Aug 28, 2016
Let's talk about Satoko Miyahara.
As of now, I am fascinated by her new astronomically-themed long program set to Holst's The Planets suite (Venus and Jupiter, it appears) and the music of Star Wars. For brevity's sake, let's call it Satoko in Space. My response to the program wasn't a love-at-first sight situation: the first time I watched Ms. Miyahara perform Satoko in Space several weeks ago, I though it was kind of bland and was rather bemused by the redolent blast of Jupiter right at the very end. Admittedly, I was also slightly disappointed that it wasn't a voidy mystical/Jedi-themed program using Holst's Neptune with the badass fadeout ending I was secretly hoping for (before you laugh, just imagine Ms. Miyahara doing her layback as those haunting female voices in Neptune quietly fade away into nothing, representing that whole "there is no emotion, there is only peace" vibe).
Jun 5, 2016
Describing what a skater does in a program--the elements, the transitions, the turns, and so on--is one thing. On this front, there is so much to say about Papadakis/Cizeron's free dance this year. Take the lifts, for example. In a blatant repudiation of the current trend towards acrobatic dance lifts that are all but accompanied by a TA-DA!!!!! sound effect no matter what mood the music is trying to convey, Papadakis/Cizeron's lifts in this program for the most part stay low, subtle, and are seamlessly incorporated into the program in a way that suggests that the elements are in service to the overall choreography instead of the other way around. But the lifts are in no way easy despite the obvious lack of Ms. Papadakis being thrown around like a rag doll--look at Mr. Cizeron's low positions throughout the first two lifts, for example, or the way Ms. Papadakis smoothly moves through her positions to the beat of the music. Or I could go on and on about how To Build a Home perfectly displays Papadakis/Cizeron's skating skills, their speed, their ease on difficult turns and steps, their astounding ice coverage throughout. Like no other competitive program I've seen before, Papadakis/Cizeron's To Build a Home is the skating equivalent of a Brancusi: an ideally-proportioned, deceptively simple wonder comprised of smooth effortless elements flowing together to create a beautiful whole.
Apr 8, 2016
Dec 26, 2015
That moment when you throw your drink at your laptop and scream WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS when Shoma Uno tries to go for an on-the-fly 4T-2T (presumably) as his last jumping pass, only to pop it and throw 10 points down the drain.
This ain't 6.0 anymore, kid.
Dec 18, 2015
Among the ranks of ladies figure skating today, the Russian ladies are undeniably dominating the field. What other national competition this year will feature no less than seven competitors that have won at least one of the following titles: Olympic champion, World Champion, European Champion, Grand Prix Final Champion, and World Junior Champion? In retrospect, it's incredible that Russia has this embarrassment of riches when it comes to ladies skaters. It seems like only yesterday when the Russian ladies were floundering with disasters such as Ksenia Doronina and Nina Petushkova after Irina Slutskaya retired in 2006.
However, with the spots-per-country rule in force, Russia can only send a meager three ladies to both Worlds and Europeans despite its immensely deep ladies field. If only we could take the Russian men's spots and give them to the ladies instead . . .
So, in anticipation of the bloodbath that will be the ladies competition at the upcoming Russian National Champions, let us take a look at the long programs of some of the top ladies competitors in Yekaterinburg: