2016-17 comebacks, pt. 1: Virtue/Moir

So, the last few weeks, two prominent skaters/teams have gone the way of Mao Asada and Patrick Chan and announced that they will return to competition next season. One is Carolina Kostner, returning from two seasons away after not being allowed to compete due to a very complicated, scandaly situation I won’t get into; the other, 2010 Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, are also returning from two years off. Virtue/Moir’s comeback has been speculated about by fans on the internet for several months now, and I frankly didn’t believe them,  but apparently I was wrong, and I have many feelings about this.

  1. I don’t really know what to think. Should I be happy that their return will likely raise the level of the ice dance field, or irked that they’ll likely bump off the teams who have risen to the top in their absence (and not specifically W/P, which is who most people have been focusing on)?
  2. I’m excited to see what programs they come up with. Because their Olympic FD was not their best ever, I imagine they’ll want a set of really strong programs for their first season back. And because they’ll be training under new coaches, they might be a very different style than anything they’ve done before. And, lastly, the SD pattern (blues) allows for a lot of creativity, so I’m excited to see what they’ll come up with for that, too.
  3. Many of us are wondering if they’ll be in top form when they return, and I am too. If so, they’d be virtually unbeatable (unless D/W also come back, which is highly unlikely), but even if not, it’ll be interesting to see how they shake up the standings.

A lot of that will remain unknown until they actually compete. However, it’s interesting food for thought.

Feelings aside, I wanted to write something in honor of their comeback, and hopefully something about Carolina and maybe even a few skaters who came back this season to make it a series. I was not a skating fan for most of V/M’s career, so I thought the most interesting thing to do would be to binge-watch a lot of their past programs and compile a top-10 list, which got turned into top 8 because I ran out of programs (I was trying to only use programs from the senior level, so that limited it somewhat). So, here it is! (Opinions are purely my own, so please do not get mad if I left your favorite program off.)

8. 2009-10 Original Dance-“Farrucas” (Flamenco) 

Flamencoes are probably the only Spanish dance patterns I enjoy watching (so much so that I’m skating to a flamenco piece right now, LOL!), and this is an excellent one. I love the intensity and total commitment to the performance in this program, which was one of the three programs that won them Olympic gold in 2010.

7. 2012-13 SD-“And the Waltz Goes On” (Polka) 

Tessa & Scott have done several waltzy programs, but this somehow feels different. It has a kind of quirky feel to it, which might sound weird, and some really cool choreographic bits and pieces. Slightly underrated, IMHO; it’s a very different, subtly fun piece.

6. 2011-12 FD-“Funny Face” 

This free dance is very “old school broadway.” It’s one of their most upbeat programs, and it really works; Tessa & Scott did not do many programs like this, so it really stands out despite being one of their less-appreciated FDs (from what I’ve seen).  But mostly, it’s just a lot of fun. 🙂

5. 2013-14 SD-“Dream a Little Dream of Me” (Finnstep) 

Another of their more upbeat programs, I thought this was one of the best finnstep SDs of the season. I really like the placement of the step sequences/patterns/whatever the correct term is, and the jazzy style of this piece suits them very well. I feel like this didn’t ever get recognition as one of their best programs, but it should have. Probably my favorite of their SDs.

4. 2008-09 OD: “Won’t You Charleston with Me?” 

20’s/30’s programs are one of my greatest weaknesses, so of COURSE this was going to make the list. Most of their ODs are lesser-known, including this, but in my mind, it’s one of the best. I really like their fun programs-there weren’t many, but when they did them, they were always good. (I bet you can guess what I want them to do next season…;))

3. 2009-10 FD-“Symphony No. 5” 

This is definitely one of their iconic programs, and it’s easy to see why: it’s equal parts lyrical and powerful, performed with a lot of feeling, spectacular lifts, and great music. It is for them, debatably, THE PROGRAM that every legendary skater/team has. However, there are programs of theirs that I, personally, like more, which is why it’s not all the way at the top.

2. 2006-07 FD-“Valse Triste” 

Valse Triste is one of my favorite pieces of music, and this was a very good interpretation of it. It’s elegant, lyrical and refined, with lovely flow and great elements-the step sequences were well-choreographed and placed nicely on the music, and the lifts impressive. Not to mention incredible maturity, considering that they were only 17 and 19 when they had this program!

1. 2007-08 FD-“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”

If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing and watch this program. It speaks for itself, and I consider it their best ever.

That was fun! It was super cool to go back and see what they’ve done in the past. I hope you liked it, too! 🙂

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