I think we are at the point in the figure skating season when we should take some time to go over our favourites. A number of skaters are already done their season, while for others there is really only the World Championships left. We may only see the programs one more time! I hope my favourites all get a good send off.
When I think about favourite programs, it tends to be a combination of things that win me over. It’s really the packaging all together – music choice, costume, choreography. However, it’s also about how well it is skated and performed. In the end though, beautiful, creative choreography, so well suited to the music, wins the day.
Women’s Short Program – in no particular order
These are the short programs I have really been enjoying this season. Don’t be surprised that this list is dominated by Japanese women. I know we’ve all been focused on Russian women for the past little while but I really think the Japanese women have the depth, consistency and sustainability to dominate this quad. Satoko, Wakaba, Rika, Mai, Kaori, Marin… We really are spoiled.
Mariah Bell – “To Love You More” – choreographed by Adam Rippon
You can tell she really loves performing this program and it is so enjoyable to watch. It uses and she expresses the music so well. Side note: the dress is superb. Read More »
I was very interested to see the new programs from the Russian Senior pairs at the test skates this past weekend. I can’t say I’ve liked a lot of the programs that have come out of the Russian school in the past few years (or ever) but one thing you can say is: you never know. You really could get The Addams Family; you could get Rachmaninoff; you could get anything. There aren’t many Russian teams competing at the Senior level this year and we didn’t get a lot of video posted online, so let’s take a look at what we did get.
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I feel like I better get this done before next season starts! Well, technically with the Asian Open starting off the Challenger series this past weekend, I guess the new season has already started. Not to mention the videos we are starting to see of new programs. I like how things are shaping up for the new season, and I have to say that I quite excited about the sliding feature! But before I move on entirely, I will say farewell to the old. Here is my final word(s) on ice dance programs in 2017-18.
Short Dance (And farewell to them too!)
Hubbell/Donohue – “Le Serpent” by Guem et Zaka; “Cuando Calienta El Sol” by Talya Ferro; “Sambando” by Los Ritmos Calientas. I like the music choices here. Notice how the first piece is called “Le Serpent” (The Snake) and in the opening, she sort of reminds me of a snake. They are in tune with the music and it feels sexy and languid but crips and intense as well. And those twizzles! That whole last sequence to the end is great. Program by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and G. Cournoyer. (Sorry, the video isn’t the best quality but don’t worry it does keep going.)
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Oh, I love the pairs. If you haven’t realize yet, they are my favourite, the acrobatics and the elegance! (I have recently discovered acrobatic gymnastics by the way. Why is it not an Olympic sport? It’s so competitive and so entertaining! I say get rid of rhythmic gymnastics and put in a gymnastics sport that is equally represented by men and women. But moving on… ) This year, I particularly liked what Team China came out with but there were other favourites as well. And as with the ladies, I didn’t include repeats (sorry Kirtsen and Michael, sorry Peng and Jin, sorry Marissa and Mervin, Aljona and Bruno, etc., etc.).
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Let’s start with the ladies! It took me some time to think back over the season considering all the Grand Prixs, Senior Bs, and national competitions that come before we get to the big international competitions of Europeans, Four Continents, the Olympics and Worlds. So much skating. But I really wanted to focus on the program: the creativity, cohesion and clarity of it. There are programs that you enjoy because they are executed so well in the moment, but I didn’t want to just focus on the execution (although, it does play a role) because there are those programs that even if it wasn’t skated cleanly the idea and choreography of it are still enough to capture the viewer. So, here are my top short and free programs for the ladies this past season. Read More »