that move today because it's rare. Perhaps it's best performed by two strong partners, and a male with muscles. I'm not sure whether a distinct height difference between the male and the female is crucial or not to perform that move well. Other cool moves include their pull Arabians (made famous before them by Babilonia/Gardner), and their lifts (which teams didn't hold for long back then). Still, this team has difficult lifts that weren't being done by everyone at that time. The horizontal lift position we have seen making a comeback recently. The headbanger dismount is so cool. And there were some other interesting dismounts they performed that were unusual back then. Please someone incorporate the headbanger lift dismount into a program today. It is allowable. :)

Personally, I'd love to see Calalang/Johnson try the lunge lift into a throw 2-axel
 
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AngieNikodinovLove

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Now, let me pull out something from years later that's quite memorable, but I'd forgotten just how good this U.S. team was in their time:
https://youtu.be/RWWWPqMkLp0?t=137

OHHHHH DONTTTTTTTTT even get me started with "The Waitess & The Truck Driver"

GOLD ALL THE WAY!!!!!!

Oh what amazing years. I want to go back to listening to "Black Box" and Robin S!!!!!

Dang, were old.

Ugggggg Marval is SUCH A HUNK...... I remember it was him and Josh Brolin from "The Goonies" that used to do "it" to me. lol. Oh and the Zack guy from "Gremlins." My, I have gotten off topic.
 
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Ardarys

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So did Moskvina invent the Biellman then?

I just recently reread Christine Brennan’s book Edge of Glory (for the first time since I was a very angry little boy 20 years ago who took a black sharpie and crossed out all the photos of Tara 😂) and FWIW Christine says that Moskvina was the first to do the spin, but she’s fine with Denise getting the credit
 

Japanfan

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I wouldn't bet on Sui/Han not being ready for Beijing, but Sui has had some surgeries and a lot of rehab over the past few years. Maybe she will be turning a corner to the point of being healed and stronger. However, until Sui's health is fully proven to be stable, there is a sense of vulnerability usually overcome by fierce will, of course.

Fierce will is an excellent quality for an athlete to have! I don't think Sui feels particularly vulnerable. She and Cong did win 4CCs and Worlds this year. Sui has a killer instinct, and unless she gets hampered by new injuries, she will have her eye on Olympic Gold at home in 2022. In fact, she'll have her eye on that even if she has injuries.


But S/H haven't competed on the GP for the past two seasons, so we'll see if/how they will be pacing themselves this coming season. James/Cipres won everything this season except for Worlds, so they are a team to be reckoned with. IMO J/C have been pushing the excitement envelope in pairs since forever, but especially since their 2017 Euros breakthrough, despite reluctance in some quarters to give them full credit for how wonderful they are in so many ways.

It was obvious that the absence of retired and inactive teams this season had the judges quickly pushing up the scores of teams like Peng/Jin and M-T/M. IMO, both of those teams, while good, still have a bit of work to do before being given full credit for having that extra something that sets them apart. Both are still trying to discover and solidify their styles and enhance what makes them unique. So they are still works-in-progress despite the rise in their scores this season.

I agree, but I think that Peng/Jin are the better pair. And I think they are still growing. The same is true of M-T/M, but I don't have confidence in them as I do P/J.

As for the Russians, I think T/M need to step it up and prove that they are more than just picture-perfect technicians coddled by the judges whether or not they skate with any excitement, and whether or not they skate clean. I don't see Z/E becoming more interesting or exciting as a team, ever. Just skating clean and technically pleasing but bland performances, IMO, is not enough. Perhaps Boikova/Koslovski will at least begin to surpass Z/E, fingers-crossed, next season. I can see B/K also surpassing T/M too, if politics don't get in the way.

There has been plenty of cookie cutter Russian pairs and they have done well. The Russian style generally works. If it works, don't fix it.

As far as I'm concerned, James/Cipres have been leading with the je ne sais quoi factor, with other teams being inspired and attempting to emulate either their moves, music, costumes, and/or ice dance edge factor. Everyone has been taking notice, so that's not a secret.

