2011 Skate America
Planned Program Content
Planned Program Content
CHINESE, WHO HAVE NOT COMPETED SINCE MARCH 2010, DROP TO SECOND WITH A THIRD RANKED FREE
CANADIANS GET BRONZE
1.Overall Score 183.98; 1. FS 124.53 (60.41+64.12) Three-time world champions, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, from Germany, presented a unique concept, a tribute to the famous German Modern Dance choreographer Pina Bausch who died in 2009 aged 69. The novelty of many of the transition moves, some of which were not in the classical definition of beauty, made their presentation ground-breaking and it was not easy to take in all the nuances. The rest of the field stuck with the tried and true.
The Germansí novelty, and their skill in the actual required elements, gave them gold by a significant 5.32 points over the second place finishers, the Chinese who had led after the Short Program. Savchenko and Skolkowy could not remember when they had last been as low as fifth after the opening round, and had been relegated to present their Free in an earlier skating slot. The ouster to the also ran group, was caused by Savchenko falling on a throw triple Axel, with which they were experimenting in order to increase their technical marks, since it has a higher base value that the other throw triples. None of the rest of the field attempted such difficulty.
However, they recovered from that error today, Sunday. Even the Germansí opening asymmetric poses, were daring, and not to everyoneís taste. "I never met her," Szolkowy said about Pina Bausch, but we saw a movie made about her. Our coach (Ingo Steuer) wanted us to try something different and we did. We worked with a dancer to try and translate new moves onto the ice. It is VERY different and it has been very difficult." In comparison, last yearís routine was to the Pink Panther.
Even with all this new choreography, they still had to get all the standard tricks accomplished and they did, except for two very minor errors amongst the 12 elements. One was a doubled instead of triple in a sequence of what was meant as two triple jumps, and the other a very slight bobble on their last lift.
Szolkowy said, "Todayís performance was quite ok. We tried to skate like in practice. This is our first competition this year. Weíre not as far as other teams in competition, but we showed in the end that yesterday was a result of trying new things. We are still working. The difference was that we tried something new yesterday. It was our first try for the throw triple Axel in competition so there was a chance, maybe 50/50 or 60/40 that this [the program] could happen clean. Today we showed the elements we did last year so it was not that much new technically, but there were a lot of new artistry.
"Our coach came up with this idea in May. He tried to cut the music in a good way and we tried some things. When the movie came out in Germany, we watched. We tried to get some inspiration or feeling for the music and what kind of story we could tell. We worked together with the special ballet coach to show us some ways to move not like typical skaters, more like a dancer. Hopefully that worked. The first things the people said were really good. Hopefully we can improve our elements and our skating so we can show itís possible to create new programs for new kinds of music."
Savchenko said, "We want to try new and different things. Every year we want to develop. Weíve mastered all other triple throws and now we want to take another step and develop further. We want to show you are never too old to learn something new."
2.Overall Score 178.66; 3 FS 115.81 (56.96+58.85) Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang, who are not related, coming off a missed season when they didnít skate for a whole year due to his injuries, are trained by the legendary Bin Yao who jumpstarted Chinese pair skating in the early Ď80s. They interpreted the Lizstís Toten Tanz. He said, "I think todayís performance was quite good. We were pleased (even though they were only third in this portion). We had only a short time to prepare. Weíve only done three run throughs of the program. My endurance is still lacking so we can improve." So, is his partner worried about him dropping her? She said, ""Iím not afraid of doing any elements even if the practice time wasnít so long. Itís not a big problem. Itís up to us to work hard and to improve."
The world saw how tough Dan Zhang is, when they gained world fame after her cringe-making splatter at the 2006 Winter Games where she crashed to the ice in a spreadeagle position and slid at full speed into the barrier after an under-rotated throw quad jump which she had executed earlier in her career. The duo were allowed to get medical attention for her and she came back to skate the rest of the routine and win the silver medal. (Many regulations clarifying what was and was not allowed came into effect after that delay in proceedings.)
3.Overall Score 177.43; 2 FS 117.83 (61.65+56.18) Kirsten Moore Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, who are the reigning Canadian champions, won silver in last yearís Skate America. They have only skated together since the spring of 2009 and are trained by Kristy and Kris Wirz in Kitcher-Waterloo. They performed to the Henry V soundtrack by Patrick Doyle.
Moscovitch said, "Weíre very happy with the competition as a whole. We did a good job. We came in prepared and we skated how we have been practicing and how we aim to skate. We are happy with the outcome of the performances and the placement."
Moore-Towers said, "We are thrilled to be here, on the rostrum. I find that competing with such established teams pushes us and shows us what the future holds and how we can push. We are still building in our third year. Watching other better teams that have been more places helps me push even harder."
