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Reviews for SOI in Halifax

Shae-Lynn and Victor practicing for SOI in Halifax
Photo courtesy of the Halifax Herald

Review by Lisa Wadden

The SOI show in Halifax was great. The skaters had been here since monday practicing and getting the group routines ready. Opening night is always exciting, and fun to be at. The opening number was 7 minutes of Led Zepplin. The skaters all dressed alike, but it was easy to pick out Shae and Victor. After the intro, out they came and skated to a short introduction piece to a standing ovation. Despite a slight mishap on Shae's part during the Hydroblading, the crowd loved it. It was easy to see that they were going to be the crowd favorite. About halfway through the show, when the lights were off, the audience started screaming as two people skated onto the ice. Although we were unable to see their faces at that point in time, we knew that it was Shae Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz. As the spotlight hit them and they struck the opening pose in the now famous Riverdance costumes, the crowd were raised to their feet in a deafening standing ovation. I had never experienced a moment like this before a skater skated the preformance. It was like we were recognizing them for all that they have done this year, all that should have been their's and all that will be in the years to come. Shae was visibly moved. The actual Riverdance preformance was spectacular. It contained the fast begining part, with the familiar footwork and difficult moves that we all now know off by heart thanks to Olympics and Worlds. Some new sections were added, and some taken out. Including the slow part in the middle. This preformance was certianly the highlight of the evening for me. As the crowd stood on their feet once again, I knew that whatever else happened in the show tonight, this would be the preformance I will always remember. I have seen Bourne and Kraatz preform Riverdance three times live this year. It has been interesting to be there at Skate Canada when they first did it, and then again at Worlds, their final competition. Every time I have seen it, I like it more, and I have different memories of each. Stars on Ice was no exception. The next number B&K did was after the intermission. It was a wonderful piece that was totally different then the Dan hill program we have seen before. It was a bit bluesy, and but rock and roll. All in all though, it was classic Shae and Vic, and I'll bet not one member of the audience looked away from them the entire time. Once again another standing ovation. This piece was a refreshing change from the show numbers we have seen from this pair in the past. It still included the deep edges, the soft knees, the wonderful extensions, and the amazing Hydroblading that we have come to expect and love from B&K. This team fit perfectly into the Stars on Ice cast with great audience support, and fun group numbers. At the end as they took their final bows, all I could think was, "I can't wait till next year!"

