Friday, September 2, 2016

I scrolled around FSU and Goldenskate today, saw things I'd missed.

Incredible lines on Tessa, observed FSU.


Yes.


My body, my choice means you can make yourself a literal giant on twitter if you want. You go Tessa. #MyInspiration.

Not to mention: The mega-swollen right knee and the right foot as long as the left shin. I think the ISU should recruit judges from the ranks of fsu screen names. Powers of observation don't come more acute.

ETA - speaking of photoshop.


Some months back I saw this image again and this time noticed that Scott's left leg was disintegrating.  Huh. I wondered what/why they'd photoshopped, but moved on w/out scrutinizing the rest of the picture. The bottom of his right leg is also beginning to dematerialize. Today I took another look and noticed the rightward swirls on his t-shirt, on the same plane and matching the leftward swirl on Cassandra's dress. It appears to me that someone got out ye old warp tool to make it seem like Scott's hand was pulling up C's dress a bit. So the bottom line is someone got out the toolbox in order to make this picture more titillating than it actually was, and then made it CH's profile shot. I'm also curious about the hair Scott appears to be touching, because when you go in, the hair is "blowing in the wind" in an odd pattern and seems to be over his hand rather than occupying the same space.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Autumn Classic International
Sept. 29 – Oct. 1
Montreal, QC

* * *

Happy end of August from Future Cruise Ship Jessica:


Present day Jessica has found a bf, maybe:

It's no "He's my boyfriend and he's the best!"
but OTOH, his every pore isn't recoiling in palpable aversion.


Maybe she's en route to being this happy again.
I intended to mention Tessa and model Winnie Harlow's "My Beauty My Say" teaser clip in the last post, but I was struck into a stupor. When I came to, I'd already hit "publish," and it was mid-August. This initiative from Unilver for Dove is part of Dove's ongoing promotional outreach to real women with real bodies, who would like to for once buy an empathetic line of cleansers. Model Winnie Harlow is an unusual spin on this - she's not one of the "real-sized" women Dove showcases in their underwear (No objections, just saying that's Dove's hallmark), but she has vitiglio. I was interested in what she'd say.

The clip I saw was only a teaser, but featured Harlow saying this: "Gigi Hadid



 and Kendall Jenner




are my inspirations! People say they're not real supermodels but they ARE real supermodels! They totally are!"

Paraphrasing.  I couldn't get my eyes back to the front part of my sockets in time to watch it again before I conked out.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

This post is the written equivalent of drumming your fingers, killing time til training camp/actual news leaks. There's still awhile to go.

***

Marai Nagasu - I'm hopeful (just read this article below, published in mid-July). More of a David Wilson fan than ever:

http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2016/07/14/189648118

Lori Nichols was just the worst for Nagasu. Generic. Whatever has prevented Nagasu's previous training arrangements from sticking, I hope this is the right fit, and I believe Wilson develops choreography as the best do it - organically. But you have to have big talent to do it that way. Not one or two recycled ideas (like Dean and Nichols).

"I loved the whole process," Nagasu continued. "I love how the program feels very natural. I wouldn't say it's easy to skate to, but I don't feel like I'm forcing myself into any of the jumps. I'm sure I'll feel different when I'm training the jumps; I'm sure I'll fall."

I can't think of many other contemporary high level choreographers, other than Marina Zoueva, who create programs that not only feel natural to the skater, but naturally evolve in expression and technique as the season goes on.* I'm a little afraid of Nagasu's LP music being too on the nose/cheesy (The Winner Takes It All), but it could be politically effective, and stop the judges from scoring her with Nagasu rules (You're yesterday. Here's three UR. Get out.)

Mirai's situation has pissed me off because while I recognize she has at times been her own worst enemy, let nerves get to her, and had unstable training situations, blah blah blah blah, that's no different than Gracie Gold, and as much talent as Gold has, I think Mirai has more. The USFSA has tried to drive her out while skater-whispering, babysitting and hand-holding other head cases.

P.S. I'm kind of curious if Wilson emphasizing that Mirai is an adult is an attempt to reinforce her independence from her mom.


