memories from stars on ice toronto

it's been more than a week since i sat in the stands and watched the stars on ice toronto show. of course, the highlight for me was meeting tessa and scott in the pre-show. you can read about it here. still, other things caught my eye ... unfortunately, too much time has elapsed for me to string the review into a narrative. so, below, you'll find the memories that remain vivid.

- i saw javier fernandez dash out of the air canada centre. of course, he was mobbed by fans who were waiting for the pre-show but he graciously stopped for photos before jetting off.

- i also managed to see the back of marie-france dubreuil, but only because i turned around a second too late.

- while sitting in row 9, i had a good view of the staircase that led to a lower level. once, i looked down randomly and saw kaitlyn weaver, tiffed out with her golden hair streaming around her face. andrew was by her side. they stared out at the ice for a few moments with a smile on their faces before waving at the skaters.

- kurt browning came out after the pre-show practice in shorts and slid over the ice in his sneakers. i think he was looking to retreive something. a few fans caught up with him and he stopped to pose for a few photos with them. the spotlight of the flash lit up that area of the rink.

- patrick chan was obsessed with his hat. he focused on catching it in various positions during his practice before executing various sections of his exhibition. skaters need to be off the ice by at least 5:30 p.m. to prep for the show and at 5:15 p.m., he was still the last skater gliding over the ice.

- the way the cast used their entire bodies during their opening number to gotye's "somebody that i used to know" was fascinating. backs were arched so far backward that i think skaters had to recalculate where their centre of gravity came from. tessa opened the routine with high, backward kicks. quirky, indeed and no one broke character even as they left the ice.

- joannie has obviously grown as a performer and her individual routines were lovely, but to me the only one who can hold their own while skating against jeff buttle is kurt.

- tessa actually said her lindt lines with relative ease this year.

- the movements in "stay" are small. when i saw this in the first fan video of this new exhibition, i was disappointed, which is why i was originally not too impressed with the 2013 tour. but after watching all the other ladies perform, especially the other female ice dancer, sinead kerr, i can say that tessa demonstrates more musicality when using the tips of her fingers than other ladies show when using their whole body. in one scene, tessa jumps back and moves arms, bending it only at her elbows. yet there was such flow, such understanding of the character, the notes and the simplicity that was needed that i sat there impressed. they and jennifer swan stripped ice dance and the song to their cores and with honest and simple movements, conveyed what it's like to be vulnerable, disturbed and a moment too late when it comes to love.

- i came for "carmen", but left stunned by "stay" -- but i just have to point out that the isu needs to rethink their costume rules. the catsuit created such a different mood than the two carmen dresses that tessa wore over the season. it was a great performance, but if i had the chance to see one version of carmen, i'd be in the stands at 2012 skate canada practice. even icenetwork continues to prove my point: that this debut was the stuff of legends.

- the introduction to the world champion number was highly effective. the announcer would call out a name with the label "world champion" and the spotlight would hit that skater. you can see how much tessa has accomplished because out of the current crop of canadian world champions, she was the only lady. she held her own because, as the only lady, the focus was on her and many moves depended on her. fans noted how she held amazing body lines in lifts with no one really supporting her in key areas. she's only up there, back arched and toes pointed, because of her ability to control her body in the air.

- the cast numbers weren't as cohesive as last year's. for the 2012 tour, the group numbers were all clearly done for the theme of "love n' life". this year, there was no discernable theme, but they were still enjoyable.

- this tour used a lot of water. whether it was the rain pouring over kurt in his "singing in the rain" exhibition or it was a bucket of water being thrown on a skater, the ice was soaking wet in places. unfortunately, ashley wagner fell in one of these puddles, making the fall worse.

- when i left the arena, i found lindt staff standing there, waiting to give chocolate samples to everyone leaving each gate. i did take one of the milk chocolate packages and joined the crowd as we all went in the direction that would take us home.

No comments: