Like us, you are probably hunkered down in your home through this evolving COVID-19 pandemic. We wish you all health and safety during this time, and if anything, we hope it allows all of us more time to breathe deeply, find gratitude, and share kindness to one another. We’re all in this together.
As you search for material to read during quarantine, we would like to share our reflection on AIT’s busy winter season as well as provide a seasonal update on what’s happening with American Ice Theatre.
In case you missed our update last week, we announced that the 2020 Young Artists Showcase online competition, originally set to take place April 3-May 1, will be postponed as we acknowledge that most rinks are currently closed or unavailable to the YAS Finalists for filming or choreography creation that best reflects their talent. As we monitor the global situation through the coming weeks, we will announce a rescheduled date of the online YAS competition as soon as possible.
In the meantime, 2020 Quest for Creativity continues to be open for young choreographers. This online competition, for choreographers 21 and under, is a one-time video submission of any self-choreographed work (from practice, competition, or show performance) under 4 minutes. A selection committee of world and renowned skaters and professional choreographers will select a winner chosen to be the “Emerging Choreographer” at CORE Camp this summer. The online competition deadline is May 1. For more information, check out the Q4C website.
Finally, we are continuing to plan and organize our large-scale summer artistic events: The American Contemporary Skating Festival in June and CORE Camp in July. We are paying close attention to the CDC recommendations and guidelines, and will provide updates to all of you as warranted if any changes occur.
Teaser Video Released for #ACSFest2020
Our friends at Discover NOBLE spent the weekend with us at last year’s American Contemporary Skating Festival and have put together a teaser video for our upcoming festival. Check it out below:
Be on the lookout for future clips, teasers and a short documentary about the #ACSFest2020 in the coming weeks!
Announcement of YAS Finalists
Even though the competition is put on hold, we want to give a shout out to the six finalists that were selected from an elite field of 21 applicants all over the world covering four continents and seven countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and USA. The six finalists (along with a link to their corresponding audition videos) are listed clockwise from top left:
Aaron Chapplain, 26, Canada
Kjerstyn Hall, 25, USA
Giulia Isceri, 23, Switzerland
Isabelle Ragnarsson, 32, Sweden
Brooke Tufts, 16, USA
Adriene Ott, 27, USA
Our star-studded YAS Selection committee had the extremely difficult task of choosing the six finalists. The committee clockwise from top left included:
Moira North (top right) – Founder/Artistic Director of Ice Theatre of New York, Inc.
Mauro Bruni (bottom right) – Founder of House of Mauro Productions, international ice skating director, choreographer and performer
After we are able to announce the rescheduled dates of YAS, we will introduce our full list of renowned YAS judges for the rest of the competition – stay tuned!
AIT Seminar in Orlando
Co-CEOs Garrett Kling & Kate McSwain conducted an AIT Workshop at the Central Saturday, February 15 with the Central FL Figure Skating Club at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den in Orlando, FL. Kling and McSwain led skaters through a full day of on- and off-ice classes focusing on the Six Ways of the Spine, improv technique, group choreography edge/turn exercises, and a special choreo combo performed at the end of the seminar. Special thanks to Toby Evett for being the AIT Demonstrator, Club President Tim Dady for his management, and Kerri Elberson Bottorff for her assistance throughout the weekend. Thanks to the entire club and all who attended the seminar!
Ballet for Figure Skaters Mini-Course Sale
As this is a great time for figure skaters to focus on virtual / off-ice training, Annette Thomas, founder of Ballet for Figure Skaters, is offering a 50 percent off sale for all her mini-courses. The mini courses are also always 50 percent off for all Master Choreography Technique graduates.
Check out her article, posted in our AIT blog, entitled Classical port de bras and Skating Edges — Where Art Meets Science to read up on a wealth of information on body alignment and ballet exercises you can do from your home.
AIT Boston Director Kate McSwain led the on-ice portion and recently selected, YAS finalist, Kjerstyn Hall choreographed the on-ice combo.
The 2020 AIT Boston Performance Company announced its spring season and company members.
Performances are planned throughout the Boston area from April-the end of June. The Boston 2020 Company piece will be “Juxtapose” choreographed by McSwain, and originally performed at the 2019 U.S. Open .
The AIT Boston Spring Seminar is planned for April 19 (date pending) with special guest and Master-Rated Choreographer, John Mucko.
AIT Boston will host for the fourth consecutive year The American Contemporary Skating Festival. Registration is now open!
AIT Chicago has had a case of bad luck as weather cancelled their Wrigley performance in January. Planned performances were by Manol Atanassov, Kayla Grayson, Shaheen Bronkowski, and Angela Como. Just last week, they had to announce the cancellation of their Spring Dance Series due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AIT Chicago plans to reschedule the dance series at a later date to be announced soon.
AIT Minneapolis-St. Paul
AIT MSP held their Winter Seminar “Mindfulness & Movement” on Saturday, February 22 at the Vadnais Sports Center. We were excited to have the first ever adult seminar occur alongside one of our regular seasonal seminars! Skaters of all ages explored the mind and body connection with off-ice mindfulness practices, yoga, and relaxation techniques led by Carey Tinklenberg. On-ice class was presented by AIT Co-Executives, Garrett Kling & Kate McSwain, and special guest Olympian and coach, Caryn Kadavy led the adult on-ice portion. Special thanks to organizer Sandy Reinhardt Wittmann.
The AIT MSP Spring Seminar is planned for May 31 at the St. Louis Park REC Center. Registration info to come in April.
The AIT MSP Performance Company was honored to participate in the annual Diamond Edge Figure Skating Club Ice Show in Willmar, MN from February 29 – March 1. The featured AIT MSP skaters included Joey Millet, Susanna Butler, Claire K Godfrey, Christine Brennan, Haley Jostes, Lauren Anderson and AIT MSP Director, Garrett Kling. Special thanks to Torii Millet for being the weekend manager/supporter/videographer!
The company plans to round out their season with performances at the Eagan Ice Crystal’s Figure Skating Club Annual Ice Show on May 2 and in Boston at the American Contemporary Skating Festival in June.
AIT New York City
AIT NYC Director Chiquita Limer and the Performance Company including Jordan Bailey, Dayana Danilova and Chi-hui Cheng finished up their winter season of performances at the end of December including shows at the Village Green Park Outdoor Rink and The Rink at Brookfield Place. Special guest Team USA skater Jimmy Ma also performed in the show.
Spring updates include a contemporary workshop planned at World Ice Arena on Saturday, May 23. The performance company also plans to attend and perform at The American Contemporary Skating Festival in June.
Skaters took part in learning the Six Ways of the Spine curriculum, improv techniques, and contemporary movement specifically working on flocking and a choreographed combo.
MCT Fall 2019 Graduates
In case you missed our blog post honoring our most recent graduates of Master Choreography Techniques make sure you read up on these six fabulous choreographers and check out their final projects. From top left to bottom right our graduates include:Maddison Bullock, Los Angeles, CA, Annacaye Clark, Springdale, AR, Tara Lorenz, Duluth, MN, Elizabeth Misson, Cleveland, OH, Jessica Pentz, Beaver, PA, and Katie Spurgeon, Madison, WI. The MCT Spring semester is currently in session. If you’re interested in signing up for future semesters of MCT, fill out our interest form.