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  1. #1

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    Pandora Unforgettable Moments of Love on Ice

    The basics:

    Show: Pandora Unforgettable Moments of Love on Ice

    Date: Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm EST

    Where: NBC (Check your local listing for channel information)

    Skaters: Ekaterina Gordeeva
    Ilia Kulik
    Kurt Browning
    Sasha Cohen
    Joannie Rochette
    Miki Ando
    Kimmie Meissner
    Ryan Bradley
    Steven Cousins

    Musical Guest Stars: Kenny G & Gladys Knight

    TV Hosts: Kristi Yamaguchi & Nancy Kerrigan

    Follow Disson Skating: Facebook - Disson Skating
    Twitter - @DissonSkating

    My review: I saw the dress rehearsal and taping of this on Thursday in Kent, WA (outside of Seattle). There is so much terrific stuff here. You know that I'll say that Ilia was fantastic and he was but you decide on that, I'm biased. Katia was glowing in the Nino Rota theme from Romeo & Juliet with Kenny G - Katia using all the grace and delicacy that she can bring - gorgeous. Joannie was fantastic - that woman has the deepest edges for a singles skater and it makes a big difference. The AHA moment for me was Miki Ando. She is often described as distant or unemotional - not so here! Two gorgeous and emotional programs with the standout being "You Must Love Me" (she told me afterward that the musical and stunning choreography was by Kenji Miyamoto) which was heartrending and magnificent - I hope it translates on to the TV screen the way we saw it in the arena. Kurt, Ryan, everyone gave it everything and it was very 'committed' all around. Very worth tuning in for.

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    It airs right after the US Nationals gala, actually.

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    Did Ilia and Katia skate together? Or two singles numbers?

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    Separate programs.

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    I hope we see as many programs as possible.
    It sounds wonderful.

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    Thanks for the heads up, sounds like a great show. It will be nice to see Kimmie, Miki and Ilia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willowway View Post
    The basics:

    Show: Pandora Unforgettable Moments of Love on Ice

    Date: Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm EST

    Where: NBC (Check your local listing for channel information)

    Skaters: Ekaterina Gordeeva
    Ilia Kulik
    Kurt Browning
    Sasha Cohen
    Joannie Rochette
    Miki Ando
    Kimmie Meissner
    Ryan Bradley
    Steven Cousins

    Musical Guest Stars: Kenny G & Gladys Knight

    TV Hosts: Kristi Yamaguchi & Nancy Kerrigan

    Follow Disson Skating: Facebook - Disson Skating
    Twitter - @DissonSkating

    My review: I saw the dress rehearsal and taping of this on Thursday in Kent, WA (outside of Seattle). There is so much terrific stuff here. You know that I'll say that Ilia was fantastic and he was but you decide on that, I'm biased. Katia was glowing in the Nino Rota theme from Romeo & Juliet with Kenny G - Katia using all the grace and delicacy that she can bring - gorgeous. Joannie was fantastic - that woman has the deepest edges for a singles skater and it makes a big difference. The AHA moment for me was Miki Ando. She is often described as distant or unemotional - not so here! Two gorgeous and emotional programs with the standout being "You Must Love Me" (she told me afterward that the musical and stunning choreography was by Kenji Miyamoto) which was heartrending and magnificent - I hope it translates on to the TV screen the way we saw it in the arena. Kurt, Ryan, everyone gave it everything and it was very 'committed' all around. Very worth tuning in for.

    you set me drooling, the thought of katia skating nina rota romeo and juliet. NBC better show it!

    is there even a fuzzy fan cam to whet our appetites in the meantime.

    i'm really looking forward to miki skating miyamoto, too! just one question--did she wear gloves for this? or katia for any of her numbers?

    thank you so much

  8. #8
    what a glorious day!
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    I'm nodding as I'm reading. Katia floated in her performance to Romeo and Juliet. I just hope this program is edited for television to allow viewers to experience what we did. Miki. There are no words. Her interpretation of "You Must Love Me" seemed so emotional. I have never seen this side of Miki Ando before.

    ps: no one wore gloves that I noticed.

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    Oh I was hoping that the show being "Unforgettable Moments of Love" might prompt them to skate together, but oh well.

    What did Ilia skate to?

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    I wrote up a very Kurt-centric show impressions post for my Kurt Browning mailing list, which I'll cut and paste here.

