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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.