Monday, October 27, 2008

Random notes and Letters: SKAM Dance/Men's Postmortem

Got to get just a few notes in about SKAM before the news gets too old and starts to take on that musty smell… so I’ll focus on the men & dance this time.

My notes about the dance competition are rather spare, and consist of a series of “Did anyone else wonder…” observations:

-- Did anyone else wonder who that perfectly lovely twosome was out there in the muted colors… before they realized it was the same quirky-cool twosome that resembled space aliens in their last major international event 7months ago? (In case you did, and never figured it out… it was the Kerrs.)
-- Did anyone else wonder why Tosca is considered to be the dramatic breakthrough of Belbin & Agosto when they spent last year swathed in black and dancing to Chopin—hardly what I’d call light and/or whimsical?
-- Did anyone else wonder why Belbin & Agosto even worry about picking dramatic music when Pink Floyd continues to be dramatic enough for at least one top couple per year? (Yes, Delobel & Schoenfelder, I’m looking at you. I want the Bonnie/Clyde routine to make a comeback! Work on it.)
-- And in general… does anyone else wonder if Tanith Belbin ever gets tired of pushing her long, sweeping bangs out of her face?

As for the men’s event… well, perhaps it’d be best if I put it in the form of a brief letter:

Dear Men’s Event at 2008 Skate America,

Thanks so much for all the contradictions you fulfilled in the course of just two days. For example, we worried once again that it would become a “quad contest”; turns out none of the top guys brought theirs this time.

We thought it would surely be a case of Evan vs. Johnny for 1st; turned out it was Evan vs. Johnny for 2nd.

We wondered if the newly trimmed panel of judges would prove to favor the European skaters against our will; turns out they favored the Asian skater against our will.

We came in with all the hope a new season brings; we came out feeling like we’d just been on another date with the Charming Significant Other Who Always Promises To Change And Then Never Does. (And Then They Stuck Us With The Bill.)

We come away with lessons learned: Skaters, don’t underestimate new guys… judges, don’t over-estimate new guys…under-rotaters, go home and fix those jumps because that’s the way the game is played right now, and you can’t fault people for trying to play by the rules… judges, don’t forget to really look… and listen… and find a way to reward the ones who are currently finding the most visible joy in this sport… for they are the ones that will fill the stadiums with a gleeful noise for years to come.

Five more chances to get this Grand Prix right for us lowly viewers. Step it up, everyone…we’re counting on it!

-- With love and concern from Kelli

Rachael Flatt, the highest-finishing of the U.S. ladies last weekend, is featured in the
Clip of the Day.


Laura@requiredelements said...

ha, great post. I would like to co-sign your letter.

Kelli Lawrence said...

I thought about signing it in a more general way, but didn't want to put words in anyone's mouth against their will!

Thanks Laura.

Sharon said...

Totally agree with your dance questions! I am not impressed with B/A...I much preferred "Chopin" to this. I don't think B/A or D/S have a lock on the podium this year, not by a long shot. We've yet to see several of the other top contenders and I predict quite a bloody battle for ice dancers this season!

Aaron said...

I think if Domnina and Shabalin can stay helathy, it will be very brutal, bloddy as you put it. And then if Virtue and Moir can get back into!

As for Tanith and Ben, they're programs are great (thanks for reminding us that this isn't their classical breakout!) but they seem like such different skaters from the team of the past.

To me, it looked like they were working very hard on the ice, not necessarily a bad thing, but they seem to have lost some of the freedom of joy and traded it in for the dramatics. Just an observation...maybe I'm completely wrong.

Kelli Lawrence said...

Maybe Tanith/Ben can find a happy medium between the drama and the whimsy in time for the Vancouver season...?

If only they'd make "Amelie" into an opera... ;-)

Totally loved that movie, BTW. I'd see it in opera form!

Sharon said...

I loved their "Amelie" program! And Aaron, I don't think you're wrong about the "freedom".., they just didn't seem the same to me and it wasn't a good thing. I don't really know what to think at this point. I'm with you, Kelli, hoping they can find some of the whimsy.