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Thread: COI Denver review

  1. #1
    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    COI Denver review

    Part 1 -

    This time I decided to take public trans regardless of the rain. So I drove to the "park n ride" and discovered as I headed for the bus, I had just locked my keys in my car. A quick pause, and said to myself, " I'll worry about it later." Off I went to the show.

    As I looked out the window of the bus I saw Denver was covered in rain and fog, the sky would not show it's stars tonight. But tonight the stars were going to be seen on the Ice.

    I arrived at 6pm for the 7pm show and found the skaters on the Ice practicing their finale number.I started rushing toward my section but thought what for and headed for the first entrance. As I pulled back the curtain to the concourse, Evan for some reason was the first one I recognized. I believe Marty was leading the rehearsal and made the comment " Kimmie is gone now" and my heart sunk a bit, but only for a moment. I could feel the energy of them, like it was "bouncing" around the arena. Pang and Tong (first time I've seen in person) looked to be having a great time. I was still walking down when it looked like she skated up behind Surya and slapped her on the behind. Loud enough to echo slightly through the Pepsi Center and the few people (literally 10 or less spectators) giggled as did Pang. I probably don't need to say it, but it sounded much like someone slapping a rock. - for some reason I keep thinking my notes are wrong and it was Melissa slapping Pang's butt.

    As they assembled on one side of the ice, Marina skated around the back and suddenly, "wap" smacked the ice face down HARD, but rose in laughter as the others stared at her in concern. She quickly regained her composure and they continued with their practice laughing it off. This all was so thrilling for me to see these skaters all on the ice practicing, and in practice clothing *swoon* And as I tied my jacket around my waist to hide my incredibly inferior butt to the boys out there. - not really but yes inferior. One of the things I noticed is that Alissa, Pang, Melissa (first time in person) and Tanith have the same issue, they are are "amazingly" more attractive in person - really I think they all are, just some are more when you couldn't believe they could be more beautiful. For example, Alissa's smile in 3D something that can not truly be seen in 2 dimensions (picture or TV) She is stunning. They all were, Shi-chan's smile as she skated around my side, I found myself biting my lip in attempts to keep my jaw from dropping. . Tanith, and just thinking "how is it possible???" LOL. Rena and John (first time in person) looked so good together, very nice couple - I think it shows how much he loves her, like blatantly obvious he adores her - and the area of her checks, nose and eyes "shimmer" in the way her face catches the light. Like they try and depict angels and ferries in movies with the lighting effects. Gwendal is so "rock star" looking to me - Naturally rock star. His hair was straighter than last year. Irina G looked younger than last year, how did that happen. Where is this "frozen fountain of ice youth?"

    Marty (I think) started counting off and they practiced the end of the finale number. The 007 lights hit the ice and I realized then that they had improved lighting from last year - and later was not disappointed in that . There was some interesting pairing up but I didn't write them all down (to much happening at once to write - by the time you are 3 seconds into writing, there is something else to write down). The ones I do recall was Ben and Shae-Lynn (first time in person) - saw this a couple of times in the evening - also Ben and Shizuka "quick pairing."

    Melissa, Ryan (first time in person) and Johnny were most "playful" - more so than any, although everyone seemed in "good spirits" - but Melissa was "the life of the practice" for sure. I feel like I should mention them all during this but Melissa really stood out as the motivator of this session. She seems so charming and approachable. Denis seemed to be a Butterfly himself, at least having some interaction with most of the other skaters. Can't remember for sure but it seemed he and Dan?, Victor and Plushy had some thing going on - didn't write that down so.... just memory. Ryan seemed to be enjoying himself and some of the skaters were watching him. He is captivating to watch. Rudy and Johnny were practicing having a good time laughing, practiced a throw. Sasha was notably quite / focused maybe. Looked - yah I will say it a hundred times -"Smokin Hot!" And that comment leads me to think of Shae-Lynn for she was as well. She has great cheek structure that really shows in person.

    Anyhoo, it was a practice and everyone seemed to be getting it, quickly. It seemed that it was just a run thru of "not having Kimmie" and everyone broke off at the end of it and did some warm up activities and chatted. Johnny was the last off the ice. He really did a couple of great things to watch before leaving the ice - wish everyone could have been there for the first Jump, Wow! And gained speed so quickly. But he had not even put one blade guard on before everyone was in the tunnel.

