During the Pyeongchang Olympics free skate American figure skater Nathan Chen engaged in an amazing pursuit of the leaders and became etched into our memories as an indomitable fighter. This is his first attempt at a fashion shoot. Despite his beautiful dancey poses he declares with shy modesty, “I can dance on the ice, but on the floor it might be a little clumsy.”
He won the World Championships following the Games, and since then has performed in numerous ice shows in Japan in addition to debuting the new season’s programs. Continuing from the previous season his short program is a danceable number by Canadian choreographer Shae Lynn Bourne. “The music is Boston Brass’s ‘Caravan’ (including ‘Moliendo Cafe’ by the same artist). Shae Lynn’s programs are distinctively unique, and she has fantastic taste in her musical selections! She plays several songs at the ice rink and watches the everyday people to observe their reactions. She noted a great response to ‘Nemesis’ and ‘Caravan’, such as people moving their shoulders or dancing to the music, so she recommended them to me. I agreed they were good.”
Bourne choreographed a different ‘Caravan’ program for skater Daisuke Takahashi which became famous after he skated it in ice shows. “It’s because his ‘Caravan’ was truly incredible that I want to create one in my own style. In addition to his jumps and spins Takahashi’s artistry is also at a high level. He’s a total package skater and has the skills that I would like to have. I grew up watching him and was encouraged by him. I’m incredibly happy for his comeback.”
Incidentally, when asked about other skaters who influenced him Adam Rippon’s name is mentioned.
“He always makes us laugh with his comments filled with no-nonsense humor. He’s someone who brightens up the atmosphere of our rink, and my goal is to become a calm person like he is. After the Olympics it was natural that he’d become hugely popular in America. His rinkmates have all known of his charm for a long time.”
The choreography for the free skate was entrusted to Marie France Debreuil’s team in Montreal, and of the songs suggested to him he chose Woodkid’s “Land of All.”
“This season my goals are to polish my edge control and to move with greater freedom and smoothness. I thought their abundant expertise would be useful in learning how to use edges and how to present the choreography in a more dramatic fashion. [Pyeongchang Ice Dance Gold Medalists] Tessa [Virtue] and Scott [Moir] also used their programs to manage their exciting comeback. When I discussed it with my coach Rafael we were both in complete agreement about them. Heading towards the Beijing Olympics we are looking for the perfect combination of short and free programs, but each year we want to bring together different abilities in order to develop new styles. By the way, the choreography of the free was mainly a collaboration between Marie France and Samuel Chouinard. Woodkid’s voice is unique. There’s nobody that can sing with that kind of pitch.”