Mao Asada's 'Thanks Tour' (Starting from May 2018)

cohkaix

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'Mao Thanks tour'

Official website (in Japanese): http://www.maotour.jp

Tour schedule~
  1. Niigata: Niigata Asahi Alex Ice Arena (May 3&4)
  2. Nagano: Karuizawa Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena (Jun 2&3)
  3. Hokkaido/Sapporo: Tsukisamu Gymnasium/Ice rink (Jul 21&22)
  4. [Adding- Aichi: Chukyo University Ice Arena (Aug 14)]
  5. Ibaraki: Kasamatsu Sports park (Aug 18&19)
  6. Saitama: Saitama Ice Arena (Sept 8&9)
  7. Yamanashi: Kose Sports Park Ice Arena (Sept 22&23)
  8. Fukushima: Bandaiatami Ice Arena (Oct 13&14)
  9. Kanagawa: Sagamihara Ginga Arena (Oct 20&21)
  10. Fukuoka: Axion Fukuoka/Ice rink (Oct 27&28)
  11. Hiroshima: Hiroshima Big Wave Ice rink (Nov 3&4)
  12. ? (possibly more locations to be added afterwards through 18-19 season)
 
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cohkaix

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Tour members:

Mao Asada
Mai Asada
Takahito Mura
Nagisa Hayashi
Seiya Hashimoto
Sei Kawahara
ガンスフ マラル エレデン
マルティネス エルネスト
Mari Yamamoto
Risa Kawachi

(Note: other than Mai and Mura, other members have been casted through audition)
 

cohkaix

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Some more about the tour...

Usually, Mao's ice show 'The Ice' is one of those popular ice shows during each summer. After the announcement of her retirement and before the last 'The Ice 2017', Mao recalled (in several interviews) that 'The Ice 2017' was originally planned as the very last time for her to skate in a show. But during 'The Ice' in 2017, Mao has been getting lots of messages and letters from fans saying that they want to see more of Mao's skating. This is one of the inspiration for Mao to decide to skate more in the format of ice shows.

But having served as the 'chair' of 'The Ice' in the past couple of years, Mao knows well that it takes a lot to put up a show like that. And to start another show, one of the main concerns is the cost of the ticket. It's just like what Mai said in the press conference: 'I had friends who came to 'The Ice' and enjoyed the show, but they reflected that they couldn't afford to have their family members joining them, as the tickets were too expensive.' So to reduce the potential costs for producing the ice show, they have come up with ideas such as: holding the tour at the existing ice rinks/arena without spending money putting up the ice; saving the money from getting new choreography (so use the previous programs skated by Mao and re-working on the choreography by Mao herself); also saving money from inviting skaters from oversea (instead holding audition to recruit domestic skaters to be the tour members). Other considerations also include to tour around as many locations as possible (so that the audiences don't make extra cost to travel to major cities just for the show) and the tour could be in running for a longer term (not just a couple of weeks during the summer time).

In the end, I think the 'Mao thanks tour' is more like this ice show:'let me bring my skating to your place and to show my appreciation' from Mao-chan!
 

cohkaix

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So how's the tour set up so far different (from other ice shows) and some pros and cons...

