Thursday, August 22, 2013

Walk This way


These are embedded here with permission. So much better than I was able to do with windows movie maker. And what a great idea.



77 points. The WTF sets in directly after the twizzles. Meryl's random two footing, walking, kind of hanging out, weird sort of stutter steps, and gliding while being pulled.

There's not even a half-assed indication of a sustained edge after the second twizzle pass.

Look at how sloppy they are - the snow they're creating. Not kicking up, creating. There are ice shavings piling up alongside their skates wherever they go and flying into the air as well. Look how sloppy the free legs are, and the hips. They barely bother to articulate their legs in the polka and barely get the free legs off the ice.

The hops in between, the skipping and scurrying I figure is choreography. The times where she's just sort of there for a beat, seemingly two footing at random, or pausing, I do not understand.

Charlie's skating is a little basic but I guess the full effect is lost without the angel smile towards the audience as he turns his torso three quarters to sweep his arm and throw back his head.

The downside to watching only feet is we can't see when Meryl is being pulled or yanked, and when she's not. We can see that in the choreographic lift (where Charlie's position is a squat) she is set down on a flat and on two feet. 77 freaking points for this and it's just full of Meryl on her flats or two feet getting yanked by Charlie, not to mention one or both of them going two feet to bracket every single element. They cannot skate in and out of their elements. Considering their rivals can, I think that's a big difference. God forbid ISU acknowledge this - they'd lose the manufactured rivalry.



I would really love to use the Finnstep sd here, but it's fairer to wait to compare it to Davis White's Finnstep.

Look at the ease, the freedom of movement, how everything defaults to the edge. The freaking blade run compared to DW - compared to anybody.

BTW - that's just "style". people. "Being good at it" is just one style option among many.

How come Tessa is skating this program? It's possible to cover ice, change directions, change holds without walking, two-footing, going up on your flat while being yanked hither and yon, and all the other random weirdness Meryl does outside of what appears to be choreography? Who knew? But why bother?

In Tessa's choreographic lift, she is set down on a deep running outside edge that carries into the next transition. And in contrast to Charlie, who settled into a squat, look at Scott SKATE that lift.

Without question, Virtue and Moir's patterns are bigger, their skating is obviously more powerful, that their speed is superior to Davis White's is in our faces, particularly in the footwork and pattern sequences, there's more, you know, skating, and just they cover more ice in general. The articulation in the free leg is night and day. That Virtue Moir use their entire bodies, versus using just their limbs while haphazardly posing the rest of the body is also clear.



The only thing missing in the gussied up junkyard of Die Fleuder-fake is the skating. This program should have been called The Road To Nowhere. All the leaping, extravagant gesticulating and flinging, building up to nothing happens.

I don't mean to be juvenile with the Die Fleuder-messing and the Die Fleuderfakery - but what is this program but sleight-of-hand? How to skate your free dance without skating.

In both programs Meryl does a whole lot of weird half-finished intersticial stepping.

And look how frequently they slooooww down with their skipping and trotting. The program is one continuous re-set.



The complaint the entire season by VM critics was they weren't doing enough skating; there were too many static sections. What they should have done is waved their arms frantically into the air while leaping around into nothing, like Meryl and Charlie, because if ever a skating program was one big static section after another, it's DF.

There is no trade-off here. There's no apples and oranges. It's not speed and power versus grace and refinement. It's a slam dunk for Virtue Moir. DW are not trading refinement and grace for speed and power, they are sacrificing refinement (including the blade work that represents the finest skating skills) for the APPEARANCE of power and speed. The appearance is created by non-blade-centric, frantic movement and getting up off their edges.

Virtue and Moir have the skating skills, the grace and refinement, and, what is made obvious in these videos, the speed and power. They do more skating, they sustain their edges, use their skating for their choreography. The skating isn't just something they squeeze into the choreography.

P.S. I knew Charlie yanked and pulled Meryl along but until looking at these videos I had no idea how MUCH he yanked and pulled her along, and when he does it, she's not on an edge and he's often simply stepping from one foot to the other. Their choreography appears constructed to get them skating as little as possible and get them off their edges as much as possible. I also think the pulling and yanking is visual trickery leaving the impression they're in hold. Pulling and yanking isn't hold.

175 comments:

  1. giselle had alot of static sections as well and d/w didnt get punished for that wtf

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  2. I'm starting to think Meryl represents someone in your life that has hurt/upset/betrayed you in some fashion. You can calm down now, she's a complete stranger who should not have any effect on your personal life.

    The same goes for your rantings about V/M's lives. They don't owe you anything. I'll repeat that. They owe you NOTHING. They don't owe you an explanation for their actions or behavior. They don't owe you proof of whatever relationship they have (if they even have one). And the fact that people are hunting for marriage papers--hello your name is Creepy McCreepster.

    It's funny--there's lots of "celebrity gossip" sites but I have yet to come across a blog so devoted to the lives of two complete strangers, complete with photos (taken from where--facebook? twitter?), videos, tweets.

    I really thought this was a satire blog when I first came stumbled upon it. But you guys are actually serious. And that makes it all the more frightening.

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    1. lol some d/w fan is pressed

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    2. Speaking of pressed DW fans, there are some real gems of information in their thread tonight. My favorite is this: "Choreography without music is just a bunch of figures, music makes it tell a story, come to life and astonish us. Music is a huge deal, especially in the Olympic season."

      Sometimes, there are just no words.

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    3. And yet if VM fans had an idiot-off vis a vis DW fans there would be no easy winner. At the moment there are VM fans who, purely because they've made it up in own minds, are speculating that VM finally have some privacy from Marina to work with choreo behind her back with Jean Marc Genereux. Their obsession with Marina is their own kind of special.

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    4. And if it's not already clear, this particular post is about the skating and no surprise, the huffing and puffing is about anything but. You'd think comparing skating was a sin, but skating is a competitive sport. An Olympic competitive sport. Imagine not knowing it's rude to notice that one athlete is better than another athlete in the same sport.

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    5. "And yet if VM fans had an idiot-off vis a vis DW fans there would be no easy winner."

      THIS. I love V/M, but when I read half the stuff posted on their thread over at FSU I can't help but laugh. Those fans have a tendency to utilize the same kinds of asinine and hypocritical reasoning as the fans of D/W they claim to so despise. I can't decide which thread of fans likes to circle jerk more. I guess it depends on the day. Not sure it should be all that surprising, though. That's the same place where some of their own fans said they wished V/M had LOST Worlds in 2012 because that might have meant they'd leave Marina.

      WHAT
      THE
      HELL

      So by all means, V/M should be glad to have some privacy away from Marina, the coach they PAY MONEY TO train them for the Olympics? Because that makes sense.

      Who cares if twenty teams are skating to Carmen this season, or only one or two (if any) are doing a Notre Dame-themed program, or Meryl's face seem contorted in a certain way in an off-ice photograph? None of that matters. What's important is what the skaters are doing WITH THEIR BLADES, and that's where V/M are the most innovative and influential.

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    6. "I'm starting to think Meryl represents someone in your life that has hurt/upset/betrayed you in some fashion. You can calm down now, she's a complete stranger who should not have any effect on your personal life. "

      This comment to OC doesn't make a whiff of sense. Re-read the post. It's 100% about Meryl's skating. It's not bashing. There are plenty of people on the internet spouting crap about Meryl's looks and personal stuff. This is a skating analysis. And I have no idea why you're singling out Meryl, since OC has consistently talked about Charlie's deficiencies individually and the team's deficiencies as a whole. She didn't say much about Charlie here, but your comment that "I'm starting to think..." implies that your perception is based on more than just this post. If you read all of OC's posts she is not showing any leeway to Charlie. That's in contrast to DW's own fans, many of whom have insisted Charlie was a better skater for years, or who have acknowledged Meryl's lines are lacking while pretending Charlie is equally as good as Scott.

      You have to admit OC is fair. She has never posted anything about DW without specifically linking a photo, gif, or video that supports it. That's a lot more than one can say about VM bashers and their vague assertions that something undefinable is lacking in their skating.

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    7. the difference between V/M ubers and D/W ubers is that V/M ubers don't harass you with PM's :D

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    8. "And if it's not already clear, this particular post is about the skating and no surprise, the huffing and puffing is about anything but."

      Yep. I think that may be all these types of critics have in their arsenals. It's blatantly obvious they can't actually defend Davis/White's skating, which is what all criticism of them on this site has stemmed from, which includes how their federation markets them as the best skaters in the world.

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    9. You'd be hard-pressed to find a VM uberfan who doesn't understand that what they do with their blade makes them the best. They might have other, less informed or questionable (in the eye of the beholder) premises, but at least their opinion will be based on a solid foundation.

      I'm not referring to the solely shipper fans who only like VM because they are good-looking or Canadian and post on SC's facebook page that they should get married for realz cause those bridals pics are purty. I'm talking any fan who posts about their actual skating.

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    10. I think it's definitely very true that the VM fandom has its own share of idiots. However, if you compare the entire VM fandom to the entire DW fandom, the VM fandom is far less stupid. The fact of the matter is that despite the assertions of the DW ubers that people are only fans of VM because of shippery aspects, there are a lot of people who were drawn to VM because of the skating. The VM fandom may have some idiots, but there are also some very knowledgeable people among the ranks. When it comes to the DW fandom, there is no skating knowledge to be found.

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    11. "When it comes to the DW fandom, there is no skating knowledge to be found."

      This. It's all re-writing the protocols in narrative form and posting youtube links to different dance and music styles the poster has googled.

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    12. @8:36 - I think comments about Meryl's face or appearance in general have come from certain fans on Twitter more than FSU posts, but that aside, agreed with your larger point. It's about the skating.

      Some of VM's fans sometimes undermine the team's support with this way of seeing the forest for the trees without realizing they're also looking at the wrong trees. There's a fixation on everything around Tessa and Scott -- their programs and audience or judge reception, DW, Marina, etc. -- and none of that has much to do with the actual blades-on-ice of skating. And it becomes a situation where VM become objects in need of defense against DW, their coach, Skate Canada, fans of other ice dancers, their own fans, judges, other ice dancers who skate a particular style, etc. They should be supported and celebrated for their major athletic triumphs, not treated as victims. That creates a whole other fan mentality that doesn't lead to an approach that's much good to anyone.

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    13. Interesting comments, 9:05. Agree that I'd rather Tessa and Scott be celebrated as athletes (and artists) rather than treated as victims, but it can be hard when the judging has been as shitty as it has.

      To be fair, I think the sham has informed a lot of the OTT reactions and conspiracy theories from VM fans.

      For those of us who accept the facts that are laid out on this blog, we can see that VM have absolutely terrible judgment about how they comport themselves on social media, and that SC has been complicit in this. It is only natural for this group to question VM's judgment about other things, like their PR, their positive attitude about DW (and really, they've been much more gracious than DW have been in turn), and their loyalty to Marina. Whether these theories are right or wrong, it's understandable to say "they're losing, and they have some really sucky instincts about this personal stuff, so let's consider that they have sucky instincts about their professional decisions."

      For those that believe this blog is just a theory I think they must be able to tell that something is off in camp VM. They refuse to or cannot fathom believing the sham, but they can see something is very wrong, so that naturally manifests as crazy theories and questions about Marina, DW, the judges, and all manner of conspiracies.

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    14. also i dont understand how people can say that charlie is better than scott. scott lines/posture/frame are cleaner than charlie's and scott is a more reliable and stable partner (when it comes to stuff like lifts iirc charlie dropped meryl at skate america one time) scott is also more expressive and is more considerate(as a partner) than charlie and scott's skating is much more delicate than charlie who's skating is imo rough.

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    15. Looking at the wrong trees is a great way of putting it. It's almost like a lot of their fans are more concerned with Virtue/Moir beating down Davis/White rather than with Virtue/Moir winning. The two things are not necessarily one-in-the-same.

      Even though they are the recipients of unfair ISU moves, the only place where Virtue/Moir play the victim card is in regards to how they publicize their personal life, where they place blame for their lies on the fans. They *do not* play the victim when it comes to the critiques of their skating. Scott Moir may make the occasional candid comment at an event, but then he and Tessa return home, put their asses in gear, and correct what needs to be corrected or further polish their programs.

      Pointing out or questioning the deficiencies in Davis/White's programs and their fed's marketing of them is absolutely fair. But the focus should remain on the fact that Virtue/Moir's skating is superior to EVERYBODY'S. I think that's what this blog does in comparing the skating and marketing of both teams. Fans going around elsewhere screaming that Meryl Davis's positions in lifts are f*cking ugly had better explain in technical detail how hitting bad positions negatively affects the bladework and GOE, or else those assertions don't mean anything.

      Virtue/Moir fans who choose to criticize Davis/White but can't break down their criticism as it relates to the technical realities of the skating come across as stupidly biased and uninformed as the Davis/White fans they claim know nothing about skating, and it does nothing to "counterprogram" the incorrect media assertion that both teams are equals, which is what those fans claim they're trying to do.

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    16. "However, if you compare the entire VM fandom to the entire DW fandom, the VM fandom is far less stupid."

      Well, that's quite a ringing endorsement.

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  3. Why do all V/M fans have to be a fan of Marina as well? I for one still wish they had left Canton. If that somehow makes me stupid, it's a stupidity I'm willing to embrace.

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    1. I don't think anyone is saying they have to be a fan of Marina. But IMO, that's different than arguing that V/M's success is based on mostly talent alone and has very little to do with Marina's coaching/choreography over the years. That overlooks the fact that without her guidance and vision for them, V/M wouldn't have developed into the team they are today.

      V/M's superior skating skills and mastery of movement in performance do not exist independent of the programs in which they display them.

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    2. I think the same sentiment applies to everyone who claims that Jennifer Swan's work alone is what set V/M's Carmen apart from every other Carmen ever created. Certainly she played a crucial role in the construction of the program choreography/movement for the piece, but those elements couldn't exist independent of the bladework.

      As amazing as she is, if Jennifer Swan was part of the equation but Marina was not, that brilliant Carmen free dance would not have existed in the form that it did, and that not only includes the program layout but the movement itself. Because all of that movement derived from the blades on the ice, and Marina is the one who has an intimate understanding of Tessa and Scott's skating skills and in what ways to construct programs upon them, not Swan.

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    3. There's a difference between not being a fan of Marina and deciding VM must feel the same way. I don't know if some of these fans even know there's a difference.

      Because THEY don't like Marina, there are VM fans who act like poor VM are controlled by her against their own secret wishes, and in an ideal world VM would escape her influence. That's beyond arrogant and egocentric of fans who are incapable of distinguishing between what they like/want and what Virtue Moir like and want.

      It also makes Virtue Moir out to be weak and easily manipualted IN THEIR SKATING, and unable to make necessary changes for fear of hurting feelings. There's a huge difference between coaching and family. They are close to Marina personally, but if they felt they would be better off with another coach, or WANTED another coach/choreography, they would be gone yesterday.

