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Just watching the ice-skating and wondering how long before Ballet becomes an Olympic sport marked on 'technical' and 'artistic merit' ratings. It's already happening in competitions, so why not?

 

Oh how I long for the days when ballet really was an art and no-one was judged on how high their leg is or how high they can jump.

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I think the "technical" aspect of ice skating is ruining (for me) the artistic aspect.  Much of the time is spent winding up for the multiple jumps.  I saw some pictures of the women skaters on the news feed which takes crotch display to a whole new level.  Yes, I know skating is catagorized as a sport - but if it truly is a sport (technical points) why is there grading for artistry?  What happens when one aspect subsumes the other?

 

Is this the future of ballet?

 

I'm not nearly as interested in watching ice skating as I used to be.  Now it's mostly "will he/she/they make the jump or not?"

 

In between the jumps and all the time necessary for getting up to speed for the jumps - there's a bit of fluttering arms or a nicely shaped spiral, etc. kind of thrown in for "artistry."

 

I'm just not into "how many ways can I get my leg up around my head." 

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Just seen these posts and rather timely as have just watched the new" team" skating competition!!

 

Hope this means we're t going to just keep on seeing the same routines all over again when it comes to the individual competition.

 

Anyway as if to illustrate some points above have just seen two young girls skating one only 15 from Russia and Italy.

 

They were both brilliant technically the Russian girl more so but it was all a bit centred round the big jumps and some almost extravagant spins. The Italian girl was much more watchable as she was much more graceful but you can see she probably won't be a winner because of the more and more technical feats which favour younger and younger skaters in the end.

Perhaps this lovely Italian girl would be even more artistic if she didn't have to keep up with all the technical demands but programmes have tobe made up to suit what the judges want to see nowadays etc etc.

no doubt before long Olympic ice skating will become the preserve of 13-16 year olds as is now often the more usual case in gymnastics. I just hope Ive got this wrong.

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I didn't think the Russian pair connected that well in their routine and although the Americans were brilliant I think sometimes the dance element does get a bit lost with so many technical moves put in the routine. I did prefer the Canadians because their routine was less cluttered and they were so in tune with each other and I thought they at least did connect.

 

I hope the routines will be different for the individual programmes though!! Otherwise I'm not sure I can really see the point of this new team event apart from getting everyone used to the ice!!

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Talk about damning with faint praise, Lin! "Did at least connect" sums up to me all that is wrong with ice dance now. From Torvill and Dean and their rivals until the Duchenays stopped competing, there was passion, elegance, grace and artistry in ice dance competitions. The rot started when Torvill and Dean were beaten in 1994 by a flashy Russian pair whose programme was fast and athletic but far from polished. Ever since then technique has been valued over artistry. I would far rather see the new American young man Jason Brown skate than anyone else, Plushenko included. He as yet has not done a quad, but he has fire, passion, elegance and artistry as well technical ability. Now that is a skater, in my opinion. He is only 19. We will be seeing a lot of him in the years to come, God willing.

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Earlier on I saw our own UK ice dance couple .......who didn't make the finals of this team event and I thought they were quite dancey.

 

I think the marks for ice dance should be weighted towards the artistic side.......we don't want a watered down version of the pairs skating at any rate. Then perhaps more effort would have to be made to get the artistry back into,ice dance.

 

Sometimes the short programme is quite revealing or watching the required dance elements section.....which is rarely shown these days that momentous year Torvill and Deane had a great tango type routine as well.

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Christopher Dean was quoted this week as saying that the artistry shown in Bolero in1984 would be lost on today's judges and they wouldn't get anywhere.

 

It makes me so worried for the future of ballet. I enjoyed watching the ice skating today but the only thing that moved me was some of the music choices.

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I didn't think the Russian pair connected that well in their routine and although the Americans were brilliant I think sometimes the dance element does get a bit lost with so many technical moves put in the routine. I did prefer the Canadians because their routine was less cluttered and they were so in tune with each other and I thought they at least did connect.