***

Papadakis/Cizeron fans are fighting it out with Virtue Moir fans on FSuniverse. So that shows how far the game has descended. Papadakis/Cizeron are a thirteenth place team artificially elevated to the championship level - there is no basis for this discussion.

Miscellaneous:

Bryce Davison's wedding is scheduled for June 2017?!! What is that - a two and a half year engagement?

It's been said when you live southern California you have to be careful. You can sit down facing the ocean when you're 24, when you get up what feels like a week later, you're 86. I guess it means the atmosphere is a time sink. I feel like Jessica Dube's cruise ship life might be heading the same way:

I can see it.

P.S. Virtue and Moir are also buddying it up with Papadakis Cizeron on social media. It feels to me as if this is shaping up as VM v. Davis White redux, only, it is to be hoped, the agreement is that Virtue Moir pretend Papadakis Cizeron are first rate skaters and it's a challenge to beat them ---- as long as Virtue and Moir DO beat them. If they went into this not knowing whether or not they'd have to take second to a team that covers six whole inches of ice in every program when they're not wobbling, I have no words. Virtue and Moir already did two Olympic cycles as a legitimate team sacrificed to validate a fake team; I don't know why they'd sign up for a third round.

*Davis White aren't skaters.

















Thursday, June 30, 2016

Transformation


In 2014 Papadakis and Cizeron finished 13th - that's three spots below 10th  - in the Ice Dance World Championships.

Here's the top fifteen order of finish:


(The Shibs finished 6th)

Here's the 2014 free dance. (13th place is three spots behind Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam):



The guy who can't act on
"Jane the Virgin" (Justin Baldoni)
I think there's a similar vibe to Cizeron,
who skates with his face.
(Papadakis's hair gets it done for her.)

Here's 12th place:



Julia Zlobina/Alexei Sitnikov


One year later:



World Champions. (The Shibs finished 5th, advancing one spot.  Paul/Islam are now 13th. These two jump 12 spots.)

I just hope Virtue and Moir got a deathbed promise from David Dore before they signed up to train at the Gadbois Centre. 

*****

Checking in with Jessica:

Second go round on the cruise ship circuit.

Cozier than most of her
images with Scott Moir.
(Jessica and her brother.)

I think the study reporting that people who post deep quotes on social media have lower I.Q.s has been debunked, but you can see how it would gain credence:



This used to be a happy dog.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

David Wilson

I’ve become addicted to David Wilson video interviews. While I'm the furthest thing from a The Skating Lesson fan, I was riveted when Wilson shared parts of his life his life story with TSL. As a choreographer, Wilson is freelance (and, until recently, not on social media), so he's not on any Federation, parental, or training center p.r. list. We have to get him where we find him.  (More David Wilson interviews, these done with Goldenskate, are at the bottom of this post.)

He is SO rare – you never get soundbites when he's talking. He's a natural empath, astute, observant, and a committed professional (the latter, to me, means trustworthy) but what comes out of his mouth isn't predictable or canned. He'll offer something, and because he's intelligent, and he's made his experiences count, his opinion is worth hearing, and delightfully entertaining without coming close to catty or bitchy. There will always be something both particular and specific*, a fresh perspective - or at least a refreshing perspective, and he comes out with stuff most people around skating don't. (I.e. - “Basically, I did nothing except chat with her mother.”)**

I regret making fun of him during Dube Davison’s decline; the same program over and over and over. I just knew him then as the guy who got paid for showing the cast of Yuna Kim's summer shows how to point while shaking their shoulders, and for the annual pasting of Dube Davison's unchanging long program onto some new dirge. It's obvious, looking back, that with D&D, he was in a Sasha Cohen situation:

Sasha was inflexible.