  • Ticket cost: the ticket price is reduced quite a lot, so comparing to other ice shows in Japan this summer, the most expensive ticket is only about 1/3 of other current shows (only 7500 Yen)
    • Pros: it's cheaper!
    • Cons: (getting tickets is quite difficult - will explain this part later on)
  • Locations picked for the tour: as explained, they are looking for existing ice rinks (aka. 'through-the-year' ice rink), so no stop for major cities (such as Osaka or Nagoya), at least not from those 10 stops announced so far
    • Pros: to tour at more stops? One thing I got from twitter is that, although they try to look for existing ice rinks, still not all these are open throughout the year. But because of Mao's tour, it helps to push for earlier opening dates for one or two of these rinks
    • Cons: as these rinks are designed for local use not for commercial purpose, they are relatively smaller, i.e. not designed to hold large number of audiences. I think possibly other than the Gymnasium in Sapporo (where all Japan national once held), the rest hold no more than around 1,000 to 3,000 of audiences.
    • *And this leads to problems of getting tickets: they also set up the priority for local audiences to get tickets first. Given that the capacity of each rink is rather limited, it will turn out to be harder to get tickets unless you're local residents.
  • Programs of the tour: to quote from the official website, the programs of each show run up to about 80 mins (no intermission). And Mao has revealed a little about the content of the programs elsewhere. Basically, it's a show composed of Mao's previous numbers (both competitive programs and EX programs). It will be Mao, Mura and Mai skating solo programs interweaving with group numbers.
    • Cons: Just no new number choreographed specifically for this tour
    • Pros: To see Mao re-skating her old programs; and she's doing the choreography herself for some.
      • More about the programs: it is reported that Mao picked about 16 (!) numbers from her old programs. And from the recent PR, interviews, videos...etc. these may include:
        • 'Smile'
        • 'Madame Butterfly'
        • 'Jupiter'
        • 'Bach-Cello suite'
        • 'Rach 2'
        • 'Gospel'
        • 'Ritual fire dance'
        • 'Wind beneath my wing'
        • 'Swan Lake'
        • 'Scheherazade'
  • Other misc.: when Mao first announced the website of the tour, she got around 6~7 sponsors. So far the sponsors have been keeping growing and now it's up to 10 (with one news media Yumiuri). Finally, it's not quite sure at the moment that if any of the show will be recorded or broadcast later on.
 

mollymgr

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Some more about the tour...

Usually, Mao's ice show 'The Ice' is one of those popular ice shows during each summer. After the announcement of her retirement and before the last 'The Ice 2017', Mao recalled (in several interviews) that 'The Ice 2017' was originally planned as the very last time for her to skate in a show. But during 'The Ice' in 2017, Mao has been getting lots of messages and letters from fans saying that they want to see more of Mao's skating. This is one of the inspiration for Mao to decide to skate more in the format of ice shows.

But having served as the 'chair' of 'The Ice' in the past couple of years, Mao knows well that it takes a lot to put up a show like that. And to start another show, one of the main concerns is the cost of the ticket. It's just like what Mai said in the press conference: 'I had friends who came to 'The Ice' and enjoyed the show, but they reflected that they couldn't afford to have their family members joining them, as the tickets were too expensive.' So to reduce the potential costs for producing the ice show, they have come up with ideas such as: holding the tour at the existing ice rinks/arena without spending money putting up the ice; saving the money from getting new choreography (so use the previous programs skated by Mao and re-working on the choreography by Mao herself); also saving money from inviting skaters from oversea (instead holding audition to recruit domestic skaters to be the tour members). Other considerations also include to tour around as many locations as possible (so that the audiences don't make extra cost to travel to major cities just for the show) and the tour could be in running for a longer term (not just a couple of weeks during the summer time).

In the end, I think the 'Mao thanks tour' is more like this ice show:'let me bring my skating to your place and to show my appreciation' from Mao-chan!
Thanks for the information. That's a very nice concept to make elite skating even more accessible, especially in Japan where it is most popular. :)
 

Coco

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How thoughtful of her to put this together in this fashion for her fans.
 

ToFarAwayTimes

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Some more about the tour...

Usually, Mao's ice show 'The Ice' is one of those popular ice shows during each summer. After the announcement of her retirement and before the last 'The Ice 2017', Mao recalled (in several interviews) that 'The Ice 2017' was originally planned as the very last time for her to skate in a show. But during 'The Ice' in 2017, Mao has been getting lots of messages and letters from fans saying that they want to see more of Mao's skating. This is one of the inspiration for Mao to decide to skate more in the format of ice shows.

