Fancy footwork and a few falls mark show
||January 1, 2000|
Copyright 2000 Boston Herald Inc.
"Target Stars on Ice" at the FleetCenter, Boston, Thursday night.
To the crowd at the FleetCenter Thursday night, the champion skaters
of "Target Stars on Ice" could do no wrong. The skaters, who included
Olympians Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Tara Lipinski, Ilia Kulik
and Ekaterina Gordeeva, as well as world champion Kurt Browning and
British Champion Steven Cousins, were free from the watchful eyes and
number scoring that they're so used to during Olympic and world
competitions; they were performing for a crowd of fans. But on Thursday
night it seemed they might have taken their freedom a bit too seriously.
There were four falls in the program's first half - Yamaguchi,
Hamilton and Gordeeva went down. But the crowd continued its loud
cheering as if they were passionate spectators at a world
competition. Admittedly, each performer's energy level was high and
their routines were full of personality.
Hamilton, known not only for winning numerous medals throughout his
career, but also for his fight against cancer, was the best entertainer
of the evening. His solo pieces - a funny caricature to Paul Simon's
"You Can Call Me Al" and a skaters's spoof on ballet, set to music from
"Don Quixote" - revealed his lighter side. He added his signature back
flip to each routine and made it through those smoothly.
Lipinski shook things up with snazzy, almost mischievous attitude
throughout the program. Her technique was flawless, and she hit every
jump and turn without a hitch. Lipinski, the youngest in the group whose
most recent medal was first place in the 1998 Olympics, skated like she
was still in competition mode.
Gordeeva had a beautiful, serene way of moving, yet she got visibly
frustrated after falling, then getting tangled up with a ribbon during
one solo. Yamaguchi was also graceful when she skated to Paul Simon's
"A Bridge Over Troubled Water" - part of a Simon and Garfunkel montage
that closed the program's first half - but watching her lose her focus
and fall in the middle was disappointing.
After intermission, Kurt Browning did a disco-saturated number that
was show-stopping in the way he moved on the ice like it was a hardwood
dance floor, and Ilia Kulik was charming, in an aw-shucks kind of way,
in "Baseball Cap."
U.S. National Dance Champions Renee Roca and Gorsha Sur performed
one of the two classical numbers on the program - "Ghost" to music by
Bande Original Du Film. Elena Bechke and Denis Petrov smoothly pulled
off the other, a czardas, where he lifted her overhead with one arm,
then swung her off the ice by her arm.
Theirs was an example of how breathtaking ice skating can be - even
without on-the-edge-of-your-seat jumps and turns.