November 18, 2011

Speed ... not so fast

Wait! Before you think this is a bad review of Holiday On Ice's world premiere of Speed, that which I railed on and on in my last post .... no. The skating and the choreographer was as good as any show I've seen lately.

In fact, one of the two male principals, Rohene Ward, was amazing. One of the best show skaters I've seen in two decades and the best part of the show for me.

Side note: I just spent an hour watching various You Tube videos of his skating and I'm more and more impressed. He can do all of his double jumps in both directions!! No one I know can do that ... he's the only one I know that could have passed the ISI(A) Freestyle 10. His form is perfect and he spins like Craig Heath. I felt as if I saw traces of the late, great Robert Wagonhoffer mixed with the always great Toller Cranston. Wow, is all I can say.

Okay, okay, back to the review. Like I said the skating was very good. There were no dancers learning 3-turns on the ice as I feared. At one point the entire chorus did a scratch spin. It was a great effect when more than twenty skaters are spinning on every part of the ice.

For this old showskater, it was nice to see the endangered kickline and pinwheel. This show had a very creative take on the traditional pinwheel using either one of the largest props or the thinnest moving stage I've ever seen. It was used during the "Be Italian" number, from the play and movie "Nine", which doesn't make sense of Speed unless there are a couple of Ferraris or Lamborghinis out on the ice. Italy, not known for speed if you're talking government bureaucracy or getting lunch, but heh, it's a catchy song. It was a fun number.

And that is my main beef with the show: the theme Speed didn't hold up in the first half. I give you an example, the Speed of Nature. I know, you're probably thinking cheetahs. No, it was a party on the beach. Nothing says Speed like chillin' on the beach.

But the final two segments, Speed of Machines and Speed of Sport (I think, there was a speed skating element to it) got the audience going. With the lighting, the fireworks and the pulsing music, the show ended with a lot of pow! And my eight-year old thought it was the best thing she's ever seen. So there.

November 7, 2011

Got My Tickets

... to Holiday On Ice, the world premiere of Speed. Then I went to the website to see a little of what the show is about.

And I continue with my theme of WTF?

Couple of things, folks ...

First off - check out the opening paragraph on the page I linked to above that describes the show.

The show concists of 10 chapters, starting with the Speed of Instinct. This part of the show is thrilling, wild, exciting and will work w have fire torches. after this spectacular introduction, a fun , athleticism and color consists of the traditional wheel and precision. The scene based on the Speed of City will be followed by Speed of Love, Speed of Nature and Speed of Money and demonstrate water, wind, funand a good sense of humor!

This sounds more like my daughter's 3rd grade science project. And check out the typos!!! It looks like it has been written by a 3rd grader.

Come on, HOI, I know you're now run by a European entertainment company, but didn't someone run the spell check in English? It's written in English (but not full sentences, unless you prefer the run-on or incomplete kind). It's not that hard to see what gets the red squiggly lines. Wow, that's really bad copy.

Second - the concept ... Speed. Okay, for skating, it's a good way to show what we can do that other performers can't. Go fast. It's a good way to distinguish us from, ahem, dancers. That's right, dancers, I'm talking about you.

So when the choreographer, who is not a skater but a dancer, says he is casting dancers for the show I spewed coffee through my nose. Are you fucking crazy? Aren't there enough skaters you can work with?

Has someone not pointed the choreographer to the PFSC?

No, Miss Ice Charades, they don't use those initials anymore because the first thing you get on Google is Pictures For Sad Children. They've changed it to

It has hundreds of skaters posting their resumes and videos of, oh, I don't know, SKATING. You could use them instead of taking "strong, confident" dancers showing up in Amsterdam for the day because they couldn't make it for the Michael Jackson "This Is It" audition. Oh, but you say the dancers are going to learn to skate. Again, WTF?

I'd love to see the rest of the video that shows them learning to do swizzles and work their way up to a 3-turn. Aaaggh.

If you don't know some skating moves, Mr. Choreographer, guess what ... we skaters can dance too. It's been done before in ice shows, it can be done again. Just ask Kristi Yamaguchi.

Okay, I know the choreographer is not a skater, that's been done a lot before too, but let's keep skating in the ice show and let dancers dance where they can ... which is all over any flat surface in theaters, in music videos, in rock concerts, in amusement parks that don't want to pay for ice, etc etc.

I just paid 90 euros (or $123) for 2 tickets to watch dancers skate? Oh, Miss Ice Charades is not happy. Not at all.