U.S. Men 2018-19 season (cont.) - news & updates

wickedwitch

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I thought Camden looked uncomfortable all season with the program. And I'm sure I read some comment from him earlier in the season about how he didn't like the music/program at first, but then got more into it.
Link? I don't remember any quote along those lines. Plus, his debut performance was quite good.
 

Wyliefan

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OTOH, I adore Camden's WSS and he got high pcs for it.
Let's not forget, Max Aaron won nationals with WSS and placed high at worlds with it, and he is not exactly a "sophisticated" skater. :) I doubt that is jinxed music
Didn't Akiko Suzuki do pretty well with it too?
 

Spun Silver

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Sorry Rose Red, yes, I was actually directing my comments to the way Spun Silver had seemed to interpret things.
I probably wasn't clear enough but @RoseRed, @Dobre and @aftershocks got my drift. I was disappointed that Camden fell so far after a fine short. He must be frustrated with himself too! As for Alexei, clearly he had a bad/worse outing. However I felt mitigating factors were that he was hurt and that even if Camden had bombed, Alexei's placement would have sufficed to secure the three spots, which is pretty remarkable. Anyway, enough about me!
 

aftershocks

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Link? I don't remember any quote along those lines. Plus, his debut performance was quite good.
Right, I too would like to see a link, as I don't recall hearing anything about how Camden was personally experiencing his fp. It's widely known that Jason Brown voiced some misgivings at first about his fp music, but then he later warmed to it, despite the fact it was never a strong program for him all season.

OTOH, I adore Camden's WSS and he got high pcs for it.
Let's not forget, Max Aaron won nationals with WSS and placed high at worlds with it, and he is not exactly a "sophisticated" skater. :) I doubt that is jinxed music
The idea of WSS for Camden maybe was a good one, but on the ice it hasn't worked for him all season long, as I discussed in a previous post. I agree with @jiejie that the music is difficult to skate to for some skaters. And Camden is a very musical skater, so it's a conundrum. Something seemed off with the pacing and/or the layout. He did not ever seem comfortable with the program, IMO. Maybe it also has something to do with shortened programs and how the program was put together. Maybe he never felt at ease with hitting the musical nuances and trying to stay on the beat while getting in all the elements consistently, which led to pops, etc.

Yeah, I liked Camden's FS too. It was nice to see him try a different style.
It's cool to stretch and try a different style, but if it's not working, that fact should be acknowledged and resolved.

... music that seems to be the Kiss of Death as far as winning top competitions goes. I'm positive WSS was on that list. Maybe it's just too difficult to skate WELL to for most skaters
Yes, it seems to be difficult for skaters, as it requires a good cut, and a program layout that works. Plus, the music is character and theme driven, which is also challenging. As I mentioned earlier, perhaps Edward Villella could have been brought in to help Camden work on the musical and character nuances (Villella danced to the original Jerome Robbins' West Side Story Suite for New York City Ballet).
 

netrina

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Right, I too would like to see a link, as I don't recall hearing anything about how Camden was personally experiencing his fp. It's widely known that Jason Brown voiced some misgivings at first about his fp music, but then he later warmed to it, despite the fact it was never a strong program for him all season.
I vaguely remembered this as well, so I went and tracked down the interview because I couldn't recall exactly what he said. Here's an interview from last August with FSO where he talks about it--not sure if he's discussed WSS elsewhere also.
CP: I originally detested West Side Story. Not necessarily because of the fantastic story line or music, but because the music was so overused. One day, I was joking with Tom Dickson about music selections for this year and I teasingly made the comment, “Maybe I should skate to West Side Story.” He turned to me and said “that could work.” I ended up watching the movie again a month later, and I decided that I would skate to it. The famous piece “Maria” hasn’t been used too much in the skating world, so we crafted a mix of selections, being sure not put a unique twist on it. Now, I love my free skate program!
 

aftershocks

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So, it's not that Camden didn't like his program once he decided to try skating to this warhorse. He just originally didn't care for the idea of WSS due to it's overuse, and he joked about skating to it. Then, Tom Dickson told him that it could work. I think it could work too, but it hasn't yet all season probably for some of the reasons already outlined. With more work and dedicated practice with someone like Villella or other dancers familiar with the music, Camden could probably improve his performance and increase his confidence. But I doubt he will be keeping the program to try and make it better.
 

jiejie

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@netrina found the quote that I remembered previously reading.

