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

muffinplus

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H&D's FD last year made it clear to me that her arms are not especially graceful/balletic. Elegant and musical, yes, but maybe limited. This year's FD should have been a knockout, but I'm bored and annoyed enough that I notice it again. :( I really hope they take time between now and Nationals to spruce their program up. Their RD is as bad as everyone else's, so a bit of a shrug to that. I'm not sure what material they need to do again. How many truly good FD's have they had? 2017/2018, for sure, but even their Tron FD got mixed reviews for awhile. I'm not sure where they go next, other than needing new lifts.

I'm surprised so many aren't into P&C's FD. I think it's wonderful - a natural progression from 2017. There's a new strength to their skating, particularly hers. The poem doesn't bother me any more than bad singing would, and we get enough of that. Their lifts are a step up while still being very much a work of art. This is not normally my taste and can feel a little self-indulgent if not done well, so a massive kudos to them. I hope they deliver the RD like they want to at Europeans or Worlds. It's a great program, but it can look wild when it's not on!

The Tron FD is one of H/F's best
 

chameleonster

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Ugh, I'm still disappointed we didn't get a stream from GS. I'm so curious to see how much Green/Parsons have improved even just since Warsaw. A month ago I thought for sure they'd place 6th at Nationals, but now I'm not so certain. Definitely think they can at least place ahead of M/C.
Well it seems like M/C had a bit of a disaster, given the Level 1 on the lift and Level 2 on the spin, but Green/Parsons definitely are no slouches. I just hope everyone delivers at Nationals.
 

starrynight

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Until there is an actual competition for the gold medal, dance just isn't going to hold my attention much. The way I see it, we have two and half more seasons of this holding pattern of P/C skating solemn FDs in plain costumes with sheer panels until they get their Olympic gold medal.

Then following that, fingers crossed things might get interesting again. It's no good for the discipline to not have competition at the top.

The same few teams who have been around forever flip-flopping silver and bronze just isn't high enough stakes. Particularly when a lot of the programs aren't that great.
 
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Peepsquick

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Until there is an actual competition for the gold medal, dance just isn't going to hold my attention much. The way I see it, we have two and half more seasons of this holding pattern of P/C skating solemn FDs in plain costumes with sheer panels until they get their Olympic gold medal.

Then following that, fingers crossed things might get interesting again. It's no good for the discipline to not have competition at the top.

The same few teams who have been around forever flip-flopping silver and bronze just isn't high enough stakes. Particularly when a lot of the programs aren't that great.
Do you also get bored when an athlete wins over and over again? It is not just a matter of taste. They are really good. That said, I don't see why having a strong(er) team means that the enjoyment of the competition is gone. I thought that the GPF was quite exciting and full of surprises, including P/C getting in difficulty.
 

oleada

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(Uber rant incoming)

I can’t wait until Khuda accends to be rightful position at the top of Russian junior ice dance :drama: I think that Shanaeva/Nerizhny have a more complex and interesting program, but Khuda and minion are much stronger skaters and their elements should’ve gotten higher GOE. They got first group scores when this was a much better performance than either of their JGPs. That is all. :drama:

Kazakova/Reviya have one of the most creative and memorable free dances this year and I’m so happy they got rewarded.
 

Colonel Green

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Has a team ever won both their events and then not medaled at the Final before? I can't think of any examples of that off the top of my head.
 

starrynight

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Do you also get bored when an athlete wins over and over again? It is not just a matter of taste. They are really good. That said, I don't see why having a strong(er) team means that the enjoyment the competition is gone. I thought that the GPF was quite exciting and full of surprises, including P/C getting in difficulty.
In ice dance, yes.

Unless there's a rivalry going on and top teams are being pushed hard for the gold, there isn't anything to really get excited about.

This is literally the season of PC demonstrating they can win when skating to the sound of the phonebook being read out. lol And you always wonder what more they could do if they weren't guaranteed gold every time.

The level of competition and advancement in ladies and mens skating is in stark contrast to what dance is.
 