(Set in her ways. Did everything
the same way, same order. Not open
to change. Wilson chose music, then
hung out for a day while Sasha skated
around deciding if she could fit her trick
(element) pattern into it comfortably.
Then Wilson added choreographic detail.
But layout and execution were set in
stone, year after year.)
Credit: Goldenskate
The first Wilson interview I watched, he caught me up short when describing his early career and how gossip at the Cricket Club had it that a skater Wilson was close to and choreographed for was his boyfriend (he wasn't).  Who airs that stuff out in public? Then Wilson described a romantic involvement/professional choreographic partnership with a different guy, and how - as modestly as Wilson put it, you know he's not bragging - after awhile the junior partner (Wilson) surpassed the senior partner, and so Wilson decided to relocate rather than deal with the personal and professional politics of that situation.

And I loved that he talked money, even a little bit. He doesn't say "Things were tight." or "It was a fraction of what I charge now - I should have charged more." Nah. He's not generic (cause what does "tight" mean to him? And what is a fraction of what he charges now? Everybody would have a different idea.).

Like a lot of people, most skaters would tell you who they hooked up with last week before getting specific about money.  Because he told us, we know that when Wilson was starting out, he charged $30.00/hour, had 10 hours of choreography a week, and his rent was $450.00/month. ("So I was fine.") This is the stuff I love about him.

Which brings me to Virtue and Moir. As described in the Goldenskate video below, Wilson is  "collaborating" with Dubreuil Lauzon on Virtue and Moir's 2016-17 season choreography. This means Wilson is the one creating it, and his collaborators are only Virtue and Moir themselves. The collaboration with DL part is for keeping up the fiction that Dubreuil Lauzon know what the hell they're doing, and that their training center's ascendancy isn't just (another) massive scam foisted upon the sport.

After watching more of Wilson's work where he has real talent and musicality to work with, for my money -  and knowing they couldn’t officially use Marina Zoueva - Virtue and Moir are working with the only other truly musically astute choreographer in figure skating who is also versatile. He’s unlike Lori Nichol, who has a characteristic style, particularly with women, that is more or less imposed upon the skater. If it's a good fit, terrific. If it's not, the skater is in trouble, because the skater has to adapt to her. David Wilson is able to see the natural rhythm and movement of a skater and build or stretch the skater starting from that point. So he produces musically intelligent movement, and, like Zoueva, understands momentum, extending it, building tension, releasing it, he knows how to use fast (not quick, not busy) skating to propel a program through slow music. And he understands a skater's personality and temperament, how to showcase both attributes comfortably and naturally (for the skaters) and advantageously (for the judges), so nobody's stuck competing with an ill-fitting persona.

Should we, in the upcoming months, learn nothing interesting ("interesting", not "personal") from David Wilson about Virtue and Moir - as people, as skaters, about their process, about any adjustments after two years away, about any opinions they may have, about any program or music choices considered and abandoned  - if there's no illuminating reference to any of their family, their input into the programs, their personalities - it will because Virtue and Moir are control freaks capable of shutting Wilson down, and have no desire to pollute the bullshit they diffuse daily into the atmosphere with even the most innocuous variety of candor.

There are three Goldenskate interviews with David Wilson below. He talks Patrick Chan's comeback. Working with Virtue and Moir. Working with Sasha Cohen. Guess which interview is boring. Yet incorporates a little DL promotional talking point (and that's not even the blandest part).

Don't let them change you, David.

*Specific -Clearly defined or identified or a precise detail. Particular -An individual item, as contrasted with a universal quality.

**The ubiquitous skating parent is a hallmark of the sport, kept in the shadows in conventional figure skating media, unless controversy shoves them into the spotlight. We can't have a clear picture of a skater's career without a clear understanding of the type of parent they've got and that parent's level of involvement. Except when Wilson describes developing a program with a skater. Then we know.







Saturday, April 30, 2016

April


And screwed you out of a gold medal in Sochi. But ok, hang Marina Zoueva out to dry instead. She controls the entire ISU. What could Dore have done to set up Sochi. Am crying over Dore's passing sort of the way I did when Anton Scalia died. (Yes, I've bought my ticket to hell myself for that.)

I hope Virtue and Moir locked things up solidly with Dr. Faust before announcing their comeback. Although you'd think they'd be tapped out of things to bargain with at this point.

I see where Charlie White already expressed awe over Papadakis Cizeron, so next season will be fun.

