Fanfocus: Katarina Witt – "Enjoy the Stars 2004“

Part I

Text © Victoria Maczionsek (Icyvicky)

Photos © Victoria Maczionsek (Icyvicky)


This is my very first report of an ice show!

I was very happy to learn that Katarina Witt herself was organizing a skating show in my hometown of Krefeld, in the brand new arena which just opened! The new “KoenigPALAST” was built to seat 8500 people, so I was sad to learn that only 2500 tickets were sold. I thought if someone like Katarina Witt organized a show with a star cast like Alexei Urmanov and Kati Winkler & René Lohse, it would attract more people to come, but unfortunately not…

The show started with a short intro as the skaters came on the ice and showed small elements. It was great but I missed some who were scheduled to come, like Kevin van der Perren and Oksana Bauil. On the other hand it was a pleasant surprise to see Brian Orser and Julia Sebestyen!

After the intros, Brian Orser was first to do a solo number. I never saw him skate before and he had nice slow music and I liked it for a beginning of a show. Julia Sebestyen then skated to “Singing in the rain”, a lovely number in which she appropriately used an umbrella. She gave the music a really sweet accent and her steps fitted the program so well. After her amazing spin-combination at the end, I knew I’d fallen in love with her skating.

Next up were Violetta Afanasieva and Pete Duck of Canada, ice-acrobats and winners of the American Open 2004. I knew them from several shows I’d seen before and they skated their program to music from Safri Duo. All those loops… just fascinating!

Alexei Urmanov was next to skate. I never saw him skate live before and with this costume he absolutely shocked me. He wore a white beard and black pants with a top that looked like it was made of fishnets. In addition his hair was hidden under a cap of some sort. He skated to Middle Eastern music and later the moderator said that this was his “Aladdin” program. Very innovative, but not fully appreciated by the audience.

Kati and René then had their turn. They skated to “Turn me on” by Norah Jones, a very lyrical piece of music. She wore a purple satin skirt and he was dressed in black and I just loved those costumes! The lifts were nice and the music interpretation wonderful. The chemistry between them is unmistakable and by watching them you know they’ve been skating together for many years.

The next act was announced like this: ”He started skating at age 5 and by only 11 years old, he managed to land his first triple jumps. He’ll skate to “Flight!” Yes, Ladies and Gentleman, Viktor Petrenko!”
His music was slow as well and I enjoyed his performance very much, he had the fastest spins and wonderful charisma and totally fascinated me!

The next skaters were ice-artists too. Elena Leonova and Andrei Khvalko skated to Carmina Burana. Their elements were the most spectacular of the whole evening. Their lifts and throw jumps were the most dangerous for sure. What made me go “WOW!” was their throw-Axel! I have never seen another pair doing it and it was just huge!!! The whole audience was going “oooh” and “aaah”, especially the older ladies seated next to me, they sure had fun!

And then we saw her, the best costume on the nicest person this evening: Katarina Witt! She wore a purple dress, and I just loved her program “What are you doing the rest of your life”. This was a soft and lyrical song and she interpreted it just perfectly. She is simply mesmerizing and when she skates you just have to watch her! It was a lovely program and overall I was very impressed by her, partly because it was the first time I watched her live.

Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen, the cutest couple of the evening, skated to one of my favorite pieces of music, the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Rachmaninov. This couple is sooo sweet and totally charming! They never took their eyes off each other during the whole performance, which made the whole audience think “this is true love”. Of course the lovely older ladies by my side agreed.

After all those skating acts, it was time for something different.
Tobey Wilson, a young very talented singer who studied opera and music-theatre, was announced to sing my absolutely favorite piece from Puccini’s “Turandot” opera, “Nessum Dorma”. I was so happy about that!

The whole cast came out to show us a number they’d worked on the last few days and it wasn’t perfect but I still loved it! The music and the singer, the black and white costumes, the steps and other elements and the whole feeling just made everyone’s heart beat a little faster.

This number was followed by a 20 minute intermission.

Go to Part II

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