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Gris

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They got first group scores when this was a much better performance than either of their JGPs.
Khudaiberdieva and Filatov were the only team to receive a level 1 on StSq today (level 3 for Georgians and Frenchs, level 2 for all other 3 teams) and I think that made a difference between bronze and 4th.

(IIRC in real time it was called a level 2 but was downgraded after review)
 

Bigbird

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On the contrary CB are getting better and better and HD will try to keep pace as they want to have that IAM sweep. Today was not a catastrophe. We said all season what a dudd SK's FD was. It may have been skated with soul hence the PCS but when we get over our righteous indignation and look at how wobbly their elements were they'll see this was a wakeup call. They just need to work on their strength and stamina.
 

oleada

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Khudaiberdieva and Filatov were the only team to receive a level 1 on StSq today (level 3 for Georgians and Frenchs, level 2 for all other 3 teams) and I think that made a difference between bronze and 4th.

(IIRC in real time it was called a level 2 but was downgraded after review)
#ISUApologizeToKhuda #FairSkatingUnion :mitchell:

;)
 

thvudragon

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Maybe we're jumping to conclusions too soon as I just rewatched their ChSl a few times and haven't found anything that would be considered as a fall at all. :eek: It was indeed a bit wobbly, especially on her part though.
Reposting something from the FD thread:

Sinitsina lost her balance and shifted weight onto her knee to keep balance. In any element, this would be considered a fall.

The choreographic sliding element is the only element where skaters are allowed to keep balance with anything other than their blades. The caveat to that is the movement must be controlled. Once Sinitsina lost her balance, the movement was no longer controlled, so her keeping balance on her knee was considered a fall.
 

Peepsquick

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In ice dance, yes.

Unless there's a rivalry going on and top teams are being pushed hard for the gold, there isn't anything to really get excited about.

This is literally the season of PC demonstrating they can win when skating to the sound of the phonebook being read out. lol

The level of competition and advancement in ladies and mens skating is in stark contrast to what dance is.
I disagree ... ladies and men are just easier to judge because of the jumps but I do prefer the RD in those categories because it is not one jump after the other. I find the jumping frenzy quite boring and it doesn't add up to advancement for me. Give me Jason or Kevin with a few good jumps and I am over the moon. The quads leave me cold ...
I guess that it is the beauty of this sport. We each find something/someone different to like or appreciate ;)
 

Bigbird

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Reposting something from the FD thread:

Sinitsina lost her balance and shifted weight onto her knee to keep balance. In any element, this would be considered a fall.

The choreographic sliding element is the only element where skaters are allowed to keep balance with anything other than their blades. The caveat to that is the movement must be controlled. Once Sinitsina lost her balance, the movement was no longer controlled, so her keeping balance on her knee was considered a fall.
The previous ending was better.
 

firstflight

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thvudragon

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So, aside from the intro, Hubbell & Donohue's Free Dance is a complete re-work. Different element order, new (old) elements, and complete scrapping of old highlights (like the choreographic steps.) For the most part, I like the changes. It makes the program better, but it's still not a great program (or concept.)

My one real gripe is that the new choreographic steps are horrible. They're placed to try to highlight the chorus of Shallow, but it's just so poorly done. Their movements aren't flowing at all. It would be so easy to dance rhythmically to "in the sha-sha-shaaa-alowwwww." They are going more for dramatic when they need to being going more for emotional. It could just be that they haven't had enough time to choreographic anything good, but it still doesn't work.

They can't keep doing this. They can't keep spending the a month in the fall season creating new elements and completing a rework of a program. Other teams are passing them by while they're not working on refinements.
 

wickedwitch

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So, aside from the intro, Hubbell & Donohue's Free Dance is a complete re-work. Different element order, new (old) elements, and complete scrapping of old highlights (like the choreographic steps.) For the most part, I like the changes. It makes the program better, but it's still not a great program (or concept.)

