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Friday, February 18, 2011

Four Continents Championships: Free Dance

Group 1
1. O'Brien/Merriman, AUS: 35.72 TES + 26.30 PCS = 62.02 Total: 104.69
  • They are in 10th place after the short dance
  • A very different costume for her than most ice dance dresses but I really like and it looks good on the ice--silver sequined top and three layers of a ruffled skirt in different colors
  • Nice curve lift with her over his knee and leaning back
  • I'd like to see more extension from both of them through their free leg in this first step sequence and for her to use her arms more naturally instead of placing them
  • This step sequence is also really bouncy, especially from her and they don't get very deep into their knees or edges
  • They come really close to each other in the first set of twizzles, she seems to be bouncing instead of spinning through the second set and has to put her foot down early
  • A really interesting lift in which he spins on one leg while she's in an arched position, very unique
  • A nice rotational lift--flip into the entry with her on his shoulder and a change of position
  • Good positions in their dance spin and decent speed
  • She has a little bobble on some footwork
  • Nice entry into the lift near the end but messy exit
  • Overall they have some nice qualities to work with but they have some things they need to work on as well
2. Borounov/Borounov, AUS: 24.66 TES + 19.05 PCS = 43.71 Total: 72.23 and into 2nd place
  •  They are currently in 12th place
  • She is wearing a very long skirt and with all the skirt problems this season, I hope she doesn't get tripped up by it
  • Nice positions in the dance spin, not a lo of speed, slightly awkward exit out of the element
  • She really needs to straighten her free leg through this footwork sequence--it also seems like she's looking toward the ground and is skating very cautiously
  • Straightline lift with her leaning back toward the ice
  • Simple rotational lift with one arm and she catches her back foot
  • He gets a little out of control on his twizzles, loss of unison, she puts her foot down early in the second set
  • I'd like to see her work on her carriage as well, it looks like she's slightly hunched over in all of the holds
  • It just seems like this team is lacking a lot of their basic technique and it makes a lot of the program a struggle for them
  • A straight line lift with her bent back and him on one foot
  • An interesting curve lift with her in a haircutter position but wrapped around his back
3. Guan/Wang, CHN: 35.10 TES + 28.39 PCS = 63.49 Total: 106.26 and into 1st place
  •  They are in 9th place after the short dance
  • She is in an all white dress with long sleeves and a long skirt--makes it harder to really see her positions with the white ice and white boards
  • First set of twizzles is done with leg extended and seems a little wild but they stay in unison through all sets
  • Some nice changes of holds through this first step sequence but they're very stiff with their hands and it destroys their arm line
  • Flip into the first lift over his shoulder and some position changes into a nice stretched out arabesque on his foot with good extension
  • Really good speed and extension through the dance spins and it's nice to see the male partner execute one of the more difficult positions on one of the variations
  • Their straight line lift with her standing on his boot seems to zig zag a little bit at the beginning
  • Awkward hold in the beginning of the step sequence with them facing different directions and having their hands on each others backs--they seem to have trouble holding it
  • One arm rotational lift in a pretty simple position
  • There isn't really a connection to each other or their music but they're doing a lot of nice elements
  • A good rotational lift with him dipping her up and down through the rotation
4. Bruhns/Westenberger, MEX: 24.95 TES + 22.92 PCS = 47.87 Total: 88.55 and into 3rd place
  • They are in 11th place after the short program
  • Nice entry into their twizzles but they're really off unison--she's one or two twizzles ahead
  • This footwork sequence seems really slow 
  • They seem to kick their free leg into position instead of flowing through the movements 
  • A nice lift with three changes of position for her 
  • Problem centering the entry of the backward camel for their dance spin and the whole sequence is really slow
  • They need to really use their free arm more throughout the step sequence and really extend their lines through these holds
  • Simple one armed rotational lift
  • An interesting hydroblade move ith her hand on his foot 
  • One footed curve lift with her standing on his boot and leaning back
  • I like the abandon they're showing through this choreography at the end--this is the most free they've been the whole dance and it really brings up their performance level

