The Dance Hall 7: Tripping the Light Fantastic 2019-2020

chantilly

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1,539
I will never get excited over a junior team ever again. Never again.
I have honestly avoided getting excited or invested in any juniors in general.

One because I didn’t really have the time to spend watching hours of streaming, though I could generally just see programs posted here, but mostly because I know how much the game changes in seniors.

So many juniors fall out for a myriad of reasons, so I just don’t bother.

My emotional investment is enough already without opening the door to more.
 

Dobre

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5,560
I do not know what is my favorite time period of ice dance. I very much liked 2016-2018 as the field was much more international than we used to have, the field was so deep, and there was so much movement as deductions for mistakes and lost levels were costly.

My favorite programs--those come from a pretty vast array of time periods. And my favorite teams do too. I think generally speaking you are going to love to watch the time period in which your favorite skaters compete. And you are going to remember those programs the most because you watch them and/or those of their competition many times.

There are some really outstanding programs I remember from Klimova & Ponomarenko, Grishuk & Platov, Anissina & Peizerat, Denkova & Staviski, Silverstein & Pekarek, the Shibs, Pechalat & Bourzat, Cappellini & Lanotte, and Weaver & Poje. But you know . . . there were also some outrageously awful programs at the same time. And those teams, themselves--they had great moments and less-than-great moments. You just hold onto the great ones.

Now that we are in a new quadrennium, I am loving watching the younger senior teams battling to break through. Though there are plenty of :wuzrobbed:yikes::mad::drama::confused: moments that come along with that. (Actually feel like the junior field has dropped off quite a bit & is in a rebuilding stage this season). But I am especially enjoying watching McNamara & Carpenter, Stepanova & Bukin, Nguyen & Kolesnik, & Hurtado & Khaliavin thus far this quadrennium. Also enjoyed seeing Guignard & Fabbri come into their own last season. The year after an Olympics is always a strange year because the stars tour & go on well-deserved vacations and used all their best program ideas the year before. (Not to mention the teams that pushed it too hard & have to heal from injuries).

Looking forward to seeing everybody bring it this season.
 
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VGThuy

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29,854
Yeah, not really. The rules of Ice dance relaxed and changed post 2014 which allowed more freedom of movement and construction of programmes.
That's very true, but there's still a big difference between what Gadbois was consistently putting out and what other major coaching centers were doing in the beginning when the rules were relaxed.
 

starrynight

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1,338
It beats me why ice dance fans actively want the discipline to cannibalise itself by there being only one training centre, one set of coaches and one approach to the discipline for every competing team.

It doesn't surprise me that so many people appreciate Piper & Paul. They are basically one of the only North American ice dance teams to be taking an individual path.
 

VGThuy

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29,854
It beats me why ice dance fans actively want the discipline to cannibalise itself by there being only one training centre, one set of coaches and one approach to the discipline for every competing team.

It doesn't surprise me that so many people appreciate Piper & Paul. They are basically one of the only North American ice dance teams to be taking an individual path.
I don't think anybody said that.
 

Michalle

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1,669
I always feel badly for Krylova & Ovsiannikov, Masquerade Waltz is one of the all time greats for me but doesn't always feel like it gets its due because their time at the top was so brief and it ended on such a sour note. That's part of why it has been so nice to see her having such success as a coach for awhile and I hope she can do well now that she is back in Russia. I like Popova & Mozgov a lot, but I don't know if they can crack a tight field, and especially I don't know how much international judges are going to go for their style - we'll see how it goes for them this season! This is just their second season together I think?
 

starrynight

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1,338
I don't think anybody said that.
I don't think I've ever read much on here in recent times that would make me think otherwise.

Even the last page of this thread proves my point, as even the unique programs of Pechalat/Bourzat have been erased from history because they weren't trained at Gadbois.

As much as everyone would like to deny it (because Marina/Igor bad vs Gadbois good), the quad of 2010 - 2014 was when the standard required to be at the top in ice dance sky rocketed. The technical proficiency of the teams in the top 10 greatly improved.
 
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VGThuy

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29,854
If we want to be fair, the whole trend of taking "dance" out of "ice dance" could probably be traced back to Grishuk/Platov. Ice Dance under IJS (and all the rules preceding IJS) basically made G/P's programs the uniform program construction for all ice dance teams. I know what I just said is controversial and many disagree with me, but that's honestly what I've observed watching ice dance evolve in retrospect. Don't @ me. :p
 

VGThuy

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29,854
I don't think I've ever read much on here in recent times that would make me think otherwise.
I think you're misconstruing what people are saying. Nobody said they only wanted one style or one coaching center to dominate ice dance. In fact, I said the opposite earlier in this thread regarding it being a good thing that Russia is taking ice dance seriously again (at least in politicking) to give a real stylistic difference to what Gadbois was offering, which I got mild push back from with a reasonable poster who did not agree with my assessment that Gadbois teams have stylistic similarities (I see that they do).

