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2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport GrandSlam Series Latin Final in Shanghai, China

 

What sets the GrandSlam Latin Final in Shanghai, CHN, apart from the rest of the top-tier competitions on the DanceSport calendar are three factors. It is the most strictly invitational competition there is, with entry reserved to the 12 top couples in the GrandSlam Ranking, couples having danced in minimum four out of the five regular legs in the Series. It is also the shortest and most compact competition. Extending over only three rounds, it starts at 7:30 p.m. with the first and concludes not even three hour later with the last round and the awards presentation.

 

Finally, it is its place in the calendar: for virtually all the participating couples it is the last competition of the year. A fact which brings about a special atmosphere – more relaxed than elsewhere – even though the fight is about the highest prize money awarded in the Series.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport GrandSlam Series Standard Final in Shanghai, China

 

Last year’s GrandSlam Standard Final will forever be remembered as the last duel between the eternal opponents Simone Segatori – Annette Sudol, GER, and Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kukikova, RUS, where the former ended up on top. From there it was total dominance by the Russians in four GrandSlam legs of the 2017 Series as well as in the World Championship held here in China back in September. Even though they had made the announcement to change to the Professional Division, Simone and Annette have not yet danced any competitions there and, as the #2 in the GrandSlam Ranking, would be entitled to dance in this Standard “Showdown Shanghai.” But they have not entered. Something which allows another German couple to put in its first appearance in this GrandSlam Standard Final: Tomas Fainsil and Violetta Posmetnaya.

 

There are four more newcomers to the most exclusive competition in all of DanceSport: Russians Evgeny Nikitin – Anastasia Miliutina and the Chinese wild card couple Qiu Yuming – Wei Liying. They should do their country proud – here too – as they did in the World Standard, where they became the first ever semi-finalists from China. To consider the pre-event favourites and dominators Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kukikova as shoo-in winners today would be justifiable, if it were not for the mishaps that saw a great dancer (almost) tumble on two occasions last year.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Standard in Stuttgart, Germany

 

That the Standard seems to be the GrandSlam of choice for the majority of the Stuttgart public can easily be explained. On eight out of nine occasions since 2008, the winners were German couples. Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova of Russia have won everything there is to win and kept on top of their game ever since their last defeat in Shanghai, China in the GrandSlam Final last year. Over the past two years they have claimed two World and two European titles. They most recently celebrated their first victory in the GrandSlam Hong Kong, but they have never won in Stuttgart. The fight between the two couples will probably be as tight as ever, threatening to eclipse the great dancing put in by the third: Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite of Lithuania. But let’s not worry about them: their confidence is growing with every time they take the floor.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Latin in Moscow, Russia

 

We’re back in Moscow for the last regular leg of the World DanceSport GrandSlam Series. Last year, the Latin and Standard competitions deciding over which couples would make it to the “Final Showdown in Shanghai” had to be moved south – to Barcelona, Spain – on the shortest of notice. One year later it is the ‘All Russian Federation of DanceSport and Acrobatic Rock ‘n’ Roll’, the new WDSF Member, which acts as the host and organizer for the first time. In a big way! Everything seems a little bigger and brighter when it comes to the setting and the atmosphere, and the dancers seem inspired too. Gabriele Goffredo and Anna Matus of Moldova, who have four wins to their credit so far this year, will dance in Moscow for the very first time. They know they have to go up against Armen Tsaturyan and Svetlana Gudyno of Russia, who have won here three consecutive times, if we include last year’s substitute GrandSlam in Spain. Who will take this leg of the competition?

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Standard in Helsinki

 

The World DanceSport GrandSlam Series is back, featuring the best competitive dancers in the world vying for the most prestigious titles and prize money in the world of dance. As the top dancers in the various dance styles meet up at different locations around the globe, cameras are trained on every step they take. Their performances are assessed by 12 experts using a judging system – two focusing on the technical aspects and two on the artistry – which makes the process of adjudication more transparent for the viewer at home.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Latin in Hong Kong

 

The 2017 GrandSlam Series Standard reaches its halfway point with the third regular leg held in Hong Kong on 9 July. The two earlier legs in Helsinki, FIN, and in Wuhan, CHN, produced an identic outcome in as far as the winners as well as the runners-up were concerned. In Finland, Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kulikova, RUS, prevailed in a hotly contested final over Simone Segatori – Annette Sudol, GER, with a total score of 193.17 to 191.91. That’s a winning margin of very little over one point! One month later in China, the Russians claimed their second victory, but this time the margin separating the two couples was all of 0.05. It was produced either by freaky math or by the system’s insistence that a winner had to be declared – even if it all looked very much like a tie on the floor.

 

 

NOVA
Holocaust Escape Tunnel

 

For centuries, the Lithuanian city of Vilna was one of the most important Jewish centers in the world, earning the title “Jerusalem of the North” until World War II, when the Nazis murdered about 95% of its Jewish population and reduced its synagogues and cultural institutions to ruins. The Soviets finished the job, paving over the remnants of Vilna’s famous Great Synagogue so thoroughly that few today know it ever existed. Now, an international team of archaeologists is trying to rediscover this forgotten world, excavating the remains of its Great Synagogue and searching for proof of one of Vilna’s greatest secrets: a lost escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners inside a horrific Nazi execution site.

 

 

Secrets of the Tower of London

 

Standing guard over the city of London for nearly 1,000 years, the formidable Tower of London has been a royal castle, a prison, a place of execution and torture, an armory and the Royal Mint. This program unlocks the doors to secret rooms, talks to the people who do the jobs no one sees and reveals some surprising facts about one of England’s most famous buildings.

 

 

QUEEN ELIZABETHʻS SECRET AGENTS
Part 2 of 3

 

Uncover the secret state that helped keep Queen Elizabeth I in power for more than 40 years. During a time when Britain was divided, unstable and violent, the world’s first secret service was born.

 

Part 2
Elizabeth’s enemies grow in strength but Robert Cecil, her spymaster, intercepts a conspiracy to
assassinate the Queen. An ambitious aristocrat is trying to takeover his network. At stake is control over the aging queen and the power to choose the next king of England.

 

 

QUEEN ELIZABETHʻS SECRET AGENTS
Part 3 of 3

QUEEN ELIZABETHʻS SECRET AGENTS: Part 3 of 3

 

Uncover the secret state that helped keep Queen Elizabeth I in power for more than 40 years. During a time when Britain was divided, unstable and violent, the world’s first secret service was born.

 

Part 3
England has a new monarch, King James I, and Elizabeth’s former spymaster, Robert Cecil, faces his toughest test. A group of religious extremists plan to blow-up the Houses of Parliament with the king inside – what we call the Gunpowder Plot.

 

 

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