bar exam: done. time to catch up on life, aka watch all of the skating videos.
The ICE is a summer ice show that is produced by Asada Mao. since this year’s show follows her retirement from competitive skating, one of the program numbers is a large-group collaboration among many skaters who took on key pieces of Mao’s vast repertoire. it’s truly touching and makes a statement about the legacy that Mao has left during the course of her competitive career.
i think the most powerful moments were when Takahiko Kozuka and Daisuke Takahashi presented renditions of Mao’s Olympic free skates, Bells of Moscow and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, respectively. these two men guided Mao through her career and competed alongside her to represent Japan. Kozuka and Dai do some of their best work on StSq and ChSq elements, which is also one of Mao’s strengths when it came to her programs.
when we talk about warhorse programs, we often instinctively think, “not another warhorse.” but, sometimes it’s nice to take time to think about the really special moments that made the warhorse what they are now and also the times when we witnessed a stallion among the herd.
(speaking of warhorses, Vincent Zhou’s cut to Romeo & Juliet is so similar to Yuzu’s R&J1.0. i think the similarity of the music cut and choreo is going to earn Vincent a lot of scrutiny and hate, poor guy. in contrast, Grant Hochstein’s choice for POTO is actually quite nice and a little more unique, which is warranted after that one season with a million POTOs. Takahito Mura is doing POTO again too, so it’ll be the battle of the Phantoms… “down once more to the dungeon of my black despair~~.”)