Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY) was founded in 1984 by Canadian ice dancer Moira North and is dedicated to developing ice skating as a theatrical art form through performances and educational programs. Each year at Rockefeller Rink, ITNY puts together a Lunchtime Ice Concert Series where they showcase new works to the public. They also provide skating clinics for public school students as part of their educational outreach programs. Above is part of the ensemble who comprise the 2008 Ice Concert Series. From left to right: Elisa Angeli, Suzanne McDonald, Tyrrell Gene, Valerie Levine, David Liu, and Jiri Prochazka.
At a recent Ice Concert, I watched former Olympian and co-artistic director of ITNY, David Liu, skate to After All. After All was originally choreographed in 1976 by the legendary Twyla Tharp for the equally legendary John Curry, the 1976 Olympic champion (link to Curry's After All skate). After All marked Tharp's first work for ice and it's a nonstop seven minute solo (with music by Tomaso Albinoni -- Concerto for Trumpet in B Flat) filled with great turns, edge work, footwork and jumps, and I still can't believe that a non-skater choreographed this piece! Moira told me after the concert that this is an important piece to bring back to today's audience. She said:
Part of why I feel the After All piece is so important is that it really profiles quiet but very virtuosic kind of skating. And I think in this day and age where everybody is so busy doing triple and even quadruple jumps, as well as elaborate spins and footwork, this piece is really a quieter statement. It profiles another way of being virtuosic -- an exquisite kind of presentation on the ice.
ITNY's next (and final) performance at Rockefeller Rink for the Lunchtime Ice Concert Series is at 1 p.m. on April 2, 2008, so if you're around the area, come on by!