Ice Theatre of New York show, October 1999

Originally posted to on October 23, 1999
by Lorrie Kim

The 10/22 Ice Theatre of New York show exhilarated me. Some highlights:

David Liu's "pre-show" -- he warmed up with delicious buttery edges. There is a purity to his movements, like a violin's singing tone, that makes me want to go skating myself. He also did a triple flip in his "Deflecting Demons" program.

Rory Flack Burghart's "Summertime," a Brian Wright piece, had excellent flow and a strong, multi-revolution clockwise camel that changed into a counterclockwise half-Biellmann (her non-dominant direction).

The ensemble reprised the tour de force "Transitions" from their May show, masterfully choreographed by Doug Webster, lead skated by Chris Nolan. Once again, I was moved to tears by the extraordinary tenderness between Webster's and Nolan's characters, especially an embracing carry lift that conveyed restfulness and mercy. I liked the repeated motif of the exposed inner forearms -- fragile and emotional.

Petri Kokko looked thrillingly perverse wearing whiteface and a small amount of mesh in Rahkamo and Kokko's "Cabaret." I want that man. But for what exactly, I am not sure.

If I could choose any ensemble piece in the world to be in, I'd want to be part of the playful little world of "Cabaret Manana." Purple neckties! Turquoise feathers! Ostrich boas, orange wigs, hot pink opera gloves!

I could watch "Tango Images" every week. Choreographed by ballroom master Peter di Falco, not only does it feature tricky steps at high speed, but in one breathtaking mirror footwork sequence, Nolan and Webster fly across the ice touching forehead to forehead. Brilliant.

The ensemble featured Lisa Bell, Stephanee Grosscup, David Liu, Kim Navarro, Chris Nolan, Susan Pereira, Jessica Randall, Collin Sullivan, Douglas Webster and Tian Yi Zhang. Among them, Zhang (Chinese ice dance champion 1995-97) shone like a diamond. With her lacquer-like hair and lyrical flow, she is an excellent match for Doug Webster (who, aside from his skating skills, sets some sort of record for glossy curls and whitest teeth). One memorable pose in "Magic Forest" had Zhang atop Webster's left shoulder, legs curved in beautiful stag positions.

Chris Nolan impressed me once again with his danciness. He has in abundance what cannot be taught: the tilt of the head, the eager smile when reaching for a partner, the lingering hand along the lady's thigh. If you ever have a chance to see him skate, go. His next gig is the month-long show in December in Santa Rosa, California.

Thank you to Moira North and ITNY for raising the standard of show skating. Go see their shows! Send them money! Support the ice theatre movement!

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