 

I liked the Canadians most - I felt they really were in tune with each other.  As for the Russians, well, I'm afraid it was yet another demonstration of the adage "ballet music is not skating music": I liked what they did, on the whole, but as for its relationship with the music ...  I remember Oksana Baiul's attempts to convert Swan Lake into ice skating as being pretty unsuccessful too.  John Curry is one of the few skaters who successfully managed to use ballet music for ice skating.

 

On the other hand, I was very impressed with 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya: I do think there is a potential artist in there, and I don't say that about many skaters.

 

The rot started when Torvill and Dean were beaten in 1994 by a flashy Russian pair whose programme was fast and athletic but far from polished.

 

One of whom is now coaching our latest ice dance pair.  And T&D were robbed of the silver - I can't remember why now, but they were.

 

I would far rather see the new American young man Jason Brown skate than anyone else, Plushenko included.

 

Is he the dark-haired one with the ponytail?  I only came in halfway through his routine, but the commentators thought he had a lot of promise.

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Yes Alison that's him. Go on YouTube and watch him skate in the US championships in January. I love bhim because he really connects with the crowd and conveys to everyone how much he enjoys what he's doing out there. A lovely skater, too!

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Ok- i have to add - I think this quad jump business is just a tad boring.  Where are the beautiful inward and outward spirals of yesteryear?  I think that's why Jason Brown isn't boring - he "only" does triples.

 

By the way -- from what I've seen, only the Japanese skater knows how to bow gracefully - like a dancer.  Good for him.

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By the way -- from what I've seen, only the Japanese skater knows how to bow gracefully - like a dancer.  Good for him.

 

I saw this man's single full programme as well.  Of course his excution was great, but I was so impressed with the choreography- every move (yes, even jumps and turns with shoulders up! :P ) had meaning, not a wasted moment nor those horrible "prepartion for the next flashy movements" moments.

 

The Russian (Plushenko) had the presence and star quality on ice, but I found his routine too boring and too "cut and paste" as in almost randomly fititng big flashy things... 

 

I had to google and find out about the choreographer - turned out he was an ex-ABT ballet dancer!

 

By the way, I love listening to  Robin Cousins' commentary.  He is not the one to be blinded by all flash "look how high my leg get up to". I felt his comments on ice dance performance, particularly about lifts (don't try big tricks if you can't do quality - well, he put it in a more diplomatic way) was spot on. 

 

Am I wrong in thinking that he has been to RBS before becoming a figure skater?

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I don't know about him going to the RBS as a proper ballet student....possibly....but maybe went there to get some ballet tuition to help with his skating at some point.

 

However I find even Cousins has his favourites so to speak so will talk a performance up or down slightly depending on whether he likes them......though he does tend to favour the artistic side as a rule and I can tell he likes the Canadians and Ive still kept their performance from Vancouver.....truly beautiful.

The trouble is people start toget used to a certain standard and then almost take it for granted and are still looking for more!!

 

I must look up this American skater just talked about and report back!!

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I'm having a problem- I can't stop watching this Jason Brown performance in January at the national championships.  His prsentation - the details - the constancy within character - no feel of cutting and pasting, the musicality.  His program was cohesive and one can't help but get caught up in it.

 

Here's the link - hope it works:

 

 

 

The one thing he lacks are "quad" jumps.  Who cares?  Give me this kind of performance every time.

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Anjuli Ive now watched but will watch your one again!! What an engaging young man....you just want to go and hug him afterwards!

 

He's a lovely performer and what he does is ......those triple salcos or axels whatever they are called...he does beautifully with lovely shape in the air!! Ive never heard of him till now but it looks like the men's competition will be exciting this year.

 

I love watching the galas as the skaters let their hair down a bit and I often enjoy these routines more than the competition ones.

 

I was going to post exactly what you have said Anjuli about being at the rink......the tv doesn't always get the speed across.

