Sunday, April 7, 2013

Meet the new DW same as the old DW

I was reading a summary of The Hunchback of Notre Dame on wikipedia and learned this isn't a two-way street love story. Esmerelda saves Quasimodo's life by giving him a drink of water, but she's too grossed out to let him kiss her hand in thanks.

Maybe Charlie's playing Phoebus here - the guy Esmerelda loves, not knowing he doesn't 'love' love her in return but more like just wants to bang her. Between one thing and another Esmerelda dies a horrible death, although not before escaping a mob or three and an execution or two. Wikipedia notes that at one point Phoebus's actual betrothed
Fleur-de-Lys later neglects to inform Phoebus that Esmeralda has not been executed, which serves to deprive the pair of any further contact—though as Phoebus no longer loves Esmeralda by this time, this does not matter. The novel ends with their wedding.
I get all verklempt just reading the abridged version.

The blog's gif-ing of this year's World Championship free dance, which defeated Carmen at every outing, is coming along much more smoothly than I expected, although as usual I have to pause to screen cap moments of special note and then do gifs isolating stand-out moments in the program, along with the primary task of gifing the program in sequence.

In the spirit of Hunchback as summarized in wikipedia, I'll start with the first gif:

which is called "Charlie bashes Meryl in the face".

Then there's the "dance" spin. I had to slow-mo it to focus on the details which made it too long, so the gif had to be split. First:

Kurt Browning called this a 'difficult' spin entrance. I call it the "shot put."

You know what's a harder spin entrance Kurt? One that is skated.

As usual, Charlie is handling Meryl's rotational impetus himself with a mighty hoist into the air and then yanking her into rotation, but he's a beat behind her. I think he's piggybacking. He swings her down into the rotation and waits til she's in it to rotate himself off his grip on her. He's sort of riding hers.

Though this is slo-mo, the regular speed version is none too speedy.

Of particular note, Charlie seemed to be doing something weird with his working leg during the position changes. I kept having to slow it to see what it was. Was he kicking it funny, jumping from one foot to the other or what? Then I saw - he HOPS. Of course he hops. At the end of the spin he's on an inside edge and he hops on the same edge to keep the rotation going on that edge.

Of course the 'hop' into that deserving-of-level-4 two part twizzle pass just makes rotation in that instance HARDER. Physics is flexible like that. All math is.

Then the end of the spin:

They don't immediately do something two-footed after the spin this time - the exit from this spin IS two-footed. Be it noted that Charlie puts his "free foot" on the ice before the final rotation is completed so the final part of the last turn is completely two-footed.

Charlie does so much posing out there he's reminiscent of another era.

The spin above is an example of the spinning their partisans claim make them the best spinners in the world. Get in on it from two feet (Meryl gets literally yanked into it out of the air from her partner.). Naturally, arrest the momentum out of it with two feet and slowly stand up on two feet aaaaand stop. That's the kind of level of difficulty and quality of execution ice dancers should be aiming for. And the speed! <fans self>


  1. zOMG Meryl & Charlie's spin is sooo hard it needed two gifs! Finally, proof they deserved to win.

    1. I love how they can do what the fuck EVER and the judges just co-sign it with the given level, the base value, and the high GOES. What are the judges doing when Meryl and Charlie skate? Face-timing on their phones. Charlie has both feet flat on the ice well before the element is completed and you can't miss it because he calmly stays there and slides to a stop on two feet as well.

      Typical for them, neither the entrance nor the exit was skated.

    2. So where are all the self-styled ice-dance experts on the skating boards? None of them saw any of this before?

      Ok, so the judges have some political deals going on - obviously. What I'm not understanding is the lack of attention to all these horrible details from the "experts" out there who love to post their looong analysis about this or that team and all the particulars of their skating. What, Meryl and Charlie got a pass? All this time? Why?

    3. The Meryl and Charlie fans who claim to be "experts" prove their expertise by re-typing information found in the protocols and posting wikipedia info and youtube examples of different dance styles.

      The consensus among people who actually know anything about dance tends to be "yeah, V&M are better skaters. Too bad they'll have to go back to boring first love FDs now."

      These people stopped giving a shit about ice dance when it became dominated by North Americans with "boring" FDs.

      The fact that people that know good dance stopped caring is exactly the reason why D&W can control the narrative now. The ISU getting rid of compulsories and adding stuff like hip hop (a static dance that mainly uses isolations of the upper body to create interest, that has no history of being successfully done on ice with edges) has worked to basically turn ice dancing into a completely different sport. The fans of the old ice dance have been alienated, allowing teams like D&W to dominate.

    4. Fans aren't in the judges seat. The winner isn't decided by popular vote.

      DW aren't winning because their "style" is more popular. They're winning because the judges award them for what they're not doing on the ice and they ignore the many many egregiously awful non-skating DW substitutes for skating. I just giffed the notre dame footwork and they skip, hop and scurry in between every set of steps and furthermore I don't think they get the last steps done - they trash it up with their flurry mess and it comes apart and stops being steps without ever turning into something else.

