Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ballerina on Ice

As I’m sure many of you know, Mao Asada announced her music choices for the 2010-11 season a few weeks ago.  I was thrilled to learn that Mao would finally be skating to Liszt’s “Liebestraum,” a song that seems to fit her perfectly, and I was very excited to see what she does with one of Alfred Schnittke’s tangos.

But what nearly caused me to fall out of my chair, was Mao’s choice for her exhibition: Chopin’s “Ballade No. 1 in G Minor.” 

Because I have been obsessing over that song ever since I saw it used in the ballet “Lady of the Camellias” a month ago.  John Neumeier, the choreographer, uses it for the final, passion-filled pas de deux, and with the phenomenal Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes playing the leads, it was absolutely devastating.

(Click here to see part of the pas de deux, as danced by the legendary Alessandra Ferri and the “Italian stallion,” Roberto Bolle.)

This past weekend, we got to see Mao Asada perform her new exhibition for the first time, at the 2010 Dreams on Ice show.  She revealed that the story for the exhibition is that of a ballerina practicing, and everything, from the simple white dress and her slicked-back hair, was chosen to give that image.

Ballerina on Ice

I have always thought of Mao as a ballerina on ice, and it has been a dream of mine to see her skate in a white costume.  So to see her portray a ballerina all in white AND skate to my favorite Chopin piece of all time was like three dreams come true for me.

Mao Asada’s 2010-11 Exhibition
“Ballade No. 1 in G Minor” by Frederick Chopin

(Click on the YouTube icon to watch it in HD--it's worth it!)

After seeing Mao skate, though, I had to wonder, has Tatiana Tarasova, the choreographer, seen the ballet “Lady of the Camellias”?!!  Could it be that she saw the Act III pas de deux and was just as moved as I was?!!  Was that her inspiration?!

Here’s a picture of Lucia Lacarra in the final scene of the ballet:
(From the Teatro Alla Scala website)

The costume looks awfully similar to Mao’s, don’t you think? Hmmm...

Mao’s new exhibition is already a dream come true for me.  But if it turns out that it was indeed inspired by the “Lady of the Camellias” ballet, it would be even more incredible, because it would be the perfect intersection of all the things I love.


  1. wow,it seems as though the winter olympics were just yesterday, and now new programs and a new season are just around the corner...

    Anyways, there were some truly breathtaking moments in that exhibition program. I loved the light and easy feeling that it had. It seemed as though she were floating at times.

  2. Hi Elle a.ka. L - I agree, Mao's new exhibition program is beautiful. I've always thought she floats on the ice and it's nice to see her doing a program that takes advantage of the lightness of her skating!