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View Full Version : U.S. Stars on Ice tour April/May 2010: articles, fan reports & more!



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dinakt
05-11-2010, 06:12 AM
I saw the show in St. Louis and enjoyed it a lot. Will do a detailed report tomorrow.
Why did the reports stop? Am very curious about the Chicago show.

RockTheTassel
05-11-2010, 04:51 PM
Yeah, I'd like to know how the St. Paul show went if anyone happened to be there.

jlai
05-11-2010, 05:37 PM
Just out of curious, why are you interested in one at a particular city? Was there someone in a particular show you wanna inquire about?

I'm just curious. I assume the shows are all more or less the same give or take a few guest performers

HeatherC
05-12-2010, 05:09 AM
I went to the Cincinnati SOI show last week but I haven't had time to write up a report yet. One of my coworkers ended up in the hospital last week and she's not back yet so most of my evenings are spent recovering from LONG days at work. :( I'll try to post a report when I can but I can say one definite thing about the show...it was REALLY great! I enjoyed it a lot and there really weren't any weak links for me. LOVED Meryl & Charlie's Indian dance and Ben Agosto is seriously awesome on the guitar. :D I actually saw the CSOI show in Hamilton three days before the Cincy SOI show (very odd to see the Canadian version before the US version, LOL) and I thought both shows were wonderful. :)

And I'd love to hear some thoughts from anyone who got to see Amanda & Mark in one of their two shows over the weekend! :D

nashvilledancer
05-12-2010, 06:01 AM
I saw the show in Chicago. The skating was fabulous and the crowd was LOUD. The arena was packed to the rafters. Right after the Intro, Emily and Evan started the show with their country short program (which worked well in this show). (They also were in the final group number.) Home town boy Evan was having an off night and had a few stumbles, but the audience screamed for him all the same.

Jeremy landed his 3 axel and 3-3-2 combination (and all his other triples), and attempted the quad toe (in show lights, with no boards) in his shortened free program. The audience seemed to love the Bubble number (I sure did). It was great fun to watch the add-on footwork competition with Todd, Yuka, and MikeW, in which Jeremy hydroblades and they all are throwing counters and rockers on deep edges, twizzles, and heel and toe work.

One of my favorite numbers was the Sasha-Alissa duet, just exquisite. They are well matched. Watching Yuka's perfect skating mechanics was an inspiration; I couldn't hear her blades at all.

Rock the Runway/Strut was great fun. I hadn't fully realized from the online clips that it's staged as a battle of the sexes. Tanith & Ben's costume-change number was adorable. Tanith was jumping rope on skates right in front of us, and the swinging by the backpack trick was great. It's amazing to watch Meryl and Charlie's Indian program live, in all its complexity. They aren't human, that's all.

I was very impressed with the quality of Michael Weiss' jumps, and grateful that he has grown up and no longer takes off his shirt. Todd was excellent as usual.

Although the show is not as flashy or sophisticated as in the SOI golden days, I think it really showcases the strengths of our crop of young and not-so-young, current champions very well. For instance, the Sasha-Alissa duet depend on their similar flexibility/extension and ability to spin. The "4's" dance number may work so well because both teams were trained by the same coaches. Having Todd and Jeremy (and Yuka) match footwork works because they all are brilliant at it. And there are a lot of good dancers in that crew, making numbers like "Strut" effective. Altogether, my only complaint was that I wanted it to go on longer.

dinakt
05-12-2010, 06:12 AM
Just out of curious, why are you interested in one at a particular city? Was there someone in a particular show you wanna inquire about?

I'm just curious. I assume the shows are all more or less the same give or take a few guest performers

Because every performance is a little different and Chicago is big and exciting! :)

Thank you so much, Nashvilledancer! I am off to write my report now.

dinakt
05-12-2010, 07:10 AM
St. Louis impressions.

First of all, I loved it. I really miss skating in the off- season. I splurged on a first row seat and simply watching the blades covering the rink right in front of my nose flooded my brain with dopamine. So my impressions range from positive/ neutral to thrilled/ happy.
As I was watching, I was remembering some of the reviews, and I see things slightly differently.
One disappointment- no Mirai. I thought she would be in all shows.
Another disappointment- arena not filled, though people who came seemed to care and cheered quite a bit.
One pleasant surprise- Samuelson/ Bates as guest stars. I have a soft spot for them and their OD is cute.