Review from Ann Shupe

A colorful array of lights, strong, muscular bodies clad in bright, finely tailored costumes, the swift, crisp movements of gleaming blades, and the roar of a sell-out Halifax crowd. These are just some of the elements that contributed to one of the most entertaining and inspiring shows I've ever seen. Halifax was the first stop on the Canadian Chrysler Stars On Ice tour. Some of the cast members are different from those that were on the US tour, and the most notable cast additions are those of Shae-Lynn and Victor and Steven Cousins, on the tour for the first time. Shae-Lynn and Victor were one of the highlights of the night for, especially their trademark free dance to Riverdance. There is nothing like seeing this live. Act 1 opened with the effectively choreographed Get the Led Out ensemble number. The cast, attired in black leather and red tops, strutted their stuff to Bonham by Christopher Rouse. Shae-Lynn and Victor then got things really going with their skate to The Immigrant Song, followed by Josee, Steven, and Isabelle and Lloyd, who banded together for No Quarter. But the highlight of this number came when Kurt and Brian (what a combination!) took turns skating to Moby Dick. Kurt with his versatility, had no trouble executing his always sharp footwork in hockey skates. To round out the Led Zeppelin theme, Elena and Denis grooved to Whole Lotta Love. The next section of the show, entitled Promenade des Muses consisted of just two numbers, Steven (is this guy gorgeous or what?) made the first muse appearance, skating to Gershwin's Promenade. Katia followed with her charming Smile number, sung by Nana Mouskouri. This is the kind of number that suits Katia best.. Next came The Smooch, started off by the Muses, who soon cleared the ice for the incomparable Brian Orser. In classic Brian style, he skated to 5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days by Louis Prima. Brian is still one of the best jumpers in the world- and one of the nicest skaters on the business! His championship form (and trademark backflip!) is alive and well. Torvill and Dean brought laughs with Tango. Their edges are as deep, and their moves as crisp as ever. Next came Isabelle and Lloyd with Fly, a perfect tune for them. I don't think there is a program of theirs that I don't like. As usual, they had the fans on the edge of their seats with their exciting lifts. I had the good fortune of meeting Isabelle before the show. She's as nice as she is brave! The next number brought the house down. Before Riverdance even began, Shae-Lynn and Victor were treated to a most deserving standing ovation. It was a bit different from their competitive program. A slow piece had been added on to the opening and a portion in the middle omitted. Seeing Riverdance live was the ultimate experience. Shae-Lynn and Victor electrified the Metro Centre with their impeccable dance steps and smooth hydroblading. And, as always, Shae-Lynn positively lit up the room with that beautiful, sincere smile of hers. Act 1 was capped off with the now infamous Fun & Games skit. Definitely one of the most memorable parts of the show. Brian was hilarious as Swifty the sportswriter, and Kurt, of course, was right at home in his role Cyril Lutz. Ironically, Shae-Lynn and Victor played judges... Act 2 began with Amusing, as the muses sat on a bench at centre ice to lace up their skates. When the muses exited, Josee brought on The Sweater. This is such a cute number and I really admire Josee for being able to execute her jumps and spins is that oversized sweater! Steven then did Love Rears Its Ugly Head. I was impressed upon discovering that he co-choreographed this number. Steven has all the makings of a showmen. I hope to see him on the tour again next year. After Steven,Elena and Denis skated to Joue Jusqu'au Matin. The Elvis medley was amazing. Katia, Josee and Kurt worked their magic to Fever, then Katia did Can't Help Falling in Love With You. As she began, I heard someone near me comment, "Oh. that's nice." My thoughts exactly. The best part, however, was when Kurt skated to a standing ovation with Are You Lonesome Tonight. Probably my favorite Elvis song, which was why I was thrilled when Kurt introduced this program at the beginning of the season. His jumps were perfect, especially his axel split variation, which, to my delight, he executed right in front of my section of seats. The man is a genius. He then stopped in front of my section to while Josee skated to Too Much. I didn't see too much of Too Much because I had my eyes on Kurt for most of it! He looked so tired, poor guy. Surrender ended the Elvis medley, and then Brian mesmerized me once again with a program called Namaste, and Shae-Lynn and Victor introduced their new one, Stop. Lloyd and Isabelle were once again breathtaking with Ballroom Blitz, with the audience clapping along. Torvill and Dean's familiar Still Crazy After All These Years was the second last solo program. The last was none other than Antares. To finally see this live after watching it on tape a million times- well, there are no adequate words to describe this illustrious program. Kurt has the best spread eagle in the world. And no one can jump right out of footwork quite like Kurt can. Antares is just masterful. It sends chills up my spine. As the show ended, Kurt expressed how happy he was to be back in Halifax. I know that he will always hold a special place in his heart for my city, where he won his second world championship in 1990. After the show, my good friend Sarah and I stood outside the SOI reception room waiting for Kurt to appear, as we didn't have tickets for the reception. We figured he would emerge from one of the elevators, so we kept a watch on them from our post in front of the door leading to the stairs. As we stood there, the creak of the door behind us alerted us that someone was coming from the stairway. Imagine our shock when KURT steps out. I still can't believe the timing. He signed my Kurt: Forcing the Edge book. Not once but twice, since there are 2 title pages. What a guy. I told him he had skated great tonight. He smiled that irresistible trademark smile of his and jokingly replied something to the effect of, "Well, there were a couple of train wrecks, but other than that..." Last year he has signed my SOI ticket, but that was nothing compared to having him autograph my book. What a priceless moment to cap off an unbelievable day. I wish I could thank him again. He is truly an inspiration. Kurt continues to prove time and time again that he is not only a gifted figure skater, but a warm, caring, funloving individual as well. Stars On Ice just wouldn't be the same without him. Later, Victor passed right in front of us, but he went by so quick I couldn't catch him for an autograph. We waited forever for Shae-Lynn, because I was dying to meet her, she is so personable and genuine, but it appeared she wouldn't be attenging the reception. Disappointing, but there's always next year!br>