      As well, the core of Marina's choreography directly relates to the core of Virtue and Moir's dancing. So if fans want them to move elsewhere, it's pretty much dismissing something that is essential to Virtue and Moir's skating, and it's not difficult to wonder if they actually appreciate something at the heart of what Virtue and Moir do, which is musicality. So many VM fans seem at their heart to want DW choreography. They want a lot of theatricality. They're not really fans of dance. It amazes me how someone not a fan of dance thinks therefore VM aren't really fans of dance-centric ice dance choreography and they want to be out there in OTT costuming emoting with their faces and limbs.

      There is no better choreographer anywhere who matches choreography to rhythm, who understands rhythm and rhythm changes and can work with rhythm and music like Marina.

      Furthermore, what other coach can work with the outside influences Marina welcomes at Canton? People act like VM worked with Jennifer Swan INSTEAD of Marina, when they worked wtih Jennifer Swan AND Marina, because obviously Jennifer Swan doesn't know ice dance layout and required elements, nor is she the one who figures out how to execute choreography with skate edges instead of feet. If people like what Jennifer Swan does with VM, they should be damn glad Marina is their coach because not every coach is talented enough or flexible enough or SMART enough to collaborate and produce a program with the choreographic integrity of Carmen.

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    4. Make no mistake,if VM didn't think Canton/Marina was the best place for them, they would not be there.

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    5. A popular proposal by several of the fans who want V/M out of Canton was that they dump Marina, stick with Swan for their choreography, and go find a technical coach to oversee their elements and compulsory patterns. This coming from a group of people who claim to have a detailed understanding of everything V/M's skating entails, why it's so brilliant, and scold D/W fans for not grasping those things.

      Each season V/M produce wonderfully innovative, complex programs and these fans hesitate to give much if any credit for that to Marina. Perhaps it's because more than a few of them hold to the misconception that she possesses the skills to do choreography but is lacking in technical proficiency. That makes absolutely no sense.

      The construction of choreography can't be separated from a knowledge of skating technique or how to apply it to musical rhythms. It also makes no sense for a fan to claim that what makes V/M so spectacular is their bladework (it's the skating!) but then turn around and claim they aren't fans of Marina's choreography. At its core, the choreography *is* the bladework! V/M don't dance on top of their skating, they dance within it.

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    6. I think the reason that some fans want V/M to leave Marina isn't because they don't care for her choreography or think she's crap technically -- it's because of her increasingly blase attitude toward V/M. She made inappropriate comments to the media about Tessa's state of mind after the short dance at Worlds and consistently talks up D/W as if they're the second coming. I think the fans just want a coach who will fight for V/M and V/M alone.

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    7. I could live with Marina but I cannot live with them sharing a coach with DW anymore.

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    8. It's not even about Marina. I just don't like that they train with Davis and White. And because of that, if Marina showers praises on V/M she then has to reciprocate and do the same for D/W when she knows who the better team is. At this point I don't think she cares who wins as long as it's either D/W or V/M.

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    9. I have a genuine question for those concerned with VM training alongside DW, apart from the issue of Marina: what is the fear behind DW seeing what VM do? Is it that they'll crib notes from them? Because I guess what I struggle with in this argument is that as we know, DW can't do what VM do. They can't pull choreographic moves or tricks from them. So what is the specific worry about their training next to VM?

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    10. I'm sorry but who is "fighting for" Davis White? Is it Marina? It's their Federation and the US media. What program did Marina say could get 200 points? Was it Notre Dame? No, it was Carmen.

      Where does she talk of Davis and White like it's the second coming? It's icenetwork and the US media that talks as if they're the second coming, and the Canadian media that acts like their lapdogs.

      A previous comment section went over this thoroughly so I'll only repeat, those who are neglecting to fight for Virtue Moir are, first and foremost, their fucking Federation. Their Fed is dead silent. Didn't utter a peep when VM started getting the shivs in their back after the 4CC's 2013. Didn't question 77 points for Worlds with ten teams left to skate. Their Fed, that has overseen stripping points from Virtue Moir at two Canadians running while piling the points onto Gilles & Poirier to get them as close to Virtue Moir as they think they can get away with.

      Marina is not the promotional engine for Davis White. The USFSA and the US media is the promotional engine for Davis White, so is their management, IMG.

      Amazing how some VM fans expect Marina to do the job of the USFSA, IMG and the US media combined, and are fine with Skate Canada doing nothing - even undermining them as they have at two nationals and after 4CCs. These same fans are fine with the Canadian media's neglect and parroting of icenetwork and the US media's talking points.

      It is not her JOB. She has been completely even handed in her public comments about Virtue Moir and Davis and White. It is Virtue and Moir's Federation and the Canadian sports media and the Canadian skating chattering class that is fucking this up. It's just amazing what some fans decide a freaking coach ought to be doing. Do they really think Marina is the one planting these stories about Davis White?

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    11. Apparently the desire for VM to leave Marina rests solely on the idea that if they did, their new coach would be braying left and right that Davis and White suck. Please point to another case where the coach has constantly bashed someone's nearest competitors. Was it Chan's coaches? Nope. It was Chan's FED, which is the same Fed as VM's, only the Fed keeps mum when it's VM. What other coach makes it a policy to sling mud at other skaters and scream that the scores are a rip off - and by doing so, succeeds in rectifying a perceived judging bias.

      This is absolutely asinine and irrational.

      As far as choreography goes, it absolutely doesn't matter that Marina choreographs for both, because Davis White can't possibly skate anything Virtue Moir skate if they watched the program development from day one, and Virtue Moir have no interest in skating anything Davis White skate, as they like to skate.

      Furthermore, no VM fans who wants them to leave Marina has managed to explain how that will make Marina a less effective choreographer for DW and how that will compel the judges to suddenly "see through" what DW are doing. The responsibility to see through it rests with the media, with skating commentators, and VM's Fed, and those who do see through it pretend they don't. But all this will be fixed by a coaching change? PLEASE please please explain.

      Just as DW fans are unable to make the case for DW's skating, VM's fans are completely unable to make a rational case for VM leaving Marina.

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    12. Marina has a blase attitude about V/M? Give me a break. When she works with V/M and outside influences to construct the most innovative, complex programs on the planet, that *is* her giving them her utmost support. Fans who claim otherwise have confused "support" with "throwing shade at other skaters, coaches, and feds."

      Not only is it asinine, but the "Marina doesn't support V/M" argument is also blatantly hypocritical in nature. Those who make it want to force the sport to change its ways and its focus be shifted to the skating, but they claim the only way to do that is to utilize the same kinds of tactics they claim...prevents the sport from changing its ways and its focus be shifted to the skating.

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    13. If Virtue and Moir's hypothetical new coach was able to immediately change the media narrative, please explain why people who coach neither are unable to speak up?

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    14. "If Virtue and Moir's hypothetical new coach was able to immediately change the media narrative, please explain why people who coach neither are unable to speak up?"

      Yes! Or why their teams wouldn't be regularly defeating V/M and D/W if they did speak up?

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    15. DW can't actually do what they do, but they're sure good at saying they're doing what VM are. That said, even if training apart, DW would eventually see what VM are doing.

      I know some have also been concerned that it might not be best of D/W knew how V/M's day-to-day training was going, afraid that it might be used against VM politically.

      I think a lot of people are just frustrated with what's been done to V/M. It's natural to look at every piece of the situation and wonder if there's anything that can be changed that might help. Some of the people with concerns have been around this sport for 2 and even 3 decades. They know skating, they know the politics, and they reference some of the historical situations. K/P left Dubova 4 months before Albertville because they felt that Dubova preferred U/Z. Grischuk/Platov left Linichuk because they felt that she preferred K/O. I do believe that if V/M felt they needed a different coach, they would have one. I will say that I know that some of the people who have speculated about a coaching change are people who are aware of V/M's true off-ice status. Given that V/M have made some epically questionable decisions (to put it mildly) in some areas of their life, people do question whether that sometimes carries over to skating. I guess I'm saying I understand why some people are looking at this aspect the way that they are.

      On a different note, I do think Marina has done an obviously outstanding job with V/M. That said, I think if we lived in a world where Marina wasn't a figure skating coach/choreographer, that there are other brilliant coaches and choreographers out there who would have helped V/M reach their full potential as Marina has. There's a great quote from Platov, from 2008 I think, where he remarked that V/M were such a huge talent that all a choreographer/coach had to do was not spoil them.

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    16. Nobody said Marina has to go out there and blatantly promote V/M. We're just saying that when she praises one team she naturally has to do the same for the other. For example in the icenetwork article she had to let it be known that D/W were just as ready as V/M were. Also when it was obvious Carmen was not defeating ND last year Marina's tone changed by the end of the season and we no longer heard Carmen can cross the 200 marks or whatever. It's obvious we all have different opinions on this and I don't understand why some have an issue with that.

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    17. "It's obvious we all have different opinions on this and I don't understand why some have an issue with that."

      So differing opinions can't be challenged or discussed?

      "Nobody said Marina has to go out there and blatantly promote V/M."

      Of course they have. That's how "support V/M" and "fight for them" is being defined by those fans. They don't believe Marina has or can do that if she also coaches D/W.

      Marina could have made a concerted effort to mention in every interview all season long that V/M's programs could cross the 200 point mark. Those fans would have still been pissed at her regardless, because she would have also continued praising D/W.

      Marina doesn't write icenetwork's articles. She answers the questions they ask of her regarding all of her teams, and then icenetwork formulates them into as many separate articles as they see fit.

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    18. No, a coach cannot politik a team or skater to gold alone--the fed, the skater's country's press, etc. play a role. BUT, the coach is involved in the politics.

      I'm just going to throw this one example (of many over the course of skating history) out as what some people are trying to get it at. This is a direct quote from Ingo Steuer, S/S's coach, re: V/T in a recent icenetwork article.

      ' "The free is ready, but it is our 'baby' which we want to bring to life a bit later," Steuer said. "We have heard the rumor that our main rivals, Tatiana and Maxim, will skate to Jesus Christ Superstar. This is certainly not our style, and I do not like this music. We are going in a completely different direction."

      This, explained Steuer, is by design.

      "During our journey in Asia (to do shows), I had asked my former pupil, Tatiana [Volosozhar], what direction the Russians' music was taking," he said. "Nobody wants the two best pairs in the world to skate to the same music."'

      It's not blatant by any stretch of the imagination, but it is throwing shade at V/T. Now, if Steuer also coached V/T, would he be able to do that? No. A coach throwing shade at a rival to their team or skater is not an uncommon thing and it wouldn't be happening if they didn't think it was a helpful thing to do.

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    19. "Given that V/M have made some epically questionable decisions (to put it mildly) in some areas of their life, people do question whether that sometimes carries over to skating. I guess I'm saying I understand why some people are looking at this aspect the way that they are."

      The problem with this argument, though, is that it doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Can someone explain what is wrong with V/M's skating that would indicate they aren't being given enough "support" or attention by their coaches? Every year V/M come out with the most difficult, innovative programs in the sport and earn massively high scores for them. Furthermore, when they debuted Carmen this past season, they were doing so as reigning World champions! But their staying with Marina was a questionable decision?

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    20. "In the beginning of their career, not many people thought they would be able to be world champions, because when they started out, all elite [ice dancers] were tall, long legged and a different type physically," said Zoueva, who trains the team in Canton, Mich. "And we did it. Eleven years I've worked with them, and we did it. Now, everyone thinks a petite girl is better than long and tall."

      When asked if Davis and White were the best at their craft, Zoueva -- who also coaches Davis and White's main rivals, world and Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir -- demurred.

      "It is very hard to say who is best because figure skating is 50 percent sport, 50 percent art," she said. "And the 50 percent art, you can't say exactly. People are different; it is subjective. But definitely, for [an] audience who love the style that Meryl and Charlie represent, they are the best."

      http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130127&content_id=41199020&vkey=ice_news

      You don't think this kind of stuff is problematic? Marina perpetuates the narrative that both teams are equal technically. She might make up for it in other ways, but it isn't an ideal situation.

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    21. So shade should be thrown for shade's sake?

      How is what Steuer said going to improve S&S's chances of defeating V&T?

      It seems to me that VM fans are simply fed up with DW partisans having it all their own way in the media and they want SOMEONE to push back in the media and take down DW, and, incredibly, they think that someone should be their COACH.

      Not their Fed. Not a competent sports management team. Not the skating talking heads in Canada. Their COACH.

      Coaches, including a hypothetical new coach, are not going to do that, and do you know why? Unless they are guaranteed nobody but the best skaters with the finest skating skills as clients for the rest of their lives, they're not going to directly call out all of the tricks of the skating trade in PUBLIC, because they may end up using those tricks themselves when they find themselves with skaters who lack first rate skating skills.

      Basically, it seems that fans want Virtue and Moir to go to a coach who will then not praise them, but turn around and rip DW to shreds. And, naturally, accompany that take down with a skating clinic so everybody knows the take down is valid. Everybody will suddenly recognize quality ice dance and have the epiphany that DW are overrated and overscored.

      And then icenetwork, the US media, the sponsors, the Fed, social media, the USFA, will stop follow suit and inform us all that DW really aren't in the same league as VM. Tracy Wilson will finally be able to speak her mind.

      Delete
    22. "It is very hard to say who is best because figure skating is 50 percent sport, 50 percent art," she said. "And the 50 percent art, you can't say exactly. People are different; it is subjective. But definitely, for [an] audience who love the style that Meryl and Charlie represent, they are the best."

      >>>You don't think this kind of stuff is problematic? Marina perpetuates the narrative that both teams are equal technically. She might make up for it in other ways, but it isn't an ideal situation.<<<

      Saying that "for an audience who love the STYLE that Meryl and Charlie represent, they are the best" to you means she's saying they're equal TECHNICALLY? Are you fucking serious?

      That sentence is a genius of equivocation and is basically a twist on something said by Jean Brodie in the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: "For those that like that sort of thing that is the sort of thing they like."

      IOW absolutely all Marina has said there is that people who like Meryl and Charlie's style think they're the best.

      Put her in the stocks!

      She's also full of shit because it's not 50 percent sport/50 percent art. She NEVER talks technique and she's not talking technique here. It's ALL sport. The so-called "art" is actually another facet of technique. It's not style. Doing something rough, sloppy, out of alignment, with a comparative poverty of movement, with rough and/or uncontrolled elements isn't a STYLE. Inferior skaters have tried to roll with that one for years and it's a popular fig leaf among both coaches and skaters but everybody knows it's not style - it's called doing it wrong.

      Marina knows how to say a whole lot of nothing really well. It's amazing how people can't see it. She's telegraphing her artlessness here.

      Delete
    23. Furthermore, why aren't DW fans up in arms? She just dissed them there. She was asked outright if they were the best and she basically slopped it on over to their fans. "For audiences that like their style, they are the best!" Take another gander at that sentence and she's just thrown shade at both the audience that likes the style AND at DW.

