another analysis of the dancing

kris9918 via fanforum --

I love that Tessa and Scott came out in August and threw down like that. Bring it on. No surprise that it's a brilliantly complex vehicle either, as is their standard. I'm not sure why anyone with an even partially discerning eye would think they looked heavy or slow out there, because they were hauling. They'll obviously continue to build/edit/polish as they go along, but that was an impressive start.

Something that stands out to me is how well this program not only matches the rhythms and nuances of Louis Armstrong's orchestrations/arrangements (in both the Dixieland and Bebop styles) to the choreographic density of the blade work, but also coheres the freedom and joy Tessa and Scott express in their movement to Ella Fitzgerald and Armstrong's vocal styles. One of the key elements of jazz is its improvisational nature, and scat singing (which Armstrong sort of pioneered and Fitzgerald mastered) is both melodically and rhythmically improvisational.

Looking back on the Funny Face FD for a moment, a crucial aspect of its framework was Tessa and Scott's riffing off of Fred Astaire's phrasing, which was done by choreographic design (in other words, the choreography was configured so as to facilitate Tessa and Scott's capacity to play with nuances in the moment). It seems to me that this season's SD is designed in a similar yet more intensified fashion, because while Astaire's phrasing was fantastic (he didn't have a great voice but his articulation was top notch), he wasn't altering the rhythmic combinations of the piece by improvising the melody like is done in scat singing.

In the video of their performance, watch Tessa and Scott's accentuations from the 3:05-3:10 mark during the midline step sequence (in the "Dream a Little Dream" section). They're working on the beat but are also playing off the tension and release resulting from Fitzgerald's altering of the melodic line. It's done in a completely organic fashion, or at least they make it look completely organic. But it's SO difficult to do, because it not only requires natural musicality, but also absolutely stellar skating technique. That's why they're the best in the world. Whether it's their coming around the corner in the Finnstep with a seamless arrest of momentum, moving in and out of multiple changes of hold while executing complex footwork at breakneck speed, or their execution of that little jazzy dip move, they look like they're all "oh, la-di-da, we're just out here being swept away by the feelings this dance invokes in us!" Which is what making the difficult look effortless is all about. Pure skating + pure dance = Tessa and Scott.