Group 2
5. Chock/Zuerlein, USA: 44.15 TES + 41.15 PCS = 85.30 Total: 142.44 and into 1st place
  •  They are in 6th place after the short dance
  • There program is Cabaret and both of the characters suit their personalities so perfectly and this is a true performance
  • They make the twizzles look so easy, are well timed with the music, but get a little far apart
  • Nice step sequence
  • Good positions in their dance spin and good speed
  • Great speed going into this footwork
  • Great entry into their lift, it happens so fast and she's right in the upside down position with a nice change of position
  • Nice lift with her hanging upside by only her leg and he skating backward on one leg
  • Easy one armed rotational lift
  • Madison could stretch through her leg more in a few places in the second step sequence and really get into her edges
  • Good fast rotation in their final lift
  • Little bobble getting into their ending pose
  • They're getting a standing ovation from the American Pairs teams watching in the stands
  • There are so many little details in the choreography of this program and it's just put together so well
6. Crone/Poirier, CAN: 47.27 TES + 42.90 PCS = 90.17 Total: 151.83 and into 1st place
  • They are in 5th place after the short dance
  • Really interesting choreography at the beginning and a nice languid feeling to their opening movements
  • Good speed throughout the dance spin and there wasn't a huge pause during their change of foot
  • Lift with her upside down and he one one leg and she's hanging on with just her arm over his shoulder
  • This footwork seems a little slow, but I think they could use that to their advantage and get into their knees a little more
  • Twizzles were really well done and they were right on time for all three sets
  • Nice cartwheels over his extended leg
  • Curve lift with him in a spread eagle and leaning back with changes of position as she spirals up to standing on his leg
  • Good speed through this second step sequence but I'd like to see a little more connection with each other instead of the focus out the whole time
  • Flip into a rotational lift with her wrapped around his body
  • Nice rotational lift with her hanging down and holding on by one arm
  • This program has really improved since I last saw it at the Grand Prix Final
7. Huang/Zheng, CHN: 40.01 TES + 37.35 PCS = 77.36 Total: 130.29 and into 3rd place
  • They are in 7th place after the short dance
  • She really needs to straighten her leg, it never seems to get all the way straight through any of these steps
  • Curve lift with him in a spread eagle and holding her in an arch
  • Good timing on their twizzles with good variations
  • A full turn jump into a lift with variations of position--reminds me of one of Davis and White's POTO lifts.
  • Nice positions in the dance spin, but slow and he could have a better free arm position
  • We started with Singing in the Rain but now seem to be in some kind of techno remix of the song--kind of breaks up the charm and easy flow of their program
  • Nice curve lift with him in a hydroblade position and she's leaning on him in an arched position
  • I've really seen an improvement in the Chinese teams as a whole--they've become more expressive in their performances and are really working on emulating the American style lifts with lots of position changes and difficulty.  I think this might be the next field with China might have a big breakthrough.
8. Yu/Wang, CHN: 40.92 TES + 34.25 PCS = 75.17 Total: 125.75 and into 4th place
  •  They are in 8th place after the short dance
  • Flip into a shoulder lift and change of position
  • They have some good speed into their twizzles and have good unison, positions, and placement in relation to each other
  • Most of the time she has full stretch through her free leg, but when the steps are faster, she'll bend her free leg, not point her toe and sickle her foot
  • Straightline lift with him going backwards and she standing on his boot
  • Nice positions in the dance spin but not a lot of speed; they have great use of their arms through the spin
  • They have a very nice lyrical flow through their arms and upper body throughout the program and perform this program nicely
  • She has very nice lines through these lifts and hits some great arabesque and attitude positions
  • One armed rotational lift with her in a catch foot looks a little labored toward the end of the program

Group 3
9. Shibutani/Shibutani, USA: 48.76 TES + 44.58 PCS = 93.34 Total: 155.38 and into 1st place
  • They just look so effortless on the ice together
  • Great speed through their dance spins and really nice positions, especially her layback
  • They have such nice deep edges and and knees throughout this step sequence and all of their movements are so clean and crisp
  • Great entry into their first lift with great changes of position and fast rotation with her in a catchfoot position--they change positions to quickly for me to even type them!
  • They have the fastest and best twizzles in the world and they executed them beautifully here
  • Flip over the head and a nice twist to drop her down to hip height
  • It is impossible not to watch this program and smile along with them
  • Their timing and musicality is impeccable
  • Simple one armed roational lift at the end of the program
10. Davis/White, USA: 50.01 TES + 53.01 PCS = 103.02 Total: 172.03 and into 1st place
  • Meryl is back to her Forever 21 dress from the Grand Prix Final.  I prefer her nationals dress to this one.
  • There is so much passion and performance in this program from every inch of their bodies
  • Entrance into their first lift with arms crossed and a flip onto the back and he skates backwards on one leg while she balances on it
  • Nice clean edges and deep knees in the step sequence and good timing 
  • This transition footwork in the middle is so fast
  • Really fast twizzles, looks they might have slightly lost unison on the end
  • She jumps up onto his leg for the next lift with a nice side curve 
  • I love these steps here with the dueling feet characteristic of a ballroom tango
  • Such a difficult position for her in their dance spin but I wish she'd straighten her free leg a little more
  • Rotational lift with a change of position to holding her only by the knees and letting her upper body swing free
  • Nice second step sequence and great facial expressions from both
  • Final rotational split lift with tons of speed
11. Virtue/Moir, CAN: Withdrawal
  • They are in 1st place after the short dance
  • Hello hips!  They are really working the samba feeling at the beginning of this program and look like they're doing a real ballroom routine
  • Interesting twizzle sequence in a circle but I don't think they were exactly on time with each other
  • Great timing on their accents and well choreographed with the music
  • He tosses her up into a full twist and they do a rotational lift with her leg wrapped around his head
  • They've stopped now after the lift and are talking to their coaches
  • Tessa is injured and they've withdrawn.  From the part of the program they did, their program was to die for.
12. Weaver/Poje, CAN: 42.29 TES + 43.30 PCS = 85.69 Total: 151.14 and into 4th place
  • They are in 3rd place after the Short Program
  • This first step sequence has really nice speed and they have good use of their full body
  • Good twizzles with a slight loss of unison
  • He has a little bobble on a transition step and they have to abort their dance spin after one revolution but then start again--not sure what kind of credit they'll get for it--might be enough of a mistake to give the Shibs the go ahead
  • He picks her up from the ice in a nice one armed rotational lift
  • I'd like to see a more tender connection between them in Come What May
  • A great lift where he flips her over and holds her up by the blade of her skate
  • A really difficult straight line lift and they have trouble at the end and he has to set her down a little early
  • Really nicely choreographed step sequence here at the end 
  • Rotational lift with her in a haircutter position
  • Holding her on his back and a flip around to a fish hold
Gold: Davis/White
Silver: Shibutani/Shibutani
Bronze: Crone/Poirier

 Virtue and Moir

Davis and White

Shibutani and Shibutani


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