I loved all group numbers. When the skaters of that caliber whoosh past you en mass, I do not need a very complex choreography, it is impressive.
When the skaters perform solo, I become more critical as I want to see some choreographic complexity. When I felt it not there I would concentrate on the blades and become very happy again:)
I won't be able to recall the exact jumps, alas.
Unexpected highlight- Michael Weiss. Never liked him while he was competing, but he became a great show skater. Just the right balance of relating to public and self- absobtion, neither annoying. Expressive movements and , most importantly, an arsenal of non- competition moves that were unusual and expressive. After all, if one has freedom to invent, it is gratifying to see somebody using it ( and it's not all about his backflip:)). Excellent jumps as well, all of them.
- Abbott's " In this Moment" was out of this world. He tuned it to the rafters and it really projected, all movements bold and extended, great speed, perfect jumps, angsty, but big- angsty, if you know what I mean. It was interesting to see Jeremy painting with broader strokes, and it worked. Great show piece.
His first piece, Saint Saens- he started it in the slow section. Musical and intricate as ever, though I am not convinced about chopping up that LP. The slow section is divine, but the audience does not have time to taste it before it's over.
- Evan was a total rock star in St. Louis. I read he had some troubles in Chicago- in St. Louis there were none. Everything landed, everything precise.
I enjoyed his EX. Of course he is not trying to be Michael Jackson ( so I disagree with a review who faults him for that ). The whole number consists of Evan sending energy to the audience, and he has loads of energy, he felt " charged". Now get him to a good show choreographer who understands his style ( futuristic cha- cha, LOL), and he'll be a huge SOI star. He has aquired star quality this year- self- confidence, perhaps?
- Tanith and Ben. Not my favorites in competiton, but wonderful show skaters. Tanith's perk blinded me, in a good way. Hope they stay with SOI.
- Meryl and Charlie- I wanted to see more of them so badly. Their OD is exquisite. Loved the dancing quartet, as well.

..... just realized that I am not going to be objective... clearly I liked Men and Dance, because that's also my favorite disciplines... o well, moving along.

Yuka Sato is such a beautiful skater. On an amusing note- I think not only Jeremy learns from her, but she borrows from Jeremy. I saw a couple of very characteristic Jeremy movements in her routines, the ones I saw him do for years.
Some stunning moments in Clair de Lune. Still, from such an amazing choreographer I wanted more intricate choreography- because she can.
Alissa and Sasha- two beauties. But from them, and from Todd- if I want to criticise ( which seems unfair, because I was so happy to see all the routines)- I would ask for more unusual. " Halelluja" is a gorgeous piece of music , Sasha is a gorgeous skater, and the two could have connected better. Alissa's " Bridge Over Troubled Water" from last year was way more interesting that " You'll Never Walk Alone", though similar in sentiment. I was LONGING to see one of Alissa's never- ending spins. Saw lots of spins, but none as long as I wanted to- that's Alissa's thing, she should just go on and spin for 5 minutes and leave us breathless.
Lakme duet - Sasha and Alissa- was beautiful.
That's it, pretty much. Wish music had more variety. Wish there were no " filler" individual numbers- it would rise the intensity of already very good show. Did not think long- term pros were more expressive than the current competing crop. Huge kudos to Weiss for doing some unusual things- even with pop tunes. Thanks to all the skaters! BTW, somebody also reviewed at some point that some skaters lacked energy- not in St. Louis. I sincerely thought everybody was giving it all.

centerpt1
05-12-2010, 11:31 AM
I was at St Louis, too. Agree with all that you said- Michael Weiss really surprised me- he turned into a great show skater. The energy was high, and the group numbers were fun-they were good dancers. (and they looked like they were having a blast)
Alissa was beautiful and expressive- Jeremy was so much stronger than the last time I saw him skate - he did everything so fast and effortlessly (and with good posture). The Alissa/ Sasha duet was beautiful- and they were well matched.

The guitar playing was kind of random. As was the yodeling bit.

"War" was fun. (Although the only one I could hear was Mike- I know the others were talking) The four all got out into the audience in the on ice seats (that was a criticism from some of the reviews- no interaction with on ice audience)

Yuka was also a highlight-

The only thing that didn't work was Alissa's second number- the music was just wrong for her -and the choreo wasn't her. I think she is capable of doing "sexy"- just not the way it was done.

I'm glad I went- although some of the reviews on the SOI were very negative- I went because I enjoyed the youtube clips that sprung up.

