You know how we keep discussing how restricting and generic IJS is on many elements? I think the level step sequences are especially gruesome to watch. They are mostly generic, monotonous, slow, take forever and usually are in disconnect with the music. In my opinion, the worst part of the level requirements for the steps was the upper body involvement/movement bit. Because, once that was put in, we got the flailing windmills and the "kissing/saluting the ice" ladies, to say the least.
|The arms flail so much, you can hardly see them|
|I guarantee you, there is nothing that interesting on the ice to require such close inspection.|
I think it is not impossible to actually tick this box and still do something original and perform to the music, instead of flailing like crazy while some music is playing in the background. Lambiel was always so good at that. His step sequences were so fluid and musical, you barely noticed he was doing them, while also ticking the boxes. Takahashi is also another good example. And you don't even need to be a top class skater like Takahashi or Lambiel to be able to pull it off. You can even beat them at their own game, with not a world class choreographer either but your mum choreographing no less. How, you ask? Behold and pay special attention to the step sequence starting at 2.47:
Now this is what performing flamenco should look like, while still getting a level 3 on steps and great GOE. I loved it!
Another thing Misha is so great at is exhibitions (which is natural given his flair for performance). If you haven't watched his gala from this year, you are really missing out on one of the greatest skating fun moments.
Is he a natural, or what!
I don't know how many skater and group numbers were done to this number but none came close to this. This is what performing a gala should be about, not skating a copycat and watered down competitive programme to a slow, annoying pop tune or skating around without any feel for the music. His performance is directed to the audience from start to finish and incorporates a fantastic feel of music and great dancing. Absolutely wonderful!
Skaters, please take note! This is what performing really looks like. And if a middle of the pile guy can do it so effortlessly, I'm sure some of you can rock it too, Misha Style.
Hanyu sure has the Misha Style down.
Image by courtesy of Misha's twitter