Davis & White previewed their fd by telling us they had looked for chemistry for years and finally found it. White wants to show "chemistry you can cut with a knife". Marina reminds us that love makes the world go round.
We know he's not saying he's getting with Meryl - he's talking about adding chemistry to their programs. Implication: in every other way DW and VM are equal, but VM's chemistry kicks them to the top.
Yes, Marina has to proceed as if DW are as natively talented as VM, and simply need ingredient x. I get that. Her policy has been to give her teams all the chances, all the tools, and then it's up to them. It's just odd that in this program the "chemistry", unlike the refinement in the tango, is being attempted outside the actual program. If they'd hunted for something every bit as useful as chemistry - natural musicality - they'd have had to show that inside the skating.
They're over the top and vague while describing the chemistry they've found, but not explaining how this improves their skating.
Chemistry's not an add on. It's wonderful to see, but it doesn't add to the pcs or TES, at least none of Meryl, Charlie or Marina have mentioned how it's going to add points in either category. Based on Skate America, they believe chemistry is a pre-and post-performance enhancement recognized by gazing heatedly at your partner before and after a program, growing your hair romance-novel long and flinging it about, and wearing a face of angst.
The pre-Olympic season is no time to take skating tips from Annie Barabe'.
I almost feel insulted as a VM fan that chemistry in ice dance is being redefined as kitsch, as easily acquired as sewing extra crystals on your skating costume.
And that thing up there. Hey, Tessa and Scott - that's what it's amounted to all these years. Anyone can do it!
Chemistry matters to Tessa and Scott because they're so connected and in tune, it allows them to skate at speed with their bodies extraordinarily close together, in scarily interdependant positions (one slip immediately affects the other), with matching body lines. Add in all of the other things two hugely talented athletes are able to do if they're that in tune with each other - make micro adjustments by sensing what's going on with the other, agreeing to something by looking at each other. Scott and Tessa are able to do insanely intricate, difficult skating with refinement and speed, moving as one, because of chemistry. The expression on their faces and the emotional component is an add on.
Stipulating that DW skate at a very high level, and are wonderful figure skaters and athletes, I agree with Kurt Browning that they're skating the same as always. How do the post-skate histrionics enhance the programs?
They're fast, rushed, a little uncontrolled, pushing it, unison of body line not great and showing sort of wild lifts. They were miles apart in their twizzles (chemistry should allow them to be super close) and Charlie fumbled the first set of twizzles (they got +1s for that element, too. I wonder what Tessa and Scott got at Skate Canada when she stumbled on the first set while twizzling super close to and in sync with Scott?).
Minus the twizzle mishap, that's how they always skate. This program isn't a departure. Hunchback of Notre Dame, Phantom and Samson - romantic theatrical melodrama. How is this a vehicle to show chemistry? It's the sort of vehicle that makes chemistry unnecessary.
If chemistry doesn't allow you to have more interdependent movements in your skating, unison, intricacy, etc., then it's just theatrics. The unison and refinement, the intricacy - these were attributes DW attempted to improve upon with their tango program. That program was a departure - did force them to stretch their comfort zone - with results that imperfectly carry over to subsequent programs, but it appears to me the principal carry-over has been a slight loss of speed. For them, it's a Catch-22. Maintain speed, get sloppy, lose control (relative to VM) and lose some clarity of movement.
Sacrifice a bit of speed because of the more intricate choreography they're attempting (or did in the tango) - they're still rushing through everything, reluctant to hold, and lack unison in lines. Slowing down makes that more visible.
After all the talk of having found the chemistry, it seemed a bit beside the point to have it reflected in nonsense after the program has been skated, and some fevered facial expressions. Where is it in the actual skating? Wouldn't that be the point of chemistry - a greater connection that allows stronger unison in every aspect of what you do on the ice?
For Tessa and Scott, the chemistry does impact their skating, as does their mutual musicality.
I am a bit nervous now how "Carmen" will be spun. Will Marina, Tessa and Scott announce that everyone thinks they can only skate "in love" but the love/hate dynamic in Carmen will prove to the world that they can hate each other too? Will they glare at each other when they take center ice, will Scott scowl at her Carmen as he kills her (I'm misrepresenting Carmen a bit but there's only so much nuance possible in a skating performance). "For years we've tried to hate each other, and we think we've finally found a way." Then they'll be all over each other as usual, a single skating unit, but afterwards pretend they hated each other the entire performance.They'll stalk off to the Kiss'n Cry; Tessa will flirt with Johnny Johns while Scott fumes. That's diversity.
It's not, and what D/W are doing isn't chemistry. You don't "do" chemistry.
For me, the biggest departure will be if Scott's costume is something other than a vest, but I'm not holding my breath.