Kana Muramoto & Daisuke Takahashi | Page 34 | Golden Skate

Kana Muramoto & Daisuke Takahashi


Final Flight
Mar 1, 2014
Coming soon at Friends on Ice -- the new Kana / Dai calendars! :points:

Thanks for sharing, Arriba! I’m happy we’re getting a desk calendar this time (as I would have liked last year too) – and also a K7D1 key ring, a make-up pouch in conga design, new clear files and new acrylic stands. 🤩 All items will be available at FOI and later at the Ensky online shop (their proxy partner "Buyee" worked well for me last year, so I will probably not be able to resist this time either 😇).



A second two part article was published by gendai media on August 14:


The main points Kana and Dai talked about were:
  • their performances and the collab with Gabi/Gui and Maddi/Evan at The Ice
  • their farewell trip to Florida
  • the new contemporary program choreographed by Kaitlyn Weaver, which they wanted to debut at The Ice, but couldn’t make it in time due to how difficult the choreography is
  • Dai’s work with Pasquale Camerlengo on a new solo program
  • Kana’s plans for a solo program (only the song has been decided on so far – it was chosen by Dai)
  • they don’t know yet when either of the aforementioned programs will be debuted
  • they will take a break after Friends on Ice / they hope for more (show) offers

Machine translation of the most interesting parts:

Takahashi: "At The Ice, we performed the rhythm dance programs from our first and second year, and we wanted to show how much we had changed since then, so I was very motivated. Being allowed to do the land dance is one of the things I want to do in the future, so I was happy and glad it was a challenge."

Muramoto: "Skating our competition programs after retirement is different from [skating them in] competitions in that you have to express yourself in a way that involves the audience more. You have to be very creative in how you appeal and express yourself. For example, I can skate steps and turns without thinking about my level, so it was fresh and very interesting to go all out."

At The Ice, there was a group number with the Beijing Olympic gold medalist couple Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France) and this year's World Championship gold medalist couple Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA), but in a show setting, Kanadai was not at all outdone and skated very attractively.

Takahashi: "At first I thought we were going to be punished for skating with them, but after we skated with them, I was happy to hear that it was well received and that they said we were as good as them, which gave me a lot of confidence. And I gained a lot from skating with the champions."

Muramoto: "We were able to skate with them from practice, so I really learned a lot. I was asked who I would like to skate with. I had written Guillaume in a questionnaire asking who I would like to skate with, and I was very happy that we were able to realise that in this collaboration."


The talk of the town is that they will perform Shae-Lynn Bourne's choreography at Friends on Ice in August. Since announcing their retirement, they also asked Kaitlyn Weaver, who has won several medals at the World Championships with Andrew Poje, to choreograph Kanadai's programme, and Pasquale Camerlengo, who previously choreographed Takahashi's "La Strada" and "Invierno Porteño", to choreograph Takahashi's solo.

Takahashi: "Kaitlyn choreographed for us in May, so we wanted to do it at The Ice if we could make it, but we couldn't. It is a very difficult program and it took us a long time to get into it."

Muramoto: "Yes. Shae-Lynn's is difficult, but Kaitlyn's is even more difficult, and it's a program that takes time to be able to show you. I originally had a song that I requested, but as we were choreographing, Kaitlyn brought this song to us and it became the song that we performed. The choreography is the same, but it's a completely different image, which is nice."

Takahashi: "The rhythm doesn't stand out but the melody does, so it's very difficult to get the timing right. I've been skating with Kana for several years, but we still have different interpretations of the songs. It will take time to be able to show that 'pause' well. Also, what Kaitlyn envisions and the interpretation we envision may not be the same."

Muramoto: "It's contemporary, so it can be interpreted in many different ways. Kaitlyn told us that this was her first time choreographing an ice dance piece, and she thanked us for asking her, which made me happy too. I had seen her choreography in Canada before and was very impressed."

Takahashi: "Kaitlyn's talent was amazing and unique when she choreographed for the ice show I produced, Ice Explosion. I was really happy to have asked her, so I thought she could do something really cool this time too, and sure enough, it turned out to be great. I think her unique sensibility in choreography will stand out even more in the contemporary version. It's a very difficult program to present to you unless we get into the details too."

Before going to Florida, Takahashi-san also asked Pasquale Camerlengo to choreograph his solo-program in Detroit.

Takahashi: 'It's been a long time since I've had Camerlengo choreograph for me. I wanted to do something [with a] masculine [flavour]. A program that I think is cool. He was also happy to work with me for the first time in a long time. This program is also very physical and hard. It also pays homage to his old choreography, which gives it a Camerlengo-esque feel."

Do you have any plans to ask your former coach, Nikolai Morozov, whom you met again in the US and who helped you with edge sharpening before the World Championships?

Takahashi: "I'd like Nikolai to do it, but he was a bit timid, saying 'I wonder if I can do it' (laughs). But I'd like him to do it for the first time in a long time!"

And Ms. Muramoto also has a solo program planned.

Muramoto: "I've decided on the song that Dai-chan asked me to skate to, but for now, I'm asking the dancers to do the dance part. I haven't decided yet whether I will ask someone else to choreograph the skating part or whether I will do it myself. Of course, I'll skate if I get an offer."

Takahashi: "We haven't decided yet when we will be able to present Kaitlyn's program and Camerlengo's in front of you, but I'm looking forward to showing them to you."

Kanadai says they are currently training hard for Friends on Ice 2023, which will take place in Shin-Yokohama from 25 August. The pair, who have been busy since the announcement of their retirement from competition, are said to be taking a break afterwards.

Takahashi: 'After Friends is over and we take a break, we want to think about what we want to do afterwards. There are various things we would like to do ourselves, but some things are difficult without offers, so we have to do our best while consulting with those around us. Also, there are many talented young people in all fields of entertainment. In such a situation, I think I have to think about what kind of colour I can bring out and how I can create my own colour. I've also decided to take on a new challenge next year with the production team of “Hyoen”, so I guess new things and so on will be up and running from next year."