Interesting point: Max Aaron skated to WSS for his free in 2012-2013, and skated to Piazzola's Oblivion (Camden's SP this season) for his SP in 2011-2012. So there's some recycling of ideas going on in the Zakrajsek camp, though of course the program cuts and choreography are different. On the subject of Aaron's WSS, it benefited greatly from good choice of musical cuts and pacing and no vocals (which of course weren't allowed in singles' programs at that time). I found it superior to the version given to Camden. I haven't had the chance to watch and compare the two Oblivion programs yet.
 
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aftershocks

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I haven't had the chance to watch and compare the two Oblivion programs yet.
Camden's Oblivion program is excellent. He skated it flawlessly at Junior Worlds too!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw-Iij_f-aU

Max Aaron, at US Nats 2012, did a pretty good job skating to Oblivion. Max is not as musical as Camden (and Max could have developed the program further), but this was a decent sp for Max at that stage of his development, and I also really like his costume:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1dSrZwFiUc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBCCjgMG9LI Max 2013 WSS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaPxAUeyxwI Camden 2018 WSS

It's probably fair to say that Max aced WSS in 2013 and Camden aced Oblivion in 2018-2019. And each were less successful with the opposite programs respectively (Max's Oblivion 2012; and Camden's WSS 2018-2019). However, the less successful programs were not too bad either, and there was a lot of potential for further development. Camden had a lot of issues with WSS at Vancouver JGP above, but there were some interesting moments too. Maybe as someone already mentioned, the WSS lyrics weren't needed and a different cut might have worked better for Camden.

I noticed how both guys amazingly saved combo jumping passes, in catlike fashion. :)
 

jlai

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@netrina found the quote that I remembered previously reading.

Interesting point: Max Aaron skated to WSS for his free in 2012-2013, and skated to Piazzola's Oblivion (Camden's SP this season) for his SP in 2011-2012. So there's some recycling of ideas going on in the Zakrajsek camp, though of course the program cuts and choreography are different. On the subject of Aaron's WSS, it benefited greatly from good choice of musical cuts and pacing and no vocals (which of course weren't allowed in singles' programs at that time). I found it superior to the version given to Camden. I haven't had the chance to watch and compare the two Oblivion programs yet.
I think they both did a very good job to WSS, though I prefer Max's just for having no singing. I'm not sure why you think he is not comfortable with the program. His pcs is high. We don't know that his falls have to do with discomfort of the program. He could be uncomfortable with a different jump layout, or having to defend a good or very good sp placement, or USFSA having higher expectations of him. He was the other way round last year--success in the long after a not successful short. Perhaps he is just not comfortable with defending his placement
 

aftershocks

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I'm not sure why you think he is not comfortable with the program. His pcs is high. We don't know that his falls have to do with discomfort of the program. He could be uncomfortable with a different jump layout, or having to defend a good or very good sp placement, or USFSA having higher expectations of him.
Who knows? Maybe even Camden doesn't know. He said he likes the program and the music. I think it could be developed further, as there were some good moments in it, as I said earlier, when he skated at Vancouver JGP. Still, lots of hiccoughs and errors. Same at JGPF, at U.S. Nationals, and at Jr. Worlds. I think it might be better served without lyrics and tweaking the music cut. But I guess this is moot since Camden will probably start looking for new music ideas and deciding which choreographers he'll work with for next season. It would be cool if he worked with Lambiel again. And I guess Tom Dickson and Drew Meekins are always possibilities.

And btw, a huge congratulations to Tomoki Hiwatshi! :cheer2: He's really come into his own after JGPF and his breakout performances at U.S. Nationals! Tomoki is so talented and such a great performer and athlete, with a unique style. I hope he continues to find music that enhances his best qualities.
 

Firedancer

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It’s a shame Nathan wasn’t able to go back to California to work with Raf before worlds. That seemed like it was really beneficial before nationals. I hope he is feeling better and has had enough time to train after being sick. Also, it’s interesting that it sounds like he is at least considering taking a break from school next season. Good Luck to Nathan at worlds! I hope he is able to defend his title!
 

