The Shibutanis Thread 6: Paradise Found

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I’m really missing them too, especially after seeing that lovely new exhibition. It’s early in the season but much of what we’ve seen so far is just so scrappy.
 

Spun Silver

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Full video of their new program merged here: https://youtu.be/usKjHsupZO4

Though every time I get sucked into their performance, the commentators pull me out of it :fragile:
That program is exquisite and you are right, the commentators almost kill it, especially that beautiful circling moment at the end. :wall:

I like VGT's comparison of watching Maia and Alex to putting on glasses for the first time.

I am not sure Maia's fluid arms are really new. I was blown away by her arms in the earliest program of theirs I remember seeing, an ex at some small rink (I think). Unfortunately I can't find it now. She has always been a ballerina.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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Seeing how ice dance is being judged now, if I were the Shibs I wouldn’t come back unless they know they can get those level 4s and high GOEs because it’s getting closer to what it was pre-IJS.
 

Dobre

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You know me. I'm a worrier. I know the Shibs usually have to fight hard for those points.
We all worry. Because we care. Their skating makes us care. Maia & Alex know the realities of competition as well as anyone. "They've been up and down and over and out . . ." I'd love to see them keep skating because I think they have so much to still bring to the sport. If they still love competing at this level, they should go for it. And, of course, if they are ready to move on and challenge themselves in other ways, I'd bet they can change the World in those new venues. Twelve years I had the chance to watch them compete. I know how utterly spoiled I am to have had the chance to watch a team grow and develop so far! But I'd take four more years in a heartbeat if they'd like to go for it.

I don't expect it. The vast majority of the time the top U.S. athletes don't come back after sitting out a season by choice. And as far as my favorite athletes go, it's a completely mixed bag. There was Katarina, who really came back with other goals and who I think met them. There was Fusar-Poli & Margaglio (who really I don't think were prepared and pretty much came back to represent their country and skate at home) and Sasha (who actually looked like she'd overtrained). I've never been sorry any of them came back, but those last-minute returns. I don't have much hope for them. (Really cannot imagine the Shibs only returning at the end of the quadrennium or showing up for any competition unprepared. There's a learning curve during a season and after rule changes, for sure; but I think they'd be prepared for getting that feedback). There was Mao, who gave us that beautiful Madame Butterfly program at the Boston Worlds before her injury. That program was totally worth her comeback for me.

And you know what other favorite of mine came back? Shen & Zhao.:swoon:
 

Mrs. P

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Honestly, way better than struggling to get level 2 on the Tango Romantica pattern. ;) Glad they're living the best life right now....(though I miss them so much. I was at Skate Canada and I miss Shib twizzles so much.... though Piper and Paul's FD was amazing.)
 

DreamSkates

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That program is exquisite and you are right, the commentators almost kill it, especially that beautiful circling moment at the end. :wall:

I like VGT's comparison of watching Maia and Alex to putting on glasses for the first time.

I am not sure Maia's fluid arms are really new. I was blown away by her arms in the earliest program of theirs I remember seeing, an ex at some small rink (I think). Unfortunately I can't find it now. She has always been a ballerina.
Just lovely! and her dress, too.
Some can afford mistakes other teams get punished for and still have a cushion. Don't act like you don't know. To be fair, by 2018 the Shibs were given some breathing room they didn't have prior to 2016.
If you make a statement, then back it up with facts: "by 2018 the Shibs were given some breathing room they didn't have prior to 2016"
 

Spun Silver

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When they come back, I pray they don't skate to another ballad (as much as I've loved Fix You et al. and Starry Starry Night). I am about to die of ballads. I would rather they skate to garage punk (whatever that is), the Women's Choir of Bulgaria, Stravinsky or Monteverdi. Something's gotta give!

PS: I found the ex that shows off Maia's ballerina arms. It's not as old as I thought - the poor video quality makes it look older than it is. I can't seem to link it but if you google 2011-06-09 Detroit Skating Club Show Shibutani" it will come up.
 
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VIETgrlTerifa

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Just lovely! and her dress, too.

