All That Skate LA: Finally, a skating show that delivers!

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Michelle Kwan, Winter Song
Anyone who knows me, knows that I used to love figure skating. There was a period in my life, from the 1988 Olympics up to 2004 that I absolutely adored figure skating. From the 1988 Olympics, there were the classics, “THE era” of figure skating that dominated the airwaves with the likes of Katarina Witt, Kurt Browning, Brian Boitano, Brian Orser, Kristi Yamaguchi, Gordeeva and Grinkov, and so many other wonderfully and classically trained skaters. One skater that stood out for me was the now legendary Michelle Kwan. In the past four years, skating has been dry and uninspiring to me, with the new COP judging system and what seemed to be all the same old routines over and over again. At one point, I would tape skating every time it was on. Now, I have no idea when it is on, nor could I care less. The shows that stations broadcast now a days are focused primarily on the singers or celebrities and don’t emphasis what skating might have to offer.

The weekend of October 2-3, about two weekends ago, marked Michelle Kwan’s return to the ice on home soil. It has been a little more than 4 years since Michelle last skated for her friends and family, and her return was in the form of Yuna Kim’s ice show “All that Skate”. I didn’t have many expectations going in, as I had sort of seen what the shows were set up to be like when they were done in Korea. I just cared that Michelle was skating, and I paid money to see her. To my surprise, and to those of my friends, “All that Skate LA” went beyond what we had expected. It was a classy production, with pyrotechnics – lighting, fire, fireworks, and with three Olympic gold medalists and first rate skating by some of my favorites. (Ice dancers Virtue and Moir, pairs Shen and Zhao, Yuna Kim, Patrick Chan, Stephane Lambiel, S&S – of which I would butcher their name if I attempted to spell it, Belbin & Agosto, Johnny Weir, and US National Bronze Medalist Ashley Wagner.) The group numbers were hip, with popular catchy (but not really trashy) music. What was most evident was that the skaters themselves looked truly happy to be there and looked to be having a lot of fun. Michelle for instance, looked as though she was simply oozing happiness with a consistent grin plastered on her face. It’s hard not to smile when it’s obvious that the skater you’re watching is having the time of their life enjoying what they’re doing. Surprise favorite for me was Stephane Lambiel. This Swedish guy was definitely something to watch. NBC unfortunately did not broadcast his William Tell program, but it had the crowd going for the last 15 seconds of his program.

NBC broadcast-ed it this past weekend, and though about half of the performances (except for Michelle and Yuna’s – both were included) were cut, it included great camera work. I still think that the classiness of the show was not fully projected well on the screen, and as with most things, a lot better live, but in comparison to the previous shows we have seen in the past, NBC did a good job with its editing. I give this show a thumbs up, and recommend people to attend this show when it comes back to Los Angeles next year. It’s too bad it already aired, but you can catch a few of the best performances on youtube : )

Here are a few of my favorites:
All that Skate LA, NBC Broadcast, Opening “Get the Party Started”

All that Skate LA, NBC Broadcast, Michelle Kwan’s “Winter Song”

All that Skate LA, NBC Broadcast, Stephane Lambiel’s “Let the Good Times Roll”

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