Shizuka Arakawa's Friends on Ice - Yokohama, JP - Aug. 22-23, 2009
written by Sachi
Opening, Let's Get It Started (Choreographer: Yuka Sato)
Shizuka takes the ice first, holding a gymnastics ribbon, and writes
something on the ice. (I could not read it though) Then the rest of
the cast come in and start dancing.
All wearing black T shirts and Jeans. Alphabet is sprayed on the back
of T's. "E" for Evan, "C" for Takeshi, and "I" for Tanith. The letters
should be read as "FRIENDS ON ICE 2009" if they all stand in line, but
they never did LOL
During group numbers, I kept watching Kurt so I have no idea what
others were doing. Hope I can watch them on TV. Evan and Kurt did some
Broadway-ish steps side-by-side, including twizzles. Ben and Kurt did
back to back high-kicking at the center.
Near the end, Kurt quietly leaves the ice, then MC calls the rest of
the skaters' name one by one, and the skater bows and
World Champions, I got rhythm (Choreographer: Yuka Sato)
Shizuka, Yuka, Shae-Lynn, Kurt, Evan, Qing/Jian.
Kurt comes into the ice first, as MC calls his name for the very end
of the previous program. Then he turns around and calls in the other
skaters, saying something. (I could not catch what he was saying)
Now they are draping white shirts over the T shirts and black hats.
One of the cast (I do not remember who was the first) takes another
skater's hat away, then the one without the hat will show off his
move, while others watching and praising him. Then he takes yet
another skater's hat and she will show off her move,...contd.
Shizuka's move is Ina Bauer and Kurt's is shoot-the-duck into the
Jazzy and neat program.
At the end, there is a small podium on the corner of the rink and Kurt
climbs on the top, doing ta-da, raising his arms high up. Then Yuka
pushes him off the podium and takes the pose on it. Shae-Lynn, and
others follow the suit in order of the year of winning, pushing off
the former winner. During the pushing-offs, Shizuka is quietly
waiting on side, and in the end she graciously takes the top of the
Then MC shouts: "World champions! and an Olympic gold medalist,
Shizuka Arakawa!" That reminded me that none of these champions has
managed to win an Olympic medal of any color, except for
Hope none of them got offended
Satsuki Muramot (as spelled in the show booklet), Kill Bill in yellow and gold
The show held an audition for young skaters. She won it and here she
is. After the rehearsal, someone asked Shizuka why she chose Satsuki,
and she answered: "Yappari kimochi ja naidesukane" The word means
"feeling" or "intention" but I would translate it to "commitment" in
Satsuki performed very well and landed a triple at every show. Skating
just after the champions was not a problem at all. She has the ability
to command the audience's attention.
Yamato Tamura, Amethyst
Soft and beautiful song and he looks very handsome with the program
Akiko Suzuki, West Side Story (Choreographer: Shae-Lynn Bourne) in red dress.
Her new FP for this season. The music cut is eh, but otherwise a great program!
Akiko keeps dancing through the program and it suits her very well!
Takahiko Kozuka, Guitar Concerto
I cannot gush over him enough. All he needs more is a sense of showing off. Learn it from Kurt and Shae-Lynn, please!
Tanith Belbin/Benjamin Agosto, Bleeding Love
Not a big fan of this program but it is not boring either even after watching it so many times.
Takeshi Honda, Hanamizuki
So beautiful program, and at the final show it brought me into tears of happiness. That surprised myself.
He looks fit now. I am looking forward to watching him competing in Japan Open.
Sha-Lynn Bourne (as spelled in the show booklet), The sound of San Francisco
Cool, slutty, and gorgeous, as always.
Kurt Browning, I'm yours
I knew he is a greatest skater, but watching him live from an ice seat was a whole new experience. His performances simply blew me away It was like I knew nothing about figure skating before.
He landed a couple of 2A's and triples, aside from his amazing footworks, and the program is most charming. Kurt keeps performing all through the program, until disappearing through the curtains.
The program is the one he skated at Canadian SOI, but from the second show, a piece of paper was attached to the inside of the jacket under the letters of "I'm yours" , which reads Japanese translation of it
Daisuke Takahashi, Luv Letter
Shizuka Arakawa introduced him before he takes the ice.
The music sounds Japanese.
DAI IS BACK! and he is even better than the last year!
Lutz's are higher, he can move softer, and his edges are deeper.
He landed 3F and 3Lz at all the four shows.
Then after totally-voidy gift-giveaway time and banner contests, Zamboni time.
Shizuka Arakawa, Carmina Burana (Choreographer: Kenji Miyamoto), in dark color
Very short program. continues to the next program, only with a second of black out.
Shizuka Arakawa and Kids, Over the rainbow (Choreographer: Kenji Miyamoto)
There was another audition for kids skaters (6-12 yo) and four winner got the show appearance, one skater for a show. All very adorable.
Shizuka's costume is changed to a sparkling magnolia color dress. Kids is wearing their own.
Shizuka performs a different spiral at every show, sbs with the kid. They must be the kid's best spirals.
Very well choreographed so everyone can enjoy the program, from the kids' relatives to someone who does not care kids at all
Takeshi Honda, Leyenda
IIRC, the first program Kurt ever choreographed for other skaters.
It is from seven years ago, but in a way he performs better than back then.
In the last show he fell on axel, but it looked like a 3A attempt. I wonder if he is going to skate to this program at Japan Open in October.
Shae-Lynn Bourne, tango (I do not know which one)
With a chair, and lots of sliding, balancing and spinning on the chair, and acquired big standing ovations.
