Stars on Ice
Kurt List

Kurt Browning's Gotta Dance

GM Place, Vancouver, BC, Oct. 26, 2001

written by Nancy

Where to begin? Most of you have already read various reviews posted on the boards, so I won't attempt to repeat what has already been said about the show. I'd much rather give you my personal perceptions of the concept Kurt was trying to capture and the good news: he did indeed succeed. Although, as already mentioned, there were problems with audio throughout the show, this special, once edited, should be quite unique. I for one can't wait to see this in the "final"version. Surely, much will have to be chacked. There were obvious problems but considering the amount of entertainment we were lucky enough to witness, WOW! This is certainly going to be one you all will want for your video collections!

The biggest problem I have is trying to remember all there was, especially considering I've only had 4 hours sleep & spent most of the time on an airplane. LOL Had there been a program this might have made it easier. But, unfortunately, we're stuck with my memory, which leaves much to be desired. Suffice it to say I was delighted to see that Kurt was listed as "Creative Director." One thing, by the end of the evening while they were doing the retakes, Kurt mentioned that he had already done his in rehearsals. My bet is that most of this special was already shot and "in the can" earlier in the day.

Fittingly, the show opened with Kurt stepping out on ice in black shirt, black pants, and red print scarf belt (ala Gene Kelly). one problem: He's in shoes rather than skates and looks around a bit perplexed. (Music: Gotta Dance (Gene Kelly). Sonia then appears on stage in a red halter dress, provocatively dancing behind Kurt as the remainder of the cast skates out on ice to the music of Gene Kelly. She appears with his skates and slinks toward him and gives them to him. He sits & puts on his skates as the cast skates to (from what I remember), more Gotta Dance then when his skates are laced up and he's on his feet the music switches to Singing in the Rain (with Josee, Renee (?) & Yuka now in pastel rain coats). He then skates around them and uses some of the famous choreography we all know & love! End of opening.

Now, I'm going to be jumping around a bit, but I noticed there were many of you there so I'm sure you'll be able to correct any mistakes I make.

My primary review will be on Kurt:

Nyah. (Wore the tank top). Not as strong as I'm used to seeing this piece, but still impressive. (Partial standing "O").

Kurt (joking with Ed about the shirt - orange & yellow 70's shirt & black pants) -- skated in a sort of ad-lib style with Ed (BNL) playing the guitar piece. (The one we've all heard about). Ed joked about how Sonia wouldn't let Ed leave their home until he finished the number. Both were miked and seemed to be having a marvelous time. You could definitely see these two are friends. As Ed played, Kurt skated around him doing lots of footwork & edging. A platform had been brought out on ice at the opposite end of the ice where the stage was. This is where Ed was positioned. Unfortunately, we couldn't hear all the dialogue due to the poor mike situation that continued throughout the evening, but what we could hear was a riot. Lot's of banter and one upsmanship!

Ben Vereen came out and sang Mr. Bojangles and about half way through Kurt appeared on ice in my favorite costume of the year, or the last 3 years for that matter. Black pants, white shirt, black vest and black fedora (very sexy). Lots of footwork. At one point during the number it appeared that Kurt skated across the stage. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. This will really be something when televised!

BNL number. (Sorry, don't know the name of this piece). This I assume Kurt will be using in competitions as well as w/SOI this year. (Wearing green tee shirt with silver threading & black pants.) The choreography reminded me of a cross between "Antaras" & "Ain't No Sunshine". He doubled the triple axle, but the height of the jump was incredible. (Actually, all of his jumps were huge!). There was no sign of any problem with the knee and I couldn't tell by looking at him that he was wearing a brace. The only problem he had was the 3T he did toward the end of the program. He went splat. Again, while the others did retakes, he said that his retakes had been done during rehearsal that day. Of course the crowd wouldn't let that go, and with some prodding he did a 3T.

Another highlight for me was the number he did with Sonia. It was so beautiful & so sweet. She on stage dancing -- he on ice skating. It also appeared at one point that Kurt skated across the stage. I think the number was something like "First You Have to Dream" with references to "flying." Jason & Gorsha took part in lifting her off the stage onto ice while she posed beautifully in different positions, flowing across ice and ultimately into Kurt's arms. Gorsha & Jason passed her from one to the other until ultimately she ended up in Kurt's arms and they kissed. ..At least I think they did: hard to tell from my vantage. After their bows, he lifted her in his arms and carried her off ice. Lovely! This will be another unique number I'm anxious to see on TV. J

Other highlights for me:

It was a special treat to finally see Sonia dance with her partner for the evening (Rex) to Vivaldi's "Summer." I was totally mesmerized. Just lovely.

The combination of the special guests was very interesting to watch as well. Tommy Tune, Anne Reinking & Ben Vereen doing "Feelin' Groovy", was very different from what you might have expected. Their voices blended beautifully. The skaters watched from chairs on ice. Thought this was a great way of showing the respect the skaters have for these performers.

Lloyd & Izzy in person! Wow, are they fun to watch, tricks and all. Only full standing "O" the entire evening.

Brian & Tommy Tune - the Chicago number. Very interesting and very well done. Brian was in perfect sync with Tommy's tap dancing.

When it was time for retakes, Kurt came out and genuinely thanked everyone for coming. He was so excited and very touched at the response from the audience. He thanked the sponsors for their support. (Got a kick out of his reference to "AFLAK", sounded just like the commercial!) He also thanked his special guests and said, "I can't believe I actually shared the same stage and took bows with Anne, Ben & Tommy Tune!" He was so excited!

I'm sure much more will come to mind when I get some sleep. I'll try to update as I remember. All in all, a great evening of entertainment. Even with the mike problems, it was an exceptional. Can't wait to get this on tape!