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

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savchenkoboss

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It is injury. I know someone posted an article about how she had a 'fatigue' fracture in her foot and is now just getting back on the ice and not doing any hard tricks. I am not sure they even have programs yet. It sounds like they are being careful and taking their time to get 100%.

I just hope they can be back for worlds. It seems every season except last they have some injury but often come back strong. They are such fighters, such champions!
 

SamuraiK

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Sui indeed said she needs to take her training carefully in order to not aggraviate the stress facture. This thing needs to heal properly so it makes sense to skip the GP series. They have enough reputation to guarantee a solid later half start of the season.
 

MAXSwagg

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I wouldn’t say it takes nose dive. It is natural after olympics that some teams leave and others step up. I don’t think the average results will be significantly worse than they were this year. Now is the best time to build reputation and grab their place in the ladder, because at this moment the ‘established order’ has been disrupted and the judges will be more willing to give the scores based on what they see on the ice rather than based on reputation.

Of whom is left (outside of Tarasova/Morozov), who is deserving of higher scores than they already get? If they want “top” scores like those of the “established order” they need t in skate like it.
 

antmanb

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So sad to hear about Sui/Han withdrawing. If this is a recurring injury she has I'd rather see them sit the entire season out and let her heal fully before returning next season and building momentum towards the Olympics.
 

aftershocks

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Tai and Randy were so good together -- truly skating two as one. They were also leaders in new innovations with lifts and throws. A very stylish pair with great unison, that skaters today can even learn from watching, IMO:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhkikWURLiw This performance is as good or better than their gold medal winning 1979 performance at Worlds.

No sbs triple jumps, but lots of jump sequences throughout the program. Their turning star lift is so beautifully executed. It's interesting how throw twists were only recently developed at that time and didn't have much height and throw 3 twists were rarely done (maybe one or two top pairs attempted them). Those pull Arabians are amazing. I wonder if only skaters who are close in height can perform this move. If so, I'd love to see Cain/LeDuc try it. And maybe Alexei Rogonov and his new partner might think of trying it too.
Here's Tai in 2016 on OWN, discussing overcoming her breakdown on tour in 1988, and kicking her alocohol habit, living a happier and productive life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5Ttxh3MaDQ

I'm excited about the new season. I'm glad for Rogonov finding a new partner, and I wish them well. Looking back at Worlds this year, I thought some of the pairs who didn't make it to the free skate have some nice qualities, including Laura Barquero/Aritz Maestu of Spain. Of course Stellato/Bartholomay should have made the cut.
 
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feraina

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Peng/Jin skated great in Asian Open Trophy, especially for being so early in the season: SP 71.54 LP 134.88 Total 206.42

There were only two teams though. They beat out Ryom/Kim. Do they still get any points or record a SB?

They skated a clean SP and a pretty clean LP (except for 2S at the start). They can work on their levels. But it’s very early in the season. If they can keep up their form they could make it to GPF again. Its a great year for them to break through.

I’ve only seen the protocols so far. Can’t wait to see their programs.
 

aftershocks

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Cross-posting from 'Ksenia Stolbova new partner' thread in GSD:

I think, based on probability, because it is so many of them [young Russian pairs], some will survive and for Europeans/worlds there are only three spots a country can use. I don’t remember when the last time Russia or any other country had so many decent juniors coming through. In the last roughly 15 years that I have been watching junior pairs, it was always maximum 2-3 pairs coming through. And those pairs even have the jumps (most of them).

I like B/K https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NapaUXNSYLs Is Moskvina coaching or choreographing them, or doing both? They definitely can not go wrong with Moskvina in their corner. :) Boikova has nice lines and good technical ability, but I notice she has trouble with unsteadiness on jump landings occasionally.

P/K are very good too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cvsuKo2gPE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OftHtwZriQw

M/G are talented, but I'm less impressed with them overall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf8A5l4i7ms

I find Panfilova/Rylov very impressive. They must be the youngest of this new crop. They seem to be like a Russian version of Sui/Han: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6NWPGypMHY The question is whether Panfilova might continue to grow taller, like what happened to the magical partnership of Davankova/Deputat. Later, the sexy partnership of Bazarova/ Deputat somehow never got off the ground. I'm not sure why. I really liked B/D and I was rooting for them.

Efimova/Korovin are a very dynamic pair: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9psxo_i040s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXpcQFTE8Ok Korovin looks like a slightly taller version of Deputat

What all of these younger Russian pairs have got over T/M and Z/E is a more visibly passionate connection and an ability to project. IOW, they are not boring expressively. I can definitely see any of B/K, P/K, P/R and E/K surpassing Z/E. The thing is that all of these younger teams need more seasoning (i.e., experience and maturity).

