Monday, June 14, 2010

Rostelecom Revisited Part 2: Ladies and Dance

I should first mention that… drum roll, please… the 2010-11 Grand Prix assignments were published over the weekend! If you go to the ISU website …or IceNetwork for U.S. assignments only… you can take a look at who’s been “invited” to what. (Or check out Laura over at Required Elements where she has, bless her soul, posted the entire rundown.) I’ll be taking a closer look at these lists and post about them, including my annual “best showdowns” list, later in the week.

This time, though, I’m focusing on those who were invited to a certain GP event from last season… and will follow a format similar to what I used in part 1:

Ladies at Rostelecom Cup I mentioned THEN (at the time of the event): Ashley Wagner, who debuted her new costumes and programs and looked positively radiant as she took home a silver medal behind Miki Ando … and Mao Asada, who really got tongues a-wagging when she couldn’t land a triple axel to save her Grand Prix life, limping away with a 5th place finish.

Ladies at Rostelecom I’d like to mention NOW: all three Russians in attendance. Alena Leonova wasn’t anywhere close to clean in the GP debut of her Chicago free skate, but she showed spunk, sass, and skated solid enough to take bronze (both she and Wagner eventually made it to the GP Final). And who were the other two Russians? Oksana Gozeva and Katarina Gerboldt, who finished 9th and 10th respectively in a field of 12. Neither of them came close to qualifying for the Olympics or Worlds—Gozeva finished 7th at Russian Nationals; Gerboldt, 9th—so why do I mention them at all? Because I thought it was interesting how they both skated in sleeveless costumes with long Vegas Showgirl gloves swaddling their delicate arms. For those of you skaters considering this look, take note: neither of these glove-ly ladies could hold a landing at Rostelecom. Seriously, they couldn’t. COINCIDENCE??

Dance teams at Rostelecom I mentioned THEN: Davis/White, and, um… well, just Davis/White. And I didn’t even mention the OD! (What was I thinking?)

Dance teams I’d like to mention NOW: Rubleva/Shefer (who finished 3rd), and Crone/Poirier (4th). Rubleva/Shefer were pretty impressive… while their music wasn’t my cup of tea (Une Vie d'Amour by Charles Aznavour and Mireille Mathieu, according to their ISU page) but very smooth with lots of nice lifts and interesting, complex interchanges. Great twizzles too. And Crone/Poirier were noteworthy for their up-and-evolving work, but what really caught my eye was their unrecognizable costumes. From Poirier’s high-waisted cream trousers in their Flamenco OD (he switched to all black by NHK Trophy), to
this completely different FD ensemble, seen here as the Clip of the Day, this pair did more than their share of road-testing in 2009-10. Let’s just say I think they made a wise move in switching to the periwinkle outfits of the season’s second half.

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