With a cast list that could take any figure skating fan for a spin, All That Skate brought together the royalty of the ice for an evening of fresh and entertaining performances. Figure skating legend Michelle Kwan and reigning Olympic champion Yuna Kim joined 14 of the most impressive athletes in figure skating today, including:
Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China (2010 Olympic Pairs Champions)
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada (2010 Olympic Ice Dance Champions)
Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland (Two-time World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist)
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany (Two-time World Champions and Olympic Bronze Medalists)
Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto of the United States (Olympic Silver Medalists and Four-Time World Medalists
Patrick Chan of Canada (Two-time world Silver Medalist, three-time National Champion and Four Continents Champion)
Johnny Weir of the United States (Three-time U.S. Champion and World Bronze Medalists)
Ashley Wagner (Two-time U.S. Bronze Medalist and NHK Trophy Bronze Medalist)
Both young and old found themselves clapping and dancing to the selection of catchy music and impeccable choreography brought together by acclaimed artistic director David Wilson. The program kicked off with a catchy hip-hop number "Get the Party Started," showcasing the two main stars, Kwan and Kim. Well-designed lighting and pyrotechnic effects added even more sparkle to the show, which perfectly embodied their theme, "Share the Dream."
From the incredible on-ice chemistry of 2010 Olympic Ice Dance Champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to three-time U.S. Men's Figure Skating Champion Johnny Weir's sparkling personality (and costume) during his performance to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," each program in the show highlighted the unbeatable technical skills and unforgettable artistry of the skaters who were performing. The synergy generated by such an all-star cast was stunning, and many of the 29 programs ended with standing ovations.
APA highlights some of our favorites performances below:
Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo
Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo skated the most impressive programs of the evening. Their first number to "Who Wants to Live Forever" included choreography from their Olympic short program, and the two newlyweds lit up the ice, as their performance showcased the passion and consistency that pushed the pair to Olympic gold back in February.
The second program by the beloved power couple was equally emotional and seemingly flawless. Skating to "Turandot" by Puchini, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo delivered stunning lifts, gasp-inducing jumps and undeniable chemistry on the ice.
Yuna Kim and Michelle Kwan
The powerful song "Hero" by Mariah Carey served as a template for the relationship between the sport's two most respected and beloved female skaters. In a much-anticipated duet, the two women paired up for an impressive artistic program that left avid fans fawning over the dynamic duo.
With five world championships, nine U.S. championships and two Olympic medals, Michelle Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in American history. Though it's well-known that Kim has viewed Kwan as a role model since Kim's early days as a young skater, Kwan readily embraces her role as mentor and close friend of Yuna Kim as well.
"Just watching her the last few years has been really incredible," says Kwan, "seeing her become more and more consistent and bring more passion into her skating. I think the Olympics just said it all. It was a statement. It said, 'I am here to take command.' And she really did. With all the pressure that she had... for her to be able to stand up and be like, 'I'm going to do this.' I watched, and I was just blown away.'
Kwan's first program to "No One" by Alicia Keys didn't incorporate a lot of advanced elements to wow the audience technically but certainly delivered the grace and consistency that Kwan has shown throughout her career. Her second program to "Winter Song" by Sara Bareilles, choreographed by her sister, felt more personal and reminded us of her legacy as an emotional, artistic skater. Given that All That Skate was her first performance in four years, Kwan impressively delivered two big jumps, a double Axel and a triple toe. She also, of course, wowed the audience with her signature move: a breath-taking spiral.
Known for her artistic legacy and post-skating penchant for foreign affairs, Kwan is currently working towards a masters degree in international relations at Tufts University. As for whether or not we'll see Kwan on the ice again in the future, she tells APA: 'I don't know. I have nothing planned right now. Just really enjoying the moment, savoring these moments...and then it's back to school!" Even if she doesn't skate again, she may still remain in the public eye. "I could see myself in the foreign service," says Kwan. "I could see myself even in politics. I'm just taking one thing at a time and the essential thing for me now is to learn and get experience."
It's hard to believe that Yuna Kim, the figure skating sensation of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and bigger-than-life celebrity of South Korea, just celebrated her 20th birthday last month. Having made her senior international debut only four years ago, Kim has firmly established herself as a force to be reckoned with. Kim's thoughtful demeanor off the ice transforms into enormous athleticism and artistic expressiveness in her performances. She takes command of the venue and captures the audience very effectively. Her spins are flawless, and her jumps suggest that Olympic gold is only one of many accomplishments the young Korean star will achieve in her lifetime.
Even Korean pop singer Younha mentioned her pride in performing for her country's biggest star before closing out the show with a playful rendition of "Just Can't Get Enough" by The Saturdays: "Everybody in Korea, we are so proud of Yuna. I'm so happy to be here to sing at her show. In fact, I'm a little nervous."
Her first program, to "Meditation for Thais" by J. Massenet, featured beautiful spins and admirable choreography. Her second performance, to "Bulletproof" by La Roux, showed off a more playful and trendy side, showing that she's a youth at heart. It's easy to see why the figure skating world is both mesmerized by her exceptional athleticism and endeared by her lovable demeanor.
All That Skate might just be the coolest thing to hit the figure skating world in recent history. Don't miss your chance to watch this unique performance. All That Skate will be broadcast on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.