But having served as the 'chair' of 'The Ice' in the past couple of years, Mao knows well that it takes a lot to put up a show like that. And to start another show, one of the main concerns is the cost of the ticket. It's just like what Mai said in the press conference: 'I had friends who came to 'The Ice' and enjoyed the show, but they reflected that they couldn't afford to have their family members joining them, as the tickets were too expensive.' So to reduce the potential costs for producing the ice show, they have come up with ideas such as: holding the tour at the existing ice rinks/arena without spending money putting up the ice; saving the money from getting new choreography (so use the previous programs skated by Mao and re-working on the choreography by Mao herself); also saving money from inviting skaters from oversea (instead holding audition to recruit domestic skaters to be the tour members). Other considerations also include to tour around as many locations as possible (so that the audiences don't make extra cost to travel to major cities just for the show) and the tour could be in running for a longer term (not just a couple of weeks during the summer time).

In the end, I think the 'Mao thanks tour' is more like this ice show:'let me bring my skating to your place and to show my appreciation' from Mao-chan!
That's wonderful. Very classy from the incomparable Mao Asada!
 

livetoskate

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I'm excited to hear about Mao's new show. Does anyone know more about the other skaters in the show? Other than her sister Mai and Takahito Mura, none of the others sound familiar. Maybe some fan in Japan will put video clips on Instagram or YouTube.
 

cohkaix

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I'm excited to hear about Mao's new show. Does anyone know more about the other skaters in the show? Other than her sister Mai and Takahito Mura, none of the others sound familiar.
I'll try to provide some info for some of the skaters, one by one (but I'm not familiar with everyone either. So feel free to add further info if anyone can!)



Nagisa Hoshi (Hayashi)

(Twitter: https://twitter.com/nagihsk8)

Website (in Japanese): https://figureskatingteamdoke.jimdo.com/講師紹介/



Nagi is a FS instructor at Genesisyamamoto FS club. She represented Japan internationally during her competitive career. She has participated in All Japan National from 2005 to 2007 (but withdrawn from the competition in 2008). She graduated from Waseda University.


(Just found out that Nagi is actually married and has two kids! So Hayashi is her old name and now it's Hoshi.)

Adding: by the recent update from Nagi, it looks like Mao and the tour members have arrived in Niigata!
 

cohkaix

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Seiya Hashimoto

Istagram: https://www.instagram.com/seiya.h0713/

Seiya graduated from Meiji U in 2013, that was also his last year as competitive skater. During 2014-17 he was a member of the summer show 'Prince Ice World'.

Sei Kawahara

Probably more people will be familiar with Sei? He just announced his retirement from competitive skating recently. He has attended JGP several times and GP Skate Canada in 15-16 season (placing 10th)
 

cohkaix

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Updates on the tour:

Mao, Mai and Mura held a skating class for local skaters in Niigata yesterday. (It seems that they're using the rink when the Russian Olympians were training in Niigata). News about the skating class (in Japanese):
https://www.niikei.jp/3275/
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/lnews/niigata/20180502/1030002939.html
http://www.niigata-nippo.co.jp/news/national/20180501390469.html

Also from the social media accounts of several tour members, they were getting ready for the show throughout the day. Now the press is releasing news and photos from rehearsal:
https://www.daily.co.jp/general/2018/05/02/0011219341.shtml?ph=1
https://www.daily.co.jp/general/2018/05/02/0011219341.shtml

Mao said she feels quite touched...almost everything from audition, choreography to costumes is mostly self-created/self-designed and they've been preparing for the tour in the past 6 month. Good luck to the opening tomorrow!!
 