Another interesting thing about the newer generation of Russian pairs is how much they seem to incorporate North American/ Western qualities/inspiration with their Russian aesthetic. I think that's indicative of the increasing globalization of the sport. It's also likely due to the fact that a few key North American teams and choreographers have had significant influential success in pairs, along with the very impactful German influence of Savchenko/ Szolkowy/ Steuer (more recently Savchenko/Massot). Also the French team of James/Cipres, who gained success with an American coaching team and initially a British choreographer (former ice dancer), have had an impact the last couple of seasons on the pairs discipline. In fact, it is ice dance influence that is currently revolutionizing pairs choreography. Add to the influence factor the extraordinary success of Chinese pairs (who rely heavily upon Western choreography/music combined with the unique acrobatic strengths of Chinese culture; plus their selfless devotion to aceing the basics of figure skating technique has been revolutionary).

ITA that Novoseov/Stolbova will have to meld well and really bring it in order to keep pace with or try to stay ahead of the up-and-coming young Russian teams. At this point, the N/S team is apparently still working on exploring whether they can percolate together on all cylinders.
 

Ka3sha

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I find Panfilova/Rylov very impressive. They must be the youngest of this new crop. They seem to be like a Russian version of Sui/Han: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6NWPGypMHY The question is whether Panfilova might continue to grow taller, like what happened to the magical partnership of Davankova/Deputat.
They have excellent pair elements, but their main problem is Polina's inability to jump. She doesn’t have any triple jumps and has already said that she is planning to retire before moving to seniors.
They are now spending a lot of time in Saint-Petersburg working with Moskvina and her team.

My favorite Russian junior team right now is Atakhanova/Volodin, who teamed up only last winter
 

aftershocks

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Yes, A/V teamed up in January 2018, and they seem better matched than Volodin was with his prior partner Alina Ustimkina (who is now in the process of trying out with Alexei Rogonov).

A/V: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PateACAhuFM
They seem to have good potential. I would imagine they are still competing in juniors for the upcoming season.
 

savchenkoboss

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Tai and Randy were so good together -- truly skating two as one. They were also leaders in new innovations with lifts and throws. A very stylish pair with great unison, that skaters today can even learn from watching, IMO:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhkikWURLiw This performance is as good or better than their gold medal winning 1979 performance at Worlds.

No sbs triple jumps, but lots of jump sequences throughout the program. Their turning star lift is so beautifully executed. It's interesting how throw twists were only recently developed at that time and didn't have much height and throw 3 twists were rarely done (maybe one or two top pairs attempted them). Those pull Arabians are amazing. I wonder if only skaters who are close in height can perform this move. If so, I'd love to see Cain/LeDuc try it. And maybe Alexei Rogonov and his new partner might think of trying it too.
Here's Tai in 2016 on OWN, discussing overcoming her breakdown on tour in 1988, and kicking her alocohol habit, living a happier and productive life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5Ttxh3MaDQ

I'm excited about the new season. I'm glad for Rogonov finding a new partner, and I wish them well. Looking back at Worlds this year, I thought some of the pairs who didn't make it to the free skate have some nice qualities, including Laura Barquero/Aritz Maestu of Spain. Of course Stellato/Bartholomay should have made the cut.

Rodnina/Zaitsev had a triple twist throughout all of the 70s and an excellent one too. That might have been a reason they were unbeatable in the judges eyes, since as you said the other top teams were mainly doing a weak double twist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajZ3yRf0sTk
 

aftershocks

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... as you said the other top teams were mainly doing a weak double twist.

Yep, R/Z were amazing, especially technically. But I don't think the other Russian teams were truly better than Tai & Randy. As usual, much of the scoring was politics-based.

And yes the double twists we see being performed back then by many top teams are like the double twists we see juniors performing today in their early stages of learning the move. And of course, we also see this type of low double twist from teams who have technical issues and 'inability to attain enough height' issues which prevent them from performing the move spectacularly.
 

hanca

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They have excellent pair elements, but their main problem is Polina's inability to jump. She doesn’t have any triple jumps and has already said that she is planning to retire before moving to seniors.
They are now spending a lot of time in Saint-Petersburg working with Moskvina and her team.

My favorite Russian junior team right now is Atakhanova/Volodin, who teamed up only last winter
My favourite team is also A/V.

Regarding Panfilova/Rylov, they do have four more seasons of junior eligibility, so at this moment it doesn’t mean they urgently need the triples now. After all, even without them they were the highest scoring Russian junior pair at JGPF and they also beat internationally Boikova/Kozlovski at another JGP. Side-by-side jumps are only two elements and if someone consistently hits high levels of all other elements, they can get away in juniors with not having triples as long as they skat clean. In seniors it will be a different matter, but she has four years to get it, so plenty of time. About her not planning to do seniors, I read on Russian forum that she has changed her mind about that.

