Mid-Season Favourites

Marin Honda 17 COC SP
The mid-season mark has passed and I’m fully aware I’m late but hey, better late than never, right? Either way, I do love Olympic programs since they generally showcase the best that a skater can offer. Most of the time. I’ll try not to include any repeat programs this year since it seems to be the vogue these days *cough*Moulin Rouge for almost 3 seasons *cough* so here goes!

Men

Short Program: Patrick Chan – Dust in the Wind

Where have all the skating skills gone? In the men’s field that is. With the advent of ALL the quads, all those difficult transitions seem hard to come by, which is why I appreciate this program for what it is.

Long Program: Shoma Uno – Turandot

Do I hate the fact that Shoma is skating to one of the warhorses? Yes. Does he make it work? Yes. I can’t imagine him skating to anything less intense. He sells it and makes it memorable, which is why he’s on this list.

Ladies

Short Program: Marin Honda – The Giving

I am a little heartbroken that Marin’s first senior season wasn’t complete with medals and accolades all around but I do have to say that her SP is probably my favourite program of the season. It is just a very well-constructed piece that packages Marin very well, selling her effervescent happy spirit. Every crossover, the smooth transitions, the sound of her blades on the ice just add to the beauty of her skating.

Long Program: Evgenia Medvedeva – Anna Karenina

This is going to be a weird thing to say but I think Medvedeva’s post injury performance might be my favourite one of this program so far. If my memory serves me well (I read Anna Karenina back in grade 7 so it’s been a while), one of the storylines in the book involves Anna’s infidelity and descent in society and madness. Somehow, the vulnerability that Evgenia shows here goes well with the story and I do hope that she manages to take control of it and channel it in her Olympic performance. Overall, this is not a program with a style I favour but somehow, there’s something cinematic and interesting in the way Medvedeva interprets it. It’s also far better narrative-wise than her SP.

Pairs

Short Program: Wenjing Sui & Cong Han – Hallelujah

There’s just something about this program that makes me tear up just a little bit. No more words are needed. Just watch the program if you haven’t already.

Long Program: Aliona Savchenko & Bruno Massot – La terre vue du ciel

Ethereal. Boundary-pushing. Transcendent.

I feel so honoured to have watched this live. Aliona Savchenko is one of those athletes that is beyond an Olympic gold medal. Whatever the result in Pyeongchang, the programs she has skated, the creativity, the passion makes an Olympic gold medal look trivial in comparison.

Honourable Mention: Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres

It is very hard to best Aliona and Bruno’s LP this year but this program came pretty close. It’s a very different type of program – more relatable, more down to earth but it’s also a testament to their growth into skaters that can actually contend for podium finishes. Good job, you two!

Ice Dance

Short Dance: Carolane Soucisse & Shane Firus – Samba, Rhumba, Samba

With the mandatory dance pattern as part of the choreography, the short dance is still a difficult beast to tame in terms of choreography. Programs are often riddled with random music cuts, one of my biggest pet peeves, the pause and pose, and a sense of awkwardness at trying to fit everything together. With some exceptions, I find I end up picking the SD I dislike the least as my mid-season favourite. That being said, I do enjoy this SD… or at least the first two thirds. The vocals in the last third feel mismatched and awkward but then again, at least it’s not Despacito.

Free Dance: Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue – Across the Sky/Caught Out in the Rain

I really appreciate how Hubbell and Donohue are skating with a greater confidence this season. (I would not be surprised if they overtake the Shibsibs next season.) What really struck me about this FD was the staccato. At the very base of skating is a gliding movement, making the interpretation of music with a lot of staccato very difficult at times but this program blends the music and skating seamlessly into a smouldering, intimate experience. Well, done Dubreuil & Lauzon, as well as Madison and Zachary. I believe they have my favourite FD for two years in a row. Not that it means anything.

What were your favourite programs this season? I am getting pumped for Pyeongchang!

~The Rinkside Cafe

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mariah
    Jan 31, 2018 @ 21:55:21

    Agree with the awkward music cuts in the short dance! Love Virtue/Moir but the cuts in their short dance are so weird? I feel like the energy goes down with Hotel California and the transition to the Santana is really awkward…love the changes to Moulin Rouge, though. Are you P/C or V/M for Olympics?

    Reply

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