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

Gris

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388
I really don't get what's been going on with Hurtado/Khaliavin this season. At the end of last year it was looking like they had consolidated their position as the #1 and were pulling away from Smart/Diaz; this year, from the beginning, they've seemed completely off their game.
Obviously getting levels is a major difficulty for them now.

Apart from that, having 2 'introverted' programs this season didn't seem to do them any favors. I think ISU has sent a pretty clear message that they want to see more fun, exciting and upbeat programs - S/D's RD is exactly what they're asking for, whereas H/K's RD music is one of the slowest of all teams this year. Their modern flamenco FD is a good idea and a sophisticated program, but I feel that the music lacks intensity at some point.
 

Bigbird

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Obviously getting levels is a major difficulty for them now.

Apart from that, having 2 'introverted' programs this season didn't seem to do them any favors. I think ISU has sent a pretty clear message that they want to see more fun, exciting and upbeat programs - S/D's RD is exactly what they're asking for, whereas H/K's RD music is one of the slowest of all teams this year. Their modern flamenco FD is a good idea and a sophisticated program, but I feel that the music lacks intensity at some point.
Agreed. They lack the skills to really make it pop.
 

Colonel Green

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5,788
Obviously getting levels is a major difficulty for them now.
That’s what I’m talking about. Having less popular programs is one thing (and the actual effects of that are pretty variable, since “better” is so subjective), but their technical skills have noticeably regressed for no apparent reason.
 

VGThuy

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31,938
I haven’t seen H/K this season yet but is their RD Hello Dolly!? If so, I don’t know how they made it introverted. That music was made for entertaining. Seeing it on Broadway was one of the highlights of my year.
 

Peepsquick

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382
H/K RD at Nationals
S/D RD at Nationals
I've always preferred H/K but honestly, they looked quite weak out there, very shaky with a small pattern. It looks like their skating has regressed. On the contrary, S/D are much improved since last year even though they are the weakest skaters of the two pairs imo. So well done. H/K's RD isn't distinctive either. I don't care for Grease but watching it back to back it's clearly much more engaging and S/D do interpret it to a T. H/K has a very interesting and original FD but S/D's, weird and all, is also quite interesting in the end and they yet again own it.
Thanks for posting @cocotaffy!
Yes, I am at a bit of a loss too. At the beginning of the season I would have bet on H/K, mainly because of their FD and because I didn't much care for S/D's FD on their first outing. I liked S/D's performance in the RD from the start but was surprised how much they improved in the FD.
I still think it is a pity that Spain doesn't get to showcase 2 teams at Worlds!
 

Dobre

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7,249
I think Hurtado & Khaliavin have good programs. I want to go through and look up all their levels from this season and maybe the last couple because it's very odd to see them bring in level 1s on the pattern and steps after earning 4s & 3s last season. (Same for McNamara & Carpenter who are coming off an injury, but still . . .) On the one hand, you have to acknowledge that the pattern is different. On the other, when you see teams bringing in 4s on the pattern and 3s on the footwork for two seasons in a row and then see the levels drop so abruptly, it's frustrating. I mean, it's one thing if you are maybe getting a level three once in a blue moon at a high-scoring senior B but these two teams that have brought in 3s & 4s with some of the toughest callers in the sport.

Hurtado & Khaliavin do need consistency and confidence in competition. I do think the pattern was sloppy here. And she wobbled on the twizzles again, which cost H&K nothing relative to S&D on B.V. but almost 2 points GOE.

(FWIW, the tech panel here is FRA, Spain, CAN).

Coldplay have a new album coming out. Imminent return of the Shibutanis? :saint:
Would be good with me:)

The Gadbois group IMHO, distributes, difficult and engaging material or tries their level best, so improvement comes but with time.
I don't generally find their programs better. (A couple real hits, a lot in between, and some real misses--which is pretty standard just on a smaller scale in many rinks). I think the Gadbois teams came out this season with good little personality building moments, mostly at a stop, which did give the programs a sense of personality early in the season when many programs did not yet have that. Mostly, though, I think the Gadbois teams have very smooth transitions which tally up the GOE. Smooth transition in. Smooth transition out. Of all the elements. I think this is what McNamara & Carpenter's FD is mostly missing this year relative to the very fluid ones they had early last season (along with my favorite element, which was scope for the imagination). And I'm seeing some of my other favorite teams struggle with the same rough transition issues here and there. Stepanova & Bukin coming out of a lift in their RD at the GPF in a performance I just rewatched today, for example. This smooth in & out was also a Marina specialty, but without her doing much choreography, it seems to be something that Dubreil & Lauzon's teams are capitalizing on more than the larger field.
 
