Nebelhorn Trophy 2016 review: why it was sad

ISU senior B-event

I’ve always considered Nebelhorn Trophy as an official (for me) beginning of the season. Maybe, because it’s not just a usual b-event, but competition with name and reputation, with pretty impressive list of competitors. So, I was waiting for this event and actually was a bit disappointed. I’ll try to explain why.

Jorik Hendrickx, Alexander petrov, Grant Hoshtain

Men’s event was boring to indecency. Well, nowadays when a guy without a quad easily wins it’s a vivid proof that there were no solid performances. Toughly but truly.

Talking about Alexander Petrov, quad still isn’t there and, taking into account that even Mishin can do nothing about that, I found it quite worrying. But he improved in the second mark and at least one of his program doesn’t look old-fashioned. I hope he’ll continue to work with different choreographers, because he definately needs a fresh look.

The list of participants wasn’t impressive, at least Jorik Hendrickx won a medal) Good for him. Jorik has a new hair style, he seems to lose some weight, I love his lemon-yellow tight shirt for the SP…..I think men’s costumes lacked a bit of brightness…..ouch let’s get back to figure skating….well, his FP, I don’t know what it was but inquisition is on its way )

After great performance at Worlds I expected more from Grant Hochstein. Not very memorable programs…..Gershvin for SP…..to many Gershvins for one competition as for me. Is there any rule that every North American skater must skate to a Gershvin, wearing a blue costume at least once in his/her career?

Nebelhorn Trophy 2016

Ladies and another portion of disappointment.

I like So Youn Park and I still hope for some positive changes. She continues to show nice skating and lines in lovely dresses but in completely not memorable programs. And with mistakes on jumps…..Come on, you have a home Olympics next season!

My biggest disappointment was Serafima Sakhanovich. I remember her being a little girl flying across the ice with her magical skating skills. Where all of this has gone? She seemed slow and heavy. And I completely got tired of this programs with theatrical beginnings, where someone is calling, reading letters, jumping on a rope, drawing etc. It really becomes annoying. I also don’t understand why she has so much tano and rippons, if she obviously has problems with her jumps?

The brightest impression of ladies event (except Elizaveta’s dress for FP :) ) was Canadian Gabrielle Daleman. Yes, not everything turned out, but she’s in great physical shape and her jumps look impressive – that triple-triple combination was huge! I also liked her short program, it’s dynamic and suits her a lot. And the dress with cobras also looks really good on her. And Gershvin for FP…..in blue dress, of course)

Compared to Russian test skates Elizaveta Tuktamysheva looked way better. Maybe it was early to write her off. But I still don’t get her short program. Mozart and then…..tango? Ok, at least not Vivaldi. Frankly speaking, I expected more from her cooperation with Emanuel Sandhu. FP looks empty, with all the same arm moves and poor ice coverage. And she seemed slow….the neckline was way more impressive)

For sure I’ve seen Mai Mihara in juniors….I even have a feeling that it’s her old short program. Because I definately have already seen this blue dress! If I do remember the dress and don’t remember the girl…..well it means I didn’t find her a memorable skater. Yeah she’s a lovely girly with lovely programs and solid jump content, but without fire and charisma. There’re several such girls in Japanese team and I always forget who is who. Instead I’ll remember Rika Hongo’s bad posture and warpaint for a long time) Mai is skating to a soundtrack to new Cinderella movie, right? So why she wears minty dress? Cinderella should wear a blue dress – this is known.

Nebelhorn Trophy 2016

Pairs and ice dance were more exciting.

Last season I found Mari Vartmann with her new partner Ruben Blommaert quite promising, with a potential, This season I have a feeling that they were too creative with their programs, especially with SP. Maybe they’ve watched a lot of ice dance with all their hip-hop stuff?

Luba and Dylan are as always charming. They have different programs with lots of small but interesting things like dancing lifts, transitions, and I always appreciate this. It’s always a pleasure to watch how Luba works in lifts. And the thing I really like about them – you can see relationships between man and a woman in their programs. It remains only to land the jumps……not so good with that.

I liked Aliona and Bruno‘s short program a lot! I even re-watched it couple times. It’s a difficult program, with lots of steps and transitions, a huge step forward compared to the last season. I also see that Bruno is improving in second mark. Then I went to some figure skating resources and read there a lot of negative comments about Aliona and Bruno…..completely disagree! Of course there is a big gap between them, but he’s improving!