    The arena was silent for a while and looked at the simple blue with stars banner around the boards - think it would have had a better effect if the stars were a mirror image instead of all the stars swooping the same direction. The Cubes of ice that were going to be used in the programme at some point as two assistants moved them to block the entrance tunnel. The ice had no paint on it - YEH!!!!!! It looked simple and nice. The music started up with some nice Jazz for a few songs, played Mrs. Robinson and then Beatles greatest hits. At 6:45 it was still somewhat an empty place, then some pretty ladies from Russia sat next to me and waited for the show to start. One of the People who came in with her child was surprised there were so many empty where she "reported hearing" the show was sold out. ????? Sold what???? Nice rumor, wish it would have been true. 7:03 (19:03) the announcement came the show would be starting, at that point the arena was at around a 1/3 capacity. A few kids were still coming in with the comments of "ah, awesome, wooh" as they look out at the ice from the concourse coming down the stairs then turning to their parents with a smile. *ah how sweet*

    The lights went down, the COI spotlights danced on the ice with their classic music playing, all the skaters assembled at center, and the show began.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 05-26-2007 at 09:23 AM. Reason: I often do, lol.

  2. #2
    Down With It
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    Thanks. Look forward to part 2

  3. #3
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    How cool that you got to see the practice, Sean! Looking forward to reading your review of the show, too.

  4. #4
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    That's the best writing you've ever done on the board, Seanibu! Downright inspired!

  5. #5
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    Thanks SeaniBu-Great detailed report. Can't wait for part 2.

  6. #6
    On the Ice
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    Was their bus late? Practicing an hour before show is cutting it close. I've been to COI three times in years past, usually an hour early, and never saw any practices. Matter of fact, this year (in boston) they didn't allow anybody in , till 1 hour prior.

    Thanks for the write-up (in advance for p.2) and hope you got your car unlocked OK.

  7. #7
    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    Sean, great report on the practice session. Looking forward to the next part.

    Dee

  8. #8
    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    COI review Part 2

    It started with all Skaters, they broke into the solos for the opening number. The music started with somewhat of a RnB / Hip Hop mix with rock over tones and abrupt editing in most splices. They realy improved on the lighting this year. The first "solo" was Ryan, he did a triple and a back flip. Alissa was the second and did a double and some nice "spiral position" (a very extended "Y" maybe) Followed by Evan. He did a 3x2 and went into a wicked flying camel. Lots of girls "hoop'n and holler'n" - shrill "crazy in love teenage girl screams." Rena and John came out of the center in a lift and did the "dismount" that swoops her head inches from the ice on to her feet. Gasps from the audience then did a trow - 2 sal maybe. All the sudden Rudy, Wooh! The center spotlight hit him and he was all in pink, did a jump and short spin but was "hamming it up" with hip gyrations and smiles. Shae-Lynn then got the center spot and did some of the hydrogliding routine she did for Fashion on Ice - same outfit too. Impressed and tones of curiosity filled the crowd response. Pang and Tong were next with a couple of lifts and a throw. Pang looked fantastic in a pants and tummy top. She maybe skinny but she sure did look good in that outfit. Surya had some zebra print skirt with a strange yellow fluff on the back of it, did a 3 and some sexy choreography to "Voulez-vous Venir Avec Moi" as Victor and Dan swept the 2 ends of the rink music changing to to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" with a triple and great dance steps...well "Club style" steps. Marina and Gwendal changed the mood with a passionate feel and she did a lift of him. Again gaining "surprised" responses from the crowd. Shizuka Was center and skated through with a spiral position rounded the corner and then the signature Ina followed by a double jump - think it was a loop. Johnny did his solo to "Take it Ti the Limit" by the Eagles - interesting, last thing I would have expected - but very nice with a couple of "flying Russian Eagles" a triple and a awesome (crowd invigorating) combo spin into a blur. Tanith and Ben brought back the "smooth" to "Black Magic Woman" by Santana, as they took the spotlight in a lift dismounting with all of the passionate choreography / expression with hands and face like they were in a competition, dreamy. Plushy played up "Hound Dog" - Elvis - really well, gave a couple of good triples and some arm use along the boards getting the audience involved. Melissa And Denis came out of the middle with powerful elegance, they really captured my attention for all I wrote down was "elegant speechless." I so remember her smile though. Sasha bought all the boys to the edges of their seats (she looked stunning in white) starting with a spin, did some of her "classic spiral positions" and I didn't write it down but remember a falling leaf. This brought on the whole group to re assemble and they formed a couple of circles on the 2 ends with solos in the middle. Broke out of them and encompassed the rink as I found it strange to be listening to "Living in America" but the fade into "I Feel Good" to end was fitting musically and ended with a sentiment of "are you all ready to feel good?" !!!! We were and the individual numbers about to start, was met with great enthusiasm from the crowd. This started out great! The energy was high and there was a slight hush of anticipation as the announcer started to introduce who would be first.