But there are some others who are worth watching. Last season I also liked Labazina/Rakhmaninov and Poluyanova/Sopot and Kvartalova/Sviatchenko. All of them now look like senior pairs, rather than tiny prepubescent girl with much older guy. Kostiukovich/Yalin can be also great if they are on, but they are not particularly consistent. I would love to see how Kudriavtseva/Spiridonov look now.
 
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savchenkoboss

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Yep, R/Z were amazing, especially technically. But I don't think the other Russian teams were truly better than Tai & Randy. As usual, much of the scoring was politics-based.

And yes the double twists we see being performed back then by many top teams are like the double twists we see juniors performing today in their early stages of learning the move. And of course, we also see this type of low double twist from teams who have technical issues and 'inability to attain enough height' issues which prevent them from performing the move spectacularly.

Tai & Randy also had superior line and musicality to Rodnina & Zaitsev, particularly when hitting their peak in 79 and 80. R&Z always change kind of strange and robotic music, but it worked well for them, but the lycrical style of B&G was beautiful to watch and a nice opposition to that. Both teams were amazing by then when it came to unision. It is so sad B&G had to withdraw from the 80 Olympics. The politics probably would have favored a R&Z win but the battle and extreme contrast in style of the two pairs would have made for a fascinating contest.
 

s_parks

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Lots of promise amongst the young Russian pairs.
Atakhanova/Volodin are also my favorite Russian juniors. She just has it and seems better matched with Volodin than her previous partner.
Mishina is great but I miss Mirzoev. Shame he had to retire due to injury.
I love Panfilova/Rylov but I'm not sure if she can get triples at this age, especially whilst keeping up with pair elements. I'd love for her to make it happen though, but I'm not holding my breath.

Pavliuchenko/Khodykin are the my favorites of all the Russian pairs. I initially thought that a senior debut might be a bit too soon and staying in juniors might be a good time to develop their skating more, but with several of the senior pairs not doing the GP it's a good time to make their move. Obviously they're young and their skating shows it, but they have strong tech and really hit their levels, with nice basics to boot. They seem the most likely to succeed.
Boikova/Kozlovskii have a great look and solid elements(thankfully it looks like the lack of height difference hasn't affected the pairs elements much) but we'll see if they can gain some more consistency.
 

aftershocks

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A new TSL interview with Aljona Savchenko ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb0_JIaFh8w&feature=youtu.be

There's lots of interesting discussion. At about 26:43, Aljona talks about her working relationship with the Knierims. Her coaching philosophy is based upon her experiences as an athlete. Toward the very end, Aljona responds to a question about whether Russian fed ever wanted her to skate for them. They surely wanted her later on when she achieved success! :lol:

Aljona reveals that when she split with her Ukranian partner, Stanislav Morosov, there were a number of successful Russian pairs. Aljona asked the coach of Petrova/ Tikhonov (Ludmila Sinitsina Velikova) if she could join her group, and if she might know about a possible pairs partner. Apparently, there was not a great deal of belief in Aljona's promise at that time. So Aljona was not accepted. But she believed in herself she said, and she never gave up. I think Aljona had a different look and a unique body structure. Her belief in herself and her abilities gave her the drive to pursue her dream despite the rejection. And Aljona ended up inspiring so many skaters to be all that they could be regardless of whether or not they fit the preferred pairs skater mold!

What Aljona leaves out is how she ended up meeting Ingo Steuer, who obviously also believed in her.* I think Ingo was working with Robin at the time, and Robin needed a new partner. The rest is history. Together, the three of them changed how we viewed pairs skating. I understand from the way Aljona talks today, she seemingly doesn't want to think too much about the difficulty of those years with Robin and Ingo. However, without them her dream would have had to be realized in a totally different way. She can't divorce the success she had with them from who she was when she paired with Bruno and pushed the envelope to go further beyond the limitations she was ultimately confronted with during her Three Musketeers adventure.

Of course, the difficulties with Robin and Ingo seemingly had to do with many things, including Aljona's up-and-down off-ice relationship with Ingo, and Ingo's troubles with the German fed, as well as the jealousy surrounding Ingo's success with S/S. (Wiki states that Robin also was barred from receiving German fed funding due to the fact he was working with an 'unauthorized coach.' :rolleyes: How awful of German fed! :mad:) Another cause of tension Aljona reveals in the TSL interview, is that Ingo was reluctant to relax control over the career decisionmaking for S/S, which is unfortunate. I do think that after their remarkable success with Pina in 2011-2012, it might have benefited all involved had they sought out fresh input from different sources. That was a hugely complicated program to put together and they were never able to fully explore it completely satisfactorily. But it was such a stroke of brilliance in its conception and unique approach. I would love to know more about how that program came together, and who thought of the idea initially. They kind of seemed drained in seasons thereafter, and somewhat stumped for new ideas.


