anonymous asked:

Many say that PW made Yuzu's weakness into his strength, which is posture i think. But I don't really see the details of it, do you mind explaining? Thank you so much!

Oh boy, not sure how much outrage I’m going to attract with this answer, but I honestly don’t think PW is the miracle many people make it out to be. Is it a good program? Sure it is. Do I love it? Of course I do. Did it mark a momentous turning point in Yuzuru’s career? Yeah, well, not so much.

But wait, before you start yelling at me for my utter ignorance, let me explain. First, let’s have a look at young Yuzu’s weaknesses, or if you want a better phrase, his areas for development. The biggest issue Yuzu had to deal with back then (and by back then I really mean up until the 2013-2014 season) was stamina, which brought with it all sorts of problem, most notably in the second half of his performances. Watch this free skate from 4CC 2011 for example, where you can see he started out solid and then ran out of steam about halfway through. From around the 2:20 mark onward his shoulders began to drop and his back was not held as straight as before, which created the impression that he’s looking down at the ice instead of maintaining connection with the judges and the audience. This was the source of all the complaints about his posture back in those days, but such criticism was entirely missing the point. Yuzu did not have bad posture per se, he just didn’t have enough stamina to keep his posture under control all the way through. Those two may sound similar and look similar but they’re 2 completely different issues. Intrinsically bad posture is way harder to fix since it most likely is a result of habit formed during basic training. In Yuzu’s case though, he just needed to build up stamina and take some time to grow up from a tiny little adorable bean into a still adorable bean, but with some much needed muscle on his bean bones. Both of these happened slowly but surely during the course of the next couple of seasons, and by the time PW 1.0 came around, it’s got to the point where he can actually finished his short programs without looking like he’s gonna drop dead at the end (the free skates still required some work). Here, feel free to compare and contrast the ending of this performance (4CC 2011) and this performance (Skate America 2012). All in all, it’s less about PW helping him fix his posture and more about Yuzu finally getting to a state where he was no longer plagued by stamina-inducing posture issue in short programs.

Of course, PW is a brilliantly choreographed program as well as a great choice of music, and I’d say rather than turning Yuzu’s weaknesses into strengths, PW allowed him to play to his strong points. Again, these two might sound familiar but they’re not. Back then another of Yuzu’s so-called weaknesses was in edgework, i.e. his edges were not as clean as what was ideal. Part of the issue was real, as in his skating skills did have room for improvement and at TCC they worked on that a hell of a lot, which, incidentally, started to bear result around the time of PW 1.0. Another part of the issue though was that at the time Patrick Chan was basically everyone’s image of what ideal skating looked like. Patrick is, of course, awesome, but his skating and Yuzu’s couldn’t be more different in styles. Patrick’s is all about solidity and deep edges and taking time to showcase his lines (I dub it the ‘real skating has curves’ style), while Yuzu has always favored agility and light footwork and variations in speed and fast-paced changes of direction. Neither style is more technically demanding than the other and which one you, as the audience, prefer is really just a matter of taste. Now what Jeff Buttle created with PW was a choreography that perfectly complemented Yuzu’s distinctive style (instead of going for what was fashionable): swift multi-directional turns, plenty of speed, playful, dramatic and somewhat whimsical body movements. All of those were made possible thanks to Yuzu’s flexible knee bend and his quick reflex and his cat-like sense of balance. Basically when Yuzu skates to PW he doesn’t have to fight for or against anything because the choreography allows his body to move whichever way that feels most natural to him, and that’s what I meant when I said PW let Yuzu play to his strengths rather than tried to correct his weaknesses.    

Oh hell that was a long ass answer, probably way too long : )) Let me just wrap this up with an offer: if you are interested in a program that truly turned Yuzu’s weaknesses into strengths, I raise you: Romeo & Juliet 1.0. Watch how all his frantic movements in the second half (dropped shoulders, gasping for every breath, bits of a sloppy edge here and there) played to the theme of the music and could well be taken as interpretation of the character he’s assuming (judging from the cheers he received, surely that was how the audience took it). Watch how even that unexpected fall served to intensify the drama (Romeo at Juliet’s deathbed?). Watch, at the end, how all his struggles culminated in this final desperate gesture:

Have you heard any complaint about his posture in this performance? I sure haven’t :)

anonymous asked:

you say Nathan has the worst skating skills of the top 6, even more so than Boyang who is notorious for poor PCS across the board?

