Stars on Ice
Kurt List

Celebration on Ice - Owen Sound, ON - Dec. 19, 2010

written by Tina

I'm hoping to write a more thorough review after the Newmarket show, but here are my thoughts on the Kurt-specific parts of Celebration on Ice today in Owen Sound.

Kurt's second program was "Steppin' Out Of My Mind", a program he devised to give the audience some insight into his thoughts as he skates. He had the music reorchestrated and the lyrics adapted to be more skating-related, and the song re-recorded by his friend Geoffrey Tyler. At the same time, Kurt's voice runs over the music, ostensibly his thoughts, all unaware that people can actually hear them, a mixture of humor, doubts, worries, and poking fun at himself. I'd heard about the program long before seeing it, and wasn't sure what to expect. Well, I LOVE Steppin' Out of My Mind. Kurt's voiceover is cute and funny (though I'm not sure the audience really got it - they didn't react much), and the lyrics become increasingly skating-related (going from Steppin' Out with my baby to Steppin' out with my skates, I believe), which is all fine and creative and great. But the *skating*. The *FOOTWORK*. SO good. Kurt just flies around the ice - I don't understand that man's sense of balance or his ability to move his feet at lightning speed. And it's all different! Twists and turns, dancing on the toepicks, direction changes, stuff in place, stuff that floats across the ice. So very cool. I love how the program starts out more simply, with Kurt skating around doing amazing footwork and with his thoughts sometimes reflecting doubt or jokingly puffing out his chest, or whatever, but then as he suddenly decides not to get stuck in his head, the program just builds. Violetta comes out with a coat with tails for him, then throws him a hat, a cane, and it just gets more and more exuberant and showmanlike. I don't think a program of his has made me quite so happy since I'm Yours. And this one actually makes me more immediately happy.

River was also beautiful, but Kurt was having an off night with it, especially by his own standards. He says that he's wearing old skates so he taped them together, so every takeoff felt different, b/c first the boots were too stiff but then with every jump, the tape loosened and changed so he just kept popping jump after jump (though I think he was still doing 2-sal and I guess they must have been single axels). It was actually funny watching him, b/c he was clearly frustrated in his very Kurt-way of including the audience, kept shaking his head after jumps, and after a couple popped axels, crossed himself humorously, getting a laugh from the audience, and then finally landed a clean 2-axel. Then at the end of the program, after the bows, he went and set up and did a 3-sal just to prove he could, and then ran proudly off the ice. The program still was a joy to watch, but it'll be interesting to see it when he has less jump issues with it (and isn't so annoyed by them).

The second act opened (after the local CanSkate skaters performed) with an AWESOME group number, a sort of Champions Revisited. It was Jeff, Jamie & David, Joannie, and Kurt - they came out together and each kind of skated in turn and in tandem but then everyone left the ice but Jeff, and he reprised his (I believe) 2008 Worlds LP. It was actually kind of funny - I think he may have landed more jumps and landed them more solidly when performing this, than in the rest of the show. It's like the memory of the competition just turned up his game. Each of these reprise bits weren't the full programs, but were pretty long and very evocative. Jeff finished as Jamie & David took the ice, and they reprised "Love Story"... and then it was Kurt's turn, doing Casablanca. This was pretty awesome - it was definitely a cut short version, but it featured a lot of the known bits, including the cigarette flick/heel-toe walk that got a big cheer of recognition from the crowd, which was really cool. Joannie was last, performing her Vancouver Olympics LP beautifully. I was really excited during this number, not only b/c it was so incredibly cool to see all these champions do these amazing numbers again, but because it was almost like this was *my* opportunity to shoot these iconic programs!

Overall the show was excellent and I highly recommend it. Looking forward to seeing it again in Newmarket tomorrow!