Exhibitions at their Best

I have a confession to make: I kind of dislike watching the galas at the end of competitions. And skating shows like Stars on Ice. Skaters understandably play it safe in these shows because it’s all about the money but not worth an injury that would cost them a season. That and last time I was at Stars on Ice, no one else seemed to appreciate or clap at anything that wasn’t a jump or a lift. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if most people who watch skating are not too informed about the sport. My mum still encourages skaters to keep jumping after they’ve fallen in their SP… even if it was their third jumping pass. She still won’t get it despite the fact that I’ve told her about ten million times that there are three sets of jumps in the short program. Sigh.

In any case, here are a few exhibitions that aren’t just bits of the skater’s programs melded together in this awkward fashion to pop music. What I like about these exhibitions are their intricacies, emotional impact and just plain beauty.

The butter-like smoothness to the skating, the transitions into elements that make you gasp in surprise when you see the end result of the transition, the raw emotion and the skilled execution make this one of my favourite exhibition programs ever.

Although I love Mao’s “Por Una Cabeza” and “Chopin’s Ballade No. 1” exhibitions just as much, I chose to feature “Caprice” in this post because of its flirtiness, the tasteful use of the accessory and the great use of simple elements to accentuate the crescendos in the music. (I love that spiral at the beginning.)

Their connection and perfection is just wonderful. ‘Nuff said.

This is technically not an exhibition skated at a gala but it’s not a competition program either. I love how Kurt makes skating look so easy. Even in the rain. And with an umbrella.

These two are so creative and there’s a functional use for the scarves. They made Evanescence cool even if they aren’t anymore.

I love how the spread eagles were timed to the music. That and I don’t know anyone else who can touch the audience like the Kween.

Any exhibitions that you love?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Grand Prix Assignments 2012 – First thoughts

My browser just ate a post I had just finished on Yuzuru Hanyu and I’m too frustrated to redo it right now so instead, I’ll do a lightning quick post on my thoughts of the GP this fall.

  • I might actually go to Skate America next year. Just for Yuzuru. Who do I have to ask again to pinch his cheeks?
  • Most interesting competition: NHK, least interesting: TEB (feel free to disagree)
  • Miki Ando is back and she’s dumped Morozov! I wonder if she’ll have consistency AND  a half-decent program for once.
  • Gracie Gold is finally in the seniors! The USFSA must be excited as well. Though she wasn’t invited to Skate America. I guess they’re pegging Ashley Wagner for the ladies’ champion this season.
  • Papa Oda is back! I wonder if he redid remedial math and Counting 101 during his time off.
  • Johnny Weir is also back with his diva-ness. Evan Lysacek, despite saying that he wants to come back, does not have any GP slots. However, neither of these men have a quad and Lysacek’s 3A is shaky at best so they’re not as competitive as they were last Olympic cycle.
  • Pechalat/Bourzat – who I have still not forgiven for winning 3rd in the FD at Worlds this season – will finally win TEB after having to lose against Tessa and Scott for the last two seasons.
  • Age doesn’t seem to be an issue in the ladies’ competition. The ones likeliest to be on top? Carolina Kostner and Akiko Suzuki – 25 and 27. You go girls!
  • I wonder if the Japanese Federation will finally get some sense to back Akiko this season. With the right backing, she could be World Champion next year. Mao may never have it in her again, which I am sad to say.
  • The Russian divas continue their onslaught for Sochi. I’ve got a feeling they can rocket up the standings this season. Let’s just hope they do it in nice costumes.
  • Is it just me, or is it that once again, the pairs competition is… dead?
  • This year is the year to shake the boat. Though no newcomers have really done it in this Olympic cycle. Sad, really.

That’s all I can muster for now.

~Rinkside Cafe