In many figure skating shows, skaters tend to play a bit safer, keeping a lot of triplets out of their show routines and instead focusing on fun and entertaining choreography. But playing it safe is not the name of the game at Vail’s Ice Spectacular, which has become a holiday tradition in recent years.
These skaters perform their best competitive routines – along with some “spectacular” holiday and popular music acts – filled with jumps, spins, throws and masterful carries.
Each holiday season, the Steadman Clinic and its partners bring some of the elite’s most competitive skaters to Vail for a series of free 20-minute weekly outdoor shows and the ultimate jewel: a 90-minute Ice Spectacular at the interior, at Dobson. Ice arena.
Just weeks away from the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships, the skaters are at their peak, and it shows in the energy, power and artistry they displayed on Thursday night. If the sound system was a little poor in terms of acoustics (which was not the case in previous years), the skaters made up for the lack of energy. And, after all, it’s about the skating, not the loud music blaring through the speakers.
Most of the skaters performed their short competitive routines in the first half, which meant lots of wonderful doubles, triples, carries (for pairs) and spins. Some have reduced their programs a bit but still have boldly succeeded in their competitive jumps on truncated ice; the ice seats were razed at each end and the sides of the full-size rink they are used to training on, so accomplishing such feats took courage. Jordan Moeller even threw a few daring back flips, and if you were sitting at either end of the ice where he landed them, for a split second I felt like he might just land on your lap.
Two-time Olympian Mirai Nagasu, one of the stars of the show, delivered a handsome and slightly sassy “Mr. Grinch” number in the first half, followed by her powerful and emotional “Warriors” routine.
Tomoki Hiwatashi delivered his robust short in his typical crowd-pleasing manner, while Camden Pulkinen showed off his solid technique and burgeoning artistry.
Joe Klein’s short program has proven to be a one to watch as the United States junior silver medalist this year.
Literally every performer stood out on Thursday night, whether they took to the ice as an innovative pair skating quartet on U2’s ‘Vertigo’, mesmerized audiences as a synchronized team, or dazzled as an artist. and unique athlete.
Local Vail skater Ariana Bruno kicked off the second half of the show, which featured a mix of a dozen routines that played out more like fireworks hitting the ice. One after another, the skaters wowed audiences with their choreography to popular songs ranging from an uplifting “Hallelujah” to “Rumor Has It” by Adele and “Big Love” by Fleetwood Mac.
Part of the absolute magic of Vail’s Ice Spectacular – besides the obvious: high-level talent – lies in the location itself. The intimate Dobsonian Arena allows for a personal experience of up-close competitive skaters that you don’t get anywhere else. As an added bonus, they stay a bit after the show, quite willing to talk with members of the audience, take photos, and sign autographs. It’s like a little piece of heaven for the fans.