* I checked Aljona's Wiki page which indicates that Aljona told a German journalist she was looking for a new partner after her split with Morozov. The journalist is said to have spoken to German coaches who suggested Robin Szolkowy. Aljona had seen Robin compete before and they ended up trying out. There's no reference to exactly how Ingo came into the picture though, not even on Robin's Wiki page. I thought that Robin had worked or was working with Ingo at the time he tried out with Aljona. Maybe Robin hooked up with Ingo informally during the year-and-a-half he was searching for a partner and practicing synchro to maintain his skating skills. Or perhaps Ingo was one of the German coaches who had suggested Robin as a possible partner for Aljona, and he later teamed with them.
 
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Mad for Skating

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Foolhardy Ham Lint

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Australia has a new junior pair with a lot of potential. (They have been training together since this time last year.)

They are following the successful model of pairing a Russian girl with an Australian man, with the same coaching team that Alexandrovskaya & Windsor had when they started out, too.

They skated what would appear to be a solid short program at a local national competition today in Melbourne.

This is the pdf sheet of their scores for anyone interested.

http://results.iceskatingvictoria.org.au/live/JuniorPairs_SP_Scores.pdf
 
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aftershocks

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Vlad & Evgenia rumored sp music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LhCd1W2V0Q

Alright. One thing I know for sure is, T/M hella better bring it or go home. :watch::eek: :p :rollin:

You guys got sumpin' to live up to, and def sumpin' to prove with this choice. LKravitz ain't no slouch -- he always bring his MF A-game...

Apparently T/M ain't touchin' the lyrics, just the instruments :lol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNTv5avjKbg
Tee hee -- Was this music Max's or Robin's idea? :p

Confirmation anyone? Choreographer please stand up and identify yo'self! :D


And this rumored change of pace for T/M's fp:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d5m6_Zwj5c The Winter - Balmorhea
Umm, and why didn't you ditch that nasty Candyman for this sublime melody at the Winter Olympics, huh? :duh: But oh well, moving forward hopefully with sass and style. You guys seriously have got to connect more with visible emotion on the ice. Try harder and better, please. :drama:


Didn't Hough and Ladret have a kick ass exhibition to this music back in the day? I think I saw it on SOI, maybe mid-90s?

The closest I've been able to find is Hough/Ladret skating to Body Language by Queen. And I suspect this is the exhibition you are thinking of:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2A_0o6Kpu4
 

aftershocks

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At AC, the Canadian commentators (I believe Debbi Wilkes and Ted Barton) said Denney/Frazier are coached by Brubaker and choreographed by Zoueva. Wrong bio info reading by Wilkes and Barton. D/F are now coached by John Z, and both of their programs were choreographed by Charlie White. In addition, Denney's hiccoughs on the jumps are likely still due to her struggling to regain physical healing and mental confidence with her jumping after her serious knee injury (2015-2016). Wilkes and Barton also did not realize Calalang/Johnson's background pairs partnering history, partly understandably as C/J are not a Canadian team. Wilkes and Barton also did not realize that Meite is now coached by John Z, as well as the fact that James/Cipres are choreographed this season by Guillaume Cizeron (sp) and Charlie White (fp).

What a stellar start to the season by James/Cipres. They are so dynamic and exciting to watch. They still are not being given enough credit for their difficult entrances, exits, transitions, and improved flow over the ice. They've always had a magical connection and fairly consistent jumping and wonderful athleticism that hasn't always been fully rewarded. J/C's transformational success under John Z and crew has evidently been inspirational and influential for many skaters (both pairs and singles).

Kirsten M-T is still coming back from injury, and she has spoken of her and Michael getting off to a late start for the season. Their new programs are nice for them, and should improve over the course of the season. Michael needs to steadily improve his partnering skills, particularly on lifts. Kirsten/Michael are definitely a team that I enjoy watching and I applaud their hard-won rise and their unexpected success last season. They obviously are aware of the added pressure of expectations this season, as Kirsten mentioned. But they have always seemed to focus wisely on staying within themselves and they have good coaches to guide them. It was cool watching Dylan M interview Kirsten and Michael in the kiss 'n cry after pairs fp. And Dylan also did a bit of commentating which was a fun and enlightening listen. :)

And I see in updated Program info spreadsheet that T/M's choreographer is Peter T for both programs. I'm expecting a lot.
 
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