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ccpompom

New Member
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11
I agree that the ISU wants to see more eye-catching and in-your-face programs. Just take a look at Chock and Bates snake charm FD. They're not the best skaters in the field at all but their free is engaging with the audiance at every outing and it has an innovative value that others teams like s/k who are techincally superior don't have. Same with Disco Brits' Madonna FD. Ice dancing is all about having THAT program and not about anything else.
 

Gris

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Messages
388
Oh I wasn't saying that H/K have bad programs. They are fine and I find the FD pretty good. I just don't think their programs fit in the style ISU trying to promote right now (while S/D's RD is).
 

VGThuy

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Bigbird

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I agree that the ISU wants to see more eye-catching and in-your-face programs. Just take a look at Chock and Bates snake charm FD. They're not the best skaters in the field at all but their free is engaging with the audiance at every outing and it has an innovative value that others teams like s/k who are techincally superior don't have. Same with Disco Brits' Madonna FD. Ice dancing is all about having THAT program and not about anything else.
I don't think S/K can really be considered technically superior anymore, the Gadbois teams are catching up and the judges are finally beginning to see how empty their programs are and how much they struggle on their elements when not on.
 

hlp728

Active Member
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391
Between the two Spanish teams, for me, S/D have always excelled at RDs choreography, performance, and character wise. They really commit to the theme and characters in the RD especially these two past seasons with their tango and Grease programs. H/K seem to make safe choices with their RD selections, and the programs have come off as reserved and somewhat boring; I also attribute that to their choreographers. S/D go full tilt performance wise, and they don’t seem fearful of looking silly or campy, where as I feel this is one thing that holds H/K back.

With H/K, I honestly wonder if they and their choreographer watched the movie version of Hello, Dolly because their program doesn’t seem to evoke much from the movie or broadway show. Their choices for the RD this season and last season haven’t been great. I thought they would excel at the tango, but I think choreography wasn’t good enough for them and the connection between them was off (he more so). They also seem to be having technical challenges this season. I’m curious what drew them to use Hello, Dolly if they weren’t going to do anything related to the musical in the RD. I kind of wish they had made a more gutsy choice for the RD like Grease 2.

FD wise, I really like both programs from the Spanish teams. S/D seem to have finally been given a FD program that really suits them. They can definitely pull off quirky programs, and the choreography in their FD is really interesting like the stationary lift.
The FD has been a strength for H/K, and I think that is because they have mainly used outside choreographers. They work really well with Najarro. If they don’t, make it to Worlds this year, I kind of hope they keep this program and retool somethings particularly their lifts and costumes for next season. Their first couple of seasons, they had some really creative lifts, but this season the lifts seem blah and don’t add more interest to the program. This FD may not be following the razzle-dazzle trend, but it’s unique and compelling. Also, should they switch coaches? Maybe Krylova or Svinin/Zhuk? There are the technical issues they’re having this season, but it also seems like nerves are affecting them too. Kirill needs to work more on the acting and emoting part. Sara excels at this, but I think there’s a dissonance in their connection at times. Their exhibition program this season is really cool and unique.
 

Dobre

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7,249
Hurtado & Khaliavin:
(CS level competitions & above. I could go back one more season and include Europeans from 2017, but I feel like all brand new ice dance teams should at least get one season to gel;)). Element lists below do not include choreographic elements as they are always level 1.