Yes that’s what I’m saying, or well I didn’t actually say those words in my last post but yes that’s what I’m implying. I think I’d probably be pretty well off if I get a buck every time I feel the need to say this, but Boyang’s skating skills are not as bad as people like to make it out to be (looking at you, FS commies). Compared to Nathan in particular, he’s got more speed, hence better flow, less two-footed skating and more frequent changes of direction. Currently their edgeworks are at about the same level, but, and this is important, Boyang is making visible progress in that area, while, as I said in that last post, I hardly see any such signal from Nathan and his team.

Why the difference in PCS between Boyang and Nathan then? Well, well, well, the CSA just happens to be a weaker fed compared to the USFSA. Could be a coincidence, could be not, I’m afraid it’ll remain a mystery for the ages. 

Having said that, at Helsinki Boyang actually got higher SS and overall PCS for his FS than Nathan did, yo (8.71 v 8.54). Not a very fair comparison because Nathan fell twice in his skate and that affected his PCS pretty badly, but, yeah… *run away* 

tofuthebold  asked:

Hello! I can't believe I've never seen your art before today. You have the most incredible use of color I've ever seen, it's so inspiring! Btw I was wondering, can you give any advice on clean edgework without it looking artificial/lasso toolor relying on line? I always struggle with keeping objects from blurring into the background when i paint. Thanks!

Hello ! Oh, thanks man, still a lot to learn though. 

About the clean edgework, actually I do use the lasso tool a lot. I think the idea is use it to get the form crisp but a the same time have a very volumetric sense while painting into the form. Clipping mask are great to layer your painting, I always have the crisp solid form color at the bottom of my layers and then a series of clipping mask for shadows, lights, temperature. 

To “kill” the sharpness when you have to do it, smudge tool on edges will do. 

It’s a lot of experiment though, There is no good or bad way to paint, it’s all about finding the way that suits you the best ! 


Thoughts on Lombardia Trophy and US International Classic before we go forth into Autumn Classic International

It’s always a pleasure to watch Carolina Kostner. Exquisite edgework, beautiful body lines, pristine musicality. They don’t make ‘em like they used to anymore; these qualities have an insignificant weight compared to jumps and transitions crammed together with very little consideration for the structure of the program. 

Speaking of transitions, it seems like nobody pays attention to the quality as much as they do to quantity. Yes, I can see that Alina Zagitova and her training mates are doing many transitions; they’re so painfully obvious, you can’t miss them. 

Individuality and originality are lost somewhere on the road when the field in a country is so deep. It’s more important to do as many things as possible without wasting time on polishing and finishing movements. 

Wakaba Higuchi has two amazing programs this season. While I’m no fan of Don Quixote, the choreography is great. As for her Skyfall FS - I could watch it over and over again, it’s an amazing program that fits her like a glove. 

I quite like Shoma Uno’s costumes. His programs - not that much. The only highlight I can think of in the SP is the final spin, while the FS feels like a weaker version of the first Turandot (I’m obviously not talking about the technical content). Regardless, his skating is lovely and he’s clearly still getting those high scores. 

The technical panel at Lombardia was pretty lenient overall, while the judges seemed to be having some sort of beach party giving those PCS. In fact, the PCS at US Classic felt like a cold shower after the Lombardia induced sunstroke.

Marin Honda apparently had a bazillion reporters and cameras following her (still not sure how much of that is due to her actor sister Miyu Honda and how much is due to her own skating) but I don’t know how beneficial this is going to be in the long run, no matter how much she says “the more cameras the better”. She had a very good senior debut but I’m waiting for her to change that junior SP while I’ve kind of given up hope on the FS, which gives me a feeling of skate-skate-jump, skate-skate-jump, smile and repeat. 

I’m enjoying Nathan Chen’s programs a lot. There’s room for improvement but I’m already a fan. This is the most I’ve been excited since his junior Michael Jackson program. Bring it Nate! PS: I just love it when he pulls a new quad out of nowhere (hello quad loop). 