I have to wonder whether last season was as good as it's going to get for J/C. While the collision may have effected them, I think they may have just buckled under the pressure to win. I'm not convinced that they can be consistently strong throughout a whole season.

But FS does have the capacity to surprise.
 

aftershocks

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I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the Tarasova skate. Usually with the older routines, I want to appreciate them but the sport was just so different then that it is a challenge, but Tarasova's was really good, and different than I would have expected from her, very light (I would have thought there would be more sturm und drang) and really just delightful. It's not the kind of thing I tend to like, b/c I love the drama, so it surprised me that I found it so appealing.

I think TAT (like so many pairs skaters back then) had been hugely influenced by the Protopopovs (then Belousova/Protopopov). B/P had begun revolutionizing pairs in the 1960s, winning the Olympic gold medal in 1964 and again in 1968. To give a sense of their trajectory: B/P were 9th at the 1960 Olympics. In 1962, B/P were second at Worlds. But let's not forget that top teams had retired after the 1960 Olympics, and then a seismic shift had happened in 1961, when the entire U.S. team died in the Sabena airline crash, and the World championships were cancelled. The impact of that crash still reverberates across the years to this day. Every discipline was affected nationally and internationally. After B/P's Olympic gold in 1964, Soviet/ Russian skaters dominated pairs from then until today.

Before Ludmila and Oleg revolutionized the way pairs was performed in the 1960s, Russian pairs teams were not podium favorites. Worlds and Olympics in pairs were mostly dominated after WWII by Canada, United States, Great Britain, West Germany, Hungary, and Austria, with Switzerland and Czechslovakia also factoring into the medals. Plus, there were a couple of very good teams from Belgium in the late 1940s. Before WWII, the dominant teams in pairs were Germany, Austria, and Hungary, with France also a huge factor*, and with teams from Great Britain, United States, Finland, Sweden, and Czechslovakia also medaling on a few occasions. France* had a dominant silver medal and multiple gold medal winning team from 1925 to 1932 in Andreé Joly & Pierre Brunet.
 

Japanfan

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Now, let me pull out something from years later that's quite memorable, but I'd forgotten just how good this U.S. team was in their time:
https://youtu.be/RWWWPqMkLp0?t=137
Very athletic, fast, exciting lifts and unique moves. Biggest problem: they did not get along well. Still, a memorable team, even though they were rough around the edges. This was a good long program for them, choreographed by Philip Mills.

I really enjoyed that, more that I usually enjoy older programs.

I wish a pair team today would use some of those moves, providing they are still legal.

I love the lunge by the female into a throw 2-axel.

That's among the moves I refer to.

Other cool moves include their pull Arabians (made famous before them by Babilonia/Gardner), and their lifts (which teams didn't hold for long back then). Still, this team has difficult lifts that weren't being done by everyone at that time. The horizontal lift position we have seen making a comeback recently. The headbanger dismount is so cool. And there were some other interesting dismounts they performed that were unusual back then. Please someone incorporate the headbanger lift dismount into a program today. It is allowable. :)

And those too.
Personally, I'd love to see Calalang/Johnson try the lunge lift into a throw 2-axel
 

floskate

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I want to give credit to @floskate for uploading the video! :saint:

I also thought TAT had been an ice dancer since she choreographed for ice dancers. But then the sport of pairs figure skating became so much more athletic since the time TAT skated pairs. What she and her partner were doing back then seems a bit closer to ice dance than not these days.

Thanks for mentioning me @aftershocks. That video must have been shared on a Russian site recently because it's been up for almost two years and only had a couple of thousand hits and then suddenly it's nearly at 200k!!

Moskvina is such a Queen, I love watching these videos even though they’re such poor quality LOL.

I don’t know who did the first Biellmann, but Moskvina is rocking it!