4.Overall Score 175.40; 4 FS 115.78 (59.36+56.42) Caydee Denny and John Coughlin, who train with Dalilah Sappenfield in Colorado Springs, performed to the Puciniís immortal Nessun Dorma. They had only one mistake, when she singled the second of a sequence of two double Axels. But they finished 2.03 off the podium. He explained, "It was exciting. It felt great to have the crowd behind us when we finished our program."
They received three Level 4s but their back outside death spiral was only Level 1. Denny said, "We looked at some of our levels on the lifts and spins and weíll just go back home and work on that before NHK (their second Grand Prix)." Coughlin said, "At home we talk about how key it is to make sure the carry lift goes up on the crescendo and I knew I cut the side by side spin a little short, but I thought it was worth it to make sure that carry was effective. I released late on the lasso and Iím kicking myself because it was a wonderful take off. I donít even know why that happened."
Denney said, "It was a little [frustrating]. You always want to skate your best and itís something that I havenít been training that much back at home, but Iíll just go back and work a little bit harder on that and pay attention to the levels so that each competition gets better and better."
Baldwin said, "We talk about dependable points with jumps and throws, things like that and I need to be smarter about the lifts and expect a level four out of myself every time."
5. Overall Score 173.94; 5 FS 114.32 (58.72+55.60) Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov are trained by Liudmila Kalinina in Perm. Appropriately, these Russians interpreted Laraís Theme from the soundtrack of the movie Dr. Zhivago. They got off to a bad start with her having a problem with their opening side-by-side triple toe loops and losing synchronization. However, they had some great moves including the lifts, where they take full advantage of their height difference.
6. Overall Score 155.42; 6.FS 103.87 (53.00+50.87) Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin interpreted two pieces of music, the first from the soundtrack of Legends of the Fall by James Horner; the second, a romantic piece, Time to Say Goodbye, to climb a place. They skated second of the eight pairs, and the music administrator just could not get their music to start properly. Baldwin said, "The music mishap at the beginning of the program - I want that to happen every time. It got us to relax and it almost felt like practice. It got the crowd behind us and by the time the music started I felt good.
"We can definitely express this music. Sometimes the faster music weíve skated to in the past, you donít quite get the connection between the both of us but this one we can really emote to each other. We can look into each otherís eyes, which some teams have trouble doing if they have a younger girl with an older guy, it may not look right, but it looks right with us."
Vise said, ""Itís nice to have a program that the crowd can feed off. Iíve always wanted to skate to both of these pieces of music. They are two completely different pieces mushed together, but we wanted to go towards that emotional factor, especially skating to music we love a lot."
They had negative GoEs on only three of their 12 elements. He admitted, "There were a couple little mistakes, but they are easy fixes. This is the type of performance that we have been doing in practice, so itís nice to go out in competition and compete how we know we can. "
Visa said, "We opted not to do sectionals, we decided to go home and just relax for a little while, but weíre doing a bunch of shows at Christmastime and that helps us get out there and that performance factor a little bit and weíll just keep making sure our levels are up to par."
They jump in opposite directions which is an unusual touch. She said, "Itís not a disadvantage or an advantage, itís something different and I think that the audience can appreciate seeing something different." They train in Scottsdale with Lara and Doug Ladret.
7. Overall Score 144.80 ; 8 FS 88.64 (44.28 +47.36 -3) Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker, who train with former US champions, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand at Aliso Viejo, which is about 50 miles from the Citizens Business Bank Arena here in Ontario, CA, performed to Rachmaninovís classic Piano Concerto in C Minor in what can best be described as a development outing. They dropped a place from sixth after the short with an outing in which she fell three times.
Brubaker confessed, "Some days are easier than others. We basically skated all week and this is the first time we actually missed any elements. It just goes that way sometimes. We have a senior B in France next week so we have another chance to work on and improve our programs. The mistakes we made today werenít because we werenít prepared.
"We had just a few minor mistakes, which comes with it being earlier in the season. We didnít execute some of the technical elements the way we wanted to. I think skating-wise, the transitions have improved a lot from a month ago at Champs Camp. Obviously we want to nail everything and get plus threes, but it doesnít go like that all the time and I think that in the midst of our mistakes we did some really nice things. This is one of those experiences we can really learn and grown from"
Marley said, "I didnít let the falls affect me."
8.Overall Score 141.54; 7 FS 92,60 (46.25+46.35) Maylin Hausch and Daniel Wende performed to the soundtrack from Steve Yablonskiís soundtrack of Your Highness. They are trained by Karel Fajfr in Oberstdorf but their choreography was done this summer by Pasquale Camerlengo in Detroit. But they did not have a good outing. Seven of their 12 elements were saddled with negative GoEs.
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