Muramoto: "Since I retired, thanks to Dai-chan, I've been able to perform in various shows and it's been great fun. I'm going to skate until Friends anyway, and after showing everyone a good performance, I'd like to take a break and think about what I'm going to do in the future. But I want to skate as long as I can and try my hand at choreography."

Shizuka and Dai promoted FOI on Fuji TV’s variety show “Poka Poka”:


Kana’s and Dai’s messages on the official FOI ig account:


The last FOI show on August 27 will be broadcasted live on Nitteleplus (ntv):


Only a few days left until FOI! Looking forward to the new program and the Poeta collab! :party2:


In other news:
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Gold for the Winter Prince!
Record Breaker
Jan 23, 2004
Oh my KanaDai's costumes are hot, hot, hot!



Final Flight
Apr 27, 2011
I went watching Friends on Ice yesterday. KanaDai's new program choreographed by Shae-Lynn was just fantastic! The music was fast and the choreography was very complex with lots of hold changes. It's a very innovative program taking advantage of being free from IJS rules. I think it works because they have similar heights and both are former single skaters.

These are the music:

I hope they are invited to Japan Open/Carnival on Ice to perform the program because there will be terrestrial broadcasting :pray:.
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Final Flight
Mar 1, 2014
I uploaded the KanaDai segment from the highlights broadcast of The Ice (recorded on July 23 in Nagoya):

And here's the much anticipated "Birds/Makeba" performance from the FOI live broadcast on August 27 :love::

Love the creative choreography and the energy (and yay, Dai does a 2Lo! 🤩) I wasn’t too sure about the costumes before seeing the program, but they suit the vibe very well. While the program of course still looks brand new, I can see them killing it the more comfortable they grow with it. I hope they get more show invitations in the near future (looking at CaoI specifically). Probably not overly realistic, but it would be awesome, if they got invited to Art on Ice (and other overseas shows).

I posted the group numbers, opening and finale of the FOI live broadcast in the “Japanese off-season shows”-thread in The Edge.

Enjoy! :)


Before FOI the online version of Kateigaho magazine posted another interview with Kana and Dai on their new programs and future plans.


Machine translation:

Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi talk about the highlights of Friends on Ice 2023 and their post-retirement days.


The summer ice entertainment "Friends on Ice 2023" performances in Shin-Yokohama will be held from 25 to 27 August 2023 for six performances. The high-profile program, unveiled by Shizuka Arakawa, Daisuke Takahashi, Kana Muramoto and others, is not to be missed!

Produced by Shizuka Arakawa, the Friends on Ice ice show has been held since 2006 and is scheduled to continue in 2023 with a total of six performances from 25 to 27 August in Shin-Yokohama.

At the beginning of August, we visited Shizuka Arakawa, Daisuke Takahashi and Kana Muramoto, who were practising for Friends on Ice 2023, to hear about the highlights and their enthusiasm.

Following the first interview and video of Shizuka Arakawa, we present the second interview and photos of Daisuke Takahashi and Kana Muramoto, who talked about their thoughts on their retirement press conference in May, their days up to now and their future, and the highlights of "Friends on Ice 2023".

Interview with Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi on their retirement press conference.

--It will soon be four months since the retirement press conference on 2 May 2023. Looking back on it, what do you think?

Daisuke Takahashi (D): I feel I've already said everything I wanted to say, and I feel I've done all I could do. At my first retirement press conference (October 14, 2014), I couldn't see what the future would hold, and I was trying to narrow down what I was trying to convey, but this time I spoke honestly. I am grateful that the journalists were patient enough to listen to me even though I was talking a lot.

--It was a retirement press conference, but it was an intimate press conference because it was in an enclosed style.

Kana Muramoto (K): It was a very happy ending, so I think both of us can look forward to the future even more.

--I could feel that the two of you are looking forward to the future. How have you spent the last three to four months since then?

K: It's been quite busy. Since the retirement press conference, there were several ice shows, so the last three months have flown by. I didn't have time to think about it, so to be honest, I still don't really feel like I've retired.

D: I thought I would be able to take it easy in June, but that didn't happen, and after Ice Explosion in Fukuoka in May, we asked Kaitlyn (Weaver, a former Canadian ice dancer) to choreograph for us.

After that, I visited Pasquale Camerlengo in Detroit to ask him to choreograph a singles program for me on my return to Florida. We went to Shae-Lynn (Bourne) to choreograph a new ice dance program. I feel like I've been working since the World Championships and the World Team Trophy in March, rather than since the retirement press conference. After Friends on Ice at the end of August, I guess I'll be a bit more relaxed.

K: There was so much to do that time passed without time to think, but maybe that was good for me. The ice shows went on and I created some choreography. I also had time to visit my sister in San Diego and spend some time with my family. It's been a busy but good three months.

--How do you feel about your retirement, Takahashi-san?

D: This is my second time retiring, so I knew what it was like. This time was different from the last time, because when I told Kana-chan that I was retiring, I already had a clear idea of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it, so I think I was able to change my mind quickly.

The joy of performance and the charm of staging. I want to find new possibilities for ice shows.

--Since you announced your retirement, you have performed in ice shows such as Ice Explosion, Prince Ice Worlds and The Ice.

D: Whenever I perform in shows, I always try to give my best performance and hope that everyone enjoys it, so that hasn't changed, but recently I try to check what the audience thinks of each show. What kind of ideas will I have when I do ice shows in the future? I have not been looking at shows with that kind of awareness before, but recently I feel that I need to think about it from an objective point of view as well.

K: I used to spend my time thinking that ice shows are fun. Even after retiring from active skating, there is a place where you can perform what you have done, which is unique to skating. Many of the letters I have received from fans have said very nice things about me. There are still many things I don't know about the future, but I will do my best! I am grateful for that.

