The Dance Hall 6: We're All Off Our Rockers 2018-2019

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Bigbird

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Hey but they are fast and have a certain sharpness and smoothness. It's the SS that got the judges I think this season because that FD choreography was a snoozefest.
 

Dobre

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I think the second part is the better part--if brief (as they come more alive for that section). But I don't think I will remember the program beyond the fact that S&K used G&P and K&P's music. And I don't think I will remember P&C's. I'm pretty sure. I've been watching it all season, and I don't remember anything from the final version except that she jumps on him and wraps her legs around his waist for the one lift. I assume that lift is still in the program. I'm pretty sure they ditched the other element that I remember from the early version. But I'm not 100% sure because I keep drifting in the middle of it and thinking about spectacularly exciting other topics like what I need from the grocery store. I realize this is my problem not theirs. You love what you love. Also, I never saw P&C's FD live and it is the only program from the top 11 that I never saw live this season so that is part of why I never had as strong of an impression of it as many of the others.

I will remember S&K's RD. It was great.
 

laviemn

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Just to keep to relatively recent (last 5 years) NA top ice dance—Tessa Virtue, Meryl Davis, Maia Shibutani, Kaitlyn Weaver, Madison Chock, Alexandra Paul, and Laurence Fournier Beaudry (as of this season) have all always shown up in dresses that make them look like a million bucks. I love H/D, but the mom-made costumes miss far more than they hit.
Before I congratulate these women for looking more expensive than Madison Hubbell, I would like to know the net worth of their parents and, for first four, what they were pulling in for shows for the last half of their careers.

Did S/K beat H/D in PCS at Worlds because Victoria wore the same tepid color in a more flattering cut than Madison? Depressing thought.

If H/D are going to spend a significant amount of money they may not even have, absolutely prioritize the choreography over the costumes. Marie-France spread her creative energy too thin this season, and it looks like next season will be the same. There's the Canadian tour, there's already Ilyushechkina/Bilodeau, and probably more jobs are coming. And I think when a top team switches coaches, the new coaches must be highly motivated to make them look better than the previous year with their old coaches, and Chock/Bates benefitted from that. I do think more effort was put into finding the right vehicles for them. Meanwhile, P/C were getting choreo from Dean and Lambiel, and H/D kind of slipped through the cracks.

I think the coaches share the blame in this. H/D were having trouble picking something, they threw out the idea, and I think it was Romain who signed off on it. I think if they’d been with Zoueva, Shpilband, or Camerlengo, the RJ idea would have been met with a “no” and suggestions of other things to consider instead.
But I'm not sure I agree that they would have had better advice from Zoueva, Shpilband, or Camerlengo, who have all sent their top teams out with poorly chosen material at one time or another. To start the last quad with a bang, Zoueva gave the Shibs that bland waltz in their first year as her top team, and Camerlengo gave H/D that messy Great Gatsby FD. Everyone makes a bad choice from time to time. The choices Gadbois made for H/D have mostly worked.
 
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Katha

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SinKats don't emote all over the place to Bach. I think they a good job with Bach with appropriate movement to the music, it's the second piece where they emote all over the place, and the problem is the crappy choreography in that choreo step sequence
No, no, you don't get it, the DRAMZ! part at the end is a sekret masterpiece! :D It's a metaphor for the endless ice dance struggle: He's saying "Oh noez, Vika, Dostatni is the tech specialist!" , she says "Damn! We will get a random level two for no reason somewhere now!" and then they both rage at the skating gods! :drama: It makes perfect sense. :p
:2faced:
IMO the Bach part is reasonably well choreographed to the music and they've performed it well all season, but it's not particularly original. The dramatic part is a flaily mess, but they were really committed to selling that nonsense and it is a neat reminder of olden times, when ice dance was full of random melodramatic, cheesy programs. :inavoid:

The FD was fine for this year. And IMO they profited from the fact that not many of the other programs were real standouts either. Next year they need to do something more challenging and original. The RD was great, so they've shown that they are capable of it.
 

laviemn

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I'm acutally more interested in watching how S/K handle being the #2 team in the world next season. Watching Katsalapov cope with the expectations of his talent has always been more fascinating than watching his programs. S/K's two strongest seasons were preceded by seasons that ended at Russian Nationals in December. They started working on next season's programs when other top teams were still competing this season's programs. Next fall everyone will meet with a more or less equal amount of preparation (knocking on wood that everyone avoids injury).
 

Dobre

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The Transition

I haven't done any posts about the first-year senior teams this season as there really is no comparison between last year's SB scores and this year's. But we now have loads of time and this seems like a good time to look back over the results for this year's crop of freshman teams transitioning up to seniors. (Feel free to let me know if I have forgotten anyone).