Throwback Thursday: Yuzuru Hanyu - RJ1

  • Still one of my favourite of his programs.
  • Whenever I rewatch it I realise how much he has improved in the last couple of years (stamina, posture, upper body movement, edgework, you name it, he was great back then, but he has come a long way too).
  • RJ1 is what got me interested in men’s skating (back then I was all about the ladies) because I’ve never been a Dai fan *waits for someone to kill her* or a Chiddy fan (for other reasons xD), but that year I finally had someone to root for.
  • Also, back then he had just one quad and I had way less anxiety XD
  • Whatever, I’m too emotionally attached to this to be rational.

anonymous asked:

Hi! Could you give a more detailed explanation of Shoma and Nathan programms?? If you don't mind of course. I really enjoy to read your opinions 😊

Thank you :)

The main problem I have with Shoma’s programs is that certain choreographic moments are starting to feel repetitive and it’s no wonder because all of his programs are done by his coach Mihoko Higuchi. When you watch him year after year after year you kinda notice she’s sometimes running out of ideas - which doesn’t take anything away from her previous work btw, I loved all of Shoma’s junior programs (except Don Juan lol). So he’s not bringing anything new in terms of choreography but is still a lovely skater to watch. 

Nathan on the other hand - his programs are completely different from last year’s, in a good way. His SP is modern, refreshing and it’s challenging his musicality. Love the sharp movements, the way he’s using his entire body and the edgework. His FS uses the music of Mao’s Last Dancer - film based on the life of Chinese professional dancer Li Cunxin - a great vehicle for him to represent his own culture and another different program from what he’s done before. 

Basically with Nathan I can see how he’s making efforts to add variety and make improvements to his presentation, aside from adding more quads and increasing the technical content. Shoma is doing the opposite, sacrificing the presentation to make room for jumps. 


Free Skate Friday: Evgeni Plushenko, Tribute to Nijinsky, Russian Nationals - 2004

Why is it important?

This is pretty much the height of skating under the old system.  The top scores under the previous scoring system, which was changed fully in 2006 after a judging dispute at the 2002 Olympics, was 6.0 per mark.  There will be a whole post on that nonsense later, but the point is, this free skate (technically a Long Program at the time and slightly different, but the rough equivalency of today’s Free Skate) is an example of what would earn top marks under the old system.  It’s likely a tad inflated due to being a home/nationals skate, but the execution and skill are definitely top ranked at the least.  This is why many older fans get super frustrated with skating today, because it used to be that falling was a huge mistake and win margins were pretty narrow.  The jumps modern skaters are flubbing are not necessarily harder, but they aren’t being landed or are landed poorly much of the time.  While quads are much more frequent now, several skaters that boast quads struggle mightily with a triple axel, which is a full half rotation less and a required element of the men’s free skate.

Here, watch Plushenko’s edges, speed of edge changes, and control in particular.  While some modern skaters boast excellent connections and edgework, many fall a bit short in the rush to rack up tech points.  Additionally, the launches,in air position, and landing are much cleaner and more fluid than many skaters in the Olympics and Worlds this year were able to pull off consistently.

There are a lot of theories on why jumps have gone to hell and they involve many factors that I’ll get into more in other posts, but as far as the old scoring system goes, you won’t get much dispute that Plushenko was one of the best (Alexei Yagudin was one of few people to best Plushenko at that time, and he holds an Olympic and World Gold).

Plushenko was only beaten 7 times under the old system and through the transition to the new system between 1999 and 2006 in competition, once through withdraw, once placing 4th, and 5 times placing second for a silver.  This skate is probably one of his best performances during that era.

super quick study, trying to find the best approach to represent each different part of it. quick and effective (as in very readable), but not very nice looking since there’s no consistent style pulling the image together. so what’s often a good idea is to paint over the entire image once you’re done with the base rendering to get consistent edgework

I just love how Yuri On Ice is not

viktor: i want you *slams hand against wall, presses close*

yuuri: ahhh viktor nooo (*^^*) *gives in* *high-pitched panting*

viktor: *takes u from the back like a bitch*

it’s a sports anime–there’s commentary about completing rotations and edgework and program deviations and–

it’s not even just that it’s a sports anime

the romantic bit isn’t being treated like black and white, you are this he is that now do your roles and KISS

it’s grey

sure viktor’s the coach and yuri’s the student, yuri’s in emotional turmoil and viktor’s the one to try to pick him up–people might view that as ‘relationship roles’

but yuri ain’t a damsel in distress here, in the end he’s the one reassuring viktor, coach yakov even says as much

it’s not even about role reversals–both characters have their strong and vulnerable sides

More on Edgework with Julie Adams

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We’ve seen this move before.

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This is the part that impresses me, though. She changes her weight as she shifts into the spread eagle and bounces back and forth in and out of it to get around AJ (black #9). AND she twists her back enough so that getting a legal hit on her might be difficult.

BAD v Denver, 2013 WFTDA Championships