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YAS alums to showcase work on Rock Center ice

March 27 concert to be presented by Ice Theatre of New York

Eliot Halverson, a U.S. champion at three different levels, performs in Mark Hanretty's piece entitled "Englishman in New York" at Rockefeller Center on Feb. 27.
Eliot Halverson, a U.S. champion at three different levels, performs in Mark Hanretty's piece entitled "Englishman in New York" at Rockefeller Center on Feb. 27. (Darial Sneed)

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By Kim Navarro, special to icenetwork.com
(03/22/2013) - Each year, the Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY) presents a concert series on the iconic ice at Rockefeller Center in New York City. These concerts give the company an opportunity to showcase its artistic repertoire while also bringing these creative ice skating pieces to the lunch-time crowds that flood the picturesque Midtown Manhattan streets and stand above that famous golden Prometheus figure.

The city crowds and that famous sculpture, already accustomed to a certain level of skating artistry, will get an eight-tablespoon dose of creativity this month for the Ice Theatre's final 2013 City Skate Concert at the Rink at Rockefeller Center.

On Wednesday, March 27, at 1 p.m., the Ice Theatre of New York will present a concert dedicated entirely to the work of contestants from the "Young Artists Showcase" (YAS) series, a wildly successful online figure skating choreography competition run by world and Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger. Eight aspiring choreographers, between the ages of 8 and 30 -- all of whom are former contestants, finalists or YAS winners -- will put their original work on that famous Rockefeller Center ice.

Never before has there been a single showing, presented by ITNY, made up entirely of emerging artists from YAS.

"I feel that a concert that features young artists entirely is very organic to the Ice Theatre's mission," explained Moira North, ITNY's founder and artistic director, "And it is a great way to close our 28th year of concert series."

It is part of the Ice Theatre of New York's mission to support developing talent.

"The Ice Theatre of New York has pursued an on-going collaboration to provide opportunities to the participants that have matriculated through this exciting program (YAS)," ITNY Artistic Director Douglas Webster said.

To have this opportunity, which Weisiger describes as "an all-star afternoon of YAS pieces," is an immense show of support for the program and its similar mission.

"I am forever grateful to the ITNY for making this available," Weisiger said.

The concert is titled "Discovering New Voices in Figure Skating." The cast includes YAS season two Champions Divison winner Adam Blake, season three Champions Division finalist Garrett Kling and season three "Quest for Creativity" winner (and 9-year-old!) Liadan Emmert. Also included will be work from the most recent YAS winner, Mark Hanretty.

Helping host the event is Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes, who, having performed at ITNY's Rockefeller series when she was 8 years old, knows the thrills of being at such an impressive venue.

"There is nothing quite like skating in the middle of New York City -- looking up and seeing the skyscrapers, and just being surrounded by such vibrancy," Hughes said.

Weisiger is excited for the YAS skaters to feel that energy when they step onto the Rockefeller Center ice.

"My wish for the artists is to fulfill a dream come true; to show the world their creations on such an illustrious stage will be very memorable for them," she said.

Emmert certainly hopes so. When asked how she feels about skating at Rockefeller Center, she exclaimed, "It feels like a dream, and it feels like it is not going to happen, but I know it is. I am excited and a little bit nervous, but I know I am going to do great!"

Yet it is more than just the chance to visit "Rock Center" that has Hughes looking forward to hosting the concert.

"It will be great fun, and not just because of the spectacular location, but because we'll also have the chance to watch and meet the artists who are performing their own original work," she said.

The rain date for the event is Thursday, March 28, at 1 p.m.

Applications for season four of the Young Artist Showcase are now being accepted. Visit youngartistsshowcase.net for more information.