As always, I have limited the scores below to ISU international events. SB scores are in bold type. There are a couple teams--Popova & Byelikov and Friend & Badoui--that competed both junior & senior events this year and competed both during the previous season and/or season before that. As this is not technically their debut season in seniors, I have left them off the list below.

Freshman Class:

180.22 Carreira & Ponomareko-Tallinn
179.78 Skoptcova & Aleshin-Tallinn

177.49 Carreira & Ponomarenko-Nebelhorn
174.21 Carreira & Ponomarenko-Rostelecom
174.04 Carreira & Ponomarenko-U.S. Classic
167.94 Shpilevaya & Smirnov-Finlandia
167.28 Carreira & Ponomarenko-Helsinki GP
159.96 Skoptcova & Aleshin-NHK
158.65 Shpilevaya & Smirnov-Inge Solar (they had a fall)
147.99 Skoptcova & Aleshin-Skate Canada (they had a fall)
142.12 Ichilov & Davidovich-Europeans
130.45 Ichilov & Davidovich-Golden Spin
130.92 Ning & Wang-Four Continents
130.60 Ichilov & Davidovich-Finlandia
129.42 Calderone & Pappetti-Lombardia
116.89 Ning & Wang-Asian Open

First-Year Senior Statistics:
-Teams that medaled on the GP: 1 (Carreira & Ponomarenko)
-Teams that medaled on the CS: 2 (Carreira & Ponomarenko, Skoptcova & Aleshin)
-Teams that finished top 24 on the SB list: 2 (Carreira & Ponomarenko, Skoptcova & Aleshin)
-Teams predicted to finish top 24 on this season’s World Standings list: 1 (Carreira & Ponomarenko)
-Teams that qualified for the post season via Europeans or 4CCs: 2 (Ichilov & Davidovich, Ning & Wang)
-Teams that qualified for Worlds: 1 (Ichilov & Davidovich)
-Teams that split: 0

First-Year Senior Nationals results:
-Ichilov & Davidovich finished first at Israeli Nationals.
-Ning & Wang finished third at Chinese Nationals.
-Calderone & Pappetti finished fourth at Italian Nationals.
-Carreira & Ponomarenko finished fifth at U.S. Nationals.
-Skoptcova & Aleshin finished fifth at Russian Nationals.
-Shpilevaya & Smirnov finished sixth at Russian Nationals.

Thoughts: First, I notice two things. This is the first time we have had a GP medal for a transitioning team since I have been recording transitioning team scores (3 years). Also this is the first season I haven't heard of a split prior to posting my end-of-the-season transition post. Have a feeling--in both cases--that the openings available during a post-Olympic season have helped with this particular outcome. It probably is not coincidental that the last transitioning team I can think of that medaled on the GP (Hawayek & Baker) also did so during a post-Olympic season.
 
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TheresMaude

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<I think H/D just don't have the money to go outside for choreo. They've been very open about her mom making her costumes because that's what they can afford.>
Where does the difference in budget between them and other top teams lie? Their families' financial situations? Federation support? Commercial sponsorships? For instance, do Chock and Bates have a bigger budget, and, if so, any idea why?
 

Firedancer

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I know in past interviews (don’t remember which one) H/D have mentioned that they are not able to work while training in Canada. So while some skaters are able to coach in their free time to earn additional money, H/D are not.
 

levineismine

I believed in Hubbell&Donohue before it was cool
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I know in past interviews (don’t remember which one) H/D have mentioned that they are not able to work while training in Canada. So while some skaters are able to coach in their free time to earn additional money, H/D are not.
Excerpt from last summer's interview Link

"IDC: Until last season you were still crowdfunding for part of your training expenses. Have your recent results and Olympic exposure helped you with this, and did you find new sponsors?


ZD: No, no, no, no. There aren’t many sponsorships for ice dance teams, and they are mostly centered around the beautiful girl of the partnership and the guy is kind of left to die.


MH: It is challenging to find a financial sponsor. A lot of times you’ll get product sponsors, like we have with Voss, which is really helpful. They send us Voss water for free and we post about it. They support us in that way, but there is no contract. We do have one sponsor that helps us, which is Shaklee, and they give us plenty of products, proteins, and vitamins to help us with our training. There are also placement bonuses, for example, for qualifying for the Olympic team. We had the Topps trading cards. My uncle, who’s a big sports fan, went to the shop to buy them and someone recognized me and said, “OMG, that’s your niece, she’s on a Topps card, so she must be a millionaire now.” Well, I think people have a warped sense in that they think everything is paid for an Olympian, but it depends on the sport. There are great things about being a U.S. athlete and we have a great federation, but they have so many good athletes they have to help, so the money gets spread out. Definitely the results and SOI helped financially, but we’ll still be looking for other donations. Also, the biggest pain is living here in Canada and not being able to work. We try and go to Lake Placid when we can for shows or seminars, so we’ll just keep going like this."

