“I wanted something cool, danceable, and stylish. So, I thought of having Shae-Lynn do this. We worked on the choreography for about 4 hours straight.” Muramoto and Takahashi about new show program
Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi about new programs for show and working with Shae-Lynn Bourne.
source: jbpress.ismedia.jp dd. 28th August 2023 by Takaomi Matsubara
The ice show “Friends on Ice” was held at the KOSE Shin-Yokohama Skating Center from August 25th to 27th. On the evening of the 24th, a public rehearsal was conducted in advance.
In its 17th year since 2006, the show featured skaters from both Japan and abroad, including Shizuka Arakawa. Among the participants were also Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi.
After announcing his retirement from competitive skating in May of this year, they had been making several appearances in ice shows, leading up to this day.
On this day, the two of them showcased a new program as professionals – “Birds, Makeba.”
The choreography was done by Shae-Lynn Bourne, who had previously worked on Daisuke Takahashi’s programs in single skating such as “Mambo Medley” and “Pagliacci.”
“I wanted something cool, danceable, and stylish. So, I thought of having Shae-Lynn-san do this.” (Takahashi)
As soon as the two of them appeared, cheers echoed throughout the venue. Soon after, they began their performance.
“She (Shae-Lynn Bourne) put a lot of effort into it since it’s been a while since she did ice dance choreography. We worked on the choreography for about 4 hours straight. The first half is very jazzy and stylish, while the second half features an African song that gets you excited, and your body starts moving on its own.” (Takahashi)
“(During the choreography) Shae-Lynn was doing all sorts of movements, really moving freely.” (Muramoto)
Their costumes also enhanced the effect of complex and cohesive movements, dynamic and energetic, as Muramoto explains:
“For the costumes, we had the costume designers look for about 10 different designs used in Africa, and from those, we selected around 5 patterns that matched well with each other. The costumes were created to match those patterns.”
The colorful patterns, asymmetric on each side for both Takahashi and Muramoto, created various visual effects depending on the angle and their positions, whether they were standing side by side or facing each other. These costumes added to the energetic yet stylish performance.
Above all, the new program showcased the foundation they have built together since forming their partnership. The sense of distance, the synchronization of their breath, and the unity they displayed in their performance are unique to these two. Once again, they conveyed the world they have built together.
Since it was not a competitive program, there were also new attempts. When Takahashi executed a jump, Muramoto showcased a spin. They incorporated solo moments into the performance. This was a new experiment that came with their transition to professional skating.
Not limited to their new program, the two showed various possibilities throughout the show.
Towards the end of the first half, they performed a group number, “Poeta.” This piece is considered one of Stephane Lambiel’s representative works, including the performance at the 2007 World Championships, featuring Lambiel, Andrew Poje, and Takahashi and Muramoto. Arakawa explained how the idea came about:
“It was the very first group number that came to mind. I really loved what Muramoto and (Chris) Reed did when they were competing, and Stephane’s representative works. Many skating fans wanted Daisuke to skate something in the flamenco or tango style, and I was one of them. So, I thought this is something I definitely want them to do.”
In this number, each of the four skaters showcased their individual strengths and charm. Muramoto displayed precise expression.
Takahashi engaged in a “real step battle with Stefan” (Arakawa’s words), demonstrating steps while positioned diagonally opposite each other. Both skaters had a strong presence, but Takahashi’s unwavering determination and strength were particularly impressive, creating one of the standout moments in the show.
In the context of their post-competitive career journey, their performances in this show, featuring new programs, showcased a sense of liberation and marked a new beginning for both of them.
Related topics: Kana Muramoto Daisuke Takahashi
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