    The show runlist:
    Opening: Saxoloco - Cast & Kenny G
    Havana - Steven Cousins, the ladies (at first) & Kenny G
    All In Due Time - Sasha Cohen & Gladys Knight
    Footloose - Ryan Bradley
    Smash Into You - Kimmie Meissner
    You Must Love Me - Miki Ando
    Feeling Good - Kurt Browning
    Wedding Song - Joannie Rochette & Kenny G
    Heart and Soul - Ilia Kulik & Kenny G
    Romeo and Juliet - Katia Gordeeva & Kenny G
    <intermission>
    I Hope You Dance - Kimmie Meissner & Gladys Knight
    Best Thing That Ever Happened - Kurt Browning, Katia Gordeeva, Steven Cousins, Miki Ando & Gladys Knight
    G Bop - Ryan Bradley & Kenny G
    Big Spender - Sasha Cohen
    Walking on Water - Steven Cousins
    Formidable - Joannie Rochette
    Love Will Keep Us Together - Katia Gordeeva
    Love In This Club - Ilia Kulik
    I Who Have Nothing - Miki Ando & Gladys Knight
    Letters From Home - Kurt Browning & Kenny G
    Finale - Picking Up the Pieces - Cast & Kenny G

    The show was great. I didn't have high hopes because 1) it's a Disson show and 2) it's Kenny G, but I gave both a bad rap. Of course, it may help that I haven't seen any other Disson shows this year, but I was quite impressed by the caliber of choreography and energy that the skaters brought to the show. Much of the cast was the same as Stars on Ice, and given the similarity in themes (Love 'n Life/Love), it's not surprising that several of the skaters did one of their Stars on Ice programs. Given that SOI isn't being aired except in syndication, and given that I haven't seen it yet, though, I thought this was pretty awesome.

    Opening number was a Kenny G number choreographed by Steven Cousins. Unfortunately, I missed the very very beginning. I enjoyed it though, thought there were some cute bits.

    Kurt skated to "Feeling Good". The first time through, he fell really hard on one arm - it looked super painful and I talked to him at the reception afterwards and he actually thought he had broken it at the
    time, it hurt so much. After shaking it out, he realized it was ok, and kept going. He said the rest of the number was just trying to finish it. As a result, we got the whole program again in retakes, which was a nice bonus for us as the audience, and in a way for him since he got to do the program closer to how he liked it. He kept the audience laughing with his body language all the way through his retakes and every time he got on and off the ice. Total clown. The audience loved him, too, cheering him loudly by name when he was announced, and really getting into his skates. The program had a certain aggressive energy to it - I feel like this is the first program in a long time where he's setting out to be cool and sexy, and not just jokey sexy. It's the cool part that adds that aggressive edge to his moves and his facial expressions and the way he attacks things.

    His second number had kind of a theme/story to it - the song was "Letters from Home" (with Kenny G playing) and Kurt therefore had a letter on a table as a prop - a letter he tried to walk away from, kept getting tempted back to look at, that he kissed and obviously felt important, but also apparently was painful, as he balled it up and wanted to throw it away, before he refrained and smoothed it out again and lay it gently on the table. It didn't feel like an improvised one-off - he'd obviously picked a song with a theme he wanted to work with, and as is typical of Kurt, he does best when he's working with a character. It was neat. Bursts of frantic footwork and gentler steps in accordance with the varying emotion he was feeling in response to the letter.. it was the final program of the second half.

    He also did a small group number with Steven, Miki, and Katia early in the second act. It was interesting - the music was Gladys Knight performing live, and the song was "Best Thing That Ever Happened"...ie, the best thing that ever happened to me was you. Yet the choreography chose to have them partner swap - skate tenderly and romantically with one partner, and then switch to another partner. I really enjoyed it - there was some really nice stuff and the four skaters all seemed to enjoy skating together - I just kept raising my eyebrow at the interpretation of the lyrics . Hopefully they air this.

    I also quite liked the finale - it was Kenny G performing "Picking Up the Pieces", and it was super high energy and fun, with really cute transitions between each skater's solo spot. Kenny G was out on the ice playing his sax, and Kurt and Joannie's transition had them peeking at each other from either side of him, and skating around him, really cutely. Kurt and Miki did some partnering, Miki and Steven high tenned each other... Ilia and Katia did some high energy choreography side by side, as well as a couple small lifts alongside the other pairs. I don't know who choreographed it but it was fun! The only real group part of the number was the whole group skating in a circle around Kenny.

