2003 Ice Chips

"Ice Chips" is the Skating Club of Boston's annual show, and it's been an annual event for me the past few years, too. This year I went to the Saturday evening show on April 5. I took a lot of photos and virtually no notes at all, so my write-up is going to be pretty brief, and I apologize for any mistakes or omissions in doing this from memory.

The theme of this year's show was "Broadway On Ice", and the first half of the show included a whole bunch of ensembles featuring club skaters of all ages and ability levels. Generally speaking, all the club skaters who had solos did really well; it seemed like most of them were attempting and landing their hardest jumps under show lighting.

Here's what I remember: Curran Oi, who was featured as Captain Hook in the "Peter Pan" number, landed two double axels. Dani Cohen and Stephen Carriere had solo spots in the "Guys and Dolls" number, and I think Dani's hardest jump was a double axel but Stephen definitely landed a triple toe (and looked totally thrilled about it, too). I imagine both of these guys will be moving up to novice in the coming season. Peter Kozodoy was featured in the "Mamma Mia" number and I think the hardest jump he did was also a double axel. Katie Thordarson and Chynna Pope were the featured skaters in the "Fosse" section, and Katie made the best of the opportunity to show us she can do both triple toe and triple salchow.

After this, there were some solos to end the first act. Victoria Devins & Kevin O'Keefe skated their free dance. Jason Wong skated a show program to an arrangement of "Your Song". He landed a triple loop but popped the toe loop to a double and the axel to a single. Very nice carriage and use of the upper body, though; you can really see Mark Mitchell's influence. I can't remember what Louann Donovan skated to, but she did a triple toe/triple toe(!) and a triple salchow and generally looked a lot sharper than she did at last year's show.

Chengjiang Li skated his "Kung Fu" short program, scaling back the jump content to triple toe and triple salchow. (I guess doing a quad under show lights is too much to ask.)

Brian Boitano skated to "If I Could". It's one of his typical ballad numbers, a fairly long program for a show number. I observed that he is no longer the king of the 'tano triple lutz -- after watching Ryan Jahnke do them all week at Worlds the previous week, I can say that Ryan's is now bigger, faster, and higher. OTOH, Brian's death drop is still the most humungous thing I've ever seen. He also did a double axel, triple salchow, and triple toe in the program.

On to the second half of the show. Here we had mostly solos by club skaters and the invited guest stars.

Kristin Tudisco skated a solo to a disco version of "Con Te Partiro", but I'm having a hard time remembering what she did, other than that she was quick and energetic as usual. Next we had "Mame", a group number featuring adult ice dancers from the club, including Emily & Shep Holt, who were introduced as having participated in every Ice Chips show for the last 55 years! After this, Act I of Boston, the club's ice theatre group, did a program about peace. It sounds kind of strange, but it worked and they were able to get the point across.

Next we got to see some more of the club's up-and-coming skaters: Juliana Cannarozzo (national intermediate silver medalist), Melanie Drogseth (national intermediate champion), and Jessica Ranko Houston (national novice bronze medalist). Absolutely no doubt in my mind that Melanie was the star of this bunch; her presentation was astonishing for an intermediate, and she landed at least one triple in her program. She skated to the song from "Mulan", IIRC. Juliana skated to a GFB and did a double axel, while Jessica took a really hard fall on a double axel near the beginning of her program and didn't do anything other than doubles for the rest. But throw in Katie Thordarson, who landed two triples in the first act, and this is an amazingly talented "crop" of girls.

Mixed in here, we also got Kylie Gleason & Taylor Toth, national intermediate pair champions, and Samantha Cepican & Phillip Lichtor, who placed 4th in novice dance at nationals. Loren Galler-Rabinowitz & David Mitchell skated their free dance, and Scott Smith skated a show program. I remember he did a triple lutz in it. OTOH, coming right after Worlds, I was really struck by how much work Scott still has to do on his stroking and knee bend if he wants to be competitive at that level.

Chengjiang Li did the show program with the "tribbles" on his outfit that he also skated at Worlds. I personally enjoy Chengjiang's weird sense of humor a lot, and I was pleased to see that he got a huge response from the crowd. Brian Boitano got a bigger ovation just for being Brian Boitano, but Chengjiang was the one whose actual skating got people excited.

Linda Fratianne skated to a GFB. As far as I can recall, she did no jumps at all, but she did the usual assortment of spins, spirals, etc. Pretty skating, but not exactly my cup of tea. It looks like she hasn't really been training for quite a while now. I guess I should give her credit for having the guts at her age to wedge herself into one of her typical sparkly outfits, cut very low on top and very high on the bottom.

Brian Boitano closed out the show by skating to "Hernando's Hideaway". In contrast to the program he skated in the first act, this one was light on technical content (double toe/double toe/double loop?) and included a lot of standing around posing and miming. At one point he pulled out a cigar and started puffing away, which made me remember the announcer's stern warning at intermission that smoking was absolutely prohibited in the building. :-P


Photos are Copyright (c) 2003, Sandra J. Loosemore, and are provided for personal viewing only except as noted in Skateweb's photo use policy. I apologize for not getting photos of all the group numbers. I tried, but the lighting was not adequate (it was better with the soloists under spotlights).

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