Montag, 28. September 2015

|Stefka & Sports| 2015 Nebelhorn Trophy Oberstdorf - Short Dance photos

Pictures and a rant about today's ice dancing...

"Those were the times when Torvill & Dean still skated..." A sentence none of our group of skating fans ever wanted to say. And now we are all raving about the good old times in skating. I'm trying to find the answer to why this has happened.  

I was a die-hard skating fan up until 2007. My last two big live events were 2006 European Championships in Lyon/France and 2007 Junior World Championships in Oberstdorf. Afterwards, my interest in figure skating declined rapidly. I've only been to Nebelhorn Trophy from then on. I even only watch parts of Euros and World on TV. If the broadcasts don't match with my schedule, I don't watch anything.

Agafonova & Ucar from Turkey

I still like pairs skating best, followed by the ladies. The men are okay-ish but ice dance really bores me. I tried again at this year's Nebelhorn Trophy by watching the Short Dance but to be honest, I can't remember a single detail. And I usually have a good memory for even the most obscure stuff. Like I immediately remembered the name of Alper Ucar's short program music from years back ("Anatolian Fire") when he was introduced here at Nebelhorn.

Agafonova & Ucar from Turkey
In the past, I enjoyed ice dance as much as the ladies and the men. Grishuk & Platov are my all time favourite ice dancers and their Tango OD from 1997 is probably my all time favourite dance program. 


Chock & Bates from the USA
While going for a run today, I tried to think about why today's ice dancing doesn't interest me anymore. In order to find an explanation, I thought about which season has been my favourite in ice dancing. I came to the conclusion, this must have been the Olympic season of 1991-92. I loved the Polka OD and there were so many innovative and "artsy" freedances during this season with "Air" by Klimova & Ponomarenko topping everything. But what I also remember from this season: the discussion about ice dancing being too far away from ballroom dancing, too close to theatre and therefore unjudgeable.



Lorenz & Polizoakis from Germany
Today's ice dancing is totally judgeable. There are certain required elements which are done with a certain level of difficulty and in the end, everything adds up to a certain amount of points and the winner is being decided by this. The dances under this system remind me of a "kit system". You put together all the elements in order to achieve a maximum of points. Must the elements flow with the music? No. Do they highlight the music? No. Does every dance look the same? Not exactly but definitely very similar.

Lorenz & Polizoakis from Germany

In former times, a lift was done during a part where the music was particularly intense or impressive. Nowadays, there are two (?) lifts being preferably executed at the end of the program. With numerous changes of positions which don't make them exactly more attractive. The other elements are even more unnecessary in my opinion: the twizzles never ever do anything for the program and I will never understand why a dance spin was added to the repertoire of ice dancing. This will always be a pairs skating element for me. I find it almost painful to watch female ice dancers trying to reach a Biellmann or Mishkutienok position...

Lorenz & Polizoakis from Germany
I doubt there will ever be dances I really like under these strict rules. It seems pretty much impossible to choreograph a beautiful program where every gesture underlines the music because you have to be so careful about adding all the required elements. Ice dancing has lost all its fascination for me...

Paul & Islam from Canada
Back to the Short Dance at Nebelhorn: I find the mixture of a free to choose SD part and a compulsory dance strange as the CD part totally sticks out. I don't think we will ever see a homogenus SD with these rules.

Lorenz & Polizoakis were a positive surprise for the German skating union here at Nebelhorn. They have only just started skating together and both of them were competing in singles in the past. I think we saw Kavita at one of the exhibitions at Nebelhorn years back as a little girl and Panagiotis still competed as a single skater at German Nationals last season. I had the impression they are natural talents when it comes to twizzles (very powerful and in synch) which could be a big advantage for them in the future. They also look great together and if they keep on the good work, this could be a dance couple with a real future. (And they are not a brother and sister team...).

Paul & Islam from Canada
Final notes: it's not my intention to offend anyone who loves today's ice dancing. Everyone has a different taste. I just wanted to give an explanation why today's ice dancing doesn't do anything for me anymore... Feel free to agree or disagree :)

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