Stars on Ice
Kurt List

Kristi Yamaguchi's Salute to American Music 2003

Wachovia Center - Philadelphia, PA - Nov. 4, 2003
Written by Hoo

Disclaimer: As usual I was taking photos, so my review is completely from memory not notes. You can repost this review on other sites so long as you credit it to me and let me know where you're putting it.

Opening - Medley: "History" (Styx), "Barracuda" (Heart), "Dream On" (Aerosmith), "Welcome to the Jungle" (Guns-n-Roses), "America" (Prince)

Wylie - "Hero" (Enrique Iglesias)
For one of his first major efforts back on the skating circuit, this was an impressive outing for Paul. He may not be quite back in fighting trim, but he did have his speed back and his triple lutz was a thing of beauty. A 'typical' sort of Wylie program, but it was just great to see him back on the ice doing a full number again!

Sato - "Turn the Beat Around" (Gloria Esefan) a remix of it I think
It's fun to see a energetic pop type program from Yuka, she does them quite well. My only complaint is that it almost seemed like the program was built for Kristi - it just seemed a very 'her' choreography. Yuka took a nasty spill in the program and it sort of threw her off her game in the middle but she nailed it with great spark in the retakes. Cute number.

Cousins - "Under the Bridge" (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
This was an interesting program from Steven, a ballad but one with a harder edge. The program reminded me a lot of "Wicked Game" in the style of movement, where one move sort of rolled/flowed into the next without separate transitions. Steven also showcased some really nice footwork in this program which was trickier than I've seen from his recently. An excellent program.

Roca & Sur - "Everything Must Change" (Nina Simone)
I think this is one of my favorite all-time programs from this team and this version was no exception. I just love their lifts and the way they capture the music and the passion of the song. And this team are such pros that one botched lift they just sort of redid on the spot and if you didn't know the program you might not have noticed it at all. Even though I've seen it more times than I remember, this program was still completely captivating.

Gordeeva - "Circus" (Stelma)
This program was sort of similar to her ribbon number a few years ago with Katia performing with a red scarf to sort of off-beat instrumental music. She was wearing a black bodysuit with a red ribbon running down the front of the costume in diagonals. Katia thankfully has changed her jumping strategy, going for nice clean doubles instead of shaky triples which kept the program together.

Sato & Dungen - "Ribbon in the Sky" (Stevie Wonder)
For a last minute addition, Yuka and Jason did a wonderful job with this program. I've reviewed it a number of times and there wasn't much different from this version. Yuka did land a gorgeous throw triple-something (I'm terrible at ID'ing throws) and it was just huge and flawless.

Alexei - "Feelings" (piano version)
After hearing the great reviews of this program I was really looking forward to it and Alexei didn't disappoint. The music is nice because while it's an instrumental, it's not really a muzak version, but instead has a little punch to it. Alexei landed several triple toes and they all looked good, but the jumps were almost an afterthought in this program. There were lots of flowing moves, footwork, spins and all the other moves that so often get overlooked for the jumps. It was a very moving piece and I can only imagine what it's going to be like when Alexei's performed it more.

Brasseur & Eisler - "A Friend To Me" (Garth Brooks)
This was another good outing for this program from B&E, but after reviewing it twice already this season I just don't have anything left to add.

Browning - "Ding Dong Daddy" (Cherry Poppin Daddies)
Kurt brought down his swing number from his special (and it will likely be one of his SOI numbers for the US tour). While the program started off smart, he unfortunately fell on both double axels so retakes were required. On the second one he lost his hat which then got all snow covered. SO when he picked it up their was sort of a hitch to the program as he tried to clean it off so that they could get it all synced in retakes. He seemed really annoyed by the flow interruption, but he managed to pull it together for the end and in retakes he turned in a a great series of jumps that were just perfect.

Act II

Dancers/Skaters - "Bring Me To Life" (Evenescense)
Normally I am wary of programs that combine dancers with skaters, but this one was really interesting. The dancers were dressed in back with white face paint (think zombie but not gory/creepy) and their choreography fit the lyrics of being brought back to life or reanimated. Each of the four dancers were out on their own platform spaced down the long length of the ice. The girls were each carried out by either Steven, Kurt, Gorsha or Lloyd. The men then skated in between and around the platforms. They were joined at various times by Isabelle, Katia and Renee. BUt the interesting part (that I'm probably going to describe terribly!) is that each of the men performed moves on the ice similar to the dancers on the platforms and sort of interacted with them. I could only really see much of Steven and Lloyd since they had the platforms at my end but those two were both really good. I just hope it comes across on television as well as it did on tv.

Sato - "Angel" (Jewel)
This was your more typical female ballad type program, but that kind of music works so well with Yuka's soft edges that it was really effective. And kudos to Yuka for taking the biggest load of the show - two solos and one pairs routine - she must have amazing strength in her legs!

Roca & Sur - "My Favorite Year" (Michael Feinstein)
This was another fabulous number from this team and another reason I'm thrilled they haven't fully retired yet. They have such unusual lifts that just sort of melt from position to position. They were wearing the red/yellow costumes from the SOI finale a few years back. I really loved this number and can't wait to see it again on the broadcast!

Cousins - "Streets of Philadelphia" (Bruce Springsteen)
When Kristi announced that Steven was skating to this number, it of course got a huge ovation right then and there. It was another program with great lyrical flow from Steven. It was in fact something he choreographed himself. There were lots of long edges and sort of flowing movements that really captured the feel of the music. Costume was plain black shirt and pants. Steven had a really nice triple lutz in the program, one of the best ones I've seen from him recently :)

Brasseur & Eisler - "In The Middle" (Jimmy Eat World)
Not much more that I can say about this program that I haven't said before. It's just a really fantastic piece for them and each time I think it gets better as they become the characters they play. Great high energy as always!

Browning - "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (Elvis)
Not sure why Kurt went back to such an old number, but it was nice to see him revisit an old program with new interpretation. Kurt has altered the choreography in places I think, but it was hard to be sure as it's been a few years since I've seen that program. On a fun aside, Kurt may be keeping the blond hair, he says he's not sure. It grows so fast though that he'll be making a decision soon he says. (I suggested he could always try red or green for his holiday programs ).

Gordeeva - "Sunday Kind of Love" (Etta James)
I liked this program more than her first one and it was a nice program for her. I'm not much of a Katia fan at all but I did like this program. She worse a longer plum dress with a lace pattern that was really pretty on her and especially pretty in her spins.

Yagudin - Racing
Alexei skating this program but it was a little on the weak side. While I realize that Alexei is still recovering from the hip surgery, I think he would have been better off trying a new program instead of this one. Instead this program sort of highlighted that he's still coming back (or at least it did if you've seen it a few times). But even a little on the weak side, it was still a nice program from Alexei with some big triple toes and good footwork.

Finale - "Freedom" (Prince)
I have to say, that of all the Disson shows I've seen over the years this was a total cheap finale and I hesitate to even call it a group number. It consisted of each skater having their name announced and doing a quick trick at center ice and then standing in line. It was a quick spin or leap or the like. It reminded me of the really early COI tours and was quite disappointing for any kind of final piece.