“I had cherished the idea to work with Jeff Buttle for a long time and if I were to describe his choreo in one word, it would be incredibly tasteful.” Kazuki Tomono about his new short program
Kazuki Tomono about working with Jeffrey Buttle on his new program for the 2023/24 season.
source: nonno.hpplus.jp 23d May 2023
“I turned 25 years old!”
Kazuki Tomono: I recently celebrated my birthday and turned 25 years old. As I approach the veteran stage, I want to show a new side of myself this year. Instead of being defensive I wish I could challenge myself in everything I do, staying true to who I am! I will strive to perform refined and beautiful skating!
“I have returned from choreographing the new short program!
The choreographer is Jeffrey Buttle!”
Kazuki Tomono: I have finished choreographing the programs for the upcoming season and returned from Canada yesterday (May 21st)!
For the past few years, I have entrusted Misha (Misha Ge) with choreographing both the short and free programs, but this time I wanted to challenge something new. That’s why I asked Jeff (Jeffrey Buttle) to choreograph the short program.
Jeff has always been an admired skater, and having him choreograph for me was also a dream of mine. In fact, the inspiration for my exhibition program “Daft Punk” in the 2018-19 season came from watching Jeff perform in “The Ice.” He is a very special person who has had a significant impact on me.
I am a huge fan of his beautiful skating and his stylish choreography that is instantly recognizable as Jeff’s. Moreover, there is a certain similarity in the atmosphere that makes me feel happy when watching him perform. I thought that he could have a positive influence on me.
I had cherished the idea in my heart for a long time, hoping that someday it would come true. But now, I took the courage to ask him, thinking that if there was a time to do it, it would be now. And it was wonderfully realized. Until today, I genuinely feel that all the hard work I’ve put into skating has been worth it.
The new short program is choreographed to Cody Fry’s “Underground.” The song is “Underground” by an artist named Cody Fry, and I’m using the orchestral version from his album “Symphony Sessions.”
Originally, I wanted to leave the song selection to the choreographer for the upcoming season to expand my horizons. Jeff kept suggesting completely different songs like, “What about this? How about that?” But when I saw the song he sent me last, I felt like a miracle had happened.
The reason is that I saw Chock/Bates using Cody Fry’s song for their exhibition number, and I had always wanted to use one of his songs someday. In fact, I thought I would try it out this year. So when Jeff sent me this song, it felt like a miracle.
“Underground” has lyrics about a man coming out from underground and getting hit by a train, but it’s metaphorical. It’s a positive theme that expresses the beauty of love and life, which resonates with me perfectly. The first half is romantic and beautiful, while the second half builds up in a way that none of my previous programs had.
The choreography process was full of fresh and enjoyable moments. Jeff is just so cool during the choreography. His immersion in the world of the music and his contemplation of the next movement were filled with charisma. I couldn’t help but be captivated by his presence. Jeff and Stephane are skaters from the generation I admired the most, so I can only learn how to achieve such refined skating from them.
Jeff’s choreography feels smooth, and it incorporates many simple yet visually appealing movements. The balance between simplicity and creativity is exquisite. If I were to describe it in one word, it would be incredibly tasteful. However, because of that, it requires technique, so I realized that I still need to polish my skating skills.
Even though it may seem improvisational, every spin and move is calculated meticulously. That’s the choreographer who has created programs for top skaters.
However, incorporating jumps is still a bit challenging. The program is so rich, with attention to every single note, that it doesn’t lend itself to easy solutions (laughs). It may look simple, but it’s incredibly difficult, so I need to practice diligently to make it my own.
I’m excited because I think I’ve created a stylish program that embodies “THE Jeff.” The premier will probably be at “Dream on Ice,” and I hope you can listen to the music and let your imagination expand!
Related topics: Jeffrey Buttle, Kazuki Tomono
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