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Thursday, June 27, 2013

That's Entertainment: Jazzy Tomáš

I miss the days when Tomáš Verner would at least skate well occasionally - the example below being one such occasion. After his breakthrough 2006-7 season, Verner went with a fun and jazzy short program, which he would keep for two seasons. Probably his best performance of it was at the 2009 Europeans, which remains his PB for a short program. Sadly, he faltered in the free to finish off the podium.

 Verner in Helsinki, 2009

This SP proves two things: that Lori Nichol is capable of choreographing the occasional entertaining program (at least, I think that was Nichol's work), and that Verner is capable of landing jumps of more than two revolutions. If only he could do so more often... Verner at his best is a wonderful entertainer, and a welcome addition to any gala. At his worst, well, let's not go there.

Starting in the post-Olympic season, competitive skating programs may go the (musical) way of gala numbers, as music with lyrics will be allowed in all disciplines. Here is Verner's take on the use of music with lyrics and how to improve skating without that sort of change:

"The ISU wants to leave more freedom for the skaters, so after the Olympics, they want to allow the use of vocal music. I think it would be crazy. Even now some skaters choose music which are not very suitable for figure skating. I don’t want to decide what is suitable for our sport and what isn’t, but imagine, poor judges will have to survive 24 songs by Britney Spears or some heavy metal… I wonder how they will manage. I would give more freedom to skaters in other aspects: concerning spins, steps, so that the judges could really see who can really skate, not only who have read the rules the most carefully." 

As to the last part, I couldn't have said it better myself.

The concept for the "that's entertainment" posts was explained in the first entry in the series. If you have ideas and further suggestions, please feel free to share them! 

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