      Delete
    24. "There's a huge difference between coaching and family. They are close to Marina personally, but if they felt they would be better off with another coach, or WANTED another coach/choreography, they would be gone yesterday."

      Exactly. They are the reigning Olympic champions, serious athletes, and believe in their talent. They aren't being emotionally manipulated by their coaches. They *know* how good they are. If they didn't, they wouldn't have stayed in the sport in order to push it forward.

      They can't be held hostage by Marina when they PAY HER to train them, especially if they believed they'd be better off elsewhere. They know perfectly well that any coach in the sport would jump at the opportunity to have them in their rink.

      Ultimately, V/M hold power over Marina because they choose to work with her. Once they agree to do so, they cede some of that power to her (regarding decisions about their programs, costumes, training schedule, etc.), but they do so out of trust. And their results over the years have proved that Marina has rightfully earned that trust, not that she's manipulated it out of them.

      Delete
    25. And just as DW fans don't address the skating, nobody here has yet explained why they expect Marina to do the job of a Federation, a sports management company, and a nation's media. Where's the bitching at Skate Canada? They have a new president and CEO - where the fuck are they? Where's their reaction to the "letter of inquiry" from the ISU? Where's their comment on DW getting 77 points in that short?

      Is Marina preventing Scott and Tessa from signing up with IMG themselves? Not some regional outpost - the main enchilada? No. I think that decision rests with Scott and Tessa. They prefer home cooking, and their home cooks prefer to promote the Ilderton skating business concerns and not Scott and Tessa's skating - until Scott and Tessa lose, whereupon they sour grapes it up on facebook, perpetuating even more misconceptions about how skating is judged, even though the best defense of Scott and Tessa rests with how skating actually IS, or pretends to be, judged.

      What about that part? What about Moirville promoting itself instead of Scott and Tessa, and using Scott and Tessa to promote itself? Is Marina meant to compensate for that as well?

      How about their buddy Ryan Pyette who just finished promoting the close rivalry AND played into the stereotype of Scott promoted by fans who don't care for him? Shouldn't Marina do something?

      Delete
    26. Watch Steuer's remarks come back to bite him in the ass. Who cares if he doesn't like the music? And for that matter, who cares if the judges like/dislike V/T's music? They're being judged on the SKATING.

      Delete
    27. "That sentence is a genius of equivocation and is basically a twist on something said by Jean Brodie in the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: 'For those that like that sort of thing that is the sort of thing they like.'"

      I know! I think she's absolutely brilliant at playing with words in a way that doesn't give her own opinions away. Just because more people aren't able to figure out that's what she's doing is their own fault, not Marina's. While she's always been equally complimentary of her teams, she has never declared both teams are equals, ever.

      Delete
    28. I keep re-reading what Marina said and the woman cracks me up. She is a genius of the conditional clause combined with the passive voice. Shit, she didn't even say "Meryl and Charlie's style". She said "the style Meryl and Charlie represent"!

      If she talked like this about VM I think VM fans would think she was sticking the shiv in them.

      Delete
    29. P.S. - there has been a lot of bitching about icenetwork, and while I understand icenetwork's basic job is to promote USFSA skaters, I also understand the irritation at pushing VM's short program debut off the headline after less than half a day in order to promote icenetwork's own bogus designation of Davis White as number one in the world.

      Thank God there's skatebuzz!

      Oh wait.

      Shouldn't Marina tell them to get a move on? I think it's being revamped by the same ghost crew that periodically revamp www.virtuemoir.com.

      Delete
    30. "I keep re-reading what Marina said and the woman cracks me up. She is a genius of the conditional clause combined with the passive voice. Shit, she didn't even say "Meryl and Charlie's style". She said "the style Meryl and Charlie represent"!"

      It's glorious.

      First Gordeeva and Grinkov, now Virtue and Moir. That Marina has captured lightening in a bottle twice in her career isn't on account of blind luck. It's a testament to her brilliance as an identifier, facilitator, and cultivator of rare and magnificent talent.

      Delete
    31. And all this said, I am still suspicious that the dislike of Marina really is rooted in her perceived inability to support VM while coaching DW. It's easy to suspect it's the same old aesthetic preference and the supposed politics is just the latest thing for some fans to seize on and claim as the reason, when the actual reason is their fondest dream is for VM to skate something like "Je Suis Malade" and they know they're not going to get that from Marina.

      They're not going to get that from Scott and Tessa either, no matter who coaches them, because both would gag on the idea, and if their fans don't know that about them, then they don't get VM.

      But I hold this suspicion because whispering out loud in public that by rehearsing with Jean Marc Genereux while Marina is at Champs Camp gives them "privacy" obviously appears to express the hope that they're getting un-Marina sanctioned choreography from him that they'd never get if she weren't around. As if he's not HER collaborator as much as theirs.

      P.S. and setting aside the utter absurdity of that entire conversation.

      Delete
    32. OC 2:21, I don't think that's a fair assumption, my problem with Marina comes purely from a PR standpoint. You might think the way she answered the Icenetwork question was brilliant, but not everyone is going to analyse every word. The general impression given is that both teams are great and if you prefer one team over another, it's for subjective reasons.

      There's also this:
      Virtue and Moir, and Davis and White have shared gold medals throughout the season. One wonders how it is possible to evaluate properly those two duos when they skate at their best like on Wednesday.

      "It's not by comparing their programs," explained Marina Zoueva, who choreographs both teams along with Igor Shpilband in Canton, Mich. "But by the way they perform, judges decide."

      Concerning their programs themselves, Zoueva was positive.

      "It's not difficult to create programs for each team, because they are so different," she said. "I always base the programs I create on the kids' personality. They are totally different: Meryl and Charlie are more into the athletic way, so they can play passion, power and emotion. Charlie used to play ice hockey, so he is probably the fastest on the ice. He has extremely quick feet. Whereas Tessa and Scott are more artistic, or let's say more romantic, so they will portray the relationship between a man and a woman."

      Marina classifies D/W as athletic, V/M as artistic/romantic. She has pointed out D/W's quick feet several times, and here also says Charlie is probably the fastest. As far as I know, she has never praised V/M's speed or edgework. Since Skate Canada seems uninterested in doing their job PR-wise, it would be nice to have a coach who could at least point out that V/M are incredibly fast and poweful and that their skating skills have improved exponentially since 2010. Marina's coaching and choreography contributions might still make her the best option out there, but you can't blame the fans for feeling uncomfortable with the situation.

      Delete
    33. Sorry here's the link http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120328&content_id=27709658&vkey=ice_news

      Delete
    34. "The general impression given is that both teams are great and if you prefer one team over another, it's for subjective reasons."

      In this interview, Marina was specifically discussing the rhumba SDs. The question that was (presumably asked) was about how can one can evaluate both their programs when they are each built around that rhumba rhythm and each team believe they skated their absolute best out there (for which the judges gave them both high scores).

      She correctly claims that the differences in the two programs cannot come down to style (meaning, the ways she packaged them stylistically - V/Ms was more sensual in tone and focused on bringing the man-woman relationship out of their movements while D/W's was given more of a public party feel). Rather, she said that the only thing that matters is how the judges perceive how they're skating the programs. She's not saying "oh, I've created two equally difficult programs because both teams can execute at the same level of difficulty, they are equals in every way technically." It's up the judges to give the scores.

      Marina alluding to V/M being more "artistic," or "romantic" does not mean she's implying they're slow, have bad edges, or aren't powerful. That's not what "artistic" or "romantic" necessarily means. Why are you blaming her for the fact that some people apply very narrow definitions to those terms? Not everyone does.

      And nowhere does she say Charlie's "quick feet" = deep edges. As for him being the fastest, faster than who? Meryl? Scott? She doesn't specify.

      Here's the kicker: "How athleticism and romanticism can be compared remains to be seen."

      Marina didn't say that, Berlot did. Marina said comparing the styles doesn't matter, what does is the skating. Even so, the author finishes with "how can the styles even be compared?" Marina can't be blamed for how he chose to frame her comments in his piece, especially since he basically printed them and then ignored what she said.

      Delete
    35. Apologies in advance, long post coming...

      No Virtue and Moir fan is happy with the way Skate Canada is handling things. I view it as a lost cause. Taking issue with Marina does not equal being fine with everything else that's going on.

      VM would be different if not for Marina, but who's to say they wouldn't be better, or equally good in a different way, with another coach? They were with Igor until 2012. He is just as responsible as Marina. Moving to Igor, or another coach, doesn't mean that the way they interpret music, or how they interpret dance through their bladework, is going to be lost. Marina isn't the only choreographer in the world who could adapt Swan's work onto the ice. Do I think it was done brilliantly? Yes. Perfectly? No, apparently not, because they lost every event. Perhaps (I don't know if this is the case or not), another coach would have configured the elements in such a way as to bring Swan's vision to life, but so as to also gain the most points. We all know the scoring problem isn't really with VM, it's with DW - that means it's possible for VM to win things but they have to be foot perfect. They struggled with some of the lifts and that kicky move in Carmen. Those tiny flaws gave judges the outs to consider them messy and sloppy. Maybe another choreographer would've seen that ahead of time and never put those moves in. Maybe another coach would have them at level 4 on footwork and compulsory patterns every single time (it sort of astounds me that they don't, since their edges are objectively so much better than everyone elses, and since VM and other skaters do obtain level 4s from time to time, albeit rarely, it seems like VM with their abilities should be getting them almost all the time).

      I'm not necessarily saying another coach would fix these issues, but since there ARE issues, why is it so bad to think about VM going to another coach? Or does this work the opposite way as the fans you all are complaining about - Marina gets the credit for everything wonderful about their skating, and no blame?

      I'm not getting what seems to be the argument in some posts (9:31 PM, 11:04 PM), that to reject Marina is to reject what makes VM great, the essence of their skating. VM lost Igor in 2012. They didn't suddenly lose their innate abilities. They won't lose them with another coach. They might even grow. As 2:58 pointed out, Marina never/rarely points out VM's speed and power. Carmen didn't highlight it. Maybe a different coach would take what Marina has given them and build on that. Focus on speed, power, and dance spins - PLUS all the good stuff they already have. If people disagree, that's fine, but why it is so *irrational* that some fans think this might be necessary or desirable?

      KP were an excellent team under Dubova, but moving to Tarasova and working with a modern dance choreographer, Shanti Rushpaul, gave them arguably their best dance. Many believe GP also did their best work after moving to Tarasova. Some people fantasize about VM doing the same, so what?

      Delete
    36. 3:57 PM, pt 2

      IMO, without Marina, VM would be just as good of a team and still Olympic gold medalists. They are that good. They would not be the same, but they would be great. TD would never have gotten where they got without Betty Calloway, nor UZ without Dubova, BUT Dean and Zhulin individually seem to get tons of credit as well. A lot of people believe it was their own skill and creativity that added something extra, and which means they likely would have had the same success with different coaching. I believe that VM are that talented too. Look at how a team like BA and DW never improves after years with Marina, and how her choreography for others pales in comparison to VM's. That makes me think VM brought a hell of a lot to the table, and would be just fine with someone else. VM were intimimately involved in the creation of Mahler, deciding how to get from point A to point B, and how to bring the Goose (found by Marina in a ballet book) to ice. As the years go by, I think they only grow more as choreographers and artists. That they can work with Generaux alone and then bring that back to show Marina and adapt it to the ice demonstrates to me that they are very capable of working independently. What, if Marina wasn't there, it would be impossible to take his choreography to the ice?

      Finally, I am intrigued why people have such a problem with the notion of a coach being involved in the political side. 10:44 AM makes a fair point that it is hypocritical to want the judging be fair and at the same time want Marina to politik for VM. I can’t argue with that, but even if it’s hypocritical, I would rather VM have all the tools in their arsenal, even though they shouldn’t need them. I don’t want them to be martyrs for quality skating, or art, or whatever. Marina may say she can’t feel sorry for them because they made so many people cry, but that doesn’t satisfy me.


      Delete
    37. 3:57 PM, pt 3 of 3

      There is a lot of talk on here about DW’s PR campaign via USFS, icenetwork, and corporate sponsors. There’s also a lot of talk about the judging being wrong and based on perceived qualities DW don’t really have. So clearly the assumption is that whatever is being said in the media is helping DW’s score manipulation. The skaters’ coach is another one of those whispering voices, and by my estimation an important one. So it would be nice if VM had a coach who never wavered nor equivocated in saying they were the best, at everything. The best speed, the best lifts, the best twizzles, the quickest feet, the most artistic, most athletic, most wizardly hair , or WTF ever issue comes up. It's also *true*

      Considering DW have built their entire career on “me too,” training with VM has been their biggest push. How often are they referred to almost interchanageably, whether as the two young NA teams, the Canton teams, the up and coming Marina/Igor teams – whether that’s positive (North America is finally winning; who cares which one it is!) or negative (ice dance is boring now; who cares which of Marina’s overrated teams wins!). Since DW are the weaker skaters, these comparisons favor them. OF COURSE Marina would say that DW are just as ready as VM. I don’t BLAME her, per se, but the fact that she coaches both teams means she’s going to be asked the question, and of course she has to answer that way. It behooves DW’s “tell, don’t show” philosophy. If VM had a different coach, their coach wouldn’t be asked about DW every fucking time. VM wouldn’t be asked what it’s like to train with their biggest rivals every fucking time, and have to keep repeating how much working with DW pushes them (which I hate and totally place the blame on VM for that). They could begin to distance themselves, and their coach could talk about what’s different in their skating. They could build another narrative. They don't even have to talk about DW - hell, that's the *point* Throw shade at everyone. Point out that NO ONE can do what VM do, that "other teams" recycle (which they all do) and VM don't. I would LOVE to read some articles about VM that do not mention DW.

      For example in 2010 Marina brought in Tchaikovskaya to help with the CD. Great. And what did all the articles and commentators say? How great it was for Marina to bring in the inventor so “her teams” could benefit from the expertise, and how “they” really got the feel of it and improved “their” performances. To my eyes, only VM actually performed the dance correctly. DW got equal, and undeserved, credit.

      Marina is part of GG’s 2x OGM legacy. I would love to see her pushing how much she wants to coach a 2x OGM in ice dance. But she can’t say that, because DW are not going for their second OGM. She could have Platov come in as an Olympics consultant (he did this for Zhulin in 2006), and have Platov stress how much he, as half of the only 2x ice dance OGM team, believes VM should be his successors. But it won’t happen, because there is no “me too” there for DW. It would be favoritism to VM, instead of equivocation. I’m sick of equivocation from Marina…

      Delete
    38. "VM would be different if not for Marina, but who's to say they wouldn't be better, or equally good in a different way, with another coach?"

      You're talking in hypotheticals, which is fine. But you can't use that approach to claim that Marina is hurting V/M. That accusation can only be grounded in what's occurred. And the fans who claim she's hurting V/M cannot give a valid explanation as to *how* she's done so.