And for me, "Ice Explosion 2023" was very impressive. It was a day when I felt that there are many possibilities for the future of ice shows. Dai-chan, keep up the good work! (Laughs)

--Tell us about the new program you are looking forward to.

K: We had Kaitlyn and Shae create programs for ice dance, but they’re not finished yet. But Kaitlyn and Shae-Lynn have come up with completely different programs, with totally different atmospheres, so they are both programs that convey a new world view. Both were great fun to make. But it's difficult! (Chuckles)

Kaitlyn's is a bit more contemporary in style and doesn't have a clear rhythm. I think each audience member who sees it will have a different interpretation and feel differently.

D: We really wanted to perform it as soon as possible, but this is definitely not going to happen anytime soon. Right now, we're still skating around and the pauses and things like that are slightly different from each other, so it's only when we get them perfectly matched that it will be perfect. Kaitlyn also put a lot of effort into it, so I feel that it's a program that takes a lot of time to get to that point. That's why I want to make sure it's well prepared before we put it out.

K: Shae's is a program that uses two songs from completely different genres, but the atmosphere is one style.

D: It's an interesting style because it's two songs with one worldview, and we also change the way we present it depending on the song.

K: From the audience's point of view, is it exciting and danceable?

D: It's a bit like going into a trance.

K: It's a sharp program, filled with Shae's unique world view.

--It looks tough to skate, but I'm looking forward to it.

D: It's quite hard (with a serious face). We’re thinking of doing Shae's program at Friends first, but we'll have to work hard until the very last minute ....... Shae's music is rhythmic, so we should be able to get a lot of momentum in the second half! I think it will be cooler when we get into the finer details, but we thought we'd show it off first. Apologies to Kaitlyn, sorry about this one (smiles).

K: Yes, that's right. Both Kaitlyn and Shae are coming to Friends on Ice this time, so I was like, 'Oh my God, I'm sorry Kaitlyn......'.

D: Now we just have to see if we can get the costumes in time.

K: It's going to have quite an impact again, so please look forward to it!

--So you were working on the singles program at the same time?

D: I don't know where I'm going to use it yet, but I thought if I had one, I could do it right away when I got an offer, so I had Pasquale make one for me. It turned out to be completely different from the feel-good song I was originally going to do (laughs).

--Do you like the result?

D: Well, I don't know (laughs). It's a fast program and quite tough. It has three jumps in it.

K: It's like a competition short programme. A real pro.

D: It's quite hard and I feel like I've failed (laughs), but I'll practice hard.

K: For my part, there is a song that Dai-chan suggested that I should skate to. I don't know if I'll get an offer as a single skater, but I'd like to finish it properly after I've settled down a bit more. It's a very cool song, so it's fun and exciting to do.

--Kana, you have been choreographing for ice shows recently, haven't you?

K: I was asked to choreograph 'Uta yo' for Ms Arakawa's solo program from 'The Dragon and the Freckled Princess' at this year's Friends on Ice. With advice from Dai-chan, I asked him to brush up on it (laughs). The choreographic work is difficult, but it's still interesting. This time, I got to see the choreography process at Shae's place, and it was really free. I learnt a lot.

D: Watching from the side, I thought that choreography is really difficult. I wondered how they could do it.

--How about you, Takahashi-san, how do you like choreographing?

D: I'm really bad at it, really bad.

K: But you have a lot of ideas.

D: No, I don't. I wish I was interested in choreography. There have been many offers, but – I'm sorry – I've turned them all down. I really don't think I have any talent for choreography.

--What are your thoughts on this year's Friends on Ice and what are the highlights for each of you?

D: I'm desperate to perform a new program for the first time since I became a professional, but I want to do my best in that. Besides, I'm going to perform "Poeta" with Stéphane (Lambiel), Andrew Poje and Kana in the group number this time.

When Ms Arakawa (Shizuka) asked me to do it, I said, "What? Seriously? It's Stéphane's Poeta, isn't it?" I said, "Okay", but in my heart I thought, "I can't do it ...... for sure" (laughs).

Kana-chan has skated to “Poeta” with Chris (Reed), so I can imagine. I'm under super pressure to do Stéphane's masterpiece with him, which is impossible, but I have to do my best not to lose. I'm also super-pressured because I think it's supposed to be a highlight. It's like I want him to see it, but I don't want him to see it.

K: Interesting (laughs).

D: Also, there are a lot of new Friends members this time, such as Sena Miyake, Koshiro Shimada, Mai Mihara and Cha Jun-hwan. We have veterans, but we also have fresh faces, so the age range will be wider. How will it change while retaining the familiar atmosphere of Friends on Ice? I'm looking forward to that too.

K: For me, Friends on Ice has been my dream ice show since I was little. Seeing Friends on Ice live and wanting to take part in an ice show is what made me want to become a skater. I'm really happy to be able to skate with Friends again and to work with all the veterans.

I'm also very happy to be in the same space as Shae, who I admire so much, and I always look forward to seeing what kind of show we can put on because Ms Arakawa, whom I really respect as a professional skater, is directing the show. Our new professionals, fascinating collaborations by skaters, there are many highlights.

--Are there any future delights ahead that you can tell us about now?

D: We are looking forward to bringing you more “Hyoen” in the first half of 2024. It's a different production from our usual ice shows, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how it will turn out this time.

Last time I performed as an active skater, but this time I will [only] focus on the show, so it will be different. I don't know how I will actually use it, but I want to do some dance practice before then. Up until now I have been working on everything for the competition, but from now on I want to spend my time with a broader perspective so that it will lead to entertainment.

Of course, skating is my main focus and it depends on the offers, but I want to try different things and polish a new and different aspect of my life.