In the free program they seem to be inspired by Papadakis and Cizeron (music definately in style of French team). But pairs are not ice dance and Aliona and Bruno are not Gabriella and Guillaume. So, some Bruno’s weaknesses were more visible in this choreography…..Love Aliona’s dress but Bruno shouldn’t wear wide shirts of a light color….he looks bigger than he’s and too disproportional with Aliona.

Nebelhorn Trophy 2016

Ice dance for dessert

Well, ice dance left a taste of despondency….Someone reworked their own old dances, someone skated dances that their coach already have done for someone else in the past….Only Gilles Poirier as always stood out.

Bright memory from ice dance at Nebelhorn – German guy Tim Dieck. In gypsy dance to Bregovic…in Russian shirt he really rocked) I need to remember this guy)

Koreans skated a tribute to Chock and Bates’ performance at Nebelhorn Trophy 2015, even her dress with hot pink leotard reminds Madi’s first dress for Rachmaninov) Seems that Igor Shpilband didn’t want to waste much time on this fd.

It’s good that there were sane people in German figure skating federation, who lucidly explained to Kavita and Panagiotis that it was a bad idea to split up. Both dances are very different from their last season’s romantic-lyrical dances, and that’s good. But the more I watch this season’s short dances, the more it seems to me that all this stuff would look much better at gala and shows. Spanish fd is very temperamental and fall didn’t spoil much the impression. But I still have a feeling that I have already seen it all…..somewhere in season 2009-2010.

Who knows, maybe decision to move to seniors will bring benifits to Elliana and Alex. When McNamara / Carpenter and Parsons will only debut on senior levels, they will look more experienced and judges will have time to remember them as a senior team, who already showed some good results. SD looks a bit boring and Elvis’s costume doesn’t help. FD is pretty solid and highlights their strengths, but I also have a feeling that I’ve already seen it all….somewhere in season 2008-2009.

Only Piper and Paul pleased me. Bright short dance with a very dancing second part. Disco will look great on contrast with abundance of Sing Sing Sing swings and weird hip-hops. In fd they lowered the level of creativity, compared with the previous year (probably saving ideas for Olympic season), but I really liked the dance – so atmospheric and sensual! When I saw this dance for the first time, I thought that it was a bad idea for Piper and Paul to do a tango, that they will look comically. Apparently, at that time transparent pareo over swimsuit eclipsed everything else) So, I’m taking my words back, great dance, great choreography.

Madison Chock looks amazing in the short dance. It suits her energy and charisma a lot. Can’t say the same about poor Evan, at some moments he looked funny. Sorry, but I didn’t get their fd. Maybe I just expected more. Weird music cuts, elements placed not in accordance with the music…..So, I hardly can call it a dance on 108! points….I’m really surprised that they got a lot of positive feedback on this dance at the champs camp and that Shibutani decided to quickly change something in their dances after seeing this.

Whether it old costumes or older lifts, but it looked like Cappellini Lanotte skated their old dances just to a different music. All the same….but at least it was dances made with taste, there was an idea and their elements are placed into the music accents. So, I think it’s fair that they won. But if I were them I wouldn’t expect much enthusiasm from judges at major competitions.

In general,  I’m very angry on ISU for step sequence type B in the short dance. Step sequence with a lot of two feet doesn’t make an impression of a flight. Instead skaters can wave their arms aka hip hop without thinking of showing edges. And according to the results, we need to get used that 108-110 it’s norm, and even mediocre points for top teams? Yeah ………… no words.

Let’s hope that Finland Trophy will be more impressive)

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9 Comments on Nebelhorn Trophy 2016 review: why it was sad

  1. Stolbova Obsessed // 28/09/2016 at 16:43 // Reply

    I didn’t even bother watching men’s.

    I don’t see the little Serafima we used to have, the girl one step behind Medvedeva. It’s sad; most girls from Russian juniors at least have their big senior season before fizzing out.

    Luba and Dylan have potential, I agree that their skating is beautiful, now the jumps just need to come with.

    Aliona and Bruno look good, I’m excited about the throw 3A and I want to see them contend for the World podium.

    Piper and Paul’s tango is not bad…but ice dance in Canada is getting so intense with Weaver/Poje and Virtue/Moir that I fear Piper and Paul will get swept away the way Polina Edmunds gets lost in the Wagner/Gold rivalry.