      What is it? She doesn't give them incredibly complex, innovative programs each year with such difficult bladework no one else in the world could skate it? Yes she does. She claims D/W are V/M's technical and artistic equals? She's never done that.

      "They were with Igor until 2012. He is just as responsible as Marina."

      Responsible for what? Both D/W and V/M have said that when she coached with Igor, Marina created the majority of their choreography.

      "Marina isn't the only choreographer in the world who could adapt Swan's work onto the ice. Do I think it was done brilliantly? Yes. Perfectly? No, apparently not, because they lost every event. Perhaps (I don't know if this is the case or not), another coach would have configured the elements in such a way as to bring Swan's vision to life, but so as to also gain the most points. We all know the scoring problem isn't really with VM, it's with DW - that means it's possible for VM to win things but they have to be foot perfect."

      You're contradicting yourself. You said you know that the problem isn't how V/M were scored, but how D/W were overscored. I agree. But then you also say that maybe if another coach had adapted Swan's vision to the program, it could have gained more points. So which is it? And why do you think Carmen was only Swan's vision and not the result of a collaborate process in which V/M and their coaching team created a vision together?

      "Do I think it was done brilliantly? Yes. Perfectly? No, apparently not, because they lost every event.

      They struggled with some of the lifts and that kicky move in Carmen. Those tiny flaws gave judges the outs to consider them messy and sloppy. Maybe another choreographer would've seen that ahead of time and never put those moves in."

      So you think Carmen was constructed brilliantly, but not perfectly. What does that mean? It was constructed as an innovative piece meant to challenge V/M on every level and push the boundaries of the sport. Of course there were going to be moves they struggled with at times. That's what happens when you do something experimental on the ice (utilizing that type of weight-shifting movement). Why is it the choreography's fault that the judges nitpicked at V/M? Are you saying you'd have rather they skated to something safe if that ensured they would win?

      I think V/M would laugh at that kind of assessment.

      "I'm not necessarily saying another coach would fix these issues, but since there ARE issues, why is it so bad to think about VM going to another coach? Or does this work the opposite way as the fans you all are complaining about - Marina gets the credit for everything wonderful about their skating, and no blame?"

      Where is the problem with V/M's skating? Can you break it down for me, please? Again, the issues to which you're referring have to do with the judges being extremely nitpicky while they let other teams get away with the same stuff. That does not mean there is anything wrong with V/M's skating. There isn't. It's divine.

      Delete
    39. Interesting thought about Platov as a consultant. On a skating messageboard ( I think it was at Platov's Russian fan site..?), it is mentioned that he thought V/M might equal his and Grishuk's 2 Olympic golds. As far back as 2008 he had already singled out V/M as a team to watch, and was especially complimentary of Scott's abilities. I think the translation went something like "what the guy does is hard to wrap your mind around". Post-Vancouver FD he was interviewed and he had nothing but praise for Tessa and Scott.

      Delete
    40. "I'm not getting what seems to be the argument in some posts (9:31 PM, 11:04 PM), that to reject Marina is to reject what makes VM great, the essence of their skating. VM lost Igor in 2012. They didn't suddenly lose their innate abilities. They won't lose them with another coach. They might even grow."

      To repeat, V/M's mastery of movement and skating skills are not displayed independent of their choreography. Marina has always been a crucial component of their coaching team and their central choreographer. In some way, shape, or form, her vision for V/M has informed everything they do on the ice in their programs. You can't separate who V/M are as a team from what Marina has done to shape them. So to say "Marina is just a coach, V/M had all of those innate abilities before they got to her" means nothing. She facilitated those innate skating/performance abilities on the ice, because that's the only place they exist. V/M can't do bladework on carpet.

      "As 2:58 pointed out, Marina never/rarely points out VM's speed and power. Carmen didn't highlight it."

      Wow. You could not be more wrong. Didn't highlight it? Are you serious? That entire program was a tour de force of speed, power, precision, passion, sensuality, and romance rooted in the bladework and modern movement.

      The "Carmen didn't highlight it" comment is a great example of how so more than a few V/M fans throw out the "it's about the skating!" (and chastise D/W fans for not understanding that) but prove they have NO IDEA what they're actually arguing.

      This blogger has gone out of his/her way to explain it to you. S/he can't understand it for you, though.

      Delete
    41. >>Finally, I am intrigued why people have such a problem with the notion of a coach being involved in the political side. 10:44 AM makes a fair point that it is hypocritical to want the judging be fair and at the same time want Marina to politik for VM. I can’t argue with that, but even if it’s hypocritical, I would rather VM have all the tools in their arsenal, even though they shouldn’t need them. I don’t want them to be martyrs for quality skating, or art, or whatever. Marina may say she can’t feel sorry for them because they made so many people cry, but that doesn’t satisfy me.<<

      There's a difference between being involved in the political side, which of course Marina is, and being RESPONSIBLE for the political side, which is on the Fed, the media and the skaters themselves. DW don't rely on Marina for that. But fans want Marina to carry the load for VM.

      >> I don’t want them to be martyrs for quality skating, or art, or whatever. Marina may say she can’t feel sorry for them because they made so many people cry, but that doesn’t satisfy me.<<<

      Yes, and fans believe MARINA is the one nailing them to the cross. They are making CHOICES.

      Delete
    42. 4:51 - THANK you for making the point about Carmen's spectacular speed and power. I didn't have the strength.

      Delete
    43. I also don't get the concept of Swan's VISION. Swan is a modern dance specialist - she's a synthesist, but it comes out what we'd basically call modern, and we all know that what is commonly known as modern is just about over a hundred years old at this point, if not more.

      Modern dance essentially lowers the center of gravity (while still employing proper physical alignment and still using a strong core as ground zero where all movement initiates). Ballet and ballroom pull everything up up up. So Virtue and Moir decided to work with a modern dance specialist who would help them move with that lower center of gravity. Something else they wanted was to express the entire "theme" of Carmen with choreography. Every movement must be choreographed, every piece of choreography must have a specific psychological intent, every element must be accomplished with choreography no throwing out the choreography and defaulting to mechanics alone for the lifts.

      I don't think anybody appreciates how difficult that challenge was. Tracy Wilson does. Some people do.The ISU does and wanted no fucking part of it because then the rivalry is over two years before Sochi. Let's pretend Giselle and Notre Dame are all that instead.

      To make it EASIER defeats the entire purpose of the Carmen program. The freaking "vision" was to skate a) in a very specific style - no melange, no hodgepodge, no junkyard - ONE style, one recognizeable vocabulary - modern; b) to execute every single inch of the program using that style. No - pause here while we do our twizzles! Back to modern in a second - we've got a lift here! NOPE. c) Furthermore, there was no style for style's sake, or choreography for choreography's sake, but every BIT of it had to tell the story, had to have psychological INTENT.

      That was not SWAN's vision. That was Virtue and Moir's vision and they called on Swan and relied upon Marina to execute it. To argue that another coach could have executed it but made everything more doable is a contradiction in terms. The thing itself had to be the way it was.

      Delete
    44. "Point out that NO ONE can do what VM do, that "other teams" recycle (which they all do) and VM don't."

      Marina has said those things about V/M's skating, why are you ignoring that? Because she didn't tear D/W to pieces in the next sentence?

      Delete
    45. Anon 3:57, I agree with everything you said and you did it much better than I could have. I will never understand the total devotion Marina inspires in some fans, as if she is perfection itself and beyond any criticism.

      I even agree about Carmen not being the best vehicle for displaying speed and power. I absolutely love the program, but its very complexity makes V/M's skills in that area less apparent than in other programs. It definitely demands great skating skills but I'm not sure it shows them off as well as a simpler program like Mahler, on a superficial level. And clearly the judges are uninterested in any kind of real analysis.

      As great and boundary-pushing as Carmen was, last season was a failure in terms of competitive placements. It shouldn't have been, but it was. Is there anything that could have been done differently that would have ensured a different placement? We can't know for sure, but maybe. Maybe a better PR push, maybe showing up at Skate Canada with a fully developped SD, maybe choosing to skate an easier FD (even without Tessa's injury at 4CCs, I'm not sure a completely note-perfect Carmen was possible, that program was insane!), maybe focusing more on the elements and less on the overall artistic vision of the program.

      It would be stupid to blame Marina for all of this, she's only one member of a team that includes Tessa and Scott, Skate Canada officials, Jennifer Swann, etc. And of course there's more to ice dance than winning and many decisions were made with artistic rather than competitive goals in mind, and as a way to challenge both the sport and V/M. It's likely that these goals are largely driven by V/M themselves and would have remained under a different coach. That said, why is it so wrong to say that a team that included a different coach might have led to better results? Without Marina, we wouldn't have had Carmen in the same form, I agree. The programs could have been better or worse and scored better or worse, V/M could have been more or less prepared for competitions. We don't know.

      It's in the nature of fans to analyze celebrities and speculate about their decisions. Compared to some of the speculation about V/M's private lives, the stuff about Marina is incredibly tame and respectful. And it's not exclusive to V/M, it happens every time a skater appears to be getting dumped or when some fans don't like the programs. If Marina is aware of it, I'm sure she can take it. Why the hostility?

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    46. "As great and boundary-pushing as Carmen was, last season was a failure in terms of competitive placements. It shouldn't have been, but it was. Is there anything that could have been done differently that would have ensured a different placement? We can't know for sure, but maybe. Maybe a better PR push, maybe showing up at Skate Canada with a fully developped SD, maybe choosing to skate an easier FD (even without Tessa's injury at 4CCs, I'm not sure a completely note-perfect Carmen was possible, that program was insane!), maybe focusing more on the elements and less on the overall artistic vision of the program."

      OC has pointed out, and I agree, that VM DID NOT WANT TO WIN if the only way was to skate an easier program and focus less on the artistic vision. They could have and they decided not to.

      Delete
    47. I'm 7:57, I want to apologize, I didn't realize there were two more paragraphs to your post. But it does seem to be a point people are missing...

      Delete
    48. "Compared to some of the speculation about V/M's private lives, the stuff about Marina is incredibly tame and respectful."

      First of all, V/M are married with a child. That is not speculation. Secondly, how is claiming that Marina is hurting one of her teams and dooming them to failure not an example of hostility toward her, but calling out the fans to back up those assertions with something other than emotion-based assumption hostile?

      Delete
    49. 7:43 - the ISSUE is that fans put the responsibility at Marina's feet, instead of Virtue Moir's feet. They patronize Virtue and Moir. They want Virtue and Moir to beat DW at their own game. IOW, they want choreography well within Virtue and Moir's comfort zone, repeating their greatest hits, gussied up with a lot of adornment and gesticulation to disguise the bullshit, and of course, because VM are much better skaters than DW, they will easily defeat DW with this approach, because it spoon feeds the judges.

      As if Marina fucking Zoueva couldn't do this in her fucking SLEEP. Just say the word Tessa and Scott! Marina will come up with twenty program options that kick DW's ass. It's always more effective to b.s. with superior talent than to b.s. with lesser talent. But it doesn't happen. WHY OH WHY. Marina, who has choreographed for every type of skater we can name, simply REFUSES to compromise for VM, and they have no choice but to toe the line? REALLY?

      The USFSA can tell Marina an entire summer-long DW program should go down the garbage disposal and she's all "Absolutely!" but VM are like "O.M.G. - that lift and that other transition there looks super hard! Can't we do a variation on 2009 and get the level and GOE?" And Marina goes - NO! And Scott Moir, whom we all know is so retiring and reluctant to speak his opinion - goes - "Okay doke."

      They don't because IN THEIR SKATING - in their skating, VM have integrity.

      VM didn't lose at every turn last season. In fact, they were en route to winning the 4CCs when they stopped. They lost Worlds due to the Giselle scores, and the ND scores had judge Walk of Shame all over it.

      Delete
    50. 8:04- I'm 100% convinced that V/M did have a baby together. I was referring to speculation about their sex lives, about their private lives, etc.

      OC- My issue is that you're putting everyone in the same category. Some people think Marina is a source of quasi-evil for V/M and everything is her fault. Others are concerned about the possible consquences of having a coach who can't exclusively focus on V/M, especially PR-wise. I don't believe Marina is the only coach who could work with V/M to accomplish their goals of artistic and athletic integrity; it seems that you do. That doesn't make you smart and I stupid.

      Delete
    51. "Others are concerned about the possible consquences of having a coach who can't exclusively focus on V/M, especially PR-wise."

      It's not that she *can't* focus exclusively on V/M PR-wise, she chooses not to. Because it's not her job to do so and never has been, either for V/M or D/W. If V/M thought it was her job to do that, I'm sure they'd tell her. If they did, she said no, and they decided her doing so was damaging to their career, I can't imagine they'd stay with her. They want to win as well as push the sport, and they believe she is the person who best facilitates those goals for them.

      As for Marina not focusing on V/M when it comes to non-PR issues, I assume you're talking about their skating? If so, I don't understand what you think could be improved there if she only had V/M to focus on. They are already skating the most difficult, innovative, and complex programs in the world. What more do you want to see from her? She's giving V/M what they want her to give them.

      Delete
    52. 9:01 p.m - I could do a better job of distinguishing among the different Marina detractors, it's true. I do know that not everybody wants them to leave for the same reasons and when I address the different reasons or my speculation about their reasons I should have made that awareness clearer.

      But this:

      >>I don't believe Marina is the only coach who could work with V/M to accomplish their goals of artistic and athletic integrity; it seems that you do. <<

      Is spot on. I do believe Marina is the only coach who could work with V/M to accomplish their goals of artistic and athletic integrity. I don't see another choreographer out there with her abilities. There is no other choreographer both as musical and as sophisticated, particularly as to the use of momentum and rhythm. There is nobody else with her timing. There is nobody else as astute. These attributes happen to match up with what is particular about Virtue and Moir as dancers. And the bottom line is that V/M feel the same way about Marina.

      When Michelle Kwan was 22 years old or so, she ditched Frank Carroll and went out basically on her own (she had a coach of a sort and worked with her dad, but she was independent). Virtue and Moir are now 24 and Scott is nearly 26 and yet they are still patronized by fans who don't think they understand what is in their own best interest on the ice. Just as there were fans who actually believed, and actually SAID, in PUBLIC, that Scott and Tessa were unable to see that they loved each other, but the fans could, many fans here believe they can see what Scott and Tessa are unable to see about their supposed "coaching situation." That is what I find absurd, more than differing opinions about Marina's unique talents. Fans also have what I consider completely unreasonable expectations of Marina or ANY coach, and then presume Scott and Tessa have these expectations as well, but out of misplaced loyalty must tolerate her current "indifference" and unwillingness to politic for them.

      When I read discussions about Marina, the common thread is that SHE is in control, that Scott and Tessa have to struggle with Carmen is down to Marina's ambitions, and VM have to submit. Or worse, they feel constrained in some way from expressing their true feelings and wishes. They seize on semantics - oh look, she forced that music on them!