      The sport - whatever style is popular - is, right now, and durng the past season and previous seasons, corrupt. The judging system is not a judging system. It's a facade and nothing more.

      This year the media, particularly social media, struck me as incredibly aggressive, 100% public relations and absolutely hostile to informed inquiry. All of the usual idiots took it up a notch. Something's up, IMO.

    5. Yeah, the fact that D/W are being given the titles and outrageous scores isn't because the fans who know ice dance have stopped watching and caring for whatever reason. This isn't Dancing With the Stars or similar ilk. What the audience thinks and who's watching or not for whatever reason doesn't have a bearing.

      "This year the media, particularly social media, struck me as incredibly aggressive, 100% public relations and absolutely hostile to informed inquiry. All of the usual idiots took it up a notch. Something's up, IMO."

      Something is definitely up.

  2. HOW were they not dropped a level for Charlie two-footing the last half rotation of that spin? At Nationals Tessa and Scott were dropped to a LEVEL ONE on their spin (labeled a CoSP) and no one could explain why, exactly. Did Scott's free leg touch down? Did he two foot? Maybe? It's never clear, even in the slow mo replay.

    This sport is so ridiculous. Seems properly applying the standards of CoP is merely a suggestion.

    1. That's what I was going to say--Charlie's two-footing should have dropped them a level on that spin. They weren't dropped a level because they're given benefit of the doubt so that the desired outcome of the event was achieved.

    2. I'm curious about something related to the spins in both D/W and V/M's FDs. It seems Meryl and Charlie were apparently allowed to two foot the last half rotation of their spin in a way that looks like it was by design rather than by accident.

      If you watch Tessa and Scott's exit out of the Carmen spin (in the first half of the season), Scott finishes his rotation, starts to drop his weight and shift his centre of gravity back down, and then pulls Tessa around in a kind of half rotation as they skate out of the element. IF at Nationals, it was decided that Scott's being on two feet as he pulled Tessa around for the exit was the reason for the THREE LEVEL drop (because I never see Scott drop his free leg. Also, it was suddenly labeled a CoSp), I don't get that because for one, he's done rotating. But secondly, if the problem was that he was on two feet as he pulled her out in the exit, then they could be dropped a level for Scott two-footing, correct? But this was something that was apparently not an issue during the GP circuit and was never an issue with Meryl and Charlie, who two footed the last half of the rotation coming out of their spin all season long.

      WTF. Meryl and Charlie's two footing is ignored and given points, while Tessa and Scott are knocked around until they're forced to change the spin completely?

    3. YEP.

      Be in noted, the first to knock them around spinwise was their own Federation. The same Fed, and their same cohorts, who suddenly found Tessa's cramp and the team's ability to start again super questionable and needing to be "looked into" after more than a quarter of a fucking century, after a pairs team won Olympic silver because of the rule, after Gordeeva & Grinkov were disqualified because they didn't follow the rule, after the Shibs were allowed a restart for the same thing.

      VM have a target on their fucking back and their Federation is no friend of theirs. I'm super curious to see how G&P score at Worlds next year - this year Skate Canada seemed to take 18th place in stride. Maybe the ISU will rediscover an appreciation for G&P's D&W style after the current champs retire.

      There's something else - shit, there's everything - about Meryl Charlie that are disturbing. If you look at their programs, several times during a program they skate to where there's a football field distance between them. There is no "spatial relationship" (quoth the rulebook, although I'm going to have to really read that part thorough). Charlie poses his freaking ass off while Meryl does her repetoire which is basically pirouettes or skipping or just being two-footed while hair skating. Charlie's no better because he's on two feet, jumping up and down like he's on a pogo stick.

      Here's the thing. WHY are they so fucking far apart? There's no other team that puts that much distance between them during a program, not even pairs after a throw. This is an emphatic amount of yardage. And it's always when they're vamping.

      I figure one reason is when they're done vamping, they can't resume skating right away - they have to close that distance, which is convenient for running down the clock. But why is this okay? If it's okay why don't other teams position themselves with one partner at mid field and the other at the goal line in THEIR programs?

      Sleaze sleaze sleaze. Their Fed is up in it - what is left of their Fed, and whoever the hell would give a shit (which seems to be Debbi - VM have cut her off from their spotlight - but how could she inherit power? As I've wondered before - who is the boss of her? Who signs her checks? How come we don't know?). The little chatterboxes who get on twitter or have blogs have gotten the word for sure - the awkward is something you can taste, so is the fake, and so is the very aggressive stupid.

      This isn't a freaking sport. What other sport uses organized crime as its organizational model and in what other sport would the "media" go along with it and do their dirty work. Lynn Rutherford's knee pads alone must be filthy by now - P.J. Kwong's too, and I'm beginning to get a little emotional about Tracy Wilson.

  3. did they get penalized for traveling like v/m did?