This is a P.J. Kwong interview with Jeffrey Buttle about his choreoraphy for Patrick Chan's short program. The part of Buttle's answer to the question about what he's learned from David Wilson* that applies to the current discussion on the blog is this:
This is such a simplified way of putting it but that age old rule for women when you get ready to go out and you look yourself in the mirror and you take one thing off. It's sort of that - that simplified idea. It's that more often than not, less is more. You look at a skater's style and you - the less complicated a movement is, the more effective it can be. and he taught me that, he taught me the art of less is more. It's just ... doing it properly. In most recent years, watching [Patrick] skate, he's so powerful, he's such a powerful skater, and he's capable of doing all of this, all the moves, big leaps, and I just sort of wanted him to try something different. And as a general rule I find that as skaters mature ... as Michelle became a greater skater for example, it became less busy. The choreography became less busy. It became more about showing the maturity of her skating. And he's at that point where he's such a strong skater he can sustain such a gorgeous beautiful edge and I wanted to give him the opportunity to do that, to hold and sustain these moments.The emphasis in italics is mine.
Mature skating" doesn't mean style or persona (an example of that would be the worldly Argentine tango style projected by Domnina and Shabalin in their Olympic cd).
Mature skating means "fully developed." The skater is in complete command of his or her skating to the point where they can skate anything.
"Simple" doesn't mean "basic" "simplistic" or "easy" here. It means there's nothing unnecessary to the moment or movement. A movement can be complex, with an extraordinary degree of difficulty, without being complicated if its components are integral and if the movement evolves.
Davis and White are mature skaters (age and experience) who aren't showing mature skating. Their skating is busy.
CoP does pressure skaters to hit their elements, get their levels in the elements by showing the features of the highest level, but Virtue and Moir have been able to do that while showing mature skating - fully developed skating.
I don't think the system should be used to help a skater or skating team conceal the aspects of their skating that aren't developed, particularly if the undeveloped aspects of their skating are true partnering skills and the run of blade that go to the core of ice dance. A skating team that is athletic with eye-catching tricks but doesn't demonstrate the fully developed skating of another team that also has the elements and the difficulty should not be scored on par with or higher than that other team - ever.
In pairs, Shen and Zao had impressive qualities when they first hit the scene - athletic talent, big tricks (the sort of tricks that are actually required in pairs skating, not trickery that gets around shortcomings of basic skating and partnering). They made the podium, but they didn't start winning against the other big teams until their skating became fully developed. And that's pairs. I think the same is the least that can be asked of ice dance.
*It's a bit of an eye roller that these remarks are Jeff explaining what he's learned from David Wilson, choreographer of the sleep aid that was D&D's long program years on end. But I'll put that down to Jessica - he did do a terrific Carmen for them, but afterwards it seems she made it clear she preferred to keep skating to variations on The Blowers Daughter. And he does do those 'Everybody Point!' pieces for Yuna's show, but if you can get money for nothing, why not.