Feb 17, 2013
What I'm Watching...2.0
Where music and movement blends together into one seamless, beautiful whole. I still have no idea who Alexander Johnson is, but apparently Tom Dickson is his choreographer...which explains everything.
This program--especially the choreographic sequence--makes my cold, empty husk of a heart melt into a puddle every single time. At this point, I think O has officially surpassed West Side Story as my favorite Akiko Suzuki program.
Is it ok to like this performance when it's a 12-year-old girl portraying a beautiful Vietnamese girl who falls in love with an American soldier during the Vietnam War who later becomes a crazed exotic dancer when he abandons her? No ladies skater today would ever dare to skate a program like this, much less a 12-year-old one. I'm trying to decide whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but what's unquestionable is that Joanna Ng displays absolutely incredible performance quality and style for someone who was quite literally a child at the time.
Shadows/Barcelona Nights is the program that seduced me to the joys of Oksana Baiul's skating (let's, uh, temporarily forget about all the stuff she did from the late 90s on).
For over four years, I've desperately tried to find a video of this performance online. Finally, one has recently surfaced on Youtube, and I'm glad to see that Jeremy Abbott's performance at the 2008 Grand Prix Final was as good as I remembered. With beautiful, difficult transitions that work with the music, rich and nuanced choreography, stunning music and a lovely flow and ease in all his movements, this is one of Jeremy Abbott's finest performances (and THE best performance among the men during the rather dismal 2008-2009 season).
Tatiana Tarasova before she went choreographically bonkers with the advent of IJS was SO GOOD at packaging* and choreographing for her students. Ilia Kulik wasn't as good a performer during his competitive years as he turned out to be during his pro years, but his gorgeous jumps, great basic skating and the sane!Tarasova choreography made up for it. Check out the 2A coming directly off of his step sequence, choreographed perfectly to the music. Ignore the sit spin positions. Drool over his jumps and flow over the ice.
*Rhapsody in Moo costume notwithstanding