If you make a statement, then back it up with facts: "by 2018 the Shibs were given some breathing room they didn't have prior to 2016"
I don't have to back up anything. Me and others have been following the scoring, ice dance in general, and the Shibs had to build up their PCS cushion to where it they went from placing 4th at the GPF 2015 SD despite Chock/Bates having a major error (two years in a row) to regularly beating a "cleanish" Chock/Bates after 2016 Nationals. Their PCS and GOE scores went up and it's common in ice dance that once your scores go up, it'll take a while for it come down. It takes many factors for that happen. What was not common was for the Shibs to be 2011 bronze medalists and then fail to medal or be a factor for medals at Worlds for the next four years and become medal contenders again. By 2018, there was no team that could have infiltrated the top 2 even when P/C skated less than ideal and the Shibs skating great. Alex seemed confused about their pattern call and even said he appreciated the level 4 SBS step call but didn't understand why they didn't get that call in the Team Event when he felt he and Maia skated that similarly there. Alex was also clearly upset at 2017 Worlds medal ceremony where their PCS and GOE became much more reserved than it was at 2017 Four Continents in both the SD and FD. A lot of Shibs fans and skating fans who posted on social media have felt during the Olympics (and prior) that for medal contenders, they had to be more sure than other teams to not fall behind and the judges have been stingy with their GOEs, like with their twizzle sequence that later on was used as an example by the ISU as a twizzle sequence that "for sure" should get a +5. Of course, you can always find people arguing that the Shibs were scored appropriately for a team of their level. It becomes a matter of opinion, and mine is that the judges are stingier with the Shibs than they had to be BUT not as stingy as they were before 2016 Nationals.

You seem to be in a mood to argue, but I'm not.
 
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VIETgrlTerifa

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I was checking out Goldenskate, and I remembered after last year's Rostelecom Cup that the Shibs did a seminar in Russia and I was trying to remember who the skaters were.

Here were the pics from last year:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bamheo0DE1G/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaoaETThxdD/?taken-by=varlamov_fedor

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ban6Z_OH_pv/?taken-by=di__davis

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bal7PkIBv7i/?taken-by=_ekatashinskaya_

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bal6KFPlIPT/?taken-by=10alexs01

It turns out some of them were: Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva & Nikita Nazarov, Maria Kazakova & Georgy Reviya, and Diana Davis who is partnered with Gleb Smolkin among others. At the time of the seminar, Davis was partnered with Fedor Varlamov.

It looks they swept the podium at the JGP Czech event.

https://www.ice-dance.com/site/ice-dance-observer-october-2-2018/

Khudaiberdieva/Nazarov and Kazakova/Reviya made it to the JGPF. Diana Davis/Gleb Smolkin only did one JGP event.
 

suki

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Of course, you can always find people arguing that the Shibs were scored appropriately for a team of their level. It becomes a matter of opinion, and mine is that the judges are stingier with the Shibs than they had to be BUT not as stingy as they were before 2016 Nationals.
I agree with you. The Shibs had to be better than perfect to get the scores to medal. It used to enrage me. At the Olympics in Korea, they deserved to be second in the short dance. The scores given to P/C were outrageous for what they put on the ice. (Yes, I know they had a wardrobe malfunction that affected their performance, but that's sport and the judges are supposed to mark according to what they see at THAT competition.) I am hoping there is more movement in ice dancing this quad and judges tire of the same old, same old. Flame away:EVILLE:
 

Spiralgraph

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Thank you VGT for giving us the link to the Olympic channel's Shibs FD,

It's still amazing and gratifying that they skated so superbly with such emotion in that FD. Absolutely their best performance (even though I prefer Fix You)
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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So now that we're more than halfway done with the GP, I could not help but start thinking about the Shibs coming back next season. If they do come back, I wonder who will they contact to be their coaching team. Marina seems the most likely, but it seems she's missing in action and I heard some rumors that she's in Florida now. I don't know if that's a permanent thing or if she just took a consultant/coaching type of gig there since Canton's stable of ice dancers seems a bit empty at the moment. Also, Massimo Scali has left Canton for Chicago it seems. I don't know if there are younger teams being coached in Canton by Oleg and Johnny Johns right now that we're just not hearing about.

I can't help but think the Shibs should seek another coaching situation, even if they are still housed in Canton just because I think they would benefit from some fresh eyes and a more in-technik coaching teach to help them work on their fundamentals (come backs are not easy and even V/M worked on their fundamentals when they came back) and to ensure they can obtain the highest levels in this revised code. I also would like to see a stronger hand on their packaging/choreography because I think Alex and Maia could benefit from that as they seemed to be working on their own with Marina/Massimo providing finishing touches on their ideas. They've done a good job but I'd like to see a strong artistic eye handling them as well as it's a lot of work to do programs on your own and come up with new concepts and choreography with new and interesting transitions and positions in elements and I like Alex and Maia's shoulders to carry less of a burden on that front.
 

DreamSkates

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So now that we're more than halfway done with the GP, I could not help but start thinking about the Shibs coming back next season. If they do come back, I wonder who will they contact to be their coaching team. Marina seems the most likely, but it seems she's missing in action and I heard some rumors that she's in Florida now. I don't know if that's a permanent thing or if she just took a consultant/coaching type of gig there since Canton's stable of ice dancers seems a bit empty at the moment. Also, Massimo Scali has left Canton for Chicago it seems. I don't know if there are younger teams being coached in Canton by Oleg and Johnny Johns right now that we're just not hearing about.

I can't help but think the Shibs should seek another coaching situation, even if they are still housed in Canton just because I think they would benefit from some fresh eyes and a more in-technik coaching teach to help them work on their fundamentals (come backs are not easy and even V/M worked on their fundamentals when they came back) and to ensure they can obtain the highest levels in this revised code. I also would like to see a stronger hand on their packaging/choreography because I think Alex and Maia could benefit from that as they seemed to be working on their own with Marina/Massimo providing finishing touches on their ideas. They've done a good job but I'd like to see a strong artistic eye handling them as well as it's a lot of work to do programs on your own and come up with new concepts and choreography with new and interesting transitions and positions in elements and I like Alex and Maia's shoulders to carry less of a burden on that front.
They are intelligent, and strategic competitors. Surely they will have done their homework and know what they are coming back to and what it will take to get to the podium. That should inform them of a coaching choice. Do they use teams for coaching ice dancers? (more than a coach and choreographer)
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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Shibs posted a vlog about their trip to Singapore:

FIRST TIME IN SINGAPORE! - ShibSibs

So many fans came to greet them, and not just at the airport or rink. Some even "stalked" them based on their social media posts, :lol:.

Also, the Shibs did a series of videos with Singapore-US Embassy:

ShibSibs tackle Singlish

American ice dancers in Singapore for sports diplom-icy

And they also did an interview with a local Detroit network when they were part of the Thanksgiving Parade there. They will be at Nationals as spectators and now I know Geico is sponsoring USFS:

Olympic ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani speak to Local 4
 
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It's about time, the Olympic Channel uploaded a high quality version of their Olympic FD:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEVAlMTeyWc
Wow! Seeing this brings backs memories of that day - seeing it live was a treat, but seeing it on video really makes me miss their bladework, their ease of movement and just how natural they make it look. It's never a show, never a character, just pure and simple skating.

Watching the GP this fall really shows a void in what they brought to the ice and to their fans. It seems like work for so many of the teams, when the Shibs make it look so effortless.

I'm sure it was mentioned at the time, but I wonder why they got dinged with a L3 on their rotational lift?

I just remember holding my breath through the entire performance, and knowing they still had three teams left to compete. I remember the roar of the crowd when they hit the twizzles.

On the Singapore Vlog description, they say stay tuned for some exciting news - I wonder what that could be???
 
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Coppelia was both a show and a great display of characters! I miss Maia & Alex too.
Totally agree! I think they had the best lot of the SD's from that quad - Paso, RW, Blues, Rhumba. I think I meant to say it was never over the top when they did a mood piece or a character - very natural not 'showy'. Although I guess a doll coming to life isn't 'natural'. Even last year's SD was fun and cheeky but not exaggerated.

That's what I'm missing this season - too many forced and OTT dances - although maybe that's what ID is supposed to be?
 

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