My one real gripe is that the new choreographic steps are horrible. They're placed to try to highlight the chorus of Shallow, but it's just so poorly done. Their movements aren't flowing at all. It would be so easy to dance rhythmically to "in the sha-sha-shaaa-alowwwww." They are going more for dramatic when they need to being going more for emotional. It could just be that they haven't had enough time to choreographic anything good, but it still doesn't work.

They can't keep doing this. They can't keep spending the a month in the fall season creating new elements and completing a rework of a program. Other teams are passing them by while they're not working on refinements.
I preferred the program how it was at SA/SC. Given the past two seasons, they don't seem to understand what to tweak about their programs. In both cases, far fewer changes were needed -- if they were the right changes. That would allow them to spend more time polishing their programs.

I think they've lost their identity as a team. They need to find it before they choreograph programs for next season.
 

Plusdinfo

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I think they've lost their identity as a team. They need to find it before they choreograph programs for next season.
I think they've gone too mainstream/popular with their free dances two seasons in a row when they're capable of and probably better suited to slightly unknown music WITH BETTER MUSIC EDITS. I've had the feeling they wanted to be trendy/fan-friendly without considering what makes competitive programs interesting/effective. I first saw them live in fall 2013, and their musical selections and interpretation made me a big fan. Last season's free dance and this season's? Hard to be on board for them, although I thought their speed and commitment were great today. I'm not sure they "should" be put in charge of their music; it seems they overthink and aren't picking things well.

Just my thoughts.
 

VGThuy

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H&D's FD last year made it clear to me that her arms are not especially graceful/balletic. Elegant and musical, yes, but maybe limited.
This is one of many things that keep me from truly loving them despite their incredible qualities. I don’t think they were ever good actual dancers but had a lot of athletic prowess and speed to be able to do choreographed movements like Zach’s bicycle kicks and such to make it look like they did. The biggest issue for me is lot of sloppiness throughout that they still haven’t really worked on. During the in-betweens when they are “simply” skating together, they even have trouble matching leg lines and having that great unison or just cleanliness between them that the best teams have. I think the “sloppy” image adds up to ever prevent them from being a contender against P/C despite maybe being able to match or at least come close to having the speed and power of P/C. When I say “sloppy” I don’t mean they are sloppy but when they are competing for the top spot they do have that in comparison to the top teams (at least the ones that aren’t being artificially politicked to garner higher PCS and GOEs then they deserve). In other words, they make it look like labor while P/C just make it look so innate. Even V/M more content-heavy and laborious choreo showed off V/M’s “naturalness” with their skills and just being one with one another so it never looked rough the way H/D can.

If anything, I think it shows how hard it is for ice dancers to truly know where the other is at all times during a program and make it look so natural that it makes me respect the work behind this discipline.

The Tron FD is one of H/F's best
It truly was. That “Tron” from 2016 Worlds is one the the most re-watched skating videos of mine. I joke that all they had to do was change the costume to make that program finally gel but the truth is something special happened during that FD performance.

Also, as @starrynight said, I can’t help but be really bored with ice dance right now even though I recognize P/C should be the runaway winners and that if any of the current GPF teams ever beat them, it’ll be a travesty...either P/C made major errors or something fishy and fake happened with the scores. Sad, but true facts. Another reason I’m bored and kinda cranky this season is that the Broadway theme makes it clear that most of these teams don’t have the performance quality to truly sell a showtune. But then some fans are blaming it on the actually varied and diverse musical art form that is more artistic than figure skating really but whatever. Anyway, to be honest, this is what many people suspected when we have had nearly a decade of teams doing slow footwork sequences to the melody and trying hard to be serious to compete against a team that is artistically credible (though that’s a bit overstated at times but then when they hit it out of the park I’m reminded that they deserve their reputation most of the time). Also, we finally have a Madonna program which is what I have been craving and it is so awful in every way and yet people seem to love it that I just seem like a cranky out-of-step person.
 
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bcash

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I don’t follow the juniors and I can’t remember what the C/B Rach looked like, so the American team came as a nice surprise. Matching, pleasing lines and proportions, soft knees, and overall a sophisticated program/performance for a junior team. He is especially lovely. The Georgian team has charisma but that program looked a bit clunky and gimmicky by comparison.