I don't want to rush and decide on all the paths I want to take in this year, but I hope to look at myself from many different directions and move forward slowly and without haste.

K: After Friends on Ice is over and I've calmed down a bit, I'd like to think about a lot of things. I think I am at the stage of learning land dance and building a base for the future. I want to move my base to Tokyo first in order to increase my various opportunities (laughs).


Kana was featured in the fashion magazine InRed: https://inredweb.jp/column/wellness/10602/

Machine translation:

Kana Muramoto: "Retirement is a start. I truly felt that there was no happier way to end."

A heart that paves the way for a supple beauty at its core.

Figure skater Kana Muramoto announced her retirement from competition this year. While she exudes an air of modesty, she is also a pioneer in the Japanese ice dance world, with a powerful ability to open up her own life, such as by switching to ice dance and forming a couple with Daisuke Takahashi.

I never thought I would compete in the Olympics as an ice dancer. I'm usually indecisive, but when I feel that it's something I should do, I'm the type of person who takes action. When I invited Dai-chan (Takahashi) to ice dance, I said, 'I'd rather regret doing it than regret not doing it!’ I wanted to do it and regret it rather than regret not doing it! Looking back now, I can't believe how bold I was (laughs).

As the youngest of three sisters, I was loved and brought up freely and spontaneously. I grew up in an international school, experiencing life abroad because of my father's work. I also spent seven years abroad as a skater. When I was a singles skater, I just skated as choreographed, but ice dance is a competition that requires more expression. I think that's where my ability to 'express my opinions and put myself out there', which I've cultivated in my global living environment, fitted in.

Ms Muramoto always exudes 'class' and 'flamboyance'. How were these cultivated?

My mother always taught me to pay attention to my posture and behaviour. I admire the top ice dancers, who are always shining, so I also started to pay more attention to them. I also try to remember to enjoy everything, to smile and to always remember to be myself."

On the occasion of her retirement, she says: "I felt no hesitation or sense of loss at all, and I truly felt that there was no happier way to end my career. For me, retirement is a start. I've only been skating since I was five, so I don't know what I can do in the future, but skating is my axis. Of course I want to skate, but I also dream of producing shows as a complete behind-the-scenes person. I would also like to choreograph for Dai-chan one day. I enjoyed this fashion shoot, I'm interested in hair and make-up, and I want to learn to sew. My dreams are expanding. I also need to keep working hard to maintain my technique and shape so that I can get offers to skate. I want to improve myself even more than before."


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Record Breaker
Nov 14, 2007
Thank you thank you synes :thank: for all these updates above as always. Especially 'Makeba'! 😍😍😍 To tell the truth, I was hoping secretly you could upload it, while I understand you can't because it's another 'paid broadacast' like The Ice.
Makeba is so unique. I agree, they will get invited to several int'l ice shows, and if its Art on Ice by Steph then perfect! :love:


Final Flight
Mar 1, 2014
Thank you thank you synes :thank: for all these updates above as always. Especially 'Makeba'!

Thanks for the uploads!

My pleasure. ☺️

I agree, they will get invited to several int'l ice shows, and if its Art on Ice by Steph then perfect! :love:

*fingers crossed* (although I think AoI is unfortunately unrealistic... but I would love to be proven wrong!)


Kana and Dai continue to be very busy, which kinda helps coming to terms with their retirement (even though I miss them very much on the GP/Challenger circuit :cry:):

I posted more news in Dai’s fan fest, including the announcement of his new show, set to take place in February and his stint at Western Sectionals as Sena Miyake’s “temporary coach”. Dai-chan was indeed very busy this weekend! 😊
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Final Flight
Mar 1, 2014
On November 18 + 19 Kana led a skating class as a special instructor at the Hiroshin Big Wave ice rink in Hiroshima City (where Western Sectionals were held this year). A total of 190 people participated over the two days. The class was part of a JSF-campaign with the aim of promoting figure skating in several prefectures.

Previously, on November 11, as part of the same campaign, Dai, Kana, Satton, Rika Hongo and Takahito Mura led a skating class for beginners of several ages at the Swan Skating Rink in Sakata City, Yamagata Prefecture – the only prefecture in the Tohoku region without a rink meeting international standards for official figure skating competitions. At present the Swan Skating Rink is the only indoor rink in the prefecture – however, Sakata City plans to close it at the end of the current fiscal year due to its age. The primary goal of this skating lesson was to promote the opening of new ice rinks in the prefecture.

I already posted this in Dai's fan fest, but since Kana was one of the instructors too, this also belongs here. :)

I put the content that was posted in Dai's fan fest under spoiler:




The following article contains more details – the 2nd part is an interview with Kana and Daisuke about ways to promote figure skating and Dai’s new show (he also explained the origin of the title "Kassouya"):


DeepL translation:

Daisuke Takahashi and others give back with skating classes: 'I hope there will be more rinks in rural areas'

Ogawa, Takahiro 11 Nov 2023, 14:15

Figure skater Daisuke Takahashi came to the only indoor ice skating rink in Yamagata Prefecture. Yamagata is the only prefecture in the six-prefecture Tohoku region without a rink where official figure skating and other competitions can be held. The Japan Skating Federation organised a 'basic skating class' on 11 November, with the aim of raising momentum for the opening of new rinks in the prefecture.

"Okay, bend your legs and stretch them out."

At the "Swan Skating Rink" located inside the Sakata City Gymnasium, Mr. Takahashi, the special lecturer, gave instructions to the children while showing them examples, which elicited cheers. Some children skated smoothly and beautifully even though it was their first time, while others – even though they fell – smiled, saying "Wow, it's fun!"

The five invited instructors were Takahashi, who won Japan's first medal (bronze) for men at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Kana Muramoto, who was part of the ice dance team ”Kanadai'' with Mr. Takahashi until last season, and professionals Rika Hongo, Satoko Miyahara and Takahito Mura. Around 60 people, ranging from first-graders to adult beginners, took part in the skating classes. For the retired skaters, these promotional activities are a way of 'giving back' to the skating world that has supported them.