      Carmen was Scott and Tessa's choice. Everything that happens on the ice is Scott and Tessa's choice. When Scott and Tessa have no choice, it is the ISU that presents the obstacle. Or their own freaking judges. Oh, that Carmen spin that's been getting the level all season - actually, we don't think it merits the level.

      Oh - did we not mention that if she does The Goose like that you might be penalized? We had fun watching it throughout the GPS but now that you're about to face DW we think it would be fun if you had to come up with an entirely new dismount. And that twisty thing that punctuates the end of Farrucus - doesn't it look like a pairs split twist? She's not using a jump edge to get up into it and she's not skating out of it - you set her down into a pose - but it sort of looks like one and even though it was swell in the Olympics we think you should change it right before your Worlds free dance.

      Oh look at this - VM stopped at the 4CCs precisely according to our own fucking rule. Well if THEY used it there must be something wrong with it! LETTER OF INQUIRY! They did everything according to the rule but let's just pretend there was misuse.

      Delete
    53. I would also like to hear more about Marina's "non-pr" deficiencies. Where she's falling down on the job. Evidence of her indifference to VM in whatever areas "non-pr" means. Reading that and then seeing this season's short dance makes me believe Marina is even more of a genius than I've given her credit for being. That short dance is brilliant. Imagine what she could have done if she still cared.

      Delete
  4. I had a weird dream the other night. The memory of it has gone fuzzy around the edges, but I think I was watching V/M skate on TV, then later I was holding out the tape of the performance to Scott. Jessica/Cassandra was hanging on for dear life on his arm. Then some random person reached out and tapped me on the forehead with a shoe. It felt like I was being scolded for handing out the tape to Scott. I was like "WTF" when I realized what I dreamed about, haha.

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  5. Is there any truth to the rumour that there are tensioms between V/M & D/W amd they don't even skate on the same ice together anymore?

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    1. That rumor came from Grant Noroyan, a former skater now based in, I believe, Dallas, who claims he heard from a "national judge" (didn't say whether American or Canadian) that things are so bad between VM and DW they are never at the rink at the same time. Apparently he visits a lot of skater facebooks, asking questions that aren't ever answered.

      First of all, how does random judge know what's going on at notorious vault Arctic Edge? How does random judge know the schedule and the reasons for the schedule? Have DW and VM in the past been scheduled for ice time/coaching at the same time?

      This is drama queen bullshit.

      Delete
  6. 3:57, taking your post a point at a time.

    >>>VM would be different if not for Marina, but who's to say they wouldn't be better, or equally good in a different way, with another coach? <<<

    Me, for one, because she is the best choreographer in the business, and the most musical. And easily the most sophisticated. Furthermore her sensibility matches that of her skaters, which is important.

    >>They were with Igor until 2012. He is just as responsible as Marina. <<<
    NOPE. She is more responsible. Why would you simply decide, based on basically nothing, that because they were a coaching team, they must be equally responsible? No matter what is said, it's more her. It wasn't random that the top three teams all stayed with Marina and never even considered going with Igor. Never even considered it. None of them went with Igor. The received wisdom of all of fsuniverse was that DW were Igor's team. They never considered it either. Until Igor left, the received wisdom was VM were Marina's team, and DW were Igor's. Oops. They're all Marina's teams.

    If anyone had a strong argument to go with Igor, it would be the Shibs, who are forever the runner-up to DW, who because they share a coach, have their hands tied about being pushed down after their surprise World bronze, have to defer to DW as superior twizzlers even though it appears to me they, the Shibs, actually are, because they not only share a training center and choreographer, but a Federation. Never even considered. There is no choreographer on this planet who can play to a team's strength the way Marina can, and discover strengths even they didn't know they had. HER vision of VM is VM's vision of VM. This is who VM want to be.

    Now we can decide that all these teams and their parents lack the perspective and political savvy of us fans, or we can stop patronizing the shit out of them and acknowledge all three are ultra smart, extremely talented, and know the difference between Marina and Igor, and all of the differences favor Marina.

    >>>Moving to Igor, or another coach, doesn't mean that the way they interpret music, or how they interpret dance through their bladework, is going to be lost. <<<

    The way THEY interpret music, no, the way the choreographer interprets music, YES. There is nobody else on this planet, including every big name out there, who uses music and understands the interaction of rhythm and music like Marina. Furthermore, the way she understands it is the way Scott and Tessa understand it. Do you want their interpretative skills compensating for more pedestrian use of music, or do you think they ought to have a choreographer whose talent for pairing music and choreography matches VM's. VM love rhythm and understand it. They understand rhythm better than most people in all of skating, including better than most coaches. Marina understands it like they do.

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    1. (continued)


      >>>DW - that means it's possible for VM to win things but they have to be foot perfect. They struggled with some of the lifts and that kicky move in Carmen. Those tiny flaws gave judges the outs to consider them messy and sloppy.<<<

      >>>Maybe another choreographer would've seen that ahead of time and never put those moves in.<<<

      And THAT is why they're with Marina. Do you not understand that? They want a coach who WILL PUT THAT SHIT IN. They CHOSE it. Do you really think they went through the entire season going - oh gee, I wish there were a way to do this lift at level 4 and +3 that was easier so we wouldn't make mistakes!

      Don't you think VM could dumb themselves down and be Dumbed down VM and do a dumbed down Carmen and POSSIBLY paint the judges into a corner thereby and beat DW that way - WITH Marina?

      Do people not understand they did the lift that way specifically because it was challenging, because of what it demonstrated about their skating when they executed? That they don't want to dumb themselves down? That they KNEW what they were risking, they knew what they were giving away?

      You know who this is on? The freaking judges. It's not on Marina OR on VM because Marina failed to pander to the judges with VM. If VM wanted her to pander and make it easier and do a VM version of DW for them, she would. They CHOOSE not to.

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    2. >>Marina never/rarely points out VM's speed and power. Carmen didn't highlight it. Maybe a different coach would take what Marina has given them and build on that. <<

      I really have no words for anyone who thinks there's a choreographer out there who can BUILD on what she's done with them.
      Virtue and Moir! How idiotic do you think they are? How helpless? Oh gee, they prefer to focus on dance spins but Marina has different ideas! Not only are Virtue and Moir a team, but Virtue/Moir and Marina are a team. I don't think anybody understands how much of a team, and how much control Virtue/Moir have over what we see.

      How much more speed and power do you want them to have? They smoke the field! Or do you want a choreographer who will encourage them to tell the audience when they're being fast? Who will have them cavorting and TELLING (not showing - TELLING) the judges how fast and powerful they are. That never fucking occurred to them, right? Marina and Virtue and Moir - all of them dumb ass. Beat DW at their own game! Doh!

      They have made a CHOICE. These are not freaking issues. These are choices. THAT is what I object to. The people who pretend that these are MARINA's choices. These are Virtue and Moir's choices.

      Delete
    3. IF it is any consolation and IF anyone has noticed, Marina and Scott/Tessa have done more than use American Standards and Louis Armstrong for the short dance this season. They've paired fast music with fast dancing/fast skating. Apparently, there exists a sizeable fandom that believes if the music is fast and the skaters look busy, the skaters must be the fastest out there. And if the music is measured or lyrical, and the skaters are sailing out there in long, sustained blade runs, everything beautifully aligned and controlled, they must be sluggish.

      This is what convinced many fans, years ago, that early Sasha Cohen had more speed than Michelle Kwan.

      And if the audience is convinced, that frees the judges to do whatever they want.

      Marina and Virtue and Moir don't pander when it comes to Virtue and Moir's programs. However, in the short dance this season, it appears to me they've found a way to please everyone except those who refuse to be pleased, AND paint the judges into a corner. The music is fast, yet at every turn Virtue and Moir are anticipating it, every inch of every move made by Tessa is complete, is finished, ditto Scott - they've got all the time in the world and yet they are interacting with the music by anticipating it slightly - and it's fast music.

      Fast music/fast skating. I hope that panders enough for Marina critics.

      oc

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    4. I would like to know what deficiencies in V/M's skating some other coach could supposedly improve upon. They grow every season under Marina. They've never gone backwards or even really been idle, despite having skated partial seasons on account of Tessa's CECS surgeries and the pregnancy.

      Making the dance spins a bit faster? Perhaps. I wouldn't call their spin speed a deficiency, though. Same thing with their alignment. Occasionally, one of them will jut their head a little too forward and break up their line a tad, but I don't know that it has any kind of detrimental effect on their bladework.

      Everything else they can do on their blades is sublime. So why fix what isn't broken? Just because someone *thinks* the grass might be greener on the other side? Hey, think about what they could do with some imaginary coach who doesn't even exist! Think of how s/he could make them grow!

      Okay...

      Delete
    5. This is 3:57. No time to do a line by line reply. OC, I honestly can't take issue with any of what you've said. I agree with a lot of it. And I respect VM a lot for it, I really do. As someone who has never been fond of Marina, your posts over the past few months have given me the best insight into why they'd stay with her, so take that for what it's worth to you (probably not much, if you think I'm a dilettante or a plain old idiot). Your posts here are an excellent explanation of why they stay with Marina.

      To the other repliers, I feel like a lot of what I've said was taken out of context. I never said Marina did nothing for them, but that they clearly brought a lot to the table, and may be able to do so with another coach. When I said "didn't highlight" speed and power I didn't mean they didn't demonstrate those qualities, just that since the #1 critique of them was that they were too slow, it was not "highlighted" - attention was not called to it in a way that most people understood including judges - probably because it went over their heads. And I'm being called out asking for "what needs to be fixed in VM's skating." I'm not sitting here saying their skating is awful. It is brilliant - near perfect - 98%? - they know they have things to improve on, just read the London Free Press article from after worlds. They clearly want Marina to take them to 100% or as close as possible. Ok. It's just some of us have considered it might be good to have someone who doesn't also coach DW to take them there. I understand why you all think she's an ideal coach.

      What I still don't understand is what I perceive as an extreme hostility to any fans who think they should consider leaving. I understand that a lot of people say dumb things about Marina and make like she's their enemy instead of their coach (which I am not trying to do), but I don't understand why all the fans who want them to leave Marina are being categorized that way. My main thing is I don't want them to share a coach with DW anymore, and I feel that VM are good enough now (based in part on their natural talents and what was learned from Marina) to go to another coach, apart from DW, and do amazing things even without Marina. I don't know why everyone who thinks they should leave Marina has to be categorized as a capricious person with a hidden agenda who only wants to see VM skate Je Suis Malade (which I thought was a steaming pile).

      Delete
    6. Re: busyness--it's just one of the methods some teams hide behind to disguise their poor technique. For me, the trifecta would include (1)fast/bombastic music, (2)busy, oft-times meaningless "choreo" (a.k.a. arm/head/hair flailing) and (3)strategic costumes. The third one means ragged hems to camouflage inadequate lines and/or randomly sewn cloth bits that flutter with the skaters' movements and give the illusion of speed. I suppose from a certain point of view, thank goodness for small mercies that D/W have not employed that last one. 1/3 is still disgraceful.

      Delete
    7. "When I said "didn't highlight" speed and power I didn't mean they didn't demonstrate those qualities, just that since the #1 critique of them was that they were too slow, it was not "highlighted" - attention was not called to it in a way that most people understood including judges - probably because it went over their heads."

      How would their speed have gone over the heads of the judges? And at what point was it ever reported that the judges told V/M they didn't have enough speed in the program?

      Also, what do you mean by "attention was not called to it in a way most people understood?" The way judges understand speed is to see it in action on the ice, and V/M gave that to them. If idiotic or uniformed fans were claiming V/M had no speed, well...that's to be expected.

      "I understand that a lot of people say dumb things about Marina and make like she's their enemy instead of their coach (which I am not trying to do), but I don't understand why all the fans who want them to leave Marina are being categorized that way."

      Because those fans base their arguments for V/M's leaving (or no longer training with D/W) on nothing more than emotional assumptions and hypotheticals. Those who disagree are asking for someone to make a non-assumptive or hypothetical argument as to why Marina is supposedly damaging V/M, and they have yet to provide one.

      Delete
  7. Looks like everybody has already made up their mind and nobody is budging on their opinions. So half the fandom loves everything as is and half wished/want them to go to another camp. We should just agree to disagree on this particular topic.

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    1. Yes, the critical distinction being that one side is logical and the other side is inconsistent and can't support their POV with a reasoned sequence.

      There's nothing wrong with wishing for VM to leave Canton, for wishing VM had different choreography. That's complete preference.

      It's another thing to argue that they SHOULD, that Canton is against their best interests, that Marina can easily be supplanted with another choreographer, that doing so would improve their points and somehow put DW in their place. I don't think logical consistency, and a strong understanding of what it is VM have been doing so far, is an unreasonable expectation when someone advances this opinion.

      Delete
  8. I also hate that if some of us don't necessarily like the "Canton situation" that obviously means we're stupid and idiots.

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    1. There's no need to play the victim card.

      What's being asked is, if you think being in Canton is damaging to V/M, please provide an explanation for the damage that isn't based on your own personal assumptions of what you suspect happens there, or how you think judges are perceiving Marina's comments.

      So far, no one has been able to do so.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry but I don't think that, first, asking for a reasonable, logically supported description of the supposed, purely assumed "Canton situation" is off base. Nor do I think it's off base to ask fans to grant that Virtue and Moir exercise self-determination in their coaching situation, to acknowledge that Virtue and Moir, in terms of skating, understand their career and the types of programs they want to skate, and furthermore, that the choreography reflects their fucking INTENT, not manipulation and ambition from Marina against which VM are, for various reasons, helpless or unwilling to rebel.

      IOW, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that logic and reasoned sequences and supported assertions be employed when a fan argues that VM should leave Canton. Pointing out the absence of same is not "unfair." Emotion is not an argument. Assumptions aren't an argument either.

      Is it asking to much for those who want VM to leave Canton to actually mount a cohesive argument that is NOT rife with unsupported assumptions? To exercise logical consistency? Because some fans appear to think that's unfair. Logic is never unfair.

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    3. Of course not, but to say that the people that might want V/M to go to another training rink are stupid just because they haven't sequenced their reasoning to other's liking, is a bit much don't you think?

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    4. Consider this 7:04: were Belbin and Agosto better off when they left the tutelage of Igor and Marina in Canton, in 2008? Did their movement, speed, footwork, edges, lifts improve? Did they go on to surpass the other teams at the time? What position did they rank in Vancouver (at the hand of different coaches)? Oh, that's right: 4th! And which teams have landed 1 and 2 or 3, respectively, throughout the last few years? Hmmmm, let's think. Tough one! And where have they come from: Is it the infamous rink in Allen, Pennsylvania? Nope. Let's try again....Can I get Canton for $300 Alex?