    Fly'n Ryan took the spot with a "samba" number in a orang outfit with flames in the shirt. Very flamboyant and fitting of the number. High kicks, leg whips, power and exuberance. Ryan was starting this out "on fire."2a and a 3sal and the music went into "Staying Alive" and the lights formed the classic Disco floor as he did the "Saturday Night Fever" moves and posses under the guise of the disco ball tossing its spars of light around the arena. He did another high kick (maybe a called a leg swing) and went right into a backflip, the landing seemed sketchy. He really played the showman side of himself as he did some 3 turns into a back flip on the other side of the rink, first was clean and then tried another and fell. Rose up with smiles and gave us some high flying camels and a spin.

    Alissa was next in her black and white dress (looking very Audrey Hepburn ) - most remember it from Nats. Her Smile is so incredibly strong even 20 rows from the ice it froze my eyes from blinking. Some little punk J.A. in front of me thought it would be cool to try and throw her off on jumps by an obnoxious and loud whistle during a soft quite piece. And her second jump I believe it effected her. At that same moment I was about to say something (it would not have been very good comment) his mom FINALLY said something (lazy a$$ parent) and it stopped - could have said that the first 6 times before it caused issue. Her first Jump was High but with the whistle and a semi shaky trans, the second of the combo was a 2 hand touch. I though her jumps looked really good other than that. Her spins were slow to fit the music and centered - did I even need to say that? Posture, positions, transitions - perfect. She included a full SSQ and it was a little wobbly at points nothing that is not common. Her last spin combo was fantastic! I didn't write it down but I think a Sit, layback, scratch, doughnut into a Bielmann. Just like a Flower as it grows into a bloom.

    At this point I already think I had my moneys worth for sure. Don't get any Ideas Tom, the prices were good this year. Keep it up.

    Romance hit the ice big time when Rena an John came on. The romance of it stood out immediately, a story of love ready to unfold. They did some Death spiral variation where her back was arched up and head and arm were reached out for the ice - John held pivot very well. They did a side by side jump, 3 sal???, and were just a little off from each other. John's last revolution seems slower than the first or second and he lands about a half second after Rena. They did that great lift that he is on one blade other foot extended forward, she is upside down and has her hand on his ankle - see it in Dance, but he turned on a slight curve rather than going straight. purpose or not it was cool. A lot of the lifts were spitz and one behind John's back was impressive, but not necessarily the most beautiful looking, more "sexy cool" to explain it. A number of the hold one foot spitz spins (the kid that was whistling I didn't hear much from this point on, I think his brain couldn't handle it, just a lot of partial comments - "look at ..what.. whoo..") and the end element was something like a lift into a spin with that "head banging dismount" that doesn't seem to have a name. Lift to headfirst swing to upright to drop dismount on skates...???? Pleasing the crowd for sure. And I can't help but think of a great athlete like Rena overcoming cancer and continues to make me swoon with delight as I watch her and John in these "lovey dovey" programmes.

    Then along came Rudy. What a Punch this guy has to the crowd. Nice looking vest suit, black and white with Fedora, welcoming us to the Crystal Room inviting us into a dream. Well that is how I interpreted it. This guy is funky music. Some body rolls on the ice, great rhythmic dance steps, hip gyrating all over the place. A great spin with 2 great sits, very low, and then BAMM, Rudy takes off the suit to exposes a white "spangled to the max" one piece sleeveless jumpsuit. Looked like Cher with facial hair - I mean that in a good way, I think that may have been what he was going for. Now Flamboyance would be an understatement for this was more, the expressive nature of his movements, just the smile on his face - this guy is just in heaven during this programme. This is when you are swept away in the sheer joy of a skater. Rudy was meant to be an entertainer and I feel this was so fulfilling to him. That expression thing all skaters have IMO, but I think he knows how much people love to see him be himself in the expressive sense and appreciate him for that. Then top it off the fact he is skating with 2 artificial hips and is HIV positive - just an uplifting story - and even without knowing some of his past you can't help but like the guy. I don't think many knew that or he held 2 Jr. titles for pairs (with Kristy) and Mens at the same time, but they all knew he is "Hot Stuff!" He had a 3 that he stepped out on, did a cartwheel and 2 Axel, ending with a fantastic combo spin ending with a blur.