clairecloutier

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I have to say that I think it's very revealing of Mao's character that she has undertaken such a tour. Just the fact that she's devoted an entire tour, and months of her time, to reaching fans who might not be able to afford tickets for a bigger, more traditionally star-studded tour, says so much. This is not something she had to do, and it doesn't sound like something that's been easy to plan, either, because it's so different. The fact that she's doing it anyhow is fascinating to me. There is a lack of ego consideration here, too. If Japan is anything like the U.S., skating in smaller arenas probably means not having all the comforts and perks Mao is accustomed to, and also possibly these arenas may not be able to spotlight her in quite the way she's used to (e.g., with full lighting, etc.). Yet she does it anyhow. :love:
 

rosewood

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I have to say that I think it's very revealing of Mao's character that she has undertaken such a tour. Just the fact that she's devoted an entire tour, and months of her time, to reaching fans who might not be able to afford tickets for a bigger, more traditionally star-studded tour, says so much. This is not something she had to do, and it doesn't sound like something that's been easy to plan, either, because it's so different. The fact that she's doing it anyhow is fascinating to me. There is a lack of ego consideration here, too. If Japan is anything like the U.S., skating in smaller arenas probably means not having all the comforts and perks Mao is accustomed to, and also possibly these arenas may not be able to spotlight her in quite the way she's used to (e.g., with full lighting, etc.). Yet she does it anyhow. :love:
THIS

Thanks @cohkaix for taking your time for sharing all the info!
 

rosewood

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Here's a news clip of the skating lesson for Niigata local skaters from elementary to Jr high school students. The lesson was held by invitation from the local government. It looks she was trying her best to inspire them as well as teaching basic skating skills to them. Seeing her teaching the basic SS routines that she actually did under Mr Sato was touching to me. Probably she picked up the routines which she thinks effective for the local young skaters to do within the limited time of the lesson. Her effortless twizzles were gorgeous and inspiring, crock wise and counter crock wise, on outside edge and inside edge. Mura's huge 3A must be inspiring for them too.

https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/991644292123844609/pu/vid/640x360/d_Sz5k1lzNZdobJC.mp4

Above all it was nice to see Mao's face shining when she was teaching young skaters. She must truly love what she's doing/starting right now.




ETA:
Oh I found the news clip above didn't show the whole demonstration of twizzles. Here is a longer version. She did on inside edge to both direction and then on outside edge to both direction. She said to the skaters that it'll help choreography for stsq if you can do twizzles on both feet [, so try them].
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/991614834054545409/pu/vid/720x720/o8uEgbOJh0Qf5jH1.mp4
 
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rosewood

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On a poster of MTT in my avatar it says "感謝の気持ちをお届けします" (=I'll deliver my gratitude to you.) The sentence was shocking to me. A legendary skater pays all the efforts to build up a whole new show for delivering her gratitude to everyone (to me!) sounds kinda crazy. hahaha! Who other than Mao wants to do so and make it actually possible? Maybe there are just a handful of skaters if it's not only Mao. MTT has such a unique concept.

Here's a news clip from yesterday's dress rehearsal. Mao dropped big tear drops saying "Everyone really did his/her best for this show. (wiping her tears) I'm glad it's taking a shape." Awwwww
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/991699451013091330/pu/vid/1280x720/b2xyEV8YGf6Gmqbc.mp4

As @cohkaix posted above, Mao did everything for this show. She's an organizer, producer, show director - collaborated with other staffs on choreography, costume designs, choosing programs/musics - and the main performer who skates 10 out of 16 numbers in the 1 hour and a half long show. Maybe it was tough for cast too, since most of them are kind of unseen skaters who are mom, students from Mongolia and Spain, or skaters who never experienced skating in a big show. Drawing them into spotlights is one of Mao's wishes for MTT, but maybe it was not an easy path. I think her tears were for gratitude to those cast and other staffs who did their best to make the show take a shape.

These are her thoughts on MTT which were mentioned here and there on TV she appeared on recently or essays in magazines published recently.

1) When she was still competing, she noticed tickets for ice shows were/are so expensive. So she wanted to keep tickets for MTT cheap and at the same time she travels across the country to be more accessible for everyone who gave up coming to ice shows for the reasons.

2) For reducing costs she skates with 7 skaters who took the audition other than Mura and Mai. Mao herself skates the biggest numbers of programs she did ever in one show.