I just think for a lot of ice dance fans, 2010-2014 really saw a disappearance of a lot of actual dance in favor of itemized element-by-element judging where we saw a much higher rate of repeat elements (Davis/White did the same twizzles for at least four years in both SDs and FDs and never got dinged for it; did the same lifts for many programs, etc.). The blame was mostly for Igor/Marina for creating cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all programs (outside of V/M), the judges, and the Ice Dance tech committee for having rigid requirements. That's why people got overly excited about Pasquale Camerlengo/Anjelika Krylova's pedestrian choreography for a hot second in like 2012 because they seemed more dance and artistry inclined than Igor/Marina at the time.

So seeing Gadbois come in and really emphasize choreography, having a deeper and more vast dance vocabulary to put into their choreography compared to Igor and Marina, and pushing things alongside Carol Lane and other choreographers was like a much needed breath of fresh air to make things right in ice dance again in many people's minds. That and the ice dance tech committee increasingly relaxing rules (which does have its drawbacks too as it makes politicking even more powerful). Even Virtue/Moir got so much better with them as they finally had people who could choreograph up to V/M's talent and skill levels. That's not the same thing as wanting ONLY them to dominate or to coach. We just want all coaching centers to provide excellent dance choreography and real dance training.
 

starrynight

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1,338
Prior to 2010 though, all sorts of sloppy stuff got into the top 10 at Worlds.

A quad requiring strong focus on the actual quality of elements was a very good thing in my opinion.

Gadbois are just lucky that the main players in all the fan wars i.e. P/C and V/M trained with them. That's what drives most of this and facilitates all the criticism of Marina/Igor and D/W.
 
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VGThuy

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29,854
Prior to 2010 though, all sorts of sloppy stuff got into the top 10 at Worlds.

A quad requiring strong focus on the actual quality of elements was a very good thing in my opinion.
I don't disagree with you. I do think the 2010-2014 era was needed at least to teach the younger generation to clean up their ice dance technique and make sure they get their elements right. Which is why teams these days have such great elements and can now push it further. We had some sloppy ass execution prior, but I guess to be fair many of the top ice dance teams prior trained under 6.0 and did not grow up under IJS with its emphasis on GOE the way D/W and V/M did. They weren't trained to focus on "elements" the way we think about them under IJS. 6.0 ice dance was a different animal and more holistic.
 

starrynight

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Teams who could barely stand up on painfully slow twizzles and barely do lifts were getting close to the top 5 in worlds prior to 2010. I think it's easy to forget that and lose perspective of how revolutionary the athleticism shown by Davis/White and Virtue/Moir - along with all the new young teams was.

The idea of erasing that becomes less romantic when one thinks back to some of the technical fumbling that used to go on prior to them. They pushed the sport forward massively. All the flourishes provided by Gadbois couldn't be done unless all their teams they inherited were given the strong technical base they have because of those advancements.
 

Wyliefan

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I just find it hilarious that Marina is either a destroyer or a savior, depending on whether the subject is dance or pairs. :lol:
 

VGThuy

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29,854
Teams who could barely stand up on painfully slow twizzles and barely do lifts were getting close to the top 5 in worlds prior to 2010. I think it's easy to forget that and lose perspective of how revolutionary the athleticism shown by Davis/White and Virtue/Moir - along with all the new young teams was.

The idea of erasing that becomes less romantic when one thinks back to some of the technical fumbling that used to go on prior to them. They pushed the sport forward massively. All the flourishes provided by Gadbois couldn't be done unless all their teams they inherited were given the strong technical base they have because of those advancements.
One could respect it, but not find that period of ice dance particularly fun or compelling to watch. I consider it a "growing pains" period. Even with wobbly twizzles or whatever, I bet there are people who would still prefer watching teams and programs from previous eras. I do think IJS made some previously strong ice dance teams look wobbly as heck. I remember rewatching 2005 Worlds and being surprised at how shaky all of them were on twizzles and other elements other than Belbin/Agosto and Delobel/Schoenfelder. But again, looking at ice dance as a whole, not everyone cares about elements that the ice dance tech committee decided that IJS should reward. I know some old school fans who don't give a crap about twizzles, and think younger ice dance fans have only been conditioned to like such elements and theoretically (like society) they could totally revamp the current judging system or create an entirely new system where they no longer reward what we have been brought up thinking is important and start rewarding new things we didn't think to reward before, thus making these technically strong teams now all of a sudden struggle.
 

allezfred

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For me ice dance is about artistry and pure skating. It’s not about twizzles or seeing how many times you can hike your partner into complex ungainly positions. That’s why Papadakis/Cizeron’s “Le Parc” was such a breath of fresh air in 2014/2015. It was not ice dance by numbers.
 

