Friday, November 25, 2011

Rostelecom Cup Free Dance Review

My eyes were barely open this morning as the first warm-up group took to the ice for the Free Dance at Rostelecom Cup. The shiny red sequins of Isabella Tobias' dress and the equally bright costume of Pernelle Carron helped wake me up, though. Last week saw no changes in the standings from the Short Dance to the Free Dance in Paris, similar to the old 6.0 days. Would we see any placement shuffling this week?

Pernelle Carron/Lloyd Jones - Lloyd has forgone the John Travolta "Saturday Night Fever" look. Now he's in a black jacket with a plaid-trimmed shirt that's half-untucked. Not sure if that's on purpose. Last week, I mentioned my general dislike of jazz, and this "Jazz Night" program isn't changing my feeling toward the genre.

Ekaterina Pushkash/Jonathan Guerreiro - Jonathan's one red glove still kills me. Nice twizzles. Lots of hand-in-hand choreography. What is all this angsty flailing about? Everything, especially the lifts, looks labored to me.

Isabella Tobias/Deividas Stagniunas - Good twizzles spaced close together. Their spin looks a little slower than usual. Nice arched position from Isabella in their straight-line lift. They look like they're having fun. Deividas gets momentarily off balance in the diagonal step sequence. Only a level one earned on those steps.

Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko - Could drive a Zamboni through their dance holds in the footwork sequences. I like the straight-line lift where Ekaterina's in a reverse planking position. At Skate Canada, they received a music deduction for not having enough rhythm in their piece. I don't hear a difference in the music cuts here but they receive no deduction. Interesting.

Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev - Evil Queen costume! Gets me excited for a new episode of Once Upon a Time tomorrow night. I love this Gounod music from Faust, but I wish a more balletic team was using it. The diagonal step sequence looks sloooowwww. They skate heavy. What's up with the scarf thing around Dmitri's neck? It comes open like a cape near the end of the program. Intentional?

Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje - They seem like feathers floating across the ice after Bobrova/Soloviev. So light and smooth. They really put one hundred percent emotion into this program. The music and drama are starting to grow on me!

Meryl Davis/Charlie White - The circular step sequence is one of my favorite parts of the program. Lovely entrance, and I like the high leg kicks and the little steppy thing Meryl does here. This program puts a big smile on my face. Meryl and Charlie just look so happy and calm during the performance.

So, we are set for the Grand Prix Final! The ice dance field will be: Davis/White, Virtue/Moir, Pechalat/Bourzat, Weaver/Poje, Bobrova/Soloviev, and the Shibutanis. Virtue/Moir have outscored Davis/White in the Short Dance this year, but Davis/White have outdone Virtue/Moir in the Free Dance. Will the pattern continue at the GPF? This rivalry is one for the ages, and Virtue/Moir have made it known they badly want to win the GPF title, the one title they don't have on their resume'. It will be an epic battle in Quebec!

I'll be reporting from the event with lots of photos and tidbits from practices and the competition. Besides ice dance, I'm most looking forward to the Senior Men and Junior Men events. In my Mid-Season Grand Prix Review, I forgot to add a special mention of my favorite program from the Junior Grand Prix circuit this season - Josh Farris' short program to "Clair de Lune."

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