3) Only a handful of skaters can skate in ice shows. Mao wishes MTT to be a stage where skaters can shine in spotlights, who had to give up skating for various reasons even though they love skating.

4) Mao wishes there will be chances for as many kids as possible to be interested in skating. For that reason she wants as many families with kids as possible to come to MTT.

5) Mao wishes MTT to deliver her gratitude to every her fan. She also wishes MTT will contribute to prosperity of this sport itself.


Another news clip from the dress rehearsal
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/991815290362052608/pu/vid/640x360/1ildEPLdo0DBadtx.mp4?tag=3

Mao never takes easy paths even after her retirement and tries to push the boundary of something, so I as a fan can't stay relaxed YET. xD
 
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Miki89

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I’m so proud to be Mao’s fan! She’s so good to her fans. It also shows that she had given considerable thought to how she could continue to promote figure skating after retirement. :)
 

cohkaix

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Thanks to @rosewood who can explain everything better than me. I was waiting for reports from twitter, but I got that there seemed to be no camera nor media for the 1st show today. And now there are clips of news reports....I also feel soooo proud to be one of Mao's 'aunties'!! From the clips I saw so far everything was AMAZING!! Mao definitely brings her skating to another level...Madame Butterfly with great costume~ all the group numbers...and she retains that strength and speed when skating competitively. I'm so glad now that everything goes well for the first day of MTT...and it will get better and better, I believe, with the following stops.

Adding: just realise the clip above is probably from yesterday's rehearsal. Here's another longer one of the news report from today's shows (shared on twitter): https://twitter.com/fujitubo5963/status/991989086423470081
 

rosewood

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I’m so proud to be Mao’s fan! She’s so good to her fans. It also shows that she had given considerable thought to how she could continue to promote figure skating after retirement. :)
@Miki89, you are/were one of the winds beneath Mao's wings! :):40beers:
 

rosewood

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Thanks so much rosewood! We all are. :):saint:
I am always so grateful for the translations and news provided by you and cohkaix to us overseas fans. Thank you so much!
Yes, we all are! Kudos to us who survived on a terrific rollercoaster which Mao drives! :lol::respec:

Thanks to @rosewood who can explain everything better than me. I was waiting for reports from twitter, but I got that there seemed to be no camera nor media for the 1st show today. And now there are clips of news reports....I also feel soooo proud to be one of Mao's 'aunties'!! From the clips I saw so far everything was AMAZING!! Mao definitely brings her skating to another level...Madame Butterfly with great costume~ all the group numbers...and she retains that strength and speed when skating competitively. I'm so glad now that everything goes well for the first day of MTT...and it will get better and better, I believe, with the following stops.

Adding: just realise the clip above is probably from yesterday's rehearsal. Here's another longer one of the news report from today's shows (shared on twitter): https://twitter.com/fujitubo5963/status/991989086423470081
http://www.niigata-nippo.co.jp/sp/news/movie/detail.html?bid=5779800620001 Link to local news website with video clip about one of the shows.
:love::love: Love love love Mao's maturity. And I'm relieved to hear good reactions in reports from people who went to today's shows. There were both types of people 1) local people who saw an ice show for the first time and 2) Mao's fans who go to her shows every year. Sounds both types of people loved MTT. I'm relieved. Congrats to Mao for starting a magical tour! :cheer:

ETA:I'm also glad to hear every skater was given a part where s/he can shine and it was appreciated by the crowd.
 
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chapis

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Thank you to all of you for the information. Mao is truly an angel :wuzrobbed, she is so considered and talented :swoon:. I'm so proud to be her fan, but if she really wants to thank her fans, the show has to come to Mexico (jk) :p.
 

rosewood

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Thank you to all of you for the information. Mao is truly an angel :wuzrobbed, she is so considered and talented :swoon:. I'm so proud to be her fan, but if she really wants to thank her fans, the show has to come to Mexico (jk) :p.
LOL You need to ask your country's government to invite an inspiring show like MTT. You can invent any reason. ;)

Actually I heard Mao's got some offers from local governments other than the ten cities where it's already announced that MTT is held. Mao said she wishes to travel around all the 47 out of 47 prefectures in Japan within a few years. Also MTT would be the final show where Mao skates her own programs that she skated during competitive career. I guess she'll start a new show after she's satisfied with MTT.
 

