During the 10th anniversary of the Celebration on Ice show, he spoke with Star columnist Laura Young about the latest addition to his resume: choreographer, and the big name on that list, two-time world champion Patrick Chan. They began working together after a phone call from Patrick Chan's mother wanting to know if Buttle would choreograph an exhibition piece. Of course Buttle said yes, and almost immediately knew what he wanted to do, in terms of creating a program.
"As a choreographer, I love what I do, but it's not very often that you get to work with such talented skaters. I admire Patrick's skating so much. They wanted something sort of Chopin, classical. For me, he has such raw power and purity to his skating, I felt we should do something a little more dramatic. A Chopin can be fluid and not really go anywhere dramatically. I found a piece to (Russian composer) Rachmaninoff. I thought it was very much him, something he hadn't really done before. He's known for being so powerful and packing his programs so much. I wanted to show the maturity of his skating and keep it simple. Sometimes sustaining a single movement for a long period of time can be just as effective."
They turned it into the competitive short program Chan is using in an effort to win his third consecutive world title. It's not always an easy task. With exhibition programs, there are few rules and no time limits. The competitive short is 2 minutes and 50 seconds with required elements.
"It sometimes sort of a letdown to do a competitive program from exhibition because it'll never have the same integrity. But we managed with Patrick. It takes him one crosscut to get to full speed, he's so powerful. I would do the preparation for his quad. I would do three crosscuts. Then I asked him to do it. After one crosscut he was already where I had gotten in three crosscuts. I was like, okay, we're only going to do one or two crosscuts then. It's just incredible. We managed to maintain the integrity of the exhibition program which I was very happy about."