Monday, April 27, 2015

Meryl Davis & Charlie White's "Samson & Delilah" & Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto's "Tosca"

Over the weekend, Olympic ice dance champion Charlie White married his former U.S. teammate and fellow 2010 Olympian, Tanith Belbin. Tanith and her partner, Ben Agosto, were the silver medalists at the 2006 Torino Olympics. Congratulations to Charlie and Tanith!

In honor of this union, I'm posting videos from the 2009 Worlds in Los Angeles when both teams competed against each other. Tanith & Ben finished second (I personally feel they should have won), and Meryl and Charlie finished 4th. Every year after this, Meryl and Charlie were either first or second, for four consecutive years.

Meryl and Charlie's "Samson & Delilah" was a breakout freeskate for them, putting them on the map during the Grand Prix series, and helping them to win their first National title in Cleveland, which I was in attendance (woot woot!). This program is lyrical in the first half and passionate in the second half. I love how Charlie skates with such abandon, running across the ice and throwing his body into the performance. This program gives me chills throughout the second half, especially when the crowd jumps to its feet at the end.

Click HERE to view.

Tanith and Ben, who had previously been training mates of Meryl and Charlie's in Detroit, under Marina Zoueva and Igor Spilband, had switched to 1980 Olympic ice dance champions Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov in Philadelphia. I liked this "Tosca" program, even though it was decidedly more "Russian" than their previous work (which is ironic, because they had Russian coaches before, too). Though this program was more bold and powerful than I'd seen them skate in the past, I think it suited them well--much better than their "Ave Maria" remix the following Olmpic year, in which they morphed into full-fledged Russian drama queens.

Click HERE to view.

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