Miki89

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The Niigata news video clip is not working for me anymore for some reason. :wuzrobbed I wanted to rewatch it again because it showed Mao's entire Rach sequence. Hopefully, fan videos of performances will be posted online soon.
 

rosewood

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The Niigata news video clip is not working for me anymore for some reason. :wuzrobbed I wanted to rewatch it again because it showed Mao's entire Rach sequence. Hopefully, fan videos of performances will be posted online soon.
How about this link?
http://www.niigata-nippo.co.jp/sp/news/movie/detail.html?bid=5779879393001

If still impossible, scroll down, and you see Mao in Rach2 costume, crick on it, the video may start in this way.


ETA:
Not a whole but this clip has most of the stsq from Rach2.
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/991980920327426050/pu/vid/640x360/FGX60nPE1ghc1Omv.mp4
 
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rosewood

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Here's another news clip which has Bells of Moscow in which Mura did a 3A-2T. BoM is such a men's program. It also as a bit of Mao's skate in Madame Butterfly in white kimono costume which looks like a costume in a opera video.
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/991980057479462913/pu/vid/1280x720/38zvNtE2OVsOuSFS.mp4?tag=3

I heard that surprisingly hip hop dancers collaborated for MTT. DAZZLE worked on choreography/arrangement for Por Una Cabeza and Masquerade Waltz. And CRE8BOY worked on Clair de Lune and Over the Rainbow. Other than that Mao herself arranged her former programs into group numbers or shorter versions etc.
 

Miki89

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How about this link?
http://www.niigata-nippo.co.jp/sp/news/movie/detail.html?bid=5779879393001

If still impossible, scroll down, and you see Mao in Rach2 costume, crick on it, the video may start in this way.

ETA:
Not a whole but this clip has most of the stsq from Rach2.
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/991980920327426050/pu/vid/640x360/FGX60nPE1ghc1Omv.mp4
Yes. The link works now. Thanks so much! :)

It is so wonderful to see Mao skating to her Rach Step Sequence and in the original blue dress (which is one my favorite costumes). Her skating is so effortless and light that she really appears to glide above the ice rather than skate. :love::swoon:

I wish that Daisuke can skate with Mao during one of her tours. They can talk about starting a skating company that Dai mentioned in an interview last year. :biggrinbo
 
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livetoskate

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What a wonderful show, bringing more publicity about skating to more parts of Japan. Mao looks radiant and fit. It is also a great opportunity for lesser-known skaters to do some show skating.

Do you know why she started crying when talking to the media? Maybe more videos will show up later on Instagram or Twitter. On the Takahito Mura fb fanpage, there's a pic of Mura and another male skater shooting video, with a caption saying he's doing it for Instagram.
 

rosewood

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What a wonderful show, bringing more publicity about skating to more parts of Japan. Mao looks radiant and fit. It is also a great opportunity for lesser-known skaters to do some show skating.

Do you know why she started crying when talking to the media? Maybe more videos will show up later on Instagram or Twitter. On the Takahito Mura fb fanpage, there's a pic of Mura and another male skater shooting video, with a caption saying he's doing it for Instagram.
Which one? If it's the scene in this news clip from dress rehearsal day, my quick translation is below:
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/991963463936131073/pu/vid/1280x720/fB25hz0Qd09WrlOd.mp4
Narration: She's prepared for this show for as long time as half a year. The opening day is coming finally.
Mao: Many of the cast have never skated in a show. (started crying) Sorry. Couldn't stop choking up. Really, all of them did their best. I'm glad the show has taken shape. (dropped big tear drops again) I'm sorry. It's just...
 

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