Stars on Ice
Kurt List

Celebration on Ice

Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre - Sarnia, ON - Dec. 18, 2003
written by Judy

I attended the Celebration on Ice show in Sarnia on Thursday night. I'll just give a brief synopsis and highlight Kurt's skating.

The cast included Kurt, Brasseur and Eisler, Bourne and Kratz, Jennifer Robinson, Joannie Rochette, Brian Orser, and Donald Jackson. The male Russian acrobat act also appeared; unfortunately I can never remember their names. Josee Chouinaird was the announcer.

There was a group opening number to a medley of Christmas music. Kurt skated center ice with Brian Orser and Donald Jackson, all three of them Canadian and World champions.

They announced that 5 male Canadian World champions were on the ice together. Lloyd Eisler (and Isabelle Brasseur) skated out with Victor Kraatz (and Shae-Lynn Bourne). It was breath taking to see all of them skating together.

Kurt's first solo number was Slippery Side Up. There was a slight Christmas theme in that Kurt was chasing after a Christmas present that happened to be a large wrapped box with skates on the bottom (and an unknown female skater inside). This number from last year's SOI has no jumps, but lots and lots of great footwork. It was as great as usual.

The ice was not in great shape and there were multiple wet spots where the ice didn't quite freeze. Near the beginning of the program where Kurt comes out and does a 'belly flop' on the ice it was truly a splash for him and he looked stunned and a bit cold. I was lucky to have an on-ice seat about 8 feet away from this 'plunge'. But Kurt kept on going and was very entertaining (as always).

The end of the program was slightly modified. He finally catches up with the wrapped present (a box about 3 feet high and two feet wide and deep) and gives it a big hug. But then it runs away and kurt exits the ice chasing after it.

He had the same costume from SOI : baggy jeans, white t-shirt, and red hat. I thought a santa hat might have added some flair, but maybe next year.

His second solo was to 'Big Dog Daddy' and I really love seeing this in person. TV doesn't do it justice. His jumps included a double salchow, double axel, and a triple toe. He fell on the double axel just seconds before the end of the number but he recovered quickly.

What srikes me about this program is that his footwork is intense and powerful. He does a lot of strong stroking and edgework. The speed is not comparable to Yagudin's straight line sequence, but Kurt's is stronger because he uses his whole body in sync with the skate. As he skates by you can hear the crisp edges and see the imprints in the ice. It was another crowd pleaser and a standing ovation.

There was a generic group finale and Kurt skated with Brian Orser. They landed side by side double axels twice during the finale. And I thought their timing was perfect. It's obvious that they've skated together before and could hear the beat of the music as a cue.

Another highlight of the evening was seeing Donald Jackson skate live. He won the Worlds in Prague in 1962 (before Kurt was born). He did a double flips and double salchows. I was quite impressed (and honored) and Donald was obviously having a great time. He recived a standing ovation for his solo.

Overall the show was an average show. Kurt and Donald Jackson were the definite highlights (and well above average). The show also featured some local skaters and I figured their families were in the audience because they got louder applause than the top billed skaters. I'm sure it was exciting for these skaters and they joined the finale and did a skate around with the cast.