Good to see Volozozhar Trankov smiling
despite Worlds 2016. I still have
nightmares.

The Artist Known as Hanyu.
I get what he's doing, but in terms of packaging,
Method Skating doesn't do it for me.

He's a skating version of The Red Shoes.
Plot Summary _ The Red Shoes movie
I watched a couple of Skating Lesson interviews with David Wilson. For years, in my eyes, David Wilson was just the guy who got paid to "choreograph" the same program year after year for Dube Davison. Actually, I often wondered if his last Dube Davison paycheck was 2008's Blowers Daughter, and for the rest of DD's career Annie Barabie just picked different music to skate it to. And then I saw his choreography for Yuna Kim's shows, when she did shows, and thought - that sure beats working. Fly around the world and demonstrate to champion skaters how to point to the ceiling in between arm rolls. Subsequently, I've become more familiar with his body of work, and I understand strongly how versatile and musical he is. However, in his Skating Lesson conversation, he mentioned that when Yuna won Worlds in 2013, choreographed by her new training team (no Canadians) - her "face" was missing (IOW, she was deadpan, and not facially expressive).  I don't give a fuck if the face was missing. I hate the pretense that that should matter. If the damn face matters, put it in the rulebook. Otherwise, quit this shit.

Catching up with Jessica Dube:


There was a point after her stint on The Navigator of the Seas where it appeared Jessica had not been signed by another cruise ship, and was all set to work at a gym. Happily, Liberty of the Seas has secured her services, so she's off for another six months as pretty much the highest ranking figure skater ever on the cruise ship circuit - I think most of them never competed internationally, and the previously highest ranked skaters got on the podium once at Nationals.

Abandoned again.
My heart goes out to her disillusioned dog.
He's aged ten years - in people years.

After three fake girlfriends, finally a genuine love connection.



What they should have done from the beginning, and what they've been semi-flirting with since the arrival of Baby Moir V.3, is just be all goes without saying about it. Take the question out of the interviews, and that's it. Every single fan will go along. VM could have had it exactly their own way from day 1. They chose to troll. They chose to bait and switch. They chose to gaslight. Let's see how grown-up they are in 2016-2017.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I can't stand it




I'm not shaking my fist at the sky; the Shibs are in striking distance, but these were feeble twizzles, some seriously shallow edges by Gabriella, slow, and a lot of taking turns skating. It's the skating I can't stand, and the pretense that this slow-mo soporific is any good. Yes, it's very limpid. Good for them, nothing to do with skating. I can't stand them. I'd rather see bad skating than this. The program is dire. And it just fills me with anticipation about the sort of sleep aid Dubreil Lauzon will produce for VM next season.

I read on Goldenskate that Tatiana Tarasova said Papadakis & Cizeron are nothing special when you see them practice, but in performance something else happens. What happens? How does that work? They're bleh skaters on practice ice, but suddenly acquire a tour de force technique when it's time to do their program for the judges? This is drivel. If Virtue and Moir have to fight them for the podium next year, it will be unbearable.

I've yet to see Weaver & Poje's program - I don't watch anything live - but following along on Goldenskate, several expected them to take the lead only to have them scored well behind.** Glad to see Angelika Krylova's burnt offering to the ISU - calling Tessa Virtue fat - paid such great dividends. I'm going to fill in with a gif of fat Tessa/Scott struggling to lift Fat Tessa* from 2013-14 as soon as the new computer is loaded with the apps from my on-life support old computer. I've been working with a chromebook for most of this past weekend and week and just got my real laptop back, or rather, new laptop as the old one was euthanized, or will be as soon as its contents are salvaged/transferred to this one.

*Sarcasm.
**Not too early to start in with the conspiracy theories. Here's a hopeful one: two Canadian teams - Weaver & Poje and, one suspects, Duhamel & Radford, have been thrown under the bus. Both have been overrated, overscored, but they're not skating any worse than they've skated in the past. Has Skate Canada struck a bargain - decided its podium allotment will be Virtue and Moir, and cleared the decks for skaters from other countries in the other disciplines? That would be nice.