In the second half of the article, we will also introduce a question-and-answer session with Daisuke Takahashi and Kana Muramoto, who are full of thoughts on 'giving back'. They also talked about the ice show "Kassouya" scheduled for next February.

Mr Takahashi says: "I had a good time. By having many rinks in the region, the number of competitors will increase, and if the number of competitors increases, there will be good athletes competing among them".

The Swan Rink is the only indoor skating rink in the prefecture. However, the city plans to close it at the end of the current fiscal year due to its age and other factors. Since the closure of a private indoor skating rink in 2017, the prefecture – as the only one in the Tohoku region – has been without a rink of international standard (60m x 30m) for official figure skating and other competitions.

In addition to Swan Rink, there are skating rinks in both Yamagata and Tsuruoka cities, but both are outdoor rinks and do not meet the standards for official competitions.

We would like to see a year-round indoor rink in Yamagata. In response to calls from the prefectural skating federation and other sports organisations, the prefectural government last year initiated the 'Ideal Rink Study Council' (chaired by Professor Hirohisa Yamada of Yamagata University), which held five rounds of discussions and presented its options in a report at the end of March this year. The two options are (1) to use the ice all year round as a skating rink, but cover the ice with insulation so that it can be used for other events depending on the conditions, or (2) to put ice only in the winter, and use it for other events in other seasons.

Based on these two directions, the prefecture is currently carrying out basic research into project costs and economic effects. The Swan Rink, where the class was held this time, is open only in winter. According to the Prefectural Planning and Coordination Division, it is expected to be more expensive to put up ice all year round if only annual costs are looked at, but there is a possibility that entertainment revenue could be generated beyond the cost, so it is necessary to examine the situation carefully.

At the regular county assembly meeting in February next year, the project hopes to report on the progress of the survey and propose additional surveys for the next year and beyond. Based on the additional research, the government also intends to consider details such as the location and timing of the installation.

Daisuke Takahashi talks about the origin of the name ‘Kassouya’.

After the class, Mr Takahashi and the other skaters were interviewed by the press. The main exchanges were as follows.

--What did you think of the skating classes?

"In my competitive life, I didn't have much time or opportunity to get to know everyone. I am glad that I have the opportunity to show people how fun skating can be. When children skate, even a little, and their eyes light up with 'wow', it cheers me up too. It went by so fast, but it was a fun time."

Takahashi: "I had a lot of fun during the last hour or so. I teach little kids, but it's not often that I work with beginners like this, so it was interesting to see the different expressions and reactions of each skater, some just enjoying skating, others trying their best, and I learnt a lot from them. There was also the fact that the ice was freshly covered, but the atmosphere was very calming and warm."

--In the region, some skating rinks are closing, like the Swan Rink in Sakata. What do you want to contribute as a skater?

"I think it's important to skate together through these skating classes. I think it will be a very special time for the children to see skaters who have competed at the top of their game together and skate together on the ice. I hope that through this, the attraction and fun of figure skating will be conveyed to them. I think that skating is sometimes seen as a high-level world on TV, but there are also ice shows and so on. In other countries, even if you can't jump, you can audition for an ice show by skating. I want to show people that figure skating is not just about competing at a high level, and I want to convey the various attractions of figure skating through familiar ice shows.

Takahashi: "The number of people competing will increase as more rinks are built in the regions, and as the skating population grows, there will be better skaters competing among them. There are kids with great talent everywhere, so it would be a blow if rinks were to disappear. I myself am a skater from a regional/rural area, so I am happy that people from other regions have come out, and I hope they don't disappear.

I think figure skating is still a sport that is hard to feel close to. I have heard that there are many people who don't know where the next rink is. I think there are still a lot of possibilities for how to make skating more accessible to people, through skating classes and other ways to get in touch with skating. I think it will be important to cooperate with the Japanese federation and coaches to find new forms and to do this in various regions.”

--What is the origin of the name of the ice show 'Kassouya' scheduled for February next year?

"There have been a lot of ice show (title)s in English, such as 'XX on Ice', so since I am going to have only Japanese skaters, I decided to use a name that sounds Japanese. We are craftsmen, professional craftsmen, right? So I named it ‘Kassouya', which means 'skating craftsman', and 'skater's craftsmanship'.

--What do you want to say to the audience?

"I am thinking about the composition from now on, but in addition to the main skaters we are looking for members such as students and working people. I'm thinking of bringing together skaters who have never experienced an ice show before, and we have some top skaters, but we're thinking of doing it for about 75 minutes with no intermission, intertwining with each other. We want to create something new like that, something you've never seen before. We're also trying to keep the price down, so that people who are seeing the show for the first time can easily come and think it's cool, so I hope you'll look forward to it."


Seiko Heart Beat magazine published a pretty in-depth two-part interview with Kana-chan on their website. She gave some insight into the process of music selection and editing, her interest in choreography and her thoughts on some of the competitors at this year's NHK Trophy, taking place in Osaka starting next Friday.

Machine translation of part 1:

Kana Muramoto talks about figure skating and music. How "Kanadai" choose/chose their music for ice dance.

Text: Satoko Sawada

Kana Muramoto, who combines flamboyant expression and solid technique, has dazzled as one of the leading ice dancers in Japanese figure skating. In May 2023, she and her partner Daisuke Takahashi announced their retirement from active skating and are now active in various fields, mainly ice shows.

The fusion of music and figure skating is an essential part of figure skating, and Ms Muramoto is well known as an ice dancer who is particular about this, as she also arranges programes. "Without music, it wouldn't be figure skating." What kind of world view does she have in her mind? We asked her about the relationship between her image of figure skating and music, and how she chooses music for the Kanadai team.

