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
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
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
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!