I believe after this, Madi got a deal with a car dealership in the US and she has a car from them now. I don't recall them posting about other sponsorships.
Hopefully this year's prize money from competitions has helped.
 

Debbie S

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Where does the difference in budget between them and other top teams lie? Their families' financial situations? Federation support? Commercial sponsorships? For instance, do Chock and Bates have a bigger budget, and, if so, any idea why?
The USFS funding amounts for the different envelope levels are listed somewhere on their website. H/D were in the highest envelope - A1 - this season. The prize money amounts for GPs and ISU championships (and WTT) are posted on the ISU website. And H/D are earning income from SOI, as they noted in their comments posted above. As for their (and other skaters') families' finances, they aren't any of our business, beyond what they share publicly. Elite skating training is expensive and anyone, unless they are a millionaire, is going to struggle and sacrifice to pay for it.

ETA: Ooops, it appears I was wrong about that and they are not publicly listed.
 
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Dobre

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Per GS, a couple more JGP teams that are aging up:
(I edited the list above).

Guo & Zhao
Seclet-Monchot & Manceaux
 

mollymgr

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Is this the ISU's premptive strike to say no predictable Oscar trends or finger gun pointing programs?:rofl: They must have a special rubber stamp that looks like Grumpy Cat and a big NO.
Music from movie soundtracks which are not movie musicals such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, A Star is Born or soundtrack music from Star Wars, James Bond are “compilations of music/songs/tracks” and not a “musical”.
 

skatfan

a Rhythm Dance to Springtime with Hitler please?
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Is this the ISU's premptive strike to say no predictable Oscar trends or finger gun pointing programs?:rofl: They must have a special rubber stamp that looks like Grumpy Cat and a big NO.
Music from movie soundtracks which are not movie musicals such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, A Star is Born or soundtrack music from Star Wars, James Bond are “compilations of music/songs/tracks” and not a “musical”.
The best definition I heard for a musical is that when the characters break into song, they don’t know they are singing.

So much for Bohemian Rhapsody songs for the RD!
 

skatfan

a Rhythm Dance to Springtime with Hitler please?
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Not true!

In the Buffy musical episode (Once More With Feeling) they know they're singing, and try to figure out why ("I've Got a Theory").
Not true!

In the Buffy musical episode (Once More With Feeling) they know they're singing, and try to figure out why ("I've Got a Theory").
Never seen either show. I wonder if the ISU would consider them true musicals.

Guess there are a couple of exceptions to this “rule” which works for most situations, like A Star is Born where the characters are literally playing and singing on stage versus something like Into the Woods.
 

Orm Irian

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Never seen either show. I wonder if the ISU would consider them true musicals.

Guess there are a couple of exceptions to this “rule” which works for most situations, like A Star is Born where the characters are literally playing and singing on stage versus something like Into the Woods.
The Buffy episode and any given episode of Galavant should count as musicals because the songs in them have a narrative function: they serve to advance the story, not just to illustrate or elaborate on something that's already happened in the dialogue, and the music is non-diegetic. A Star is Born wouldn't count because the content of the songs doesn't advance the narrative - story happens around rather than through the performances - and the music is diegetic (happening in-world). Most of Glee wouldn't count either because for a show that was supposed to be a musical it very rarely used its music to actually advance the story - it was more often used to heighten emotional impact. Plus most of the music isn't original and what was original was, frankly, dire.

Now Blackpool is where things start to get tricky with regard to what counts as a musical from TV...

So much for Bohemian Rhapsody songs for the RD!
There's always We Will Rock You, which has a lot of overlap. Jukebox musicals are allowed! But that would be tricky to get a quickstep rhythm from.
 

marbri

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<snip>


MH: It is challenging to find a financial sponsor. A lot of times you’ll get product sponsors, like we have with Voss, which is really helpful. They send us Voss water for free and we post about it. They support us in that way, but there is no contract. We do have one sponsor that helps us, which is Shaklee, and they give us plenty of products, proteins, and vitamins to help us with our training. There are also placement bonuses, for example, for qualifying for the Olympic team. ........
So do I understand correctly that all these skaters posing with Voss water on social media are advertising for the company, with no contract, for free? Because I don't consider bottled water payment when you can just turn on the tap and get it for free? I've always been a bit weary of the whole Voss water based on the concept of shipping water in plastic bottles to places with good and safe tap water BUT way to take advantage of skaters desperate for sponsorships because I am not seeing the benefit here for the athlete?
 

sharsk8s

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I think Madison does the designs and then a dressmaker does the actual sewing/construction.
Same as Guillaume designs for p/c and some of the other gadbois teams. I think the dress maker has some input in the design but mainly just actually creates it
 

starrynight

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So do I understand correctly that all these skaters posing with Voss water on social media are advertising for the company, with no contract, for free? Because I don't consider bottled water payment when you can just turn on the tap and get it for free? I've always been a bit weary of the whole Voss water based on the concept of shipping water in plastic bottles to places with good and safe tap water BUT way to take advantage of skaters desperate for sponsorships because I am not seeing the benefit here for the athlete?
I guess the benefit for the skaters is in the brand. Once you look *in demand* from one brand it might boost your appeal for other sponsors perhaps.

Weaver/Poje have the same arrangement with Voss and Shaklee. W/P actually went and presented at the Shaklee Annual General Meeting last year, so I suppose at least they would have got a paid for trip to Las Vegas at least?
 

puglover

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Just me slow to the races but I never really got Chock/Bates until this year. All I saw was the size difference and that she was a real show stopper. I thought they were so refreshing and fun this year. I loved both their dances. I didn't really see them as contenders in a big way before but with another good set of programs I think they could be.
 

marbri

Hey, Kool-Aid!
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I guess the benefit for the skaters is in the brand. Once you look *in demand* from one brand it might boost your appeal for other sponsors perhaps.

Weaver/Poje have the same arrangement with Voss and Shaklee. W/P actually went and presented at the Shaklee Annual General Meeting last year, so I suppose at least they would have got a paid for trip to Las Vegas at least?
Shaklee is different as they are actually getting something for free so I see how it benefits both parties. I was just surprised by the water and remain a bit cynical (with the company, not the skaters of course).
 

Ka3sha

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Some news and interviews from Russia:

- Elena Ilinykh has officially retired
She is now focusing on their Academy and new projects

Interview with Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin
When the journalist visited them at their rink, the guys were working on their FD. For now they chose a soundtrack to one of Pedro Almodovar's films, but the final decision has yet to be taken.
Sara says that she designs most of their costumes , but they will be working with Spanish fashion designer Juan Vidal this year - he saw them on TV and contacted Sara

Fun and fluffy video interview with Aleksandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin
(guys are playing hockey, doing some small challengers and etc )
They haven't chosen music for their programs, still thinking and looking for music. Aleksandra thinks that it's pretty hard to find some appropriate music for the rhyth-dance since skaters can use only music from musicals and they have little choice (she didn't mention operettas or broadway shows :confused:)
They are glad that together with SinKats they have finally managed to get 3 spots back. They will continue working on their costumes with Russian fashion designer Valentin Udashkin , who did their costumes this season.
 

clairecloutier

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Interview with Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin
When the journalist visited them at their rink, the guys were working on their FD. For now they chose a soundtrack to one of Pedro Almodovar's films, but the final decision has yet to be taken.
Sara says that she designs most of their costumes , but they will be working with Spanish fashion designer Juan Vidal this year - he saw them on TV and contacted Sara

Great interview with Hurtado/Khaliavin! Lots of good details about them. (I adore this team.)

It was interesting to read that Ksenia Monko, Kirill's former partner and now wife, was the one who first suggested a tryout for Sara and Kirill. It sounds like she has been very, very supportive of them. Kudos to her for this!
 

Bigbird

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Great interview with Hurtado/Khaliavin! Lots of good details about them. (I adore this team.)

It was interesting to read that Ksenia Monko, Kirill's former partner and now wife, was the one who first suggested a tryout for Sara and Kirill. It sounds like she has been very, very supportive of them. Kudos to her for this!
When they first came out I had such high hopes, I wanted to see how being able to relax would elevate their presence on ice. But I find them just as tight and bland as when they first started. Zhulin tries to give them great material but meh. They have absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. Kiril, is either expressionless or overtop. Maybe they might surprise me and skate with a bit more ease this coming season. I find Drozd and Konkina much more interesting and they're just beginning.
 

Emerald66

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^^ I like H/K much more than S/D but they do lack spark imo. The fd they had this year certainly didn't help. I'd love to see what they'd do with one of Pedro Almodovar's movie soundtracks. Could have great potential.
 
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