--Ms Muramoto, you do not only select the music for your programs, but also arrange them.

I have been arranging music since I started ice dancing. I took arranging classes at the international school I attended, where I also learnt how to use a computer, so I became able to do it.

Many ice dancers may do their own arrangements. I/We also have a professional arranger for the final music, but I do the base arrangements myself and I'm quite particular about it! It's not right if the music played in the program doesn't connect with the flow of the lyrics, and if the beats don't match when arranged with another song, the flow can be disrupted.

--In the Rhythm Dance you have a theme, but what is the point of selecting the music?

In the Rhythm Dance, every season we have a Waltz, Latin and other challenges, and we have to decide on a rhythm that fits the beat for example for the Waltz (each season has a specific tempo and beat, so you are expected to skate to that tempo). The most important thing was whether it was easy to skate at that tempo when I got on the ice. With Dai-chan (Daisuke Takahashi), we started from finding a tempo that we both [felt comfortable to] skate at.

The original song we used for the rhythm dance of the 2021-22 season, "Soran Bushi", was too fast and didn't meet the blues regulations. So we lowered the tempo a little bit and also thought about how to achieve the levels in the steps... It was a very detailed arrangement.

--For 'Soran Bushi', you and Mr Takahashi selected the song from a list of songs that Ms Muramoto had compiled

For the rhythm dance of the 2021-22 season, when we skated to 'Soran Bushi', urban hip-hop and blues were decided as the theme. For the second half, the hip-hop part, we had already decided on the song we wanted to do ('Koto'), but it took us quite a while to decide on the blues song for the first half.

It was difficult to find a blues song that would fit the Japanese taste, but 'Soran Bushi' came up as a candidate. When I proposed it to Dai-chan, I thought, "I'm not so sure about 'Soran Bushi'..." But when he listened to it, he said, "It's really good!" I'm really glad he liked it.

--The world was fascinated by your very innovative program, but was it the song "Koto" that made you decide to skate Japanese hip-hop?

Originally, ``Koto'' was my favorite song regardless of the competition, but during the 2022 Beijing season, the rhythm dance assignment became hip-hop. When we wanted to go with a slightly different style from the other teams, we thought that a Japanese style would leave a lasting impression.

Then, I immediately remembered the Japanese floor dance that Dai-chan danced in "Hyoen 2017 - Basara". I was inspired to say, ``Wouldn't it be fun to have that feeling over hip-hop-style music?'' "I think Daisuke Takahashi is the only one who can express this!" I had never done the hip-hop genre before, so I felt a bit of pressure, but it was fun to skate.

Fate led "KanaDai" to "The Phantom of the Opera".

--I understand that the free dance 'Phantom of the Opera' for the 2022-23 season was proposed by Coach Marina Zueva.

Before we left for the 2022 World Championships in our second season, a junior team practicing at the same rink was looking for a new free dance song and played "The Phantom of the Opera" as a candidate.

When Dai-chan and I were talking about how good the music was, Coach Marina suddenly came over and said, "Do you want to use this music next year? If you're going to use it, I'll put it down!" We hadn't decided yet whether we would continue competing next season, so Dai-chan laughed and said, ``I don't know yet whether we're going to do it next year,'' and the subject was dropped.

But later, when we decided to continue for the 2022-23 season, Dai-chan suggested, "How about "The Phantom of the Opera" as Marina mentioned?" I had a strong impression of single skater Daisuke Takahashi's "The Phantom of the Opera", and I thought Dai-chan might have some resistance to it. But since songs with lyrics were not allowed under the rules at the time (the ban on music with lyrics was not lifted until the 2014/15 season), Dai-chan wanted to try this music with lyrics. I replied, "Okay, let's do it!" and we decided to do it.

--Saitama Super Arena, where "Kanadai" performed "Phantom of the Opera" at the 2023 World Championships, was the venue for the 2014 World Championships, where Takahashi was unable to participate due to an injury during his singles days. In addition, the 2023 World Team Trophy was held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, the venue of the 2007 World Championships, where Mr. Takahashi skated "The Phantom of the Opera" and won the men's silver medal.

"The Phantom of the Opera" at the 2023 World Team Trophy was our last competitive performance as “Kanadai”. Everything was so connected that I thought, ``I wonder if that's why we did ``The Phantom of the Opera" and I got goosebumps at how strange it was. Perhaps there was an aspect of us being guided by something fateful.

Ms Muramoto says the ideal is to “skate as a conductor” by playing your own music.

--What role does music play in figure skating?

There are no words to describe figure skating. Figure skating is an exquisite fusion of art and sport, but ``figure skating would not exist without music.'' That's why I think it's really important to choose music that suits you and that you can feel. On top of that, it is also very important to create a flow from beginning to end. Never make a mistake in song selection, as it will not add up to your score. I think music is essential and an important key point.

Each person has their own personal style of music that sticks in their mind and makes them feel "cool!" and some songs you don't feel so much. When you skate to a song that resonates with you, it becomes emotional on its own, and there is a part of you that leads to expression. I think the natural sensibilities that both Dai-chan and I have are a perfect match as artists.

Rather than simply following along with the music that's playing, I hope we can perform in a way that expresses the charm of the music. In that sense, I aim to "skate like a conductor." It would be ideal if we could act as if we were the conductors and were playing the music.

Machine translation of part 2:

What is the NHK Trophy for Kana Muramoto? The future after retirement and her potential as a choreographer.

The 2023 NHK Trophy International Figure Skating Competition will be held over three days from 24 to 26 November: an international competition positioned within the ISU (International Skating Union) Grand Prix Series and an unmissable event for figure fans with the world's top skaters gathered.