2017-18 Season
1, 3, 1, 2, 4 Finlandia SD
4, 3, 4, 3, 4 Golden Spin SD
4, 3, 2, 3, 4 European Championships SD
4, 3, 4, 3, 4 Olympic Winter Games SD

2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 3, 4 Finlandia FD
3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 3, 4 Golden Spin FD
4, 2, 4, 4, 4, 3, 4 European Championships FD
4, 3, 4, 4, 4, 2, 3 Olympic Winter Games FD

Total Level 1s: 2
Total Level 2s: 4
Total Level 3s: 14
Total Level 4s: 26


2018-19 Season
3, 3, 4, 2, 3, 3 Lombardia RD
3, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4 Helsinki GP RD
3, 1, 2, 4, 2, 4 Rostelecom RD
3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4 European Championships RD
4, 4, 4, 4, 3, 4 World Championships RD

4, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 3, 4 Lombardia FD
4, 4, 3, 3, 4, 4, 3, 4, 4 Helsinki GP FD
4, 4, 4, 4, 3, 2, 3, 4, 3 Rostelecom FD
4, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4 European Championships FD
4, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4 World Championships FD

Total Level 1s: 1
Total Level 2s: 6
Total Level 3s: 30
Total Level 4s: 38

So that is two seasons there, and Hurtado & Khaliavin only earned one Level 1 all last season. And only two Level 1s the season before that during their debut CS skate & prior to their breakthrough mid-season.

Now . . .

2019-20 Season:
4, 4, 3, 2, 3, 3, 4 Nepela RD
4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4 Ice Star RD
3, 4, 3, 2, 3, 2, 4 Skate Canada RD
4, 4, 3, 1, 1, 2, 4 Rostelecom RD (obvious mistake on the pattern here)

4, 4, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 1, 3 Nepela FD (the 1 here was for an imploded lift)
3, 3, 4, 3, 4, 4, 4, 3, 4 Ice Star FD
4, 3, 1, 2, 4, 2, 4, 2, 3 Skate Canada FD
4, 4, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 3, 4 Rostelecom FD

Total Level 1s: 4 (None of these for the same thing).
Total Level 2s: 7
Total Level 3s: 23
Total Level 4s: 29

They have a couple 2s and a 1 for the pattern this season so the Finnstep has been a challenge for H&K, but today's RD levels are the lowest H&K have had all season:
3, 4, 2, 1, 2, 1, 4

And one could argue lower than anything they have earned internationally since Finlandia 2017.


Random Strong Fan Opinion:
Let's not blame Hello, Dolly. There is only one Hello, Dolly. There are seven 42nd Streets, six Singing in the Rains, etc.
 
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bcash

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299
I’ve seen H/K’s FD twice. First time I thought and said here that it looked like it was dancing them. The second time my feeling was, she’s just not a good enough dancer to pull this off. The opening and closing of the body and the contrast that creates is inherent in any dance genre, or to put it differently, a you need to be able to truly move different parts of your body through all spatial planes. She kind of stays in the “scapular plane” all the time, for lack of a better way to describe it. It’s the same kind of limitation I feel when I watch the likes of K Weaver, Stepanova, P Gilles or the Shibutanis.

But I’ve always preferred S/D anyway, as I like their performance quality and think they’ve been having engaging programs for a few seasons.
 

Bigbird

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1,265
I’ve seen H/K’s FD twice. First time I thought and said here that it looked like it was dancing them. The second time my feeling was, she’s just not a good enough dancer to pull this off. The opening and closing of the body and the contrast that creates is inherent in any dance genre, or to put it differently, a you need to be able to truly move different parts of your body through all spatial planes. She kind of stays in the “scapular plane” all the time, for lack of a better way to describe it. It’s the same kind of limitation I feel when I watch the likes of K Weaver, Stepanova, P Gilles or the Shibutanis.

But I’ve always preferred S/D anyway, as I like their performance quality and think they’ve been having engaging programs for a few seasons.
The only team that could pull off that dance is PC or EI if she had a partner. The best flamenco ice dancer their is. Period.
 

Bigbird

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1,265
I’ve seen H/K’s FD twice. First time I thought and said here that it looked like it was dancing them. The second time my feeling was, she’s just not a good enough dancer to pull this off. The opening and closing of the body and the contrast that creates is inherent in any dance genre, or to put it differently, a you need to be able to truly move different parts of your body through all spatial planes. She kind of stays in the “scapular plane” all the time, for lack of a better way to describe it. It’s the same kind of limitation I feel when I watch the likes of K Weaver, Stepanova, P Gilles or the Shibutanis.

