Shoma Uno: “Free program choregraphed by Kenji Miyamoto is quite challenging. When I first heard the music, I was like, ‘Uh-oh,’
Shoma Uno about ice shows and programs for 2023/24 season.
source: nikkansports.com dd. August 29th
Figure skater Shoma Uno (25), who is currently a two-time World Champion, mentioned his interest in future ice show production.
On the 29th, Uno participated in a talk event for the sports brand Mizuno, where he serves as a brand ambassador. During the fan question corner, he was asked, “Do you have any interest in organizing ice shows in the future?”
Holding the microphone, Uno stated, “I do have the desire,” but he denied the possibility of realizing it in the near future, saying, “It might still be difficult.”
During the ice show “One Piece on Ice” held at the KOSE Shin-Yokohama Skate Center from August 11th to 13th, Uno took on new challenges, such as playing the role of the protagonist Monkey D. Luffy. He explained his reasons for this: “In One Piece, I am playing the role of the captain. While it’s not a complete production, I think there won’t be a show as enjoyable as this one. Of course, I also believe that my own ice show would be fun, but I’m a realistic type and I don’t think I can achieve it with my current abilities. It’s something I feel objectively, so it might still be difficult.”
He also said, “Active skaters are mainly focused on competition, so we can’t tie them down. If I were to do it, I would want to do it with people I get along with.”
At this point, his surprise guest, Kazuki Tomono, stated, “When the time comes and Shoma asks me, ‘Can you join me?’ I’ll leave it all to him!” The venue erupted in applause and cheers.
Regarding his role as the protagonist Monkey D. Luffy in “One Piece on Ice,” he reflected on the new challenge with a smile, saying, “It left a strong impression. It can be summed up as ‘fun.'”
He mentioned that he was surprised when he received the offer, wondering, “Why me?” However, he felt a sense of accomplishment as a performer through experiences like “completely immersing himself in the character.” He explained, “I’m usually centered around being myself, but this was completely different. I was conscious of delivering lines and expressions that could be conveyed from a distance. I don’t know if it will be useful in my active career, but it was an enriching experience for future shows.”
On this day, Kazuki Tomono, who played the role of Kozha in the same ice show, appeared as a surprise guest, with Keiji Tanaka, who played the role of Roronoa Zoro, serving as the host. When Tanaka highly praised Uno, saying, “Even though we were on the same ice, Shoma wasn’t there. There was Luffy,” Uno blushed and responded, “I’m really immersed in the role, so I’m happier to be called ‘Luffy’ than ‘Shoma!’ It gave me a sense of achievement that my complete immersion worked out.” He also humorously mentioned that he would feel embarrassed if he were called by his role during a competition, eliciting laughter from the audience.
The same ice show will have its finale at the Dolphin’s Arena in Aichi on September 2 and 3. Uno expressed his commitment, saying, “It’s sad that it will come to an end. I want to continue striving until the end, looking for even better things.”
Reflecting on the past season, which was fulfilling with achievements like winning back-to-back titles at the World Championships in March, he said, “Through the results, it became a year for me to reconsider my skating career.” He then expressed his ambitions for the current season, saying, “I hope to give my all to both competitions and ice shows.”
His new short program (SP) routine was choreographed by coach Stephane Lambiel. He revealed, “There won’t be any major changes in the program structure, but to put it bluntly, this year’s program is easier to perform.”
Regarding Lambiel’s choreography, he humorously commented, “It’s always incredibly challenging.” He explained how Lambiel’s style deviates from the usual pattern, he says “The theory is that if you step on the right side, you should step on the left side. I’m not good at doing steps in the opposite direction.” He mentioned that this year, there are fewer of these challenging elements, making it relatively easier.
His new free skate program, choreographed by Kenji Miyamoto, posed a different kind of difficulty. Uno openly spoke about it, saying, “It’s quite challenging for Miyamoto-sensei’s standards. We’ll unveil it someday, but when I first heard the music, I was like, ‘Uh-oh,’ that kind of feeling.” This candid remark delighted the audience.
In the ice show “One Piece on Ice,” Uno continues to take on new challenges, such as portraying the protagonist Monkey D. Luffy.
He explained his perspective shift, stating, “In the past, I’ve considered showing my competitive side in ice shows, but now I’m thinking about expressing myself in a way that suits the ice show rather than creating programs for competitions. Instead of focusing on ’24 hours for competition,’ I want to strive for something that can be sustained in the long run.” He openly talked about his changing mindset and showed enthusiasm for further advancement.
Shoma also expressed his gratitude for the support of those around him. During a Q&A session with fans, a question came up: “Could you tell us something amazing about your coach and manager?”
At first, Uno chuckled, but as he began speaking, his expression turned serious. “The information that’s publicly known is only a small part, and there are people who support us in various events. Even though there aren’t moments when they’re in the spotlight, whether it’s skaters or anyone in the public eye, it’s important to remember to live each day with a sense of gratitude,” he explained, as if reminding himself.
However, he also playfully admitted, “I’m saying this here, but I’m also casually selfish and causing trouble all the time.” Amid such jests, he continued, “The reason I’ve been able to continue for so many years is because of everyone who supports me, not just the staff, but also everyone who comes to events like this. I wanted to convey that I have such feelings, so I’ll occasionally express it,” he said, bowing his head. With a slightly bashful demeanor, he conveyed his everyday gratitude.
Shoma expressed his intention not to attempt the quadruple Salchow this season. He explained, “The return doesn’t match the risk. It’s been holding me back, so removing it would give me more flexibility.”
Continuing from last season, he also revealed that the choreographer for his free skate will be Kenji Miyamoto. However, he did not disclose the name of the music. During the summer, Uno’s activities have mainly focused on ice shows, and he will start his new season at the fourth event of the Grand Prix (GP) Series, the Cup of China (November, Chongqing). He shared his aspirations, saying, “The off-season has been busy. From now on, I’ll gradually shift my focus to practicing for competitions. Since I’ve decided to compete, I’ll give my best.”
Related topics: Shoma Uno