Kana Muramoto, who retired in May of this year, was one of the ice dancers who continued to impress at the NHK Cup. We asked her about the appeal of the NHK Trophy and her memories of competing as Kanadai (Kana Muramoto & Daisuke Takahashi). We also spoke to Ms Muramoto, who also shows her talent for choreography, about her activities after retirement.

Ms Muramoto talks about the NHK Trophy's notable athletes. The NHK Cup is an international competition held in Japan where the world's top skaters gather, so there are many athletes to watch.

--I would like to ask you about the NHK Trophy 2023. In ice dance, are Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri (ITA) the favourites to win?

They are a "veteran" couple, aren't they? The team is so smooth and seamless throughout the programme that you can't tell where the elements (that make up the performance) are. The man's lifting technique is also amazing, and it really makes you think, "This is what ice dancing is all about!" I think.

--Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson (GBR), who are also popular in Japan, will also compete.

Lailah Fear & Lewis Gibson always perform unique programs that only they can do. They're using the music from Rocky for their free dance this season. 'Bring it on!' The music selection is really typical of them. Their program is entertaining, so it's like watching a musical.

--Alison Reed & Saulius Ambrulevičius (Lithuania) are on a roll at the moment, aren't they?

Alison and I also trained together under the same coach when I was working with Chris (Reed) (Alison is the sister of the late Chris Reed, who was Muramoto's partner). Alison and Saulius matched in technique from the moment they teamed up, so I felt that if the partnership continued, this team would come out on top! Strength is the highlight of this team, with deep edges and powerful skating.

Each team has a different style, so it's going to be an interesting match with lots to see. The NHK Trophy is popular with the athletes and attracts top skaters from all over the world. International competitions held in Japan have a unique Japanese hospitality and atmosphere, and all the international skaters seem to have a strong desire to compete in Japan.

--Yuna Nagaoka & Sumitada Moriguchi from Japan will compete in pairs.

I help out at the Kinoshita Academy at the Kyoto Ice Arena (Kyoto Uji Ice Arena) where they practice, and I sometimes get asked for advice or talk to them, so I want them to do their best. A little while ago, when they came back from a training camp in Canada, I saw that Moriguchi-kun's body had grown bigger, and I was surprised to see that he had acquired the body of a pair's skater. It's been a few months since Yuna-chan started to do pairs, but they're both working hard, so I think they're becoming a good team. I'm looking forward to it.

NHK Cup is also a memorable tournament for Kanadai

--Kanadai's debut competition was the 2020 NHK Trophy

The rhythm dance "The Mask" was created at the last minute. It was our debut competition, but at the time it was only Japanese competitors due to the Corona pandemic, so it didn't really feel like an international competition, more like the All-Japan Championships. I was deeply moved, but I also wondered what would happen from here.

I was very happy to come back to the NHK Trophy after a long time, because in 2006, Dai-chan (Daisuke Takahashi) won the NHK Trophy with "The Phantom of the Opera". I had seen that on TV, so I thought, "I'm going to start from here, with Dai-chan! So I feel that the NHK Trophy is a special competition for us.

--The following season, the Beijing season, you performed "Soran Bushi & Koto" at the NHK Trophy in 2021.

That season, the rhythm dance we performed at the NHK Trophy was the best, and I felt that the NHK Trophy was the right competition for us.

--At the 2022 NHK Trophy, you were in the second warm-up group for the free dance and skated in the same group as the world's top teams, including Madison Chock & Evan Bates (USA), who won the 2023 World Championships.

I was happy to hear everyone say, ``It's been a while, Kana-chan!'' As expected, the veteran-teams, who have been skating for many years were [lean?] and we learned a lot during practice.

"After I retire, I want to become a choreographer!"

--I know you've been busy since the announcement of your retirement, but could you tell us again how you're feeling?

In May, we announced our retirement, for the second time for Dai-chan and for the first time for me. When I first heard from Dai-chan that "this season is my last." I wasn't too surprised. After the World Championships and the World Team Trophy, the season was over and I realised, "There is no better way to end." I could really feel it. To be honest, I still think, "we could have done more!" But we didn't have any unfinished business. It was a really happy and wonderful end, so when we announced our retirement, I felt refreshed that we could finally announce it to everyone.

After that, thankfully, we had a lot of ice shows and events, so we were quite busy, so I still don't really feel like I'm retired... But I don't have any competitions, so it's a bit weird that I don't have a set schedule. But it's been about five months since I retired and I've become clearer about what I want to do, so I think it's been a fulfilling five months.

"I want to become a choreographer!" I used to have a vague idea, but as I watched various skaters and helped them brush up their skills, I thought, "Maybe I can express the music with choreography like this." I wondered, "What would it be like if I created it myself? I had a feeling of "What kind of program would I be able to create? I wonder if being a choreographer would be a rewarding job for me.

--You choreographed "Uta yo" (music from the film The Dragon and the Freckled Princess), which Shizuka Arakawa skated in the ice show "Friends on Ice", and it had a wonderful contemporary feel to it.

I hadn't seen many contemporary pieces in Ms Arakawa's programs. The song 'Uta yo' has only lyrics and melody, with no extra sounds, and I enjoyed choreographing it because of the way the movements showcase the lyrics and melody.

Nobunari Oda suggested to Ms Arakawa that the song "Uta yo" would be a good fit if she skated to it. When we were on the ice together in practice, Ms Arakawa was playing the song "Uta yo". I love "The Dragon and the Freckled Princess" too, so I thought, "That's a great song". When Ms Arakawa asked me, "Kana-chan, will you choreograph it for me?", I said, "Is it OK with you if I do it?" That's how it was decided.

It was the first time I had the opportunity to create proper choreography for Ms Arakawa's "Friends on Ice" program, and I really have nothing but gratitude to Ms Arakawa. It seems that Ms Arakawa also had her heart in mind when she gave me a solo part in this year's "Friends on Ice" show, and I feel that she really cares about me a lot.

