Saturday, October 18, 2014

Canadablue Chock/Bates v. Weaver/Poje at Nebelhorn split in two

Not only is the comments section of the original post filling up, but it should have been two posts to begin with. The original version keeps freezing/crashing whatever computer or laptop I'm on. I don't know if because it's so gif-heavy, or another reason, but I'm also splitting the post to see if it helps. Later on, in a new post, I'm going to look at iceprincess blog's articles, and I thought maybe (not 100% decided) look at parts of Paul Islam's progams to see what people think about the whole "grow their power" deal - if specific pieces of the choreography would present differently after their power and ice coverage developed. Parts of the short dance might help in looking at the free.


Weaver & Poje didn't even contend last Olympics, and I don't even think they're the most talented team currrently competing in Canada, but look at the sustained run of blade below compared to Davis White, even from Kaitlyn.

Below, we see Chock & Bates face to face, side to side, arms' length apart at the torso and skates, and if the woman is going to turn in "hold", it happens a yard away from her partner, while he puts his free foot down. She turns, he steps forward.

Chock Bates don't even attempt to skate close together.
Weaver & Poje obviously do, and succeed where their skills
and program mileage permit.There's no attempt at even the

 illusion from Chock & Bates, and no penalty for not doing it.

Oh look, Andrew keeps skating when supporting Kaitlyn's turn.
Chock and Bates - if you watch this thing through, the wide-stepping and distance between their bodies is how they're covering ice, just like Davis White. Madison Chock's leg gap could almost give Meryl Davis's a run for its money. I barely watched Chock & Bates last season, and don't know if this how she always did it, or if she studied Meryl Davis video over the summer.

Weaver & Poje: I really hope at least one other ice dance team does one of the other "new" twizzle position variations. I'm over this one.

Did Evan used to skate or did he always basically chase
his partner around the ice then glide on two feet. I like that
emphatic arm snap he does after he's done that elementary 

one-armed lift with Chock (The Shibs demonstrated how in
a Shib Sibs video a couple of years ago). The arms (not the 
lift part, the waving in the air part) are where the GOE is earned. 

Lord look at Chock's wide-planted feet. As for the rest of it,
we know now from FSU that synchronicity/unison isn't
important in ice dance, although of course you should
max out GOE for having done it, and get the level.

That's only fair. 

I think the key to the Davis White era of ice dance is do nothing, give a "that's right, bitches" look at the crowd and drop the mike.

I'm just spitballing here, but I wonder why Davis White-ing didn't happen so much in previous eras. If you go to youtube, and look back in the day, and give or take a male singles skater, if somebody wasn't top rank, they generally went very earnest.They were eager to please, they smiled, or they were very very serious and determined, and there might be a bit of anxiety/insecurity in the eyes when the hard parts came up. With Davis White-ing, you can suck all day long, as long as the choreography builds in a "can't touch this" facial expression and "did you see THAT?" look at the crowd, and keep your arm waving like a flag.

Transition to straight line lift:

Change direction and stuff right in front of the judges.
Why does the DSC build so much extranea into the

Madison Chock certainly worked on all
the right things over the summer. I hope
she doesn't end up needing shoulder
rotator cuff surgery, like so many male
pairs skaters do in the end.

Davis White legacy. Butt jut.

Can't even with this.
There's a part of Weaver & Poje's free dance where Weaver ducks under Andrew's leg and then takes hold of his leg. Instead of pulling it, turning it, swinging it, she pushes it down and back and they both go into the next curve using their blades. Actually if you watch Weaver & Poje's programs, you'll see quite a few moves that set up for yanking and pulling, but they don't yank and pull. They're changing direction, changing position, working in hold and covering ice using their edges. It's absolutely explicit, and occurs throughout the programs.

Neither guy is exactly Scott Moir down there, but
Kaitlyn exits on a nice running edge.

I love that she goes under and grabs his leg, but she swings his
leg down and to the side to set him up to skate the turn,
not get pulled around into the turn.

I had a lot of false starts with this post that delayed its publication,
because, in the beginning, when loading the gifs, I didn't label
 them for myself so I'd know where we were in the program as I

worked on the actual post. A couple of times I ended up with a
post stuffed with Chock & Bates rocking up and down, skating
miles apart, waving their arms, doing arms' length Basic Skills
drills around the rink, and be totally lost.

See that little bastardization of Virtue and Moir's
2011 Latin Program free dance curve lift? When Virtue and
Moir did it, it was sexy and sensational, and of course,
featured a truly difficult entrance where the curve speed
and depth had to come strictly from the running edge.
Bates lassos Chock into it, and still isn't getting much
of a curve. I expect the ISU will make them take it out,
as we know from Virtue and Moir they're sticklers with this stuff.

The spin itself seems fine to me, but of course it's launched
with a pull and a yank from miles apart. Evan's position yanking
Chock into it - what's happened to him?

Why don't they yank more? Why is it all so mutual? They're just
asking for Gilles & Poirier to be the 2015 Canadian Champions.

Above, the rowing, pushing steps. There's so much room between them Evan could put another girl in there.

If Even is skating down to his partner, I think he overshot
and landed in the basement.

Weaver & Poje: some nice things here.

and here, despite Kaitlyn needing to get her feet under her a bit better in a couple of spots.


While we're nearly at the end, this as far as my program was able to make gifs from the main video, so I'll try another one to get the spinning sequence giffed.

What we had in Nebelhorn was a good team, Weaver & Poje, skating a free dance with a lot of genuine skating content, a program designed, as much as their abilities allow, for them to work interdependently and skate their elements, choreography, linking moves and transitions. At this stage, it's uneven, with plenty of room to grow. We have another team, Chock & Bates, skating a wide open program in every sense of the term - wide stepping, wide space between them, content-lite, tons of sliding, trotting, pulling, two-foot gliding on flats, and posing. They won the free. It's not going to grow, because what CAN grow? Madison Chock will flip her hair with still more elan? Swing her arm right out of its socket? Maybe Evan will add some toe twinkling when he yanks and pulls Chock? Can he stick his butt out more? Almost fall over in a few more places?

Chock & Bates will skate their program exactly like this as the 2014-2015 season wears on, getting higher and higher scores for this same performance while Maia and Alex Shibutani's programs grow and grow, and their actual skating kicks Chock & Bates' ass even more than it does now. When Chock & Bates debut new costumes, their scores will explode. By the time of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Chock & Bates will clear the Shibs by about eight points.

Weaver & Poje's scores, despite Skate Canada being, apparently, behind them, will actually depend upon how they execute.

All its years of whining and bitching out stunningly skilled Russian figure skaters, North American ice dance has arrived on the World and Olympic podium, and this is what it looks like. No wonder they bitched for years about the Russians. How awful for teams that are actually good at something to be winning all the time. It's supposed to be about storyline off the ice. Now, finally, it is.



    Scott's body has changed in this photo. ;P

    1. @10:14 AM are you kidding? I have to admit I was skeptical about the whole photoshopping thing, but that particular pic posted by Tessa is so obvious it is not some perception. Scott's hip/width has basically disappeared and his thighs I don't think have ever been that small (compare to the pics of him from the fashion show). Also looks like Tessa is sucking in her stomach because her chest is all puffed out.

    2. There are fan photos from later in the day if you want to see how Tessa actually looks these days. Is it that cold in Ottawa just now that the two of them need to be that bundled up? I'm not snarking - genuine question.

    3. It's about 50ºF in Ottawa right now. I get cold easily so I would be pretty bundled up myself. But I also think that they are dressed like that to distract from Tessa.

    4. 10:14, and then there's no matter where's he's standing, his upper body is enormous and his hips are six inches wide, and he's stretched. Not to mention the photo behind his right shoulder is completely warped.

      Your corrections on what we see with our own eyes, and your idiot, ignorant pedantry as if people don't know the difference between forced perspective and photoshop's liquify, isn't happening in this comments section. Stop telling people what they see.

    5. "It's about 50ºF in Ottawa right now. I get cold easily so I would be pretty bundled up myself. But I also think that they are dressed like that to distract from Tessa."

      That's also a convenient table. Guess nobody bothered to take any pictures of them coming or going (i.e. standing) either?

  2. I would be very interested in the entry that expands on your thoughts about P/I's FD, OC! If it works out for you, of course. Especially because, apparently, the real takeaway from their performances at ACI 2014 was that O/W, E/P and B/M could very well be stronger than them come Nats. You know, it's actually a shame P/I have aged out of juniors, as that'd be their best shot at deserving any medals this year. (sarcasm)

    Seriously though, yours is an interesting explanation. At first glance, it looked too simple, but it's true that this could be a much greater challenge than it appears once you consider the type of ice dancers they are. Every time I watch the FD, I see a new moment that could be glorious. Time will tell how they manage with this vehicle, but I agree there is reason to think nailing it is doable for them.