    Small non-Kurt notes. LOVE Joannie's "Formidable" program - so cute and she performs it with such spark. Looks fantastic in those sunglasses too. A guy yelled out "THAT'S what I'm talkin' about" when she came out, which was really funny (though meant they had to retake the beginning of the program later). Ryan's "Footloose" was super-fun and high energy and boy does he love the crowd. For his retake, he actually tried to sneak in a quad - he landed a triple and then asked if he could do it again. Lea Ann was like, ok but we got the jump... and then he came out and went for the quad (two footed and stepped out of the landing) and then got super sheepish when she was like "was that a QUAD??", bowed quickly and self-deprecatingly to the crowd, and then hurried off the ice, throwing a backflip in as he was about to hit the tunnel. So much fun. Ilia is simply awesome. His footwork, choreography, attack, the height he gets on his moves, he's just skating at such a high level. Loved both programs but really looking forward to seeing the "Love in this Club" number in SOI. Their schtick for each skater was for them to say some of the lyrics to their song at the beginning, and so Ilia's was quite funny - he couldn't really keep a straight face as the recording played. Joannie laughed out loud with embarrassment when her recording came on during dress rehearsal. Katia did her "Love Will Keep Us Together" program from SOI - not my favorite song, but she did a good job to it. She was lovely in her first number to music from Romeo and Juliet. She has such grace and elegance in her movements and she's so quiet in her blades! It's just gorgeous to watch her. Miki was also wonderful to watch - complex choreography and a lot of emotion in her numbers. Sasha seemed relaxed and happy and really performing out there (no sign of the sometimes introverted skater she can be). Kimmie was cute and sweet as well in her two numbers. Steven seemed a bit out of shape when I saw him at Michael Weiss' show earlier this season, but no sign of that here - I quite enjoyed his second number and the first one was cute since it opened with all the ladies leaving the guys in the opening number to skate around him, while he looked all puppy dog happy to have their attention.

    Overall, I really enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing it on TV on Feb. 4 (NBC). I'm not sure how well it will all carry over on TV given the presence of Kenny G and Gladys Knight, but hopefully it'll look good!
    Last edited by Teenes; 01-31-2012 at 06:32 PM.

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    Sasha seemed relaxed and happy and really performing out there (no sign of the sometimes introverted skater she can be).
    Noticed this too at the Caesar's show last December. I know I've been critical of her performances on SOI- but at Caesar's she finally seemed to reach out a little more than usual.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meredith View Post
    I'm nodding as I'm reading. Katia floated in her performance to Romeo and Juliet. I just hope this program is edited for television to allow viewers to experience what we did. Miki. There are no words. Her interpretation of "You Must Love Me" seemed so emotional. I have never seen this side of Miki Ando before.

    ps: no one wore gloves that I noticed.

    thank you so much, for your impressions of katia and miki, and your observation about the gloves. it may be a tiny thing to others, but i appreciate so much the absence of the now increasingly prevalent oven mitts
    Last edited by skfan; 02-01-2012 at 12:55 AM.

  13. #13

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    ^ You and me both. I detest them, particularly on men.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skate Talker View Post
    ^ You and me both. I detest them, particularly on men.

    thank you. i've always wanted to use the expression 'great minds think alike'... even though in this case your greatness dwarfs mine

    i look forward to NBC's broadcast, though i hope there won't be too many of katia's moves interrupted by a view of kenny G's shiny sax. until the broadcast, i'll think positively. maybe later some fancams will turn up?

  15. #15
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    Having technical difficulties with my site right now, so I can't upload any more photos to it until they're resolved. In the meantime, I've uploaded my photos to Picasa:
    Dress Rehearsal
    Show

    Kurt re-did his entire Feeling Good program in retakes, so some of my better photos of his number are at the end of that latter album.

    While I'm here, Disson Skating tweeted a number of videos for this show:
    Cast Visits the Joint Center at the Valley Medical Center
    Show Highlights
    Kurt Browning Cam

  16. #16
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    ^ good shots, thanks for sharing!

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    On NBC now (ET)...

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    Quite a good program, although I still long for split screen for Disson shows.

