Stars on Ice
Kurt List

An Interview with Kurt Browning

November, 2001

Kurt was kind enough to agree to do a joint interview about his 2001 special, Gotta Dance, for the Kurt Files/Kurt List and What a Wonderful World, his official newsletter (edited by Bea Gobee). The first part of the interview was posted on this site back in November 2001, while the second part was printed in WAWW's January 2002 issue. This is the complete interview. This special featured Kurt, Brian Orser, Steven Cousins, Yuka Sato & Jason Dungjen, Nicole Bobek, Josee Chouinard, Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler, and Renee Roca & Gorsha Sur, as well as Ann Reinking, Tommy Tune, Ben Vereen, Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, and Sonia Rodriguez, Kurt's wife.

Q: How did you come up with the theme to your show?

A: The theme of the show was thought up by Steve Disson. He was my partner in putting this together and he took care of everything TV and Sponsorship oriented. He just thought that with my style of skating and with Sonia being a dancer that it was a good fit.

Q: Who decides on the music selections?

A: The music is mostly chosen by Leanne Miller. She put together the basic look and feel of the show. I made tons of decisions but basically she was in charge of most of it. Each individual skater, with suggestions from us, brought their own music.

Q: Have you worked with any of the non-skating stars prior to the show (excluding Sonia, of course)?

A: I had never worked with any of the dancers before. Tommy, Ann and Ben were amazing people. Very professional and very cool. Ed Robertson of the Bare Naked Ladies,,,, well he and I were friends before but we had never worked together before. He did put together the solo in which we talk to each other while I skate in our living room. I will also be doing that number in Stars this year but it will have a MUCH different feel to it.

Q: Was there anyone you would have loved to have in the show that wasn't able to participate?

A: Tough question.. to answer it would make the people who were there feel less. Actually, I was very happy with the cast except for Scott Hamilton getting injured just before and not being able to come and participate. He is doing fine by the way.

Q: How much involvement did you have in the creative process/choreography?

A: I was very involved. I chose music and I chose skaters. As far as choreography, we kept the group stuff very very simple.

Q: Did you choreograph the opening and closing numbers yourself?

A: It was Leanne who did that work. I made suggestions.

Q: How much rehearsal time went into the show?

A: We were together for two days beforehand.

Q: How do you like the executive producing? What is involved in that?

A: I like it because I liked the project. I thought that my biggest job was helping with the look and feel of the show with Leanne. Having conversations between people in the show was my idea. Having slick plastic over the edge of the stage so I could step up and join Sonia for a second on her level and then have her join me on my level (ice) was all part of the job.

Q: Who made the decision to move the show to Vancouver and why?

A: The show went to Vancouver for many reasons. The biggest being that it was thought tickets would sell there.

Q: What was the most challenging part of putting this special together?

A: Finding time and money to make it a worthwhile event for everyone involved.

Q: What has been the most fun?

A: Having Sonia on the ice with me and being able to blend our talents was the best part.

Q: What one memory in particular will you take with you once the show is finished?

A: See Question 11. I think that it was being so proud of Sonia.

Kurt adds the following:

When it comes to the show "Gotta Dance", I was nervous in a different way. I usually only have to worry about the skating, but in this situation I had all sorts of things to worry about.

One of the biggest things was the talent in the show. The skaters, singers and dancers. This being the first LIVE show I had ever had my name on, I was worried about everything. Having Leanne Miller working for me and knowing that the show was (or could be), a good one, made me relax.

What I thought was going to be a real nervous night ended up being truly fun. The whole evening was great, but I did have some highlights.

Having Sonia (my wife), with me in a show was a treat for both of us. We had been looking for a chance to work together and this was a great opportunity.

Sonia danced with Rex Harrington and also did a number with Lloyd and Jason carrying her. It was super fun and romantic too...wait and see.

Another wonderful part was working on the ice while my friend Ed Robertson played guitar. He is a member of the Bare Naked Ladies and one of the funniest guys I have ever met.

Both of us were wearing microphones and so we could talk to each other during the number. He was making me laugh and, hopefully, we made some of the audience laugh as well.

The event ended with all of the performers together on the stage. Whew.

Now they are already talking about what to do next year. Sigh!


P.S.: Look for me skating across the stage at one point...yes...right across the stage.