Peepsquick

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310
It beats me why ice dance fans actively want the discipline to cannibalise itself by there being only one training centre, one set of coaches and one approach to the discipline for every competing team.

It doesn't surprise me that so many people appreciate Piper & Paul. They are basically one of the only North American ice dance teams to be taking an individual path.
1) It don't think that any one ever implied that!
2) I am one of the few people who wasn't enthused by Piper and Paul's FD last season and I have so far liked them a lot. I especially like the quirky side of their creativity and I was a big fan of their tango 2 seasons ago. I also think that Carole Lane is the force behind their originality. Do you know if she is coaching any other dance teams?
 

casken

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10,482
If we want to be fair, the whole trend of taking "dance" out of "ice dance" could probably be traced back to Grishuk/Platov. Ice Dance under IJS (and all the rules preceding IJS) basically made G/P's programs the uniform program construction for all ice dance teams.
I'm not quite getting what you mean? Their FD style changed radically from the 91-93 period, to the 94-96 period, and finally the 97-98 period?

It was really only around 95-96 that everyone was copying G&P style. FDs at 95/96 worlds were mostly by the book ballroom numbers ala G&P. By 97-98, teams starting venturing out again. (Not just G&P with "The Feeling Begins"... A&P with their middle eastern FD, L&A with "The Mask" FD, Romanova/Yaroshenko's attempt at a Chopin FD, Winkler/Lohse's Brubeck FD, etc)

I think the judges gifting the Duchenays a world title because the casual fans liked their tricks so much would be a better example, where everyone started doing more open, "highlight" concentrated FDs at the 92 Olympics as a result.
 

dramagrrl

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1,727
I also think that Carole Lane is the force behind their originality. Do you know if she is coaching any other dance teams?
Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs are almost always coaching a bunch of lower-ranked Canadian teams. Currently, they coach Molly Lanaghan and Dmitre Razgulajevs (Juris's son), who were sixth in the senior ranks in Canada last year. They also coach Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont, who were tenth at the junior level in Canada last year, but won two junior summer competitions recently. Irina Galiyanova and Grayson Lochhead were seventh in juniors at Canadians last year and recently competed at the Lake Placid JGP. I believe she also coaches Shaelene Katrayan/Jordan Derochie who are a junior team that didn't make it to Canadians last year, and Emma Goodstadt/Michael Barsoum, who are at the novice level.
 

dramagrrl

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1,727
For me ice dance is about artistry and pure skating. It’s not about twizzles or seeing how many times you can hike your partner into complex ungainly positions.
However, ice dance is currently still an Olympic-level sport and not a pure art form like ballet, so part of it actually is about twizzles and lifting your partner into complex positions, since those are some of the elements the skaters are actually being judged on in a supposedly objective way.
 

clairecloutier

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I’ve been watching since 1991. The early years with K/P, U/Z, and the Duchesnays were great, and Lillehammer was exciting. My least favorite quads were the next two: 1994-1998 and 1998-2002. All the quads since then have been pretty enjoyable to me. 2017-18 was a highlight year, with the great rivalry of P/C and V/M, plus, as @Dobre said, the increasing depth of the field and the rise of smaller/newer countries in ice dance. Last year felt a bit like recovery mode.
 

lauravvv

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I am one of the few people who wasn't enthused by Piper and Paul's FD last season and I have so far liked them a lot. I especially like the quirky side of their creativity and I was a big fan of their tango 2 seasons ago. I also think that Carole Lane is the force behind their originality.
As far as I know, Juris Razgulajevs (their second coach) is their main choreographer.
 

Enchanted

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1,411
I don't think I've ever read much on here in recent times that would make me think otherwise.

Even the last page of this thread proves my point, as even the unique programs of Pechalat/Bourzat have been erased from history because they weren't trained at Gadbois.

As much as everyone would like to deny it (because Marina/Igor bad vs Gadbois good), the quad of 2010 - 2014 was when the standard required to be at the top in ice dance sky rocketed. The technical proficiency of the teams in the top 10 greatly improved.
To each of their own I guess.

I wouldn't call Pechalat/Bourzat's programs unique. Granted, I haven't seen them all. I would call them trashy and tacky. IMO, they were lacking in deeper artistic understanding and I have the same feeling with Piper and Paul. The final finetuning and deeper analysis is lacking. There's no real intellectuality. All of them would have also needed more actual dance training. The movement is not quite there either.