      Delete
    5. Despite B/A's placement in 2010, which was political (keep in mind that V/M aren't the only team that's been screwed over for D/W), there was indeed visible improvement in their skating after their move to Linichuk. Some may not have cared for the program themes, but, yes, they had better lifts, obvious improvements in Tanith's line, extension, and knee bend. More power too. There was a lot of visible improvement in a very short time. I'm not sure if they hadn't made that move that they wouldn't have rallied back to even silver in 2009 and I also think they would have been lower than 4th in Vancouver.

      In Vancouver, they ended up with the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Russia was pushing for D/S. V/M were superb, and the USFSA, for who knows what reason, was pushing D/W over B/A. Although they had their flaws, B/A were still a better team than D/W. Being the victims of politics doesn't negate the fact that B/A's skating did improve.

      I also want to say this: I'm a firm believer that there are other excellent coaches and choreographers out there who are also doing fantastic work. I think there has to be a good fit between the coach/choreographer and the students. Last fall before the scoring went truly wonky starting with the NHK FD(I did a huge breakdown of the top teams in a spreadsheet that I kept for myself), Krylova and Camerlengo's teams were actually out-leveling everyone else. K/C's teams were also the only ones to get level 4's for both cd patterns in the SD at Worlds in Nice. And look at what they've done with W/P and P/I. B/S are still a work in progress--Zhulin himself said they were going to be a challenge for him--but they're continuing to improve technically. What I'm trying to get at is that while Marina is an excellent fit for V/M, there are other excellent coaches turning out good teams and I think it's unfair in general to say Marina is the only good coach/choreographer out there. (Please keep in mind I'm not saying V/M should move. I'm just saying there are other outstanding coaches out there doing very good work with their own teams.)

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    6. And the people who support V/M staying with Marina haven't provided adequate reasoning for their point of view either. How do you know that, right now, V/M wouldn't be better off with another coach? You don't. Just because Marina has done great things for V/M's skating and choreography, it doesn't mean another coach wouldn't be better. Just because V/M choose to stay with Marina, it doesn't mean that it's the best possible decision.

      Both sides are operating on unverifiable assumptions. There is no right or wrong answer here, only speculation.

      Delete
    7. Actually you've just answered your own question (in a very nonsensical, round-about way): " I think there has to be a good fit between the coach/choreographer and the students."

      V/M is the right fit as Marina's students, as Marina is to V/M as coach/choreographer. If it wasn't a right fit, don't you think Virtue and Moir would have been out the door a long time ago?

      And no one here is refuting that there aren't excellent coaches and choreographers out there. But as far as V/M what makes them special and you can posit then against any other team out there and it's quite simple that Marina is 100% part of that winning variable. You can break it down all you want. The fact still remains that V/M are with Marina. Get over it! And V/M aren't victims or pushovers. They believe in her, and have a vision for their skating and what they want to express as dancers that aligns with Marina's.

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    8. I think you misunderstood the intent of what I was saying: Yes, I agree there is an excellent fit between Marina and V/M. I'm personally of the mind that if V/M felt they needed to change coaches, they would have. I didn't say that I wanted V/M to change coaches. I'm not one that needs to be told to get over it. I think you're mixing up my comments with comments that others have left. I'd also like to point out that I specifically said I wasn't saying that V/M should move.... to avoid someone saying that I said that they should.

      I did honestly feel that there was some discrediting of what other coaches are doing with other teams, per the comment on Linichuk's work with B/A (because she and her husband Gennedy did a lot to improve B/A technically, even if they didn't get the placements they'd hoped for in the end. I know B/A have said that they became stronger, better skaters and felt like they were skating better than ever in 09/10.) I felt like there has been an implication in some statements that Marina is the only person capable of turning out a champion, top-form team (speaking of teams in general, not anyone specifically). I think Krylova/Camerlengo will likely put one or both of W/P and P/I on top (provided they continue to progress). I think Zhulin will get B/S to the top as well.

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    9. I understood you perfectly. Don't twist words or meanings. You posted a question, did you not? "How do you know that, right now, V/M wouldn't be better off with another coach?"
      I merely answered it.

      Delete
    10. Are 8:05/9:03 and 8:13 definitively the same poster? I was reading them as two different people.

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    11. Nope. Not me. I didn't post that question. I posted at 8:05 and 9:03. Where in either of those post did I ask the question "How do you know that, right now, V/M wouldn't be better off with another coach?" That was 8:13, who was not me. 8:13 happened to post right after I did at 8:05. Maybe the fact that 8:13 began their post with an "and" is throwing you? Piecing the posts together, I think 8:13 was a follow up to 7:38.

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    12. I'm 8:13 and was responding to OC 7:23. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.

      Delete
  9. This discussion about Virtue/Moir and being better off with a different coach is completely ridiculous. I have been a long-time figure skating fan & spectator -- way before there were a V/M and D/W. And so, I propose this to 6:47 p.m.: Why didn't Gordeeva and Grinkov go with a different choreographer the 2nd time they won their gold in 1994? Why go back to the same one -- was it merely because she helped formulate the package that won the gold in 1988? It's because Marina is the best! I absolutely agree with OC's analysis above. Marina does have a wonderful genius when it comes to interpreting music and piecing movements together. And in V/M she has students that are not only psychically gifted but also have an uber sensitivity in taking what she gives them and making it into something extra special. Tracy Wilson said it herself years ago that she believed this team was going to take ice dance to a new level. And they couldn't have reached or transcended those levels without Marina. Just don't see it happening with anyone else. And taking into account that Gordeeva and Grinkov during their career were considered [and are still considered] by many as one of the best pair teams of all time....their greatness would not have been what it was and still is with anyone else. And at this stage of the game for V/M, why change it? I just feel they have really pushed the envelope and isn't that what dancing should be about?!

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  10. Becoming just like other places where dissent is not appreciated...Such a joke. Blogger has said previously that no other opinions should be posted here besides his/hers... REALLY? Are people getting at the real truth that you have to shut down debate??? OC says that Scott & Tessa are amrried and have a child as a fact. Well what if I said that Scott is pretendimg to be something he's not and is hiding his real self???

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    1. To 7:17....why come here then? Why troll this blog if that's your belief. The OC has not stopped anyone from publishing their comments, and everyone who has had any opinion has aired it freely here.

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    2. "Blogger has said previously that no other opinions should be posted here besides his/hers... REALLY?"

      Incorrect. Maybe you should reread those posts before you play the passive-aggressive victim. OC says that V/M are married with a child is a fact because it is a fact, and OC is far from the only person who knows this to be true.

      Why are so many message board posters such drama queens? Spare us the fit about how you're being put upon or attacked.

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    3. 7:17
      I've been enjoying very much the discussion here all day. Do you have to come in and derail it with your same-old same-old lies.

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    4. Same old lies? Do u know who I am?

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    5. If you read back. Blogger has said this is not a place for any other opinions than his/her own point of view pertaining to Scott & Tessa being married with a child...duh

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    6. By the way. If anyone says anything more derogatory against me I will complain to my Justice Minister. Bullying is not acceptable. My Province ( Nova Scotia) has just passed a law. The only one of its' kind in the world against cyber bullying. I will definately bring it to their attention of anyone attacking me for my opinions. Bullying stops here. For that matter I will hold this whole blog in contempt.

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    7. I'm still trying to process why expecting that a point of view have logical support is somehow unfair.

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    8. To restate for what I think is a third time:

      the comments section is not going to host discussion on "alternative theories" as if this blog advances only a theory.

      This blog is based upon fact.

      My position is - someone can come to the comments section and state their opinion that the blogger is a liar. And

      Someone can come to the comments section and state their opinion that the blogger is out of the blogger's mind. I don't mean - say it (or VENT it) in twenty posts, but if they want to say - hey, you're a nut job, go ahead.

      (I have noticed that nut job is more popular than liar. That strikes me as self-protective (on the part of whoever is posting that opinion).)

      My position is also that

      Someone cannot use the comments section as a place to vent their mood cycles in terms of what they believe or their emotional response to the blog. I know the blog has been a bit haphazard about that, and probably will continue to be, but nevertheless, when I see this is happening, to spam it will go.

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    9. I want hardcore proof of your "facts."

      I want the smoking gun.

      Oh wait. There is none.

      Carry on now.

      Delete
    10. There's a difference between "there is none", 9:26, and "I don't know what it is." This is a distinction that escapes a lot of people, a distinction that makes me wonder how rampant narcissism is today. "Blogger is a nut job" is actually more comforting.

      As this is my blog, *I* am the only one who needs to know how I know that Virtue Moir are married with a child. I don't expect everyone to take my word for it, and, at the same time, that isn't going to stop me from posting based upon what I know. Nor will it prevent me from regulating the comment section (the current observations about my not permitting "alternative theories"). I will, however, note where someone's comment has been removed, and why.

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  11. 6:47 - EXCEPT - Carmen was VM as much as Marina. Wanting them to go to another coach is wanting VM not to be VM. There is NOBODY who highlights VM's superiority like Marina. There is nobody with even a rudimentary understanding of skating, of lift mechanics, who can't see they're the best.

    Go to another coach? Why? If the point is to go to another coach because another coach would pander - NOBODY panders better than Marina. If this were what VM wanted in order to defeat DW, she'd be pandering her ass off. She made Jessica Dube look dynamic! Marina could design the type of program the "Canton situation" fans yearn to see - better than any coach alive. VM don't WANT that program.

    Again, Carmen was THEM. I struggle with fans who don't appreciate what VM did with Carmen - what they DECIDED to do. And yet fans blame Marina and not VM. VM decided to do a pure dance free dance. Basically reiterating my post above, they chose a dance style - modern - and a specialist in that dance style. They constructed a program that did absolutely nothing but express itself in that dance style. Every facet of that program - elements included - was expressed in that dance style. That was their CHOICE. To kick it up another level, the fucking STYLE had to be justified, psychologically, with what was happening in the Carmen storyline at that point in time, AND align with required elements. Not only that, every fucking inch of it was CoP. I challenge ANY skating fan to go through CoP, through the ice dance requirements, and compare what's set down with what Carmen did. Then look at how judges scored DW. "CoP? Rulebook? We didn't mean any of that shit!"

    MY problem with those who argue they should go to someone else is they are misplacing their focus. They should argue that Virtue and Moir ought to be something they're not. Unless VM determine that they don't want to be who they are, there is no point in going to another coach. Marina perfectly designs programs that perfectly reflect who they are and what Virtue and Moir themselves want to show of their skating. VM apparently don't just want to win; they want to win as who they are. The person who choreographs them as they are is Marina. It's a shame on the judges and the sport that this is rated less than the 1990's-1980's throwback emotive two-footed crap DW put on the ice, however well Marina manages to wed music, rhythm and bullshit.

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    1. 7:57 p.m., my only caveat is that Carmen was no "mere" artistic vision. It was technical down to the blade edge.The entire point was to demonstrate that pure dance choreography could be executed - required elements included - with pure skating skills. THAT was what Virtue and Moir wanted. That is what they're about.

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    2. "Both sides are operating on unverifiable assumptions. There is no right or wrong answer here, only speculation."

      Nice try, but no. V/M have come out and explained in detail why they stayed with Marina, that they believe her to be the best for them, and their record of success with her is the best of any team/coach relationship currently in the sport. This has been clearly stated and backed up with logical analysis over and over again today.

      The other side of the argument lacks the understanding of what V/M are trying to do (and have reiterated in both their words and programs for years) and instead removes agency from them and replaces that with their own fan-based emotional assumptions.

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    3. ^^^ By the way, I'm defining "record of success" as Worlds + Olympic medals combined.

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    4. You just did a great job of proving my point. Let's look at the assumptions in your post.

      1. Everything V/M say in the press reflects 100% their true thoughts and feelings.

      2. If V/M make a decision, it must be the best possible decision.

      3. If V/M have had great succes with Marina as a coach, this means it is impossible they could have more success with a different coach.

      4. It would be impossible for V/M to reach their goals with a different coach.

      5. If a fan wishes V/M would move to a new coach, this means they think they're being somehow controlled (by Marina?)

      Look, changing coaches is a risk, there's no guarantee it would work. There's also no guarantee it wouldn't work. In the end, it's V/M's decision, but fans have a right to an opinion, however uninformed. (And we're all uninformed, we're not Inside their heads, we don't know how things go on in Canton).

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    5. "2. If V/M make a decision, it must be the best possible decision."

      I especially struggle with this one. I know VM's true status, so I know they make mind-bogglingly bad decisions about some things, and it is difficult indeed to say with certainty that their career decisions are correct. Their record of success is great, but it could/should be even better. There's no reason for them not have won pretty much every event since the Olympics. When you're twice as good as everyone else and still losing, something's very wrong. If I were them, I'd be looking at everything: PR, coaching, levels, choreography, thematic choices. They can't control the judges, but may be able to align themselves with people who can change how the judges perceive them. I understand those who say that is not Marina's job or responsibility, but it is something another coach may be able to offer while also giving them great programs.

      The Kwan example actually shows how an otherwise smart athlete who really should know better can make an incredibly stupid decision about coaching. And Kwan, unlike VM, had excellent management and PR.

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    6. @ 4:09, How are you getting all of that from the above post?

      There seems to be a problem with some people conflating arguments made in multiple posts, and because of that I should have been more specific in that I was only responding to the last line of your post @ 8:13, which was that the people who support V/M remaining with Marina haven't provided "adequate reasoning" to back up their arguments.

      My comments regarding V/M and Marina have all been in regards to fans who claim that she is somehow hurting them. I have repeatedly asked for those people to make an argument for why Marina is hurting V/M (and thus, why they should exit Canton) that isn't merely based on emotional assumptions. No one has done so. I have based my argument (that V/M are happy where they are and with the coach that they feel is best for them) based on their results and comments about the issue. I have not even been involved in the "well, if they went somewhere else things might be different" conversation. Of course things would be different. Call it an unverifiable assumption if you will (despite the fact that V/M have stated it multiple times over the years), but they don't want things to be different. They are where they want to be. Do I know what is going through their heads when they make those comments? No. But because of that, can I only *assume* they're telling the truth about this issue? No. I can know it. Their actions back up their claims and always have.

      I do agree with OC's contention that it would be impossible for V/M to reach their goals with a different coach. That is correct because V/M's goals for their programs each season are specifically formulated from within the framework they have constructed with Marina (and Igor at one time), and everything is analyzed through that framework. Training schedules, judges feedback, specific day to day or competition by competition goals, etc. Their vision for their skating and Marina's vision for them are one in the same, because they've collaborated on that vision together over the years and they pay Marina to help facilitate it for them. Realizing that is no different than realizing that V/M's Carmen would not have existed in the form it did (and that includes everything - layout/movement/bladework) unless it was facilitated by Marina. It was constructed within that framework.

      I think it's ridiculous for people to remove agency from V/M, as though they aren't the ones who control their skating career or what music they select and programs they skate. When they work with Marina, they cede some decision-making over to her, but *they* make that call and it's done out of trust. To claim that is not the case is to also claim they're being manipulated by her, they're too naive or unintelligent to realize they're being taken advantage of, or that they don't understand there aren't other coaches out there they could work with who might be better.