A friend of ours had two daughters skating.....one became UK pre junior pairs champion....but both have given up now. Anyway we used to go along to watch them skate and I was really excited by the speed of some of the older teenagers.....and the sound of it all too. So watching Olympic/World class skaters must be marvellous.

 

There used tobe a Russian performer a few years ago now who also had this rather engaging personality and he did a gala piece in a/with a hat.....he was great to watch....will see if can remember his name....before Sochi is all over!!

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The one thing he lacks are "quad" jumps.  Who cares?  Give me this kind of performance every time.

 

Well, the trouble is that with the new(ish) marking system quads, properly executed, will get you a higher score than "mere" triples :(.  Blimey, I've just realised I've been watching ice-skating for so long that I think I can remember when a triple axel was "new" and exciting!  At least, I'm hoping it was an axel and not one of the 3-rotation-only jumps ...

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Well, the trouble is that with the new(ish) marking system quads, properly executed, will get you a higher score than "mere" triples :(.  Blimey, I've just realised I've been watching ice-skating for so long that I think I can remember when a triple axel was "new" and exciting!  At least, I'm hoping it was an axel and not one of the 3-rotation-only jumps ...

 

That, to me, is precisely the problem.  It's quads uber alles.

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The other thing I have noticed is the number and scale of injuries these guys have. The Russian male ice skater said he has had 12 back operations. He is only 31 and has been semi retired for 2 years but come back to do the Olympics. Robin Cousins said his stamina issues meant that he faded in the final minute of the 4 minute routine.

 

The British downhill skier today said she has broken 45 bones and has a steel bar in place to support her shin bone.

 

I don't know how the ice skaters manage to land their jumps on a strip of steel (imagine the concentration of force) on what is effectively an unsprung floor. Their knees and ankles must really pay the price.

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The other thing I have noticed is the number and scale of injuries these guys have. The Russian male ice skater said he has had 12 back operations. He is only 31 and has been semi retired for 2 years but come back to do the Olympics. Robin Cousins said his stamina issues meant that he faded in the final minute of the 4 minute routine.

 

The British downhill skier today said she has broken 45 bones and has a steel bar in place to support her shin bone.

 

I don't know how the ice skaters manage to land their jumps on a strip of steel (imagine the concentration of force) on what is effectively an unsprung floor. Their knees and ankles must really pay the price.

 

 

And thus the question:  Is the price worth it?

 

Is the audience  - on which TV ad money is based - part of the problem?

 

What if ski slopes were not so high?  Or quads in ice skating not allowed?  Or snow boarding (or whatever they are calling it) not so precipitous? 

 

Would we still watch?  

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I watched the pairs free programme ice skating last night, can't remember any names but thought the standard was outstanding, especially the last couples to skate, and really artistic as well as spectacular, shame the Chinese couple didn't get the bronze,but it's not just based on the final programme, the Russians who got gold and silver were beautiful. 

 

I had been trying to think of that wonderful Russian couple who used to skate so artistically, and last night they were in the crowd, the Protopopov's, brought back memories.

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Yes they were lovely but probably wouldn't qualify for the Olympics with their then programme today. She may have been the first skater to do that very low turn on the ice where the lady's head is practically on the floor!! Now of course this is just standard requirement! And that's what happens......someone puts in an extraordinary move and a few years later its the norm!!

 

I felt very sorry for the German couple last night but inspite of that thought the Chinese deserved the bronze on the free skate alone that is it the Russians deserved their one/two places I thought......I hate it when you have a real disagreement with the judging but I must say in recent years it hasn't been too bad.....not so much "favouritism" thanks goodness these days.

 

How they do triple turns in the air and land on the ice .....no idea!! Must have the most amazing knees and ankles......definitely a young persons game.

Some of the "free style" skiing has been totally amazing as well......I'd run a mile from a mogul run like that... Just think ....ouch....knees.....But wonderful to watch others from the safety of the armchair!!

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