For Pechalat/Bourzat's credit I have to say that they were sort of a nice team when you saw them live. They were better skaters than Piper and Paul are.
 

allezfred

Baby Jolly Man Face
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However, ice dance is currently still an Olympic-level sport and not a pure art form like ballet, so part of it actually is about twizzles and lifting your partner into complex positions, since those are some of the elements the skaters are actually being judged on in a supposedly objective way.
Ice dance has been an Olympic sport since 1976. It has been contested at Worlds level since the 1950s. The idea that it needs twizzles and ungainly lift positions to maintain its place is a notion that has no basis in reality.
 

dramagrrl

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Ice dance has been an Olympic sport since 1976. It has been contested at Worlds level since the 1950s. The idea that it needs twizzles and ungainly lift positions to maintain its place is a notion that has no basis in reality.
Fortunately, you don’t make the rules. In 1976, the level of athleticism required in, say, gymnastics, another judged artistic sport, was very different from the level required to be competitive today. Skills are constantly changing. It’s fine if you personally prefer the 1976 version of ice dance, but saying ice dance is “not about” twizzles and complex lifts is not actually true today.
 

starrynight

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1,338
Ice dance is a discipline beleaguered with controversy. In 1998 the president of the USFSA called for ice dancing to be suspended from competition for a year while the judges figured out how they were meant to judge programs. It's legitimacy as a sport was very much in question.

It's not accurate to suggest that it was a utopia in previous eras. (Of course, unless you were a fan of a team favoured by a voting bloc and with no pesky high risk elements like twizzles or points per element to interfere in a fave's guaranteed win. Or perhaps the comforting certainty of such a system is where the nostalgia comes from).

This article is an interesting read if we want to talk about previous eras of ice dance: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1998-02-18-9802180049-story.html

It talks about how at the 1998 Olympics the only rankings changed by the free dance were the 20th and 21st places. And how in previous events in the 1997-1998 season, top teams falling didn't even stop a win. A bit of a joke, really.

As frustrating as it is on occasion to have teams basically placed via twizzle quality alone, ice dance did need some kind of high risk, easily visible element that placed a 'do or die' component into the program where dancers could actually risk coming unstuck in ways the judges are forced to acknowledge .
 
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NinjaTurtles

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Twizzles are being overly maligned here as well. They’re not a complete surrogate for measuring skating skills, but they’re a damn good way to assess a team’s mastery of edges, turns, and steps. Does it take strength to do a set of Twizzles? Yes. Is it the same type of ‘athletic’ effort as doing an acrobatic lift? No. The ability to twizzle well is a reflection on a skater’s blade control, ability to push deep edges with ease, and skill at changing directions with speed and flow.
 

casken

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Ice dance is a discipline beleaguered with controversy. In 1998 the president of the USFSA called for ice dancing to be suspended from competition for a year while the judges figured out how they were meant to judge programs.
Morry Stilwell? The guy who took his personal grudge with Tonya Harding to these very message boards? That old loon? That literally means nothing.

Also, shitting on the compulsories becuase we're not good at them is not an argument that ever worked on me, right back to that obnoxious segment Scott Hamilton did on them in 94. The one where he's sitting in the stands, reading a newspaper rather than watch them? Jerk.

It's not accurate to suggest that it was a utopia in previous eras.
I didn't see anyone suggest that.
with no pesky high risk elements like twizzles or points per element to interfere in a fave's guaranteed win
The idea that all the twisting and turning, crisscrossing, blind, behind the back holds and connecting movements G&P did, especially at the speed they did them, weren't high risk is... a choice.
And how in previous events in the 1997-1998 season, top teams falling didn't even stop a win.
G&P lost the OD at 98 Euros to K&O when they fell. The only controversial "fall and win" case in G&P's entire career was probably winning the OD over A&P at the 1998 GPF. The bigger scandal was B&K coming in second ahead of A&P in that phase.

I don't want to live in a world where Moniotte and Lavanchy would be world champions becuase of a one second trip from G&P. No thanks.

Also, Scott Moir fell in the FD at 2017 worlds and still won overall, so...
 
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VGThuy

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29,854
I just find it hilarious that Marina is either a destroyer or a savior, depending on whether the subject is dance or pairs. :lol:
That's because she hasn't done enough damage in pairs in the IJS modern era yet. To be fair, I find that she's probably great at editing, finishing, polishing, and making her teams feel an emotional attachment to her which can boost their confidence/delusion which can be great for competition or make a team and/or their fans bitter if things don't go their way.

What she's not great at is coming up with choreography from scratch nor does she have a vast dance vocabulary thus making her choreography look very limited. She needs to have someone else do most of the work for her first so she can later edit, and in Igor's case, seriously improve it. The explosion of Igor/Marina and then their separation really illustrated both Igor's and Marina's own limitations. They really were stronger together.

I think pairs would be a better discipline for her since so much of it is taken up by jumping passes, overhead lifts, death spirals, spins, etc. so she won't have too much to choreograph and she can stylize those big elements with the music. With ice dance, although there are required elements, it all has to look like one big dance and that's where her limitations hurt her. Plus, in the U.S. there is a calling for some good choreographers in pairs.
 
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