Since retiring from figure skating, Yuzuru Hanyu has been delighting fans with his performances even more often than in sports. Less than two weeks ago the two-time Olympic champion presented a unique three-hour show “Gift”, where he performed alone. Now the world has seen Hanyu’s new project, a three-day tour called “Notte stellata.
The venue of the show was Miyagi Sekisui Heim Super Arena, with a capacity of 7,000 spectators. All the tickets were sold out a few days before the start, another success for Hanyu. Notte stellata means “starry night” in Italian, and the tour itself commemorates the 12th anniversary of the “Great Earthquake” that occurred on March 11, 2011. Miyagi Prefecture was one of the hardest hit, with Yuzuru having to evacuate his native Sendai.
“The stars were beautiful on the day of the earthquake. March 11 was pitch black and starry skies. I felt the light of hope,” the skater recalled. The tour is a way to pay tribute to the Tohoku region of Japan, the hardest hit by the natural disaster.
The only current skater in the show’s cast is Jason Brown. The American is entered for the World Championships 2023, which will be held in two weeks in Saitama, Japan, so in the “Notte stellata” decided not to bother with the demonstration numbers, and once again rolled in the public competitive programs. Brown, of course, lightened the jumping content in order not to get injured on the eve of the main start of the season. On social media, Jason posted a short video from practice and wrote a message to his coaches, “Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson, don’t worry. I’m doing a run-through of the free routine between show rehearsals. The World Championships are less than two weeks away!”
Che-Lynn Boerne delighted Japanese viewers. The titled figure skater performed her program in the Spanish style with live music.
Violetta Afanasyeva was responsible for the original ice performance. She demonstrated not only her skating skills, but also circus tricks with several hoops.
A special guest of the tour was three-time Olympic champion in gymnastics Kohei Uchimura. At the end of the first section, the audience saw a joint performance by Hanyu and Uchimura. While the figure skater performed on ice, the gymnast performed a combination of floor exercises on a special mat. An unusual collaboration.
In the final “Notte stellata”, King Kohei, as he was affectionately known since his sporting career, took to the ice with all the participants. Of course, the gymnast’s skill with skates is much worse than his apparatus, so Uchimura was assisted by Satoko Miyahara.
Kohei turned out to be so cool that he even performed a small spin with She-Lynn.
Another interesting story is that before entering the arena you could get a free treat called “Black Thunder.” Thanks to Uchimura, the sweet became popular in Japan. The company signed an official contract with the gymnast only after the end of his career, considering themselves unworthy to be sponsors of the current athlete.
Despite the relatively small number of participants, the show was intense. In addition to solo numbers, the skaters showed several common numbers choreographed by David Wilson. For one of the exits, the athletes chose the hit BTS – Dynamite, so that even the fans of K-pop was something to watch.