:wall: This just pisses me off beyond belief. I mean that film is 60 years old!! What do you expect it to look like? I hunt high and low for this stuff, spending a LOT of money acquiring footage and yet I get so many ignorant comments like this. Honestly don't know why I bother. :rolleyes:
 

Spiralgraph

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I think some people get spoiled easily. HD TV, 52 inch screens, some fans and people in general just don't remember when there was no Internet or tiny black and white TV screens that had grainy pictures etc (I think I've made my point.) I'm grateful for all the old videos I get to watch for free and I try not to whine about picture quality. Progress is nice but there is much value in these vintage recordings.
 

aftershocks

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This just pisses me off beyond belief. I mean that film is 60 years old!! What do you expect it to look like? I hunt high and low for this stuff, spending a LOT of money acquiring footage and yet I get so many ignorant comments like this. Honestly don't know why I bother.

Priceless, priceless, vintage footage! The younger generation is just spoiled @floskate. They don't have any perspective on this kind of thing, because they didn't live through a very different era, like you and me and many skating aficionados. :) I'm sure it was just an off-hand comment by our young friend, and not intended to offend.

Please do continue bothering! All the work you have done for skating fans is also very priceless! You've given us such joy in being able to look back at so many great moments of old skating video and film footage, that without your uploads to Youtube, we'd never get to see. :encore:

While any of us would love to be able to see pristine views, the fact is, we are looking at historic moments captured on old technology. It's a privilege not to be taken lightly. The only way to have seen the kind of clear HD view our eyes are now used to, is to have been there in person. Maybe some fans are still alive who were there in person.

European Figure Skating Championships 1965
Moscow, Russia
Sports Palace Luzhniki (Palace of Sports of the Central Lenin Stadium)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1965_European_Figure_Skating_Championships
Note the special stamp that was issued
 

aftershocks

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Note to @Japanfan. It's probably too late to fix now. But your #316 and #318 posts contain botched and/or missing open and closed quotes. And so some of my text to which you were responding appear as if they are your comments. And some of your comments are framed as part of my remarks. Please be more careful when you are quoting and responding to my posts. Thank you.
 

Japanfan

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Note to @Japanfan. It's probably too late to fix now. But your #316 and #318 posts contain botched and/or missing open and closed quotes. And so some of my text to which you were responding appear as if they are your comments. And some of your comments are framed as part of my remarks. Please be more careful when you are quoting and responding to my posts. Thank you.

Sorry, I saw that but the edit option was gone already. It seemed to me that the usual window of time for editing hadn't been allowed, but of course I could be wrong.
 

Mad for Skating

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This just pisses me off beyond belief. I mean that film is 60 years old!! What do you expect it to look like? I hunt high and low for this stuff, spending a LOT of money acquiring footage and yet I get so many ignorant comments like this. Honestly don't know why I bother. :rolleyes:

Oh please, I didn’t mean it like that! I’m a 2000s kid, I’m spoiled with 4K TV. Didn’t mean to offend anyone. It wasn’t directed at you.
 

aftershocks

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I'm not convinced that they can be consistently strong throughout a whole season.

:rofl:

It's a good thing that it doesn't matter whether or not you are convinced. Anyway, it just so happens they won every competition they entered this year, except Worlds. Not many teams will ever be able to say that. And I wouldn't count them out next season either, not even at Worlds. BTW, they are the most exciting pairs team skating today, and plenty of other teams have been inspired by their moves, costumes, music, charisma. They are also one of the most consistent teams in the world, because they have to be -- every mistake they make is always so scrutinized and used to put them down and to dismiss their talent.
 

Sylvia

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ElleL

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I just recently reread Christine Brennan’s book Edge of Glory (for the first time since I was a very angry little boy 20 years ago who took a black sharpie and crossed out all the photos of Tara 😂) and FWIW Christine says that Moskvina was the first to do the spin, but she’s fine with Denise getting the credit

Cecelia Colledge did a beautiful one-foot version in the 1930s. She had nice layback and donut spins too.
https://youtu.be/eDLVM-Hjzwc?t=56
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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It’s probably posted in a different thread somewhere, but Suzuki/Kihara split 😢
Their split was posted in the Japanese news thread on April 8th (thanks to @rosewood for the translated summary of the Japanese news article): https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...ason-news-updates.103938/page-10#post-5571847

Annika Hocke & Ruben Blommaert have ended their partnership (he announced the news today on his Instagram) - info can be found in the German news thread: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/german-skating-news-2018-19.104105/page-19#post-5575052
 
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