I think they really needed an announcer/Emcee.

centerpt1
05-12-2010, 11:40 AM
PS- Evan looked really, really, really thin. Or the costume was way too big for him. Now I know why folks worry about him.

geod2
05-12-2010, 01:38 PM
duplicate post...sorry.

geod2
05-12-2010, 01:48 PM
-

The only thing that didn't work was Alissa's second number- the music was just wrong for her -and the choreo wasn't her. I think she is capable of doing "sexy"- just not the way it was done.

Your entire review spoke volumes to me....but especially the comments regarding Alissa.
.....and I have read countless reviews here and in other forums and venues.

There is an entire legion of "non-technical expert" fans who love this sport, provide much-needed $$$ in attendance and sponsorship of promising skaters, and IMHO pray for the day when the sport's most supreme talent will not have to perform "sexy'-just not the way it was done" in order to finance their FS competitive dreams.
I'm not sure what it'll take to align the artistic talent of our best and brightest FS with the cultural center-of-gravity of our society as it now exists, but there is a clear disconnect.
Someone arranged for Alissa to perform a "sexy" number that didn't work...maybe it's a personal conflict that she wasn't able to resolve on her own, but became all too obvious when she hit the ice....
But it is a perfect metaphor for the ongoing problems that USFS must overcome to be a relevant and vibrant part of America's athletic and cultural future.

gkelly
05-12-2010, 03:05 PM
I'm not sure what it'll take to align the artistic talent of our best and brightest FS with the cultural center-of-gravity of our society as it now exists, but there is a clear disconnect.
Someone arranged for Alissa to perform a "sexy" number that didn't work...maybe it's a personal conflict that she wasn't able to resolve on her own, but became all too obvious when she hit the ice....
But it is a perfect metaphor for the ongoing problems that USFS must overcome to be a relevant and vibrant part of America's athletic and cultural future.

I'm not sure what this has to do with USFS. They certainly don't have any say in what kind of show programs skaters perform on tour. Nor do show programs have any direct relationship to the sport as sport.

Pop culture, especially when it involves repetitive music and playing to the audience at the expense of technical skating content, and serious freestyle competition don't really go together.

Ice dance is a different story -- topic for a different thread. But again there's no direct relation with show programs.

Stars on Ice has nothing to do with serious competition, except insofar as it uses competitive results to choose which skaters to hire.

RD
05-12-2010, 03:31 PM
Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I like to see skaters try new things from time to time. I liked Czisny's second performance, even if she wasn't Beyonce out there. Actually, it was her first one I found a bit meh...(surprisingly)

In my personal opinion anyway, very few (female) skaters can TRULY pull off "sexy". And those skaters aren't really skating any more...(or at least not in the US). For that reason, Czisny's so-called "lack of moves" didn't really stand out to me- Cohen's DSTM last year, wasn't really feeling the "vibe" there either.

Dilng
05-12-2010, 06:55 PM
Since SOI needs all the positive press it can get, I can see why Evan feels the need to discredit Weir though. He as the star attraction needs to protect the business

I'm sure he was very annoyed with Johnny, but he should have been a little more diplomatic.

Johnny is a very nice skater, but he is so out there. There are a lot of male ice skaters that have been on Champions on Ice and Stars on Ice that are gay so I doubt it's because he is gay, but he needs to lose the ladies hats and high heel shoes -- he just comes off so ridiculous.

semogal
05-12-2010, 07:36 PM
I was at the St. Louis show too. I really enjoyed the evening. It was a special treat to see my favorite skaters LIVE instead of on my computer screen (which is about the only way to see competitive skating these days).

I am a huge ice dance fan so to see all 3 of our national medalists was a huge treat. Meryl and Charlie's OD was my favorite routine of the night. The speed and power exhibited showed why they are the Olympic and World Silver medalists. My daughter-in-law (who was seeing her first live skating show) also ranked them as the best of the evening. We enjoyed B/A's routine and their duet with D/W. Tanith is really stunning in person. S/B's OD was fun too.

I loved Evan's routine. Dancing with the Stars is helping his musicality and performance. He was definately "on" in St. Louis. And there were legions of screaming little girls to cheer for him. But the ones near us were disappointed he only skated one number.

I enjoyed Michael Weiss and Todd Eldridge and that surprised me because I have never been big fans of their skating. Their routines were entertaining and well skated. Jeremy Abbott did not thrill me at all. I want to see "fun" at SOI not that hands to the head angst he seems to love.

Sasha was beautiful as was Yuka. I like Alissa but that second number just didn't suit her. The duet with Sasha was gorgeous though.

I really could have done without Ben's guitar solos. Both of us thought it was lame.

I am so glad I went. I had such a good time that I almost drove to KC so I could see it again!!