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.