    Madison looks fab in the SD; agree that Evan falls flat. She’s such a diva that she needs a bolder partner…very much a Stolbova/Klimov problem multiplied.

    Cappellini and Lanotte didn’t try anything exciting and new, which bothers me. I like to see the sport constantly changing.

    • Well, I think the main problem is Serafima didn’t have a good jumping tech, even when she was a little girl. Remember her low landings? Axel also was a problematic jump. So, not a big surprise that she lost a lot in tech after puberty. But she had magnificent skating…..Now there no jumps and no magnificent skating…..Very sad.

      Who knowas how Weaver and Poje will look under Morozov’s guidness…..

      As for “Stolbova/Klimov problem multiplided”, I don’t actually see a problem there, because it’s much safer to have only one diva in pair) And Fedor is a handsome guy who looks with dignity near with the lady. I think it’s pretty enough for pairs. But ice dance it’s a completely different story……..

      • Stolbova Obsessed // 29/09/2016 at 16:20 // Reply

        Serafima had those low jumps like Julia Lipnitskaya. I never understood the GOE she got, they looked kind of awkward. As for magnificent skating, do you think it could be corrected by a good choreographer?

        I really wish Weaver and Poje the best. They are talented and if Morozov doesn’t really mess something up for them, they’ll be okay.

        I like Ksenia and Fedor together very much. It’s the classic “picture and frame” pair. She is a pretty painting and he is a nice strong frame to show it off. There’s a fine line between showing off the lady and overpowering the man. In last year’s short program (I Put a Spell on You), she was definitely the centerpiece. But in the free skate (The Man and the Shadow, which was basically a dark soundtrack from a spy movie I think) they looked very unified and synchronized, with both of them equally dominant. I like both styles very much. I just think sometimes a strong role for Fedor would be appreciated. It’s not easy living up to a diva like Ksenia :)

        The point of that Stolbova/Klimov rambling DOES have a point: Bates needs to step up to Chock’s dominating personality. She’s fierce and he’s got to show that he’s still there. Ice dancing isn’t all about the lady or all about the man, it’s a team that looks good together. And I feel like Madison needs a partner who can live up to her diva factor. Perhaps someone a little more charismatic, like Andrew Poje.

        I like Madison and Evan, but I feel like mediocre choreography is holding them back. They’re strong technical skaters, and they just need to bring the artistic side. And making Madison diva while Evan fades into the background isn’t working. Evan is a nice tall guy, and he could really add to the pairing if they gave him a good role.

        • I don’t remember where I read it but someone suggested that Madi and Even should skate to Gone with the wind, pointing out that Madi will be a great Scarlett and Evan – Ashley)

          • Stolbova Obsessed // 30/09/2016 at 16:31 // Reply

            That would be awesome! She looks very dramatic and he could play a subtle but strong role like that. Somebody suggest that to them for the Olympic season!

  2. “I’m really surprised that they got a lot of positive feedback on this dance at the champs camp and that Shibutani decided to quickly change something in their dances after seeing this.”

    Hi FS Gossips,

    I love your site and visit every day. How did you come by this information on the Shibs’ programs? I know the Shibs have been working with other choreographers in the off-season (Jeff Buttle, Peter T, a hip hop dancer from the West Coast), but so far we haven’t heard any definitive information on the actual programs they will be doing. As far as I know they are not doing any of the Senior B events this year, so we may not see anything until Skate America.

    • About Shibs changing something in their dances it’s rumours and gossips) But they are suspiciously quite this season. Usually they show up at b event like Finlandia Trophy…..

  3. Thank you for your review!It’s very interesting.I just thought that Capellini\Lanotte need something to add in their free dance- some interesting costume or theatral move,that their free dance would make unique,because Charlie Chaplin’s theme always had great success in competitions.I still remember Sikharulidze’s performance.So they are on the right way. And by the way I liked Madison Chock’s dress as well as their free dance.

    • I don’t exclude that I’ll like Chock/Bates free dance a bit later in the season. I also didn’t like their pasodoble and Americans in Paris from the first sight. Maybe this fd will become better and better from competition to competition.

      In ice dance I liked Chaplin by Pechalat / Bourzat, they skated it in 2010-2011.

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