    Miki has truly become a mature and artistic skater. I wasn't a fan of hers early in her career, but she now has it all.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teenes View Post
    Kurt skated to "Feeling Good". The first time through, he fell really hard on one arm - it looked super painful and I talked to him at the reception afterwards and he actually thought he had broken it at the
    time, it hurt so much. After shaking it out, he realized it was ok, and kept going. He said the rest of the number was just trying to finish it. As a result, we got the whole program again in retakes, which was a nice bonus for us as the audience, and in a way for him since he got to do the program closer to how he liked it. He kept the audience laughing with his body language all the way through his retakes and every time he got on and off the ice. Total clown. The audience loved him, too, cheering him loudly by name when he was announced, and really getting into his skates. The program had a certain aggressive energy to it - I feel like this is the first program in a long time where he's setting out to be cool and sexy, and not just jokey sexy. It's the cool part that adds that aggressive edge to his moves and his facial expressions and the way he attacks things.

    His second number had kind of a theme/story to it - the song was "Letters from Home" (with Kenny G playing) and Kurt therefore had a letter on a table as a prop - a letter he tried to walk away from, kept getting tempted back to look at, that he kissed and obviously felt important, but also apparently was painful, as he balled it up and wanted to throw it away, before he refrained and smoothed it out again and lay it gently on the table. It didn't feel like an improvised one-off - he'd obviously picked a song with a theme he wanted to work with, and as is typical of Kurt, he does best when he's working with a character. It was neat. Bursts of frantic footwork and gentler steps in accordance with the varying emotion he was feeling in response to the letter.. it was the final program of the second half.

    He also did a small group number with Steven, Miki, and Katia early in the second act. It was interesting - the music was Gladys Knight performing live, and the song was "Best Thing That Ever Happened"...ie, the best thing that ever happened to me was you. Yet the choreography chose to have them partner swap - skate tenderly and romantically with one partner, and then switch to another partner. I really enjoyed it - there was some really nice stuff and the four skaters all seemed to enjoy skating together - I just kept raising my eyebrow at the interpretation of the lyrics . Hopefully they air this.

    I also quite liked the finale - it was Kenny G performing "Picking Up the Pieces", and it was super high energy and fun, with really cute transitions between each skater's solo spot. Kenny G was out on the ice playing his sax, and Kurt and Joannie's transition had them peeking at each other from either side of him, and skating around him, really cutely. Kurt and Miki did some partnering, Miki and Steven high tenned each other... Ilia and Katia did some high energy choreography side by side, as well as a couple small lifts alongside the other pairs. I don't know who choreographed it but it was fun! The only real group part of the number was the whole group skating in a circle around Kenny.

    Small non-Kurt notes. LOVE Joannie's "Formidable" program - so cute and she performs it with such spark. Looks fantastic in those sunglasses too. A guy yelled out "THAT'S what I'm talkin' about" when she came out, which was really funny (though meant they had to retake the beginning of the program later). Ryan's "Footloose" was super-fun and high energy and boy does he love the crowd. For his retake, he actually tried to sneak in a quad - he landed a triple and then asked if he could do it again. Lea Ann was like, ok but we got the jump... and then he came out and went for the quad (two footed and stepped out of the landing) and then got super sheepish when she was like "was that a QUAD??", bowed quickly and self-deprecatingly to the crowd, and then hurried off the ice, throwing a backflip in as he was about to hit the tunnel. So much fun. Ilia is simply awesome. His footwork, choreography, attack, the height he gets on his moves, he's just skating at such a high level. Loved both programs but really looking forward to seeing the "Love in this Club" number in SOI. Their schtick for each skater was for them to say some of the lyrics to their song at the beginning, and so Ilia's was quite funny - he couldn't really keep a straight face as the recording played. Joannie laughed out loud with embarrassment when her recording came on during dress rehearsal. Katia did her "Love Will Keep Us Together" program from SOI - not my favorite song, but she did a good job to it. She was lovely in her first number to music from Romeo and Juliet. She has such grace and elegance in her movements and she's so quiet in her blades! It's just gorgeous to watch her. Miki was also wonderful to watch - complex choreography and a lot of emotion in her numbers. Sasha seemed relaxed and happy and really performing out there (no sign of the sometimes introverted skater she can be). Kimmie was cute and sweet as well in her two numbers. Steven seemed a bit out of shape when I saw him at Michael Weiss' show earlier this season, but no sign of that here - I quite enjoyed his second number and the first one was cute since it opened with all the ladies leaving the guys in the opening number to skate around him, while he looked all puppy dog happy to have their attention.

    Overall, I really enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing it on TV on Feb. 4 (NBC). I'm not sure how well it will all carry over on TV given the presence of Kenny G and Gladys Knight, but hopefully it'll look good!
    Geez, what about Ryan Bradley? He was there, right...?
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

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    I agree about Ando. But I think you really have to see her live to truly appreciate her.

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