It’s been five months since the figure skating World Championships and the close of the season. The off-season has brought with it a lot of changes. From pairs and ice dancing teams switching partners to skaters retiring, fresh faces and new styles are on the horizon as a new Olympic cycle begins.
Ice Network has revealed some of the music and choreographers used for the new programs as fans wait to see their favorite U.S. skaters compete this season.
Gracie Gold will be skating her short program to Piano Concerto in A Minor from last season, but will have a new free skate to the Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This should be very intriguing to watch because Phantom of the Opera is such an exciting piece of music, but is so frequently used that it will be interesting to see how Gracie interprets it. Lori Nichol is her choreographer, so it should develop into a beautiful program.
It is not surprising to see Ashley Wagner skating to Moulin Rouge for her free skate, choreographed by Shae-Lynn Bourne. Her short program will be one to watch as it is a different piece than we have seen from her in times past. Wagner will be skating to "Adagio" from Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian. Wagner said she wanted to try some new things this season, so it will be exciting to see what she comes up with.
Rudy Galindo choreographed Polina Edmunds programs this season and she is skating her short program to "Flamenco Medley" from the Flamenco Fantasy soundtrack (WATCH NOW) and her free skate to "Fairy dance" from the Peter Pan soundtrack (WATCH NOW). Polina debuted her new programs at the Glacier Falls Summer Classic that wrapped up on August 3 where she won the event with two strong performances.
Jason Brown recently debuted his new programs as well also at the Glacier Falls Summer Classic. Brown is skating to "Juke" by Little Walter for his short program (WATCH NOW) and "Tristan and Iseult" by Maxime Rodriguez for his free skate (WATCH NOW). His short program is a lighthearted and fun program, where his free skate is captivating and dramatic. It would seem difficult for Jason to match his programs from last season, as the world seemed to fall in love with them, but these programs seem to carry the same charm and passion that we love to see from Brown and should prove to be very successful.
For someone who struggles to find his artistic style, the soundtrack to Gladiator might actually be a good pick for Max Aaron. Since Aaron tends to lean on his athletic abilities, having more of a strong Elvis Stojko feel to this program might work better for him than pursuing a classical route. Max’s short program is on the whole other side of the spectrum as he skates to Footloose by Kenny Loggins. It will be fun to watch him debut these programs as we begin to see a different side of Max.
One program that fans are eager to see is choreographed by Jeff Buttle for skater, Joshua Farris. Farris will be skating to "Give Me Love" by Ed Sheeran for his short program and will be using Schindler’s List from last season for his free skate, which is a beautiful fit for him.
One of the many changes that has come this season is that vocals will now be allowed in competition and Jeremy Abbott will be one of the first to experiment with this new found freedom. Abbott has chosen to skate to "Latch" by Sam Smith and Disclosure for his short program, (WATCH NOW) which he performed during the Stars on Ice Tour, though alterations to this program will probably be made. Jeremy debuted his free skate at the ICE Tour in Japan a few weeks ago and is skating to "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber, (WATCH NOW) which is a gorgeous piece of music that highlights his artistic abilities very well. It will be both interesting and exciting to see how he does with these two programs.
With the start of another four year Olympic cycle comes a lot of changes. Hopefully, for these skaters, training with new partners or trying new styles of music and choreography will become a fresh start. This is a chance for them to explore and find out who they are as skaters and make their mark on the sport without the pressure of the Olympic Games.