Review by Jan

My 'Stars On Ice' Review This is my review of the Canadian 'Stars on Ice' show in Hamilton. Members in the show: Kurt Browning, Brain Orser, Josee Chouinard, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, Elena Bechke and Denis Petrov, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, and Steven Cousins. It started with the cast skating around to Led Zepplin music. It took me a little bit to figure out who everybody was. Almost all the girls got hair cuts. They were introduced and I think that Kurt Browning and Shae and Vic got the loudest applause. Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz- they skated to "The Imigrant Song" for about 2 minutes. Of course, they did their trademark hydroblading. Josee Chouinard, Steven Cousins, and Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler skated to "No Quarter". (Note: These are all Led Zepplin songs if you didn't know.) Elena Bechke and Denis Petrov were next and skated to "Whole Lotta Love". They did a lot of tricks. She was one of the people who got their hair cut. It looked okay, I guess. Ekaterina Gordeeva skated to "Smile" by Nana Mouskouri. This is probably my favourite Katia number of this season. She did pretty well. I think she landed a triple-toe. She also got her hair cut. It's very short. I didn't even recognize her. Brian Orser was next and skated to "5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days" by Louis Prima. This was the same original dance song used by Krylova and Ovsiannikov. He did okay. It was enjoyable. Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean skated to a tango number where at the beginning, she is moving a trunk and tries to get him to help her. It was a cute number. They are probably one of the best ice dance teams around. Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler skated to "Fly" by Sugar Ray. I saw this number before on tv so I was expecting it to be on the tour. They did pretty well and they had really good lifts. I found the music choice weird cause it was Sugar Ray. Next was the thing I was waiting for. Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz skated "Riverdance". Everybody started cheering and clapping before they even started. They did this intro and went into the first part of their competitive long program. They only did half of of it. I was sort of angry cause I wanted to see the whole thing. (Oh yeah, Shae also was one of the people who cut their hair.) Next was a group number called "Fun and Games" which was supposed to mock amateur competition. It was really well done. Brian Orser played "Swifty", a journalist who narrated the whole story. Katia(Lily Pureheart), Kurt(Cyril Lutz), Josee(Annie Ne'eragain) and Isabelle and Lloyd(Gorky and Park) were all coached by Christpher Dean(Evian Merry). Jayne Torvill was Katia's mom, "Ivana Medal", who is like a stage mom, who always wants Katia to win. Brasseur and Eisler were playing ice dancers named "Gorky and Park". B&P, B&K, and Steven Cousins were all judges. (I find it funny for B&K to play judges.) They had all these little skits about the amateur world that was supposed to mock the real amatuer world. Gorky and Park were ice dancers and yet they couldn't get good marks. The judges gave them low marks. So they changed their costumes (Isabelle put this skimpy thing on and everybody started whistling), and Isabelle put a blond wig on and when they went out to skate again, Brian said they changed their name to Pasha! I was in shock. They skated and they got good marks and Isabelle pretended to be Pasha and be really conceited and she started blowing kisses to the audience. That was probably the funniest part. Next, there was a rivalry between Katia and Josee. It was supposed to mock the Kerrigan Harding thing. They skated around and Katia fell. She went over to the judges and showed them her skate boot. When they were about to skate, they took off their warm-up suits and revealed that they had they same costume. Josee shreiked and left. After they announced Josee broke her leg, which allowed Katia to win and get the "really big cheque". Kurt was Cyril Lutz and was supposed to be really nervous for the competition. He skated and did really well. He got 6.0's and was congratulated by everyone. He then went to the top of the staircase and Brian followed. He slapped Kurts hand and he fell backwards! That was the end of the skit and act one. At the beginning of act 2, some skaters were sitting on a bench with black clothes, black hats, and sunglasses. I could not tell who anybody was. Next, Josee did her "Sweater" number. She did pretty good. I think she got a triple in and a double axel. It's a cute number where she skates around with a humungous sweater. It was enjoyable. (P.S. She also cut her hair.) Steven Cousins skated next. He skated to "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" by Living Coulour. He did really well and landed a triple lutz. Everyone gave him a loud applause. He's like a honourary Canadian. Elena Bechke and Denis Petrov skated to some folk music. They had all their tricks, including the impossible spiral. They did really well. Katia, Kurt, and Josee skated to some Elvis Presley music. First, they all skated to "Fever", and then, Katia skated to "Can't Help Falling In Love With You". Kurt then skated to "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and he did really well. Josee then skated to "Too Much" and she did good too. Then they all skated together to "Surrender". They all did pretty well. Brian Orser was next and he skated to the Beastie Boys "Namaste". I can't remember much, but he did pretty well. Not regular Brian material. Loud applause. Shae and Vic were next and they skated to "Stop" by Sam Brown. It was really good and it was a new number. I'm glad it wasn't that "Sometimes When We Touch" number. I was getting really sick of it. Near the beginning of the program, Victor goes up to a woman and hugs and kisses her and Shae-Lynn has to pull him away. Some girls in this other section started whistling at Victor. It was a well done program with lots of hydroblading. Brasseur and Eisler skated to "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet. They were strong and powerful with good lifts and exciting tricks. They got a tremendous applause and the first standing ovation of the night. Torvill and Dean skated to "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon. It was really good and they got a loud applause. Kurt Browning then skated to his "Antares" number by The Tragically Hip. I was hoping to see the quad but I didn't. Other then screwing up a flying sit spin, it was a really good program. It's probably my favourite Kurt number of the season. He got the second standing ovation. The closing number was to "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zepplin. It was pretty good. They all bowed and shook hands with the people in the front row. Me and my friend Jen were screaming our heads off after every performance. Almost no one was in our section. We kept hoping we would see like the cast in the parking garage or something, but we didn't. I found out on the net that some girl that went to the same show I did met Kurt Browing! Oh well. It was an awesome show and I'm saving up to get better tickets next year!!!!! :)