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    7. I think there's a difference between those who claim they want V/M to leave Marina and those who think it would be intriguing if they left.

      Those who want V/M to leave Marina seem to be implying there's a reason they should or need to go.

      But saying V/M should leave but only basing it on hypotheticals doesn't make any sense. It's basically claiming that perhaps something isn't right, though there's no telling what that something is for sure. So they should uproot themselves and go to the trouble of everything that entails and move to a coach who might be able to fix the thing that *could* be wrong (though again, don't know what that is, exactly).

      V/M want to defend their gold medal in Sochi. A team with that goal in mind does not just up and leave a coach to go elsewhere unless they believe they are no longer getting what they need from that coach. They don't do it because they think "oh, wouldn't it be interesting if..." No way. They want to win.

      Someone brought up Belbin and Agosto above as an example of a team who left Canton and were the better for it. They had clear reasons for leaving, though. They believed they were no longer getting what they wanted/needed from Marina and Igor.

      V/M believe they are where they need to be and are getting what they want/need from their coaches.

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    8. "Do I know what is going through their heads when they make those comments? No. But because of that, can I only *assume* they're telling the truth about this issue? No. I can know it. Their actions back up their claims and always have. "

      THIS. It's different from the PR mess because of the results they get. There is nothing that doesn't add up when it comes to what they say about their skating.

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    9. But the results they get includes a heck of a lot of silvers, which isn't the intent of an elite dance team such as VM. If they were *winning* then yeah, it would be stupid to hypothesize about what ifs... but since they're not...

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    10. 6:48 -- So then your assumption is they're not winning because of something lacking in them as skaters or their coaching situation? I think oc and others here have made a very strong case for neither of those things being true.

      VM have silvers because of ISU corruption in ice dancing. DW are being WAY overscored for their crap skating - this is on purpose, in order for them to beat VM. That is what the ISU wants. It has nothing to do with Tessa and Scott as an ice dance team.

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    11. This is 5:14/6:48. No, I'm not necessarily saying that something is lacking in their skating. I am saying if I were them I would be exploring all the options.

      DW get very high scores no matter what they do. VM get high scores, but they need to be perfect in order to get them. Thus, it's possible for VM to beat DW, but they need to outlevel them and be foot perfect. Others here have already pointed out other coaches whose skaters were getting levels more consistently and were able to get all level 4s on the pattern dances in Nice. Since all of those skaters have less natural talent than VM, and VM surely work as hard as they do, that's an endorsement of the coaching.

      If we operate on the assumption that VM are telling the truth when they talk about their skating, then VM do not believe the problems are all due to judging, and do believe that fixes in their skating can bring them another gold, as well as changes to the type of themes they portray (Scott said that some in skating "didn't agree" with Carmen). Where some of us differ from VM is we're not so sure Marina is the only/best coach to make those changes.

      You know, sometimes a pair of fresh eyes is a good thing. A new environment, new rivals to train with can be a good thing. That doesn't necessarily mean that something was wrong with the old situation, it could just mean new challenges and a new outlook. As they did not lose any of their technical brilliance when Igor left, I do not believe that they would lose their sense of rhythm and music/skating skills if they left Marina. I think they would bring it with them. At this point in their career they are sophisticated enough that if someone tried to give them crappy choreography, it wouldn't fly. In fact, it wouldn't be crappy for the fact that Virtue and Moir were skating it, and they do understand music so well, and probably wouldn't be able to skate discordantly to the music if they tried. They have lots of ideas, and from their work with Marina, a good understanding of the mechanics of bringing ideas to the blade. If they work with another coach, their work is not going to be on the same level as what that other coach's teams do, it's going to be better. Because it's VM. Just like the stuff Marina and VM do is better than what Marina's other teams do.

      My argument is based on *respect* for VM's skating skills, I am just channeling that respect toward a different angle.

      The fact is that VM are not at the maximum right now, which would be all level 4s, PCS they deserve, and all gold medals. So something *is* lacking, though not necessarily in their skating itself (I have yet to see an argument here that VM are being knocked down from level 4s they deserved; just that DW are overmarked, but DW being overmarked does not necessarily mean VM can't change things and receive higher marks than DW; just that it will be more difficult because they're heavily scrutinized).

      I'm not saying that's Marina's fault or what she does is "bad" for VM, but I'm considering that another coach could help them fill in some of what is missing, without compromising what they already have.

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    12. 8:29, cont...

      Most of the problem is with the judging, and it's not fair. With good judging, these issues wouldn't be a problem. They would get credit for the difficulty in Carmen and their skating skills, and they would get the GOE they deserve, and DW would get the lower marks they deserve, so VM wouldn't have the pressure of needing to get all level 4s all the time. Unfortunately that's not the case, so if there's another coach that can both politik for them more effectively and passionately, and help them with their levels...

      Where I disagree with the pro-Marina faction on here is that whatever Marina can offer is the best that can be offered, that the fact that politiking is not Marina's responsibility means that they shouldn't consider a coach who would politik for them as icing on the cake, that anyone who disagrees is making up reasons for them to leave based on emotionality, that VM's judgment on non-sham things is always sound and not clouded by the poor judgment they display in other matters, that when Marina creates a program in collaboration with an off-ice choreographer her version is the best that could have ever been created, and that the scores are immutable and no changes can be made in VM's skating to overcome them (if so, why bother with Sochi?) or that Marina is the only coach who possibly can make those changes.

      I DO appreciate and agree with the pro-Marina people who say that VM are not victims of their situation, that they could be dumbing down the programs, that they are skating these programs because they want to, etc.

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    13. 8:29 you say this:

      >>>I do not believe that they would lose their sense of rhythm and music/skating skills if they left Marina. <<

      Their choreography would lose MARINA's brilliance with music and rhythm. That point is critical. The two in combination make Virtue and Moir's skating what it is.

      Further, so many of the comments here are about the resume. People are angry that Virtue and Moir have so many silvers and postulate that if they had different choreography and were in a different environment they'd end up with programs that improved their resume. The blight on their resume being that they've come in second at worlds twice to Davis White, although I imagine the GPF situation bothers fans as well.

      Scott in particular already knows that by choosing the route he and Tessa are taking, they have very likely sacrificed the opportunity of leaving the sport with a G&G-like resume. He knows this. It is a CHOICE. They enter every competition intending to win, but also intending to win as much as possible on their own terms. They consider themselves smarter about almost everything skating-related than the larger environment they're in (meaning ISU, judges, etc.), and they happen to be right.

      Because the sport, the interpretation of CoP, and some of CoP itself is a fuck up - and frustratingly stupid in many respects - doesn't mean that Virtue and Moir intend to pander unnecessarily. They think they're too good. That, too, is a reflection of how they estimate themselves.

      So much of what fans want for them in this comments section is an anathema to Virtue and Moir. They see themselves as too good for that road.

      As I've said before, if they wanted to pander, they've got the right coach for it. There's no need to go anywhere. They don't want to pander.

      Fans, IMO, are doing too much displacement. Their problem is with Tessa and Scott. Not with Marina. They slough onto Marina responsibility for decisions Scott and Tessa have made, made while utterly aware of the risks. They didn't stay a second Olympic cycle because they wanted to pad the resume. They had everything they'd ever dreamed of when they won the Olympics at home. There would be no point, in their eyes, of continuing onto Sochi and NOT doing programs like Carmen. If they were going to win with Carmen, they wanted to win with THAT Carmen, because that's the whole point of staying.

      oc

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    14. This is 8:29. I can’t really disagree with you on most of that, OC. It is amazing that VM have decided to stay in and aren’t playing the game like DW and well, everyone else. Their skating has integrity – maybe they’ve channeled every bit of their integrity into their skating and have none left for the mockery they’ve made of family values. I agree that it’s their choice to skate this way.

      One question for you, though… what do you think about the fact that they made changes to Carmen throughout the season? They must have changed elements in order to gain more points, but in the end it didn’t matter because they never beat DW in an FD (I wonder if that means they feel they should have changed it further or just stayed resolute about the original elements – I’m excited to see how that plays out this season). In that sense, they were not wed 100% to the original Carmen. They compromised on a couple of things, most unfortunately the spin, so at some point they do take a utilitarian view of choreography as a vehicle to gain points. Is it that they intended to skate the version of Carmen they did, and would only be willing to make changes when confronted with actual proof like the GOE on the choreo lift, the footwork levels, and the spin debacle at Nationals… or could it be that another coach could have seen the issues with the lift and footwork (no one could’ve foreseen the spin thing, which was complete BS), and integrated the changes earlier, maybe even before the program debut? Or were they committed to it in such a way that they were definitely going to skate those elements unless and until they got the feedback that they did?

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    15. @10:00, you and some others keep questioning whether another coach could have "foreseen issues" in V/M's Carmen and integrated changes earlier. The answer to that question is an unequivocal NO. Without Marina, that Carmen program would never have existed.

      "The fact is that VM are not at the maximum right now, which would be all level 4s, PCS they deserve, and all gold medals. So something *is* lacking, though not necessarily in their skating itself (I have yet to see an argument here that VM are being knocked down from level 4s they deserved; just that DW are overmarked, but DW being overmarked does not necessarily mean VM can't change things and receive higher marks than DW; just that it will be more difficult because they're heavily scrutinized)."

      The argument you and others seem to be making is that perhaps a new coach could give V/M that "something" you feel is lacking (but you acknowledge that "something" isn't their skating). What OC is saying - correctly - is that V/M *are* with a coach who, if they wanted her to pander to the judges, would do so. THEY DO NOT WANT HER TO.

      This disconnect between what some fans want for V/M and what V/M want for themselves is structural in nature and it sits at the crux of this debate.

      Fans who want V/M to leave Marina say that while the skating isn't a problem, something else must be because they aren't winning everything all the time. So that something else is that the judges aren't seeing or understanding what V/M are doing on the ice. The proposed solution from those fans is for V/M to find a coach who can make the judges see that (or make the judges see that D/W are NOT a team of equal worth).

      That is the disconnect. Pandering to the judges in that way runs counter to everything V/M are and *want* to be as a team. Not pandering is a key component in their plan to push the sport forward. They want to bring it back to its roots in dance and force it to reward what is happening on the ice. That means letting their speed and mastery stand on their own in the programs, not going to the judges and telling them "hey, we're faster and better than everybody else, watch and we'll show you!" That is what some fans want them to do. It will not happen. EVER. That is not who V/M are or have been. It is also why they will NEVER move to a new coach unless they feel Marina is not giving them what they want/need in their SKATING.

      To suggest V/M go find a coach who will do what those fans believe is needed to win is asking V/M to utilize the same tactics for winning they despise and want to eliminate from ice dance.

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    16. 8:29 - The title that matters to Scott and Tessa is the Worlds title. In the sublist, do they want to finally win the GPF, yes, the 4CCs always, yes, but the titles that matter are number 1, the Olympics, and number 2, Worlds, but as much as possible they want to win on their own terms.

      They start the season throwing down the gauntlet, so to speak. They are also challenging themselves. If something isn't working and they think the reason it isn't working is legit, they will change. If they think it is doable and the reason is they can't pull it off for some reason, they will fight tooth and nail to keep it until they can pull it off, because that's how they rate themselves.

      IOW if they estimate that it's not working because - The problem is we can't pull it off - i.e., we're not good enough? Their attitude is - we certainly CAN! They will fight to prove that to themselves and the ISU, banking that by Worlds it will be up to snuff.

      If along the way they discover there's a non-talent, non-capability reason a move isn't coming off, they'll change. If it's the basic mechanics (not talent, just the integrity of the move - if it can be executed more logically) - that's an easy call. If it's the ISU being dick-ish, they'll wait til it's in their faces that they can't win. It's a season long process to discover which it is.

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    17. IOW they do this on purpose. Scott and Tessa get push back every year. But it's the old strategy of pushing WAY past the line in order to make what you end up with look like a compromise.

      They start the season throwing down the gauntlet, so to speak. They are also challenging themselves. If something isn't working and they think the reason it isn't working is legit, they will change. If they think it is doable and the reason is they can't pull it off for some reason, they will fight tooth and nail to keep it until they can pull it off, because that's how they rate themselves.

      IOW if they estimate that it's not working because - The problem is we can't pull it off - i.e., we're not good enough? We certainly CAN! They will fight to prove that to themselves and the ISU, banking that by Worlds it will be up to snuff.

      If along the way they discover there's a non-talent, non-capability reason a move isn't coming off, they'll change. If it's the basic mechanics (not talent, just the integrity of the move - if it can be executed more logically) - that's an easy call. If it's the ISU being dick-ish, they'll wait til it's in their faces that they can't win.

      This is an attrition war they fight all season until Worlds. As Worlds is the title that matters, by Worlds they will assess what they can get away with and pull off, and what would actually cost them. Before that, they're trying to hold the line every step of the way. They do this on PURPOSE. It is not an accident that often the early iterations of their programs contain stuff they later amend. It is intentional. It's part of their agenda. They want to prove it can be done inside CoP's own criteria. As Worlds nears, that's when they make the call. We can nail this by Worlds. OR, okay, time to adjust.

      "Legit" to them means that there's something inherent in the move that can't really be solved - can't get done inside the time limit, can't grow along with the season. That conceptually it's a great idea, but can't be executed within the time frame but gets bogged down for some reason.

      An example is the FF lift where Tessa originally slid around Scott's shoulders. Not being a choreographer, I can only describe that lift as jazzy. In many ways, FF was a precursor to Carmen. More than any prior program, Funny Face insisted on using specific, identifiable dance vocabulary and style to execute all of the elements. That lift tended to bog down. I, personally, envisioned that lift getting faster and smoother as the season went on, but it didn't. Tessa appeared to get "stuck" transitioning across Scott's back. They stuck with that until the last dog died but finally changed it up because it hadn't improved since Finlandia. If it had, they'd have kept it. If they had wanted to change it after Finlandia, Marina would have changed it. They loved that lift.

      Scott and Tessa begin every season believing that any challenging elements in their programs will be mastered by Worlds. That lift didn't. It is Scott and Tessa who wanted to see if that lift could happen.

      It's a weird analogy but it's sort of the shoot for the moon you'll still land among the stars concept. Set the challenges HERE. That way, if you must compromise, you are still working somewhat inside standards that are acceptable to you. If you begin with lower standards, less challenging elements, that is a cheat. They always intend to make every element work. And actually, when I look back, the "Temptation" lift, which apparently didn't move the way the judges wanted it too, actually did move, and more than some of DW's moves. But they got the message to not use it.

      IOW they do this on purpose. Scott and Tessa get push back every year. But it's the old strategy of pushing WAY past the line in order to make what you end up with look like a compromise.