Tamura Yamato, Jump Jive N' Wail, in a baseball uniform
Fun program with hitting balls into the stand, or missing it
Each show, he performs differently . Unlike the Rocky program from some years ago, this program contains decent amount of real skating, including a triple jump with holding a bat
Qing Pang/Jiang Tong, Crane's Crying, in gray
Their unison is fab! I am rooting for S/Z for competitions, but after watching this, I would not mind if Pang/Tong wins OGM
Evan Lysacek, Rhapsody in Blue (short version, on Saturday), Stronger (on Sunday)
Rhapsody in Blue was cut short but still an exciting program.
Stronger was not my favorite program but this time it looks convincing and great.
Yuka Sato, Time After Time
Gorgeous edges. Swoon-worthy spirals. Lurrve her skating. Besides, she is 36 and her double axel is still consistent.
Kurt Browning, Papa Was A Rollin' Stone, in a long purple coat, a purple hat, and sunglasses
Again landed triples and 2A's from nowhere. Except in the last show he added walley before the first 2A then fell and messed up all the other jumps.
Still... how can he stay that fit? He performed three programs plus opening and closing, in five shows in three days!
Kurt is at 43 yo and he landed more jumps than most of much younger skaters there, with other moves only he could perform, not to mention being most entertaining.
I hope he continues performing as long as possible. (And keeps coming to Japan )
Shizuka Arakawa, El Flamenco
She looks fab in the Flamenco dress.
The rhythm must be new to her, I guess. I like she keeps challenging new things and I think this program can be one of her best, if she keeps working on it.
Closing, part 1, 1492: Conquest Of Paradise, All Cast (Choreographer: Shae-Lynn Bourne)
Starts with a fanfare. While laser light draws words like "passion" "speed" and "Vancouver," we could peek skaters at the rink side, warming up, goofing and laughing .
Costume is black again.
Guys start skating first and women come in later, then form into two lines and Shizuka goes between the lines, with her Turandot slss, I think.
Each skater has a flag of one of the Olympic colors. At first it is wrapped around the arm then they spread it and skate with flapping it and waving it.
They go in a circle and do tricks in turn, in a usual finale format.
The six of the men jump 3T together, and the ladies spin.
The music and choreograph feel sublime.
Two parts of the program were especially impressive.
One of them was when Pang/Tong does a pair lift and the others kneel down and follow the pair.
Another was when all the men do spread-eagle in seemingly random places, between other skaters doing something else.
Both were extremely beautiful.
The music finishes when skaters stands in a circle, then continues to the part 2.
Closing, part 2, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, All Cast (Choreographer: Shae-Lynn Bourne)
The song changes and they do moonwalking and all.
Then there are random pair and group things. This part looks like they are just having fun each other. I would have thought it was all spontaneous if they had not repeated it in every show
The group of male skaters did hopping a la Candeloro.
Kurt and Shae-Lynn did a sequence from the Proud Mary program, the part after drinking.
There were a lot more but I do not remember.
During this music, each cast goes to the audience and does something with them.
At the first show, Kurt took a woman's headband and wore it on LOL. Another time he sat on someones lap and whined that he was very tired. Or he took a present for a cast out from a bag, gazed it like weighing it, then put it back. All very funny
For other casts, again I was not watching what they were doing, I am afraid.
At the end they bow in a line then go around the rink. In the third show, Kurt was holding a video camera and shooting the cast and the audience. He was also carrying the kid who skated in Act 2.
Then the show is over here, except for the final show.
Extra for the final show
In the final show, when they stood in line, Kurt was raising his leg high and showing his skate to someone in the stand. I wondered what he was doing.
Anyway, they usually do something extra after the final show.
Kenji Miyamoto came in, and he was introduced as a choreographer. So were Yuka and Shae-Lynn.
During that, Kurt looked like fixing his shoelaces, but actually he was untying them. He took his skates off and gave them to Kenji, in the center of the rink! He was standing on the ice only with white socks for a while, then spreaded his red flag for the closing program under the feet
Later Kenji brought a pair of sneakers and Kurt put them on.
After that, by following the tradition of the show, it went to the real spontaneous part.
When some of cast started doing things they like on the ice, Kenji tried to give Kurt his skates back but he did not take them. Instead, he made Kenji lift him on the back. They spinned very awkwardly then Kenji carried him off the rink. Kurt climbed on the fence and demanded attention, then disappeared behind the curtains.
Other skaters were doing their own moves in turn. Here are some of them, probably not in order.
Kenji gave a better lift to the kid than the one he gave to Kurt.
When Shizuka was showing bielman spin, Tanith did the same! She stopped soon when the light spotted her, looking a little shy. Later she did layback spin near the edge when Dai did it in the center. That was very cute.
Akiko and her choreographer Shae-Lynn tried to do slss of the WSS program, side-by-side, but Shae-Lynn soon gave up, waving her hands like saying she did not remember it.
Shae-Lynn and two Japanese boys (I forgot who they were, but perhaps Dai and Kozuka), hand-in-hand, did one of her signature moves, the one like walking with hydro-blading. (what is the name of the move?)
Takeshi and Kozuka attempted jumps together. Takeshi went for an axel, Kozuka went for a toe loop, and both fell. Takeshi shouted with laughing to Kozuka that "We were going to do axels, weren't we!?"
Evan pretended going for an axel then did a huge but brief flying spin. After that he left the ice but unlike Kurt he soon came back, with holding two toy hammers.
A while later, Tanith and Ben showed their rotational lift. She was holding the toy hammers and hitting Ben's head with them during the lift
Then they bowed again and the show was really over.