But I’ve always preferred S/D anyway, as I like their performance quality and think they’ve been having engaging programs for a few seasons.
Sarah, was much better a skater and performer when she was with the Gadbois group. Zhulin has interest in one group only and that is SK.
 

Bigbird

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Yup, totally agree.
I used to think Russia could have a strong ice dance school as per Gadbois and Igor and Marina in the day, but I've come to realize that will never happen. Pettiness and small mindedness and nepotism, personal politics and prejudices make that impossible, just impossible. Who will part Plushenko and Eteri right now, it's like a war zone. Sheesh.....
 

casken

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10,655
Sarah, was much better a skater and performer when she was with the Gadbois group.
H&D's Picasso FD popped up in my YouTube suggestions and it was the first time I've seen it in years and it really struck me how much better it was than anything H&K have done together. Not just the program, but the confidence they did all the steps and lifts was beyond what I've seen from H&K.
 

Bigbird

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1,265
H&D's Picasso FD popped up in my YouTube suggestions and it was the first time I've seen it in years and it really struck me how much better it was than anything H&K have done together. Not just the program, but the confidence they did all the steps and lifts was beyond what I've seen from H&K.
Go look at their 2015 Paso Doble SD and be amazed further :)
 

Zemgirl

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12,953
H&D's Picasso FD popped up in my YouTube suggestions and it was the first time I've seen it in years and it really struck me how much better it was than anything H&K have done together. Not just the program, but the confidence they did all the steps and lifts was beyond what I've seen from H&K.
Hurtado and Diaz were just right together as skaters, more so than with their current partners. It's such a shame they couldn't make it work. Also, Picasso is still some of the best work to come out of Montreal, certainly for the non-P/C teams.

H/K should probably consider a coaching change, but I imagine their options are somewhat limited because any such move would also affect Monko.
 

Bigbird

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Hurtado and Diaz were just right together as skaters, more so than with their current partners. It's such a shame they couldn't make it work. Also, Picasso is still some of the best work to come out of Montreal, certainly for the non-P/C teams.

H/K should probably consider a coaching change, but I imagine their options are somewhat limited because any such move would also affect Monko.
Agreed with many points but this season SD have turned a corner or are just about to. Hurtado may need a different coaching environment but her choices are limited, very.
 

Zemgirl

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12,953
Agreed with many points but this season SD have turned a corner or are just about to. Hurtado may need a different coaching environment but her choices are limited, very.
Whatever you're seeing with S/D, I'm not seeing. But this may be because I find Smart extremely annoying.

The question for H/K is whether Monko can continue her coaching career outside of Russia. Logistically there shouldn't be a problem; she's married to an EU citizen. But if she's established in Russia and feels more conformable there, it may be a challenge.
 

Bigbird

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Whatever you're seeing with S/D, I'm not seeing. But this may be because I find Smart extremely annoying.

The question for H/K is whether Monko can continue her coaching career outside of Russia. Logistically there shouldn't be a problem; she's married to an EU citizen. But if she's established in Russia and feels more conformable there, it may be a challenge.
You mean as a person? Smart, that is.
 

Ladida

Active Member
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246
If H/K would be willing to change coaches I think Platov can be a nice fit - is he still coaching?

BTW does Gorshkov have some good teams this season? I don't think I have seen him this season in Kiss'n'Cry.
 

Dobre

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Messages
7,249
I do not think Hurtado & Khaliavin need a new coach.

I mean if they want to go elsewhere, that's fine. But they have one of the three most established coaches/teams in the world. They are able to live in Russia, which is probably good with Khaliavin's wife. They are #2 in their rink. Their programs are perfectly good, and Hurtado has cleaned Khaliavin right up as far as packaging goes. They are having a less than stellar season but no less a stellar one than Smart & Diaz were having last year, and I didn't hear a lot of declarations that S&D should switch.

Mostly, of course, the Spanish teams need someone to step up & grab that top ten berth at Worlds. Which is again a possibility and again going to be a tough order.
 

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