Yuzuru Hanyu: “I hoped that this program of “Notte Stellata” would deliver a little hope, like a star, for people suffered from 3/11 earthquake and also those who only know about it from the news.”
Yuzuru Hanyu about “Notte Stellata” Ice Show.
! Please take into account that interview was translated via machine translation so it may not be completely accurate or conveying all the details and nuances. !
Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu (28), who turned pro last summer, opened his ice show “Notte stellata” on the March 10th. Along with skaters who are active both domestically and internationally, including Akiko Suzuki (37), who has participated in two consecutive Winter Olympics, and Kohei Uchimura (34), who won consecutive individual all-around gold medals in men’s gymnastics at the Summer Olympics, appeared as a special guest. The show also featured a joint performance by the summer and winter champions. After the performance, Hanyu made the following remarks:
“I was very nervous while skating in front of everyone. Every year on March 11th, I have been skating quietly with feelings of prayer, gratitude, and sadness.
However, performing in front of all of you with these emotions on March 11th as part of this project, I must admit I’m very nervous as it’s my first time acting in such a project.
But because it’s the “Notte Stellata” show, I hope you can feel the emotions that I want to convey, as well as the new aspects of the program that can be seen because of this show, such as the emotions, themes, and so on.
The opening part was choreographed by Mr. David Wilson. For the part after Mr. Uchimura’s appearance, I choreographed everything myself. There were almost no discussions or consultations about the structure of the choreography between Mr. Uchimura and me.
When we actually met here and rehearsed together for the first time, there were moments when we were modest to each other or measured our distance. You might have felt it watching our performance, but we focused on each other and collided in a way that resonated. We were conscious of wanting to create a place where our sincere energy would mix in this program.
To be honest, I’m still not used to performing in the midst of applause… It’s been a while since I’ve felt the presence of the audience while performing, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like the audience was there as I skated from start to finish. I’m nervous and I think I need to concentrate more. On the other hand, it’s also a chance to realize that it’s reaching everyone, and various feelings are swirling around.
Of course, not all people may have been hurt by 3/11. I think there are places that were not actually damaged by the earthquake, and there may be people at this venue who only know about it from the news.
However, I hoped that this program of “Notte Stellata” would deliver even a little hope, like a star, to those people as well. I thought that Mr. Uchimura has the same aura as me. I also have an aura that says I must concentrate on myself, otherwise my performance will be carried away.
Because I’ve been doing solo shows recently, I feel that I have to demand quality from my own skating. I’m not watching various skaters or co-stars perform or practice. But when I practice for collaborations or actually collaborate, I still feel an aura that makes me want to see it myself as well.
In that sense, I thought maybe I’m a “pro.” Even if Kohei Uchimura didn’t have achievements in sports, I felt that he would still have something that transcends the framework of sports, skills, and techniques, something that attracts people and has charisma, and I felt that while collaborating this time.
In simple terms, I thought it was cool. Well, whether or not I have that (charisma) is another matter, but I felt that Kohei Uchimura’s gymnastics is not just limited to gymnastics.
The feelings that were put into “Notte Stellata” were, of course, a big theme of hope this time. It may have been a little hard to see, but they put up the starry sky from around 3.11 on the screen. At the end, instead of going in the usual direction, I was skating towards that direction with the starry sky and the hope that came out of it, feeling like I had been skating while feeling that way.
This is actually how we created the opening while talking with David, who made the program called “Notte Stellata”. The opening is an original song, but we’ve been talking about wanting to show the skaters in this cast like shooting stars.
I perform in the piece called “Starry Night,” and we created the opening with the feeling of stars falling from there. So the program “Notte Stellata” and the opening that follows can be seen as one program, and I also acted a little while feeling that way.
The reason I chose “Come on Spring” is that the main theme is hope. I’ve skated this program at various scenes like GIFT of (Tokyo Dome Ice Show) and the Prologue of my first solo ice show, but what I’m drawing this time is thinking about the earthquake disaster directly and wondering what hope is for those who have experienced the disaster. So, I was skating while imagining various things like that and wondering if I could be like that myself.
As for the collaboration with Mr. Uchimura, when it actually took shape, I heard the cheers and tried it myself, and I thought that this would create a huge amount of energy as a new form.
As for me, I will be attempting a quadruple toe loop. Since he was also performing serious elements, I was able to concentrate and enter my own world. Although the floor and the skating rink are different places, the energy amplifies and we support each other, collide, and so on. I think I could see a combination of different powers.
One thing I think about when performing together is that I believe Mr. Uchimura also feels various things about performing and executing techniques on stage, with lighting and various other elements, cheers, and many people’s eyes on him.
I think he probably feels what the audience wants and what is beyond the score. I am also looking forward to seeing Mr. Uchimura bring new winds to the world of gymnastics after experiencing this event.”
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