--You mentioned that you would like to choreograph for Mr Takahashi, do you have any plans to do so?

I can't do it yet. I'm not ready to allow myself to do it yet, or rather, I'd like to create choreographies for Dai-chan after I've gained a bit more experience and input. Currently, I am creating programs for small Novice (a class for those who have not yet reached junior age. In Japan, players who have reached the age of 9 or 10 as of June 30th are classified as Novice B, and those aged 11 and 12 are classified as Novice A). I haven't done competition programs for junior and senior athletes yet.

--I am looking forward to the future. Many ice dancers are good choreographers, why is that?

In ice dance, you have to really focus on the melody and the beat because of the competitive nature, which is slightly different from singles. I think a lot of ice dancers have the ability to listen to music. They have spent more time expressing the music and have been doing it for many years, so maybe they are suited to be choreographers.

--Takahashi-san also said that he would like Muramoto-san to do a solo, do you have any plans to do so?

Actually, I already have a song in mind. Dai-chan told me, "I want Kana-chan to skate on this!" It will be a slightly mysterious, dark and mature song. It's full of really detailed sounds, and he said, "Only Kana can do this!" I have no choice but to do it! So I've got to do it!

I don't know who I will ask to choreograph it yet. I don't want to choreograph my own programs, and I would like to ask someone else to do it, but... "I want Dai-chan to choreograph it. I am pushing hard for it (laughs). Maybe we'll be able to see it choreographed by Dai-chan. I don't know where it will be unveiled yet, but I'm going to prepare for it anyway.

From now on, I will spend my days showing the 'new Kana Muramoto'.

--Ice dancing has a tradition of having many Western elements, but what are the key points to keep in mind when it comes to the Japanese style?

There are ways to express harmony in the form of the angle of the body and neck. In addition, I am conscious of the line of sight. It's quite a deep point, because you can express music in many different ways. That's why it's endless, because I also express the genre in my make-up and hair style. Japanese beauty is somewhat simple, isn't it? In ice dancing, the most difficult part is how to make it look flashy.

--I hope that Ms. Muramoto, as a choreographer, will nurture skaters who can convey the beauty of the Japanese culture.

I think that's something I still need to research. It's important to properly understand the background of a song, and unless you understand the history of Japan, you won't be able to express it properly. There are no rules, so the expression depends on how you feel the sound and how you bring it out from within. I think it is absolutely necessary to understand the music.

--Finally, could you give a message to your fans once again about your future after your retirement?

There are fans who have supported me since I was a singles skater, and I can only thank those who have supported us for three seasons as "Kanadai". The support and cheering of our fans is an absolute source of strength, and without their help we would not have made it this far, so I am truly grateful for that.

From now on, both Dai-chan and I want to take on various challenges, both as individuals and as "Kanadai". We are in an era where we have to open new pages and constantly evolve ourselves, so I hope you will continue to watch over us. I want to show you the 'new Kana Muramoto'!" and I hope you will continue to support me.
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Gold for the Winter Prince!
Record Breaker
Jan 23, 2004
Here is an article about Prince Ice World and what direction the show will be taking. It focuses on Dai's participation
in the musical numbers but tells a lot about the show itself. Good read.



Record Breaker
Nov 14, 2007
Very nice, positive articles on the current situation of Japanese ice dance after KanaDai, mainly focusing on UtaMasa and AzuShin :)
: part 1 https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/83fab7ac916a249ff0aee3e50bcf2d5a5f5ed6c8?page=1
part2 https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/056d52faf487bbfd6a1050c053f364ab39d70f48?page=1 Each article has 3pages.

Both teams were recently sent to Golden Spin Cup by JSF in irder to get Min Scores for the future int'l competitions, and finished 5th and 9th among total 19 ice dance teams despite their debut challenger competition! :clap::clap:

Good luck to UtaMasa, AzuShin and Team CoCo at the upcoming J-Nats! :hap10: Way to Go, J-Ice Dance! :rock:


Gold for the Winter Prince!
Record Breaker
Jan 23, 2004
Hi deedee hope all is well wth you.:) Thanks for sharing the articles. So nice to see the upcoming young talented ice dance teams and they
both had a good result at Golden Spin. :clap: Looking forward to their progress!


Final Flight
Mar 1, 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U38ZduH0HY First half of this shows Ice dance free from last season. Very beautiful. 😍

Thank you, unfortunately the video is geoblocked for me. :(


From "Mezamashi 8's" special feature on this year's Nationals ice dance competition:

Kana and Dai coincidentally met Azusa and Shingo while the latter were practicing for Nationals 🤩:


Christmas wishes from Kana-chan and Dai-chan (advertising the new Puma K7D1-beanies and neckwarmers at the same time):

And another one:

They are so cute. 😊

From Shizuka's twitter account:


Merry Christmas from me too to everyone, who celebrates it!!! 🎅🎄

As a "Christmas gift" - here's Kana's "playlist on ice", which was shown on TV Asahi 2 on December 3rd:

She chose several ice dance programs - among them Cathy and Chris' "Addams family" RD and her and Chris' "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" FD - as well as Dai's "Cyber Swan" and "In the garden of souls" SPs (all excellent picks imo). Her top pick was her and Dai's PotO at WTT. In this context she retold the story of how she imitated Dai's mask removal gesture from his own 2006-07 PotO FS at the end of their FD. The footage here also shows Dai then repeat the gesture after Kana (I don't remember seeing this on the original WTT broadcast). :)

I'll upload Dai's latest TV appearances in his fan fest in the next few days.


There's also these exciting news: On January 31st an official 128-page KanaDai book with a long interview by journalist Akiko Tamura, interspersed with photos spanning their three-year competitive career will be published. 🥰 There will be two different covers (the rest of the content will be identical). This is the regular cover:

And this is the limited edition with a "photogravure" by fashion magazine "Numero":

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