Tavi

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So did FS online really feel that Nathan’s media call (10 tweets) warranted 10 times as much coverage as Jason’s (1 tweet) and Vincent’s (apparently 0 tweets) combined?
 

el henry

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So did FS online really feel that Nathan’s media call (10 tweets) warranted 10 times as much coverage as Jason’s (1 tweet) and Vincent’s (apparently 0 tweets) combined?
I was just thinking that! As well as the fact that the one quote from Jason was something we’ve heard a gazillion times before (did no one on the conference call think to ask a question other than oh Jason you moved to Toronto, like eight months ago, so like how is that affecting you, because no journalist has asked that question before, ever this year:rolleyes:)

How I wish we had recordings so we could hear them all:(
 

clairecloutier

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So did FS online really feel that Nathan’s media call (10 tweets) warranted 10 times as much coverage as Jason’s (1 tweet) and Vincent’s (apparently 0 tweets) combined?
LOL, there was no intentional slight to Jason or Vincent. It's just that there were different writers covering different calls. Also, some calls just yield more interesting info and quotes than others. And some calls get missed if there's no one available to cover them.
 

nylynnr

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Isn't FS Online a "labor of love," so to speak, where journalists donate their time?

Also: Teleconferences take their cues off the introductory statements made by skaters. Jason opened by discussing his move to Toronto and how he felt he was feeling more & more comfortable with new technique, and so the call used that as a starting point .... Far more people were on Chen's call, eliciting a broader range of information. Plus, their speaking styles are different; Jason ruminates and answers in-depth, while Chen is rat-a-tat-tat.
 

olympic

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It’s a shame Nathan wasn’t able to go back to California to work with Raf before worlds. That seemed like it was really beneficial before nationals. I hope he is feeling better and has had enough time to train after being sick. Also, it’s interesting that it sounds like he is at least considering taking a break from school next season. Good Luck to Nathan at worlds! I hope he is able to defend his title!
In the same breath he says that training has been going well. So, he should be OK

ETA- I do think the one major issue Nathan had in the past that led to the occasional screw up was his toying with jumping passes involving various quads. It seems that by setting his jump layouts in stone he might show us something special like he did at Nationals
 
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Tavi

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Isn't FS Online a "labor of love," so to speak, where journalists donate their time?

Also: Teleconferences take their cues off the introductory statements made by skaters. Jason opened by discussing his move to Toronto and how he felt he was feeling more & more comfortable with new technique, and so the call used that as a starting point .... Far more people were on Chen's call, eliciting a broader range of information. Plus, their speaking styles are different; Jason ruminates and answers in-depth, while Chen is rat-a-tat-tat.
I didn’t realize that FS Online is a “labor of love” or that journalists on media calls take their cues from the introductory statements, so thanks for those insights - and you’re right, Jason and Nathan do have very different styles.

But...it’s not exactly news that Jason’s more comfortable with Tracy and Brian now and hopes to get a new personal best at Worlds blah blah. So I have to wonder: what’s the point of a media call if that’s all you get out of him? I mean, I have no idea whether he’s just giving boring / generic answers or if he isn’t being asked probing questions. But either way - especially given how much he’s cut back on his own social media presence - the end result is kind of a disappointment.
 

el henry

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knowing what I know of music professors, most are determined that their courses not be considered “fluff”. Heavy, heavy, heavy on the music theory and the academics. And with all due respect to Nathan, Yale does not lack for students with advanced musical training.

He’s not sitting around listening to the pretty music;)

ETA: on another subject, and I appreciate the info!, but even if Jason starts with his canned “My life with Brian”, couldn’t someone ask a question that wasn’t related? Are they glued to what he says?
Although they might just go the ever popular “how bout that quad” and get his second canned answer. ...The journo who does not ask Jason about Brian or about training a quad has won my heart :D
 
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Sucks that Nathan was sick and didn't get to go back to Cali, but I'm really glad he's sticking with that one layout and just training it and not working on anything else. I agree it should help him.

And that's the first time he's ever really alluded to taking time off as early as next season I think. He's always sort of made it seem like he'd go at least two years at Yale. We'll see I guess.

Wishing the US Men good luck at worlds :cheer2:
 
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eusebius

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knowing what I know of music professors, most are determined that their courses not be considered “fluff”. Heavy, heavy, heavy on the music theory and the academics. And with all due respect to Nathan, Yale does not lack for students with advanced musical training.

He’s not sitting around listening to the pretty music;)
This is very accurate! I have taught these university-level courses (not at Yale mind you!) and it's always a challenge to find the balance between accessibility and a high level of challenge. But I'm sure Nathan will do very well regardless. And yes, Yale is a highly-regarded music school and my piano teacher in undergrad was a Yale grad.
 

olympic

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I read the Art. If the balance he has struck is correct between Yale and figure skating, it may really complement his achievements on the ice and in his career, meaning The right head space he needs for Worlds will be there
 

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