    "I Can Be You Hero Baby" Dan the man Hollander as Batman and a "lady doll" tied to some prop train tacks. This took me back to a thread we had here at GS awhile ago that was talking about wheat themes for shows and what could be done, I guess Dan and I are on the same wavelength or he reads here (superheros) - maybe I said something on that "other forum" too. Didn't know that it was a doll tied up at first - for some reason I thought it might be Shae. He did a couple of jumps One for sure was a 3 Sal, music changed and he stripped off the Batman and Became Wonder Woman (I thought of Peil ) played up the "giggles" and then striped it off to reveal Superman outfit he did a couple of elements struggling a little with centering and landings and a double then he had a pump on his belt that activated his Biceps to fluff up to bigger than Dan already has. Did another 2a and stopped (in front of the seat I had last year) and said "I've got to save her!" Picked the doll and tracks up and spun around with her a few times as the "Hero" Song (not to be confused with David Bowie's Heros which happens to be my favorite song) came back and he set her down, covered the ice a little with some turns / steps (Choctaws and Mohawk probably) and did a backflip over the doll. Fun yet emotional programme. I thought it was great and respectful to "real superheros" in some subliminal way. Even though it was funny it was still rather touching. Fun guy with a heart????
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 05-26-2007 at 02:18 PM.

  9. #9
    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tully View Post
    Was their bus late? Practicing an hour before show is cutting it close. I've been to COI three times in years past, usually an hour early, and never saw any practices. Matter of fact, this year (in boston) they didn't allow anybody in , till 1 hour prior.
    I didn't see the practice last year either and was seated at 6pm. I think it is because of the fact they are breaking off in there own directions after some shows, Kimmie was now gone, it was raining, etc... so maybe their transports was late???

    Quote Originally Posted by tully View Post
    .... and hope you got your car unlocked OK.
    Thanks! I did. Had a spare at home. Just got home later.

    BTW, it looks like I will do a parts 3, 4 and 5 to get it all in.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 05-26-2007 at 02:08 PM.

  10. #10
    Skater Girl
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    You're making me excited to go see COI tomorrow! :D

  11. #11
    Down With It
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    Thanks Sean. the next best thing to actually being there.

  12. #12
    On the Ice
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaniBu View Post
    Some little punk J.A. in front of me thought it would be cool to try and throw her off on jumps by an obnoxious and loud whistle during a soft quite piece. And her second jump I believe it effected her. At that same moment I was about to say something (it would not have been very good comment) his mom FINALLY said something (lazy a$$ parent) and it stopped - could have said that the first 6 times before it caused issue.
    That's very disturbing, almost pathological. Since the mother did nothing about it, it tells you a little something about the family. Interesting that no surrounding audience members batted an eye, from the sound of it.

    Don't bother communicating with morons, just alert the usher (both, if they are in each aisle). Be firm and a little loud about it too...makes them think you'll take matters into your own hands, and the last thing they want is a scene.

  13. #13
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Great report, so far, Sean! I'm glad you got your car unlocked.

    Shame on that obnoxious kid for doing that (and to his parent who did almost nothing). :sheesh:

    We've never seen the practice session at Philly COI, and that's since we started going in 1988, so you were very lucky to see that. Our venue opens the doors an hour before showtime. The only time we can remember that our local venue (the Wachovia Center) was when TPTB let spectators in to see the practice for "Improv-Ice"(which came to Philly in December 2000). We got there about an hour before showtime, saw the tail end of the lady's practice, and the entire men's practice.

    Looking forward to reading parts 3, 4, & 5 whenever you have the chance.
    Last edited by iluvtodd; 05-27-2007 at 06:24 AM.

  14. #14
    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    thank you so much seaniblu for sharing the experince with us!!!!!!

  15. #15
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Sean, Thanks so so much for this really detailed report. Almost as good as being there!

    It sounds like you really enjoyed I&B's Moulin Rouge program. In John's journal, he says that Oksana Gritschuk choreographed their program.

    Did the style of the program seem any different to you than other I&B programs?
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 05-28-2007 at 11:23 PM.

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