Sep 17, 2012
Russian Test Skates 2012
Forgive me for my lack of updates lately, I'm currently in an abominable situation where I am forced to rely on Precambrian dial-up Internet speeds. Loading a Youtube video in 240p quality takes upwards of a century; HD video is an unfathomable concept. As one can imagine, this rather hampers my ability to keep up with the coming tide of new programs debuting lately.
Nevertheless, here are some videos I've managed to eke out of my shoddy Internet connection from the Russian test skates:
Adelina Sotnikova is one skater I wish would don a unitard, put on some eyeliner and skate to some weird, edgy Arteestic music of dubious tonality--something that could take full advantage of the angular, almost antiseptic quality she effects (as well as her contorted spins). That is, music that does NOT have Christina Aguilera yowling in the background. But the long program at this point is definitely an improvement on the schlocky Liebestraume of last season, as Miss Sotnikova appears to be skating with greater connection to the music along with more confidence and energy. At the very least, it is good that Miss Sotnikova has decided to partake of music choices outside of the catalog of Skating's Greatest Warhorses.
Three things are immediately apparent after viewing this video of Bobrova/Soloviev's new FD:
1) I'm a sucker for this sort of ~dramatic~ angsty program concept. Madness! Angst! Insanity! I swoon!
2) Bobrova/Soloviev are strangely tolerable after fleeing the clutches of Elena Kustarova
3) That cut of Edvin Marton-mangled Tosca must be exorcised from the FD immediately
Boring Saint-Saen's Greatest Hits mashup of little consequence outside the jumps. Except for the fact that the final step sequence conveniently presents some of the worst excesses of CoP footwork in one fell swoop, I suppose. Give us Kenji Miyamoto's Romeo and Juliet!!
After stunning the world (well, me at least) with their lovely Clair de Lune, Kavaguti/Smirnov have a new, very pretty long program that tries to capture a few flashes of that old Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze magic. It is a bit sad that they are unlikely to win anything more than a bronze medal (if that) at major international events given that their quality of their programs of late, but such is the plight of being the Russian #2s.
Who is Lestat and who is Louis? Very promising program, though!
For someone who seems so happy to be liberated from the thrall of Masha Mukhortova and the 'lyrical snot' of Oleg Vasiliev, Maxim Trankov's proclivities appear to be thoroughly angsty when it comes to his own figure skating programs. The ending pose alone is probably the most abject paroxysm of Drama and Angst outside of ice dance. That said, however, the first half of this long program looks to be good progress for Volosozhar/Trankov, containing more choreographic detail than their programs of yore, but the music starts to become grating in the second half and the choreography accordingly falls by the wayside.