All photographs by Marni Gallagher
This year’s annual Ice Chips show in Boston took place on the same weekend I saw Stars on Ice. Pretty fun–2 ice shows in one weekend! These 2 shows are such a contrast to each other. While Stars on Ice features a small cast of famous skaters, Ice Chips has a much larger cast, with skaters of all ages and abilities.
Ice Chips is the annual club show for the Skating Club of Boston (SCOB) and is now in its 104th season! Jason Brown and Mirai Nagasu were the guest stars, and SCOB skaters Jimmy Morgan and Ross Miner served as co-hosts of the show.
The theme of this year’s Ice Chips was “The World Comes to Boston.” The show was intended to celebrate SCOB’s successful effort in hosting this year’s ISU World Championships in Boston. Many of the group numbers had some type of international flavor. One group of Pre-Preliminary girls skated to “Walk Like an Egyptian” (so cute!), while another group skated to Far Eastern music, with Asian costumes and fans (very pretty).
The adult theatre on ice team Imagica got into the spirit too, presenting a number about international airline travel. The storyline of this program involved an airplane captain getting fired and the flight attendants taking over the plane! The adults performed with great comic expression, and the costumes/props were well-designed to help tell the story. A fun program!
In addition to group numbers, there were lots of great solo programs. Jason Brown was the headliner and skated two routines. This was Jason’s first time skating in public since his back injury, and he seemed thrilled to be performing again for an audience!
In the first half, Jason did a cool dance number to Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat.” He landed a triple flip and triple Lutz, but the real highlight was his fun dance moves: some pushups on the ice and a spin directly on the ice! Jason’s interpretation of this music rocked, although I wasn’t a big fan of the song itself.
Jason’s second number to Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall” evoked an entirely different mood. This program was emotional and exquisite, with many beautiful transitions, including a fan spiral into back spiral and a hydroblade move into a spin. Jason’s jumps were a bit imperfect (3T turnout, 3Lz 2ft), but it didn’t affect the performance, and the audience loved the program. It was great to see Jason back on the ice, amazing us again with his musicality and flexibility!
Mirai Nagasu also performed two great programs. Mirai’s first number to “I Put a Spell on You” showed off a new, sexy side to her skating! I loved it, and so did the crowd. She had really nice speed and expression and landed some good jumps: triple toe, triple Salchow, double Axel. Mirai’s jumps had good pop and height, with solid, secure landings. She performed her trademark Biellmann spin to finish the program.
Mirai’s second number was “On Golden Pond.” There were so many great moments in this program, including a gorgeous layback spin variation, with her foot close to the ice, and a beautiful spiral. Her jumps (double Axel, triple toe) again looked great. Mirai is so interesting to watch live. I find her exceptionally charismatic in person, much more so than on video. She has a really interesting ability to connect with a crowd even when she’s not doing stereotypical “crowd-pleasing” moves. There’s just something about her that grabs your attention.
Mirai looked happy and in great shape. It was her birthday on the day I saw the show! Hosts Ross Miner and Jimmy Morgan presented her with a birthday cake after her first number, and the crowd sang “Happy Birthday.” Hopefully next year will be another great one for Mirai!
In addition to the guest stars, we saw lots of solos from skaters who train at SCOB or in the Boston area. Of course, by far the best-known Boston skater is hometown hero Ross Miner. Ross skated a great program to “Sing” by Ed Sheeran.
I just love watching Ross skate live! He has wonderful speed and such strong, deep edges; his skating skills are just terrific. I loved this music choice for him—nice to see him skate to something current. (Ross does like his oldies–or should I say, classics. :-)) Ross really sold this program and got the crowd going with a great cantilever move. He landed a nice triple Salchow as well.
Kevin Shum, the current National Junior men’s silver medalist, also performed. Kevin skated with a lot of intensity and good stretch, but seemed slightly off with his timing in this program. He landed a triple loop, but fell on triple Lutz, and also stumbled going into a spin.
Philip Baker, who won the pewter medal in Juvenile men at Nationals this year, was one of the highlights of the first half of the show. Philip is a great performer for someone so young—he totally gets into it and isn’t afraid of the crowd at all! He did an amusing retro program to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and landed a slew of jumps, including a double Axel and 3 other doubles. He’s really fun to watch!
Heidi Munger led the Boston ladies with a lovely program to an Adele song. Heidi placed 15th in Senior ladies at this year’s Nationals. She’s a very elegant, feminine skater, and did a fine job interpreting this lyrical music. She landed a triple flip and double Axel. I absolutely loved Heidi’s blush pink/silver-sequined costume for this number. It was sinuous yet classy and accented her long lines. Heidi will be competing again in seniors this season (taking a break before starting college), and I hope to see her again at Nationals.
Megan Wessenberg, the current national Junior ladies bronze medalist, put out an energetic program to rock/tango music. Megan went for a double Axel and triple Salchow (fall) in the program.
Several other local ladies also performed. Isabelle Dost, who competed in Senior ladies at Eastern Sectionals this year, skated a nice program to Middle Eastern-type music, landing a few double jumps. Gabriella Izzo, who placed 9th in Novice ladies at Nationals, wore a sparkling tuxedo costume for her upbeat number to “Stray Cat Strut.” And Emmy Ma, who competed in Novice ladies this year, performed to “Blue Jean Baby.” She did a double Axel and a very fast, impressive Biellmann spin.
Stars on Ice unfortunately didn’t include any pairs teams in its cast this year. But Ice Chips somewhat made up for it by featuring 4 pairs! 🙂 Two of the pairs were young Juvenile teams, affectionately known as “mini-pairs” to some local fans.
Cate Fleming/Jedediah Isbell won a bronze medal in Juvenile pairs at Nationals this year. They skated a fun routine that included some cute shoot-the-duck moves, a good pairs spin, and a throw single loop (fall). Emilina Jarvis/Damian Jarvis, another young Juvenile pairs team, performed an interesting Biellmann death spiral variation in their program and some single jumps. This team has nice lines.
Kay Bergdolt/Miles Addison, who placed 8th in Junior pairs at Nationals, skated an enjoyable routine to “Gravity.” They hit a throw double flip and a nice, smooth back outside death spiral, as well as a star carry-to-rotational lift. This pair has a classic look on the ice.
The best-known pair, of course, was Alexandria Shaughnessy/Jimmy Morgan, who were 9th in Senior pairs at Nationals. Alex/Jimmy skated to Faith Hill’s “Breathe”–a routine that their fans helped select via a Twitter poll! This program is soft, romantic, and very appealing. I really enjoyed watching it. Alex/Jimmy created many lovely moments in the program, which was highlighted by a nice carry lift and a throw double loop. They got a big round of applause from their many local fans.
Alex/Jimmy are currently having their new competitive programs choreographed; I look forward to seeing them next season!
Another performance I enjoyed was from Team Excel Adult, an adult synchronized skating team at SCOB. They skated a program to Blades of Glory! The choreography was clever, with interesting formations and some cool death spiral moves at the end. I thought the team skated with good power and nice presentation.
Altogether, it was another good edition of Ice Chips. I really like the inclusive nature of this show and being able to see so many different skill and age levels. It gives the show a relaxed, family feel that’s quite different from a professional show like Stars on Ice, but still very fun to watch.
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