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    18. I have to restate that how much I disagree with the idea that while Marina is good, there are other coaches just as good. I don't agree at all. I think there are other coaches out there who are excellent. But they're not Marina. IMO, she is the best and Scott and Tessa are the best, and they are best in the same way. If anyone thinks another coach had the ability to marry modern and CoP and required elements and music and rhythm as Marina did in Carmen, then they estimate some very good coaches a whole lot higher than I do or they don't understand what Carmen accomplished. A lot of what went into that - what Marina put into that - is far beyond the non-skating cultural and musical experience, education and understanding of most coaches. Understanding movement, music as thoroughly as she understands it in order to synch it up with required elements and CoP criteria. That's extremely, extremely rare.

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    19. BTW, as to that Funny Face lift, I want to re-emphasize that Scott and Tessa want their skating both to be transparent and to speak for itself. Anything we need to know is in front of us. They refuse to cue the audience into understanding how difficult something is and they refuse to flourish it up gratuitously to make it seem more than it is. THEY refuse. DW are the opposite so clearly Marina can work both ways. They could have pulled off a facsimile of that lift, made it seem smoother, made it seem that more was happening than was happening, disguised that it got a bit stuck, but they did not. As much as possible, they want the thing itself to be the thing itself. They took it out rather than fuck around with its integrity.

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  12. To 8:41
    Logical analysis to you. It's still only speculation. Not everybody is going to read a comment from Marina about her two teams and go "OMG she's a genius! Can't you see she's actually playing with words!" How do you guys know that her comment about Davis and White being the athletic team and V/M being the artistic one isn't how she feels? But somehow there's a cryptic message in her comments that we're supposed to see after microanaylyzing everything.

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    1. @10:00 PM: It's logical analysis not based on speculation, but on V/M's own comments about the situation as well as their track record with Marina.

      "How do you guys know that her comment about Davis and White being the athletic team and V/M being the artistic one isn't how she feels?"

      I'm not sure what you're getting at here. She was clear about a couple of things in that article:

      1. She matches the programs she works with the teams to create on the personalities, needs, and wants of those teams. She said D/W were more "into the athletic way," meaning that's the type of style she thinks best packages them. She says V/M's greatest strength is utilizing their movement to bring out the organic nature of the man-woman relationship on the ice. Nowhere does she say or insinuate that "romantic" or "artistic" means lacking in speed, power, emotion, or passion, nor does she say that V/M are not athletic.

      2. The author asked how it's possible to really determine which team is better given their high scores, and Marina says one can't do so by comparing the program styles. What differentiates the teams is their skating performance out on the ice. The author then goes on to ask how the styles could be compared despite the fact that Marina said the worth of teams can't (or shouldn't) be compared that way.

      "But somehow there's a cryptic message in her comments that we're supposed to see after microanaylyzing everything."

      It doesn't take any microanalyzing to discern what Marina is saying in her comment. The ones who microanalyze are the fans seeking to extract some insult to V/M.

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    2. 11:08, I agree.

      I want to refer back up thread here in the comments section to the example of B/A leaving Arctic Edge for Linichuk. One comment pointed out what happened to B/A after they left Marina (finished off the podium in Vancouver). Another comment responded that although political factors left B/A with the short end of the stick, they did improve their skating - well, Tanith improved her skating. Agosto was already excellent.

      I don't think anyone in this comments section has yet pretended Virtue Moir need to go elsewhere to improve their skating. The argument is they need to go elsewhere to improve both their program package and their pr - and that the program package IS pr. So I don't think the improvement in Tanith 's skating under Linichuk while at the
      same time she and Ben were dethroned as US champions and finished off the podium in Vancouver is a supporting point in favor of VM leaving Marina.

      But as to the program package being PR - which, as I understand it, means as far as programs go - really put everything in the judges' faces and in the faces of fans - Marina is perfectly capable of doing this. She's more capable than most. She's not in demand as a choreographer-for-hire outside of Arctic Edge because she's cheap.

      If VM don't have that sort of program, it's because they don't want that sort of program. If they get a specific message from the judges - and the ISU certainly loves to give them messages, whoever will the ISU power trip with when they retire - - they incorporate what they're told because they do want to win but they refuse to cave in and pander.

      All of the frustration about VM's programs - make the speed more apparent to regular people (I have no idea why they think the speed isn't apparent to the judges), stop making elements that VM can't do perfectly all season, etc. etc. - isn't something they need to go elsewhere to acquire. Marina can do that. She does that all the time. Virtue and Moir don't want that.

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  13. On the subject of mastery in matching choreography to rhythm, understanding rhythm changes at the most organic level (meaning, not only being able to hear them but instinctively feel and anticipate them in the body), and wedding those to pure skating skills: I would pay good money for the chance to sit in a rink and watch Marina Zoueva and Tessa Virtue choreograph something together for an hour.

    A lot of money. Pretty much no ceiling.

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  14. This is changing the subject, but http://instagram.com/p/dKNF8Nu4Fk/#

    Seriously, is there any line they won't cross for this sham?

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    1. lol, never seen a guy who's so not into it. Since Scott and Jessica, anyway.

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    2. I thought I'd prepared myself for whatever they might throw out, but I'm struggling with this one.

      Are we sure that Scott wouldn't cheat on Tessa? They got together young, married young, and had a child young. Maybe he regrets it and is using sham as a cover to cheat?

      I'm probably not thinking straight due to my anger.

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    3. Anon at 8:48, I have considered the same thing, except that there's absolutely no chemistry between Scott and these other women. To the point that if I weren't aware of the sham, I'd think he were gay, and that's why he can't feign any interest in such attractive women.

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    4. Are we sure that Scott isn't gay? Take the supposed marriage to Tessa out and that's exactly what this looks like.

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    5. But if he were gay, that wouldn't explain the romantic chemistry with Tessa, would it? The marriage isn't "supposed" for me, since I have a source and know the marriage is a fact, but I understand how you would feel that way if you don't know it for sure.

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    6. Gay actors can play straight very convincingly if paired with the right woman. He's had years of practice with Tessa.

      Can your source tell you why Scott's such a dick if he's legitimately wed to Tessa?

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    7. I'm 8:48. I'm with 9:06 in that I don't think he's gay.

      I just wonder if he really wouldn't cheat. It happens. People marry young then regret it.

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    8. Tessa is complicit in it so I guess she agrees with his actions or accepts them in furtherance of a perceived greater good. I don't understand why she would want to be disrespected in that way or want her daughter to see that in the future, but I'm not in her head.

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    9. I get what you're saying 9:14, but perhaps Scott is taking things further than he's supposed to be?

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    10. Sorry folks - can anyone provide another link since I don't have an instagram account..

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    11. 9:22 - I get what you're saying too and anything is possible. I have thought about it too. Ultimately I come down to the fact that he seems more annoyed than attracted to these girls.

      9:29 - I don't have an account but I could see it. Try this: http://distilleryimage0.ak.instagram.com/3e85d686081a11e3a1e322000a9e0853_7.jpg

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    12. @9:06 i know a lot of gay dancers who are so good are feigning chemistry/acting with their partner and any partner its almost believable. just watch SYTYCD.

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    13. Thanks for providing the link anon at 9:31 am...well a smooch was bound to make an appearance...and that picture was so instantaneous and natural..(insert sarcasm)..but yeah it's funny that we get more pictures of Scott here in the summer than we did during the Stars on Ice tour..obviously these pictures are geared towards the fans..

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    14. 9:48 I am talking about the chemistry with Tessa in the K&C and interviews, not on the ice. The SYTCYD guys go back to flaming once the performance is over and during the practice. They're not gazing at their partners and brushing the hair off their faces.

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    15. Ok, so Scott's not gay, he posed for the pic, it was meant for the fans, he's married to Tessa and they have a daughter. What the HELL is wrong with them?

      Where does he draw the line between what's cheating and not?

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    16. Right, 10:05. There have been plenty of teams over the years with chemistry on ice, but once the performance stops, it's over with. With VM, it's all of the things that happen once the performance is over.

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    17. But again, he and Tessa have been doing this for years. They could have a very close, affectionate relationship. One of those, "If you weren't gay, we'd totally be doing it right now" things. Only problem is that Tessa didn't want to beard for him, so the other women stepped in.

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    18. But you can't fake the way VM look at each other. Plus, the body language is very intimate.

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    19. Maybe we're misinterpreting whatever truly exists between VM. I don't understand how a married man and father can go around kissing other women and feeling content that the world thinks he's fucking her.

      They can't be arsed to make sure their website is kept up to date but HOLY SHIT CHECK OUT THESE PICS OF ME AND MY GIRLFRIEND!

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    20. @9:14 this is why i have a hard time believing in the sham. tessa couldn't possibly be ok with this even if she tells scott she is. as much as we like to think that tessa is a saint or a queen at the end of the day she is still a human being with feelings. its this kind of shit that will cause rifts in their relationship. have you ever wonder why celebrity marriages never last? its cause couples get jealous and couples drift apart because they are too committed to their work - to acting especially if that involves doing romantic scenes with their costar. the sham would've blew up in their face by now and we would be able to see it because it would've effect their chemistry on ice by now.

      i also have a hard time believe tessa was pregnant as well because i don't understand why a doctor would operate on a pregnant women even if its for CECS. heck, i know doctors who wont even do a cholecystectomy or even a laparoscopic cholecystectomy - which is a minor an non-evasive surgery - on a pregnant woman. i know you guys are gonna say "thats different because a fasciotomy is on the leg" but surgery is still very risky and scary procedure no matter where it is because mistakes could happen and things get infected.
      and if she was pregnant have y'all ever thought that maybe she had a miscarriage or an abortion? and maybe scott was just covering her up? like what johnny castle did for penny in dirty dancing?

      and that kiss photo i think the reason why it looks sooo fake is that scott is still hurting from his breakup from jess or that he still has feelings for tess. whatever it is, his body language just screams uncertainty

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    21. I'm fairly certain that Tessa was pregnant and she carried the baby to term. There is a child involved in this somehow. I sincerely hope it's not Scott's.

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    22. Google is your friend. There are plenty of pregnant women who have had knee surgery while pregnant and Tessa's procedure was more minor than that. Most of the concern with surgery is 1st and 3rd trimester. 2nd trimester isn't a huge deal unless it's something in the thoracic or abdominal cavity. They wouldn't have even had to have put Tessa all the way to sleep to do it--just local/regional in her legs.

      The child is currently of this world. (A child that, yes, most definitely belongs to Scott Moir as well.)

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    23. ^yes but she still would've been prone to infection

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    24. We've been over this so many times. Tessa was pregnant. The end.

      I don't know of anything else that causes a very noticeable increase in breast size, massive changes to her body shape and a propensity for purchasing houses and driving mom-cars.

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    25. wow y'all are sooooooooo open minded

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    26. I'm really asking myself why i'm still a fan of them ....the fact that we have tons of pic of Scott with the "girlfriend" and we have to pray for a professional pic of Him with Tessa or for a decent interview not to mention their site...I'm really tired of all this

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    27. 11:09 but wait! Don't you want to see what they have in store for us in their series?!!?! Maybe they can interview Cassandra and get her take on the super special unique relationship that exists between Scott and Tessa.

      Unless it makes them money, they're not interested in sharing.

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    28. Hi Anon at 11:09 am - I think we all fans of their skating first and foremost. Yes I don't expect professional pictures at all events - but the one event that stood out was their golf tournament. A portion of the proceeds were to go to a pediatric department of a local hospital/facility. And the best that the Ilderton Skating Club facebook page could offer was a circa 1970's high school yearbook collage of weird angle / random pictures?

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    29. 11:09 Because they're better than D/W and they're the only ones that can beat them

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    30. No matter what V/M do they are still more genuine and honest than D/W because everything about D/W just seems so fake and contrived.

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    31. With fair judging, many other teams besides VM would be able to beat DW.

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    32. I think VM should win, regardless of sham behavior, because they are the best on ice. You bring up an excellent point about with fair judging how it's not just VM who should be beating DW at this point. It's not just VM who are better than DW, it's a growing list of teams.

      DW shouldn't be "winning" events over VM, but they also shouldn't be given other placements and medals that should be going to other teams.

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    33. 11:09 and 11:14 - that's the thing, isn't it? There are brother/sister teams that share more photos taken in professional settings than Scott and Tessa deign to share.

      The photo collage displayed by the ISC was nothing more than brattiness by a couple of mid-fiftysomething skating coaches. Very nice, Alma and Carol.

      The list is just exhausting. Scott and Tessa's feigned superiority to all things internet, all things social media, while using it to fuck over their supporters.

      The withholding of ANY photos that aren't taken by a photo agency, because all of that is Moirville property. Scott and Tessa themselves are Moirville property.

      The petty bashing and ridicule of Scott and Tessa fans. The use of the sham as a one-upmanship tool against the fans.

      My God. Scott mentioned how exhausting and suffocating it was to do Worlds in London- but this is his LIFE. And the horrid part is Moirville reads this and refuses to credit it because fuck him. Fuck him. They don't appear to care about Scott. They care about themselves.

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  15. wtf? I'm so tired of this shit.

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  16. And the #Gold #Sochi crap has started in earnest: https://mobile.twitter.com/CherylPreheim/status/371093100954779648/photo/1

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    1. Good grief, are D/W not allowed to say that their goal is to win the gold medal in Sochi?? Are they not allowed any publicity? Should they just say they are aiming for silver?

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    2. "Goal is Gold in #Sochi #IceDancing " is a bit rich, considering DW don't actually ICE DANCE.

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    3. Agree with 10:51... this said GOAL is a gold medal. It's not acting like gold is an entitlement. What bugs me is pictures of them practicing tagged #sochigold as if they were just waiting for it be handed to them as a result of this "hard work."

      I still think VM fans should shoot back #actualolympicgold

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  17. And the Tao according to Tatiana Tarasova:

    Tatiana Tarasova about Tessa and Scott
    (Elena Vaitsekhovskaya's interview)


    http://www.sport-express.ru/velena/reviews/34881/

    – А что вы думаете о танцах?

    – Думаю, что в этом сезоне очень сильно активизируются канадцы Тесса Вирту и Скотт Моир.

    – Потому что они проиграли чемпионат мира?

    – Не считаю, кстати, что они проиграли его справедливо. Мне они в произвольном танце показались лучше, чем Мэрил Дэвис и Чарли Уайт. Другой вопрос, что оценить "Кармен" канадцев по достоинству судьи оказались не готовы. На мой взгляд, это был выдающийся танец.

    – And what do you think about ice-dancing?

    – I think Canadians-Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir- are going to be very active this season .

    – Because they lost the world championship?

    – I don't think, by the way, that they lost it fairly. They seemed to me better than Meryl Davis and Charlie White in FD. Other question that judges weren't ready to appreciate "Carmen" of Canadians. In my opinion it was outstanding dance.

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    Replies
    1. So now Tarasova is an authority since she thought V/M should have won? But last season when she thought D/W should have won it was "she's not an expert".

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