Ice (short) dance at Cup of China: the French vs. the Russians

When it comes to the Quickstep, my standards are very high: Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov at the Worlds, in 1995. They skated as if they were flying over the ice – and their performance stayed with me for years. Which is why, in a way, I’m rather disappointed by the Short Dance event at Cup of China.

by Florentina Tone

Let me explain myself: I was amazed by the way the French’ program looked – Nathalie and Fabian are truly entering the character of the music – but the same program didn’t seem that difficult; though amazing in terms of attitude, tightness, precision, it didn’t seem to have that Olympic difficulty necessary during this particular season.

On the other hand, the Russians’ routine was packed with difficult stuff (a great job done by Alexander Zhulin, I have to admit), but I haven’t enjoyed it as a whole; I find Ekaterina’s posture rather inappropriate for such an upright dance as the Quickstep. She’s a gorgeous dancer – but she’s like the wind, like a wave, suited for elegant and fluid music; and Quickstep requires, in my view, verticality and lots of attitude. So, where do we stand? The French program is exquisite when it comes to the looks, but the Ekaterina and Dmitri seem more powerful when it comes to the technique.

Another thing worries me though: with 62.60 points (Nathalie and Fabian) and 65.70 (Ekaterina and Dmitri), both couples seem really far from the Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who got a stunning 70.35 points for their short dance at Skate Canada, last week. Both French and Russians need to find a way to improve; and in a quick step, if I may say so – because, at this point, Weaver and Poje seem to have found their way to the Olympic bronze medal in Sochi (and I could have sworn it would be a tougher battle…)

Nathalie and Fabian: bronze medal at the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships in Nice

Nathalie and Fabian: bronze medal at the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships in Nice

Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, gold at the 2013 Europeans in Zagreb

Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, gold at the 2013 Europeans in Zagreb