All six senior teams have good FD programs that, when skated well, could be really entertaining or moving. No eye-rolling choices this season. I saw improvements in G/P’s smoothness of execution, appreciated some of their transitions, though they (esp. she) still lack the range of motion to truly elevate their expression. I think Bukin is becoming a better dancer, showing more nuance and articulation in his upper body. At this point I don’t know how much Stepanova is contributing to their actual skating. S/K fit the mode of a classically attractive ice dance team. She looks beautiful and moves so much better than Stepanova. And I really think they skated this program better than before, other than that one slight bobble toward the end (the ending itself felt improved, with more of a sense of emotional denouement). They are getting better with conveying emotion through movement, accentuating the texture of the music. In the replay Nikita‘s arms and hands showed elegance of line that I didn’t expect from him (and better than any of the other men, in a classical sense). The only thing that took me out of it a bit was his “blissful” smile before the start of their character steps.

For a program like C/B’s, where there’s no emotional thrust, it has to be maximally dynamic and precise at the same time to outshine others, and I felt they held back somewhat as compared to their previous two GP outings. It could be the camera angles. But I guess the judges rewarded them for precisely executed elements, since their PCS is still clustered with H/D and S/K, with S/K slightly in front. The US judge putting C/B in front of H/D in both RD and FD is notable. H/D’s revised FD has a couple improved elements. Both the straight line and rotational lifts looked great, and new for them. The overall structure though, felt more muddled to me than the first version. I don’t think they lost their identity at all, as I see this material as fitting them well (Americana+pop culture phenomenon+emotional, somewhat dark story). It’s just that in its current form it’s not translating to the judges. P/C skated the cleanest they‘ve ever done this season, and their maximum range of motion and use of full-body expression really sets them apart. Their long edges may look less complicated but are done with such quality and have become their “brand”. Their character steps remains the least convincing and least interesting part of the program.

Side note: the audience’s reaction for the three European teams seemed a lot warmer (and not just after a performance), is this because it’s a European venue? But the venue seemed to be filled with Japanese fans? And I felt for the ladies’s knees. Bruises on several of them. Maybe a sliding move should become optional. I also agree that GOE for choreographic elements should be capped and indexed to the base value of those elements.
 
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casken

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People have complained before about how overvalued the choreographic elements are becuase of GOE, and I think C&B getting a whole bunch of technical points from a choreographic sequence that was mostly them standing on two feet doing some arms movements with an occasional shimmy from her is probably the best example of it.
 

Dobre

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Well it seems like M/C had a bit of a disaster, given the Level 1 on the lift and Level 2 on the spin, but Green/Parsons definitely are no slouches. I just hope everyone delivers at Nationals.
Le sigh. It is not their season. (And it is such a crummy season to have not be your season with Hawayek & Baker opening the door).

I am wondering if McNamara & Carpenter will go back to last year's FD for Nationals. I generally don't recommend it, but it seems like they've not had time to do the work they needed with this one.

Let's skate to Rent or Hadestown or something more fun & with character next year, shall we?
 

careypricefan

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What really impresses me is how Chock & Bates have been able to climb themselves back up to being real contenders again, and could possibly retake the U.S #1. I would have never thought it possible, not even after their noticeable improvements last season. I figured the hierarchy of dance alone would not allow such a thing.
 

bcash

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Reposting something from the FD thread:

Sinitsina lost her balance and shifted weight onto her knee to keep balance. In any element, this would be considered a fall.

The choreographic sliding element is the only element where skaters are allowed to keep balance with anything other than their blades. The caveat to that is the movement must be controlled. Once Sinitsina lost her balance, the movement was no longer controlled, so her keeping balance on her knee was considered a fall.
By this standard, shouldn’t Gabriella’s stumble in the RD also be considered a fall?
 

Michalle

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I’m curious to see how Kazakva/Reviya will do at senior worlds. They have a lot of buzz right now, but of course that is a big jump.
 

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