Johnny as the King’s Consort in “Farewell My Concubine / When Love Is Gone,” from the Artistry on Ice 2014 tour. He played the role as part of a groundbreaking and extremely well-received male/male pairs routine with partner Zhang Hao. Please click to see the gorgeous full-size image.
So Johnny’s summer touring season kicks off just two weeks from today with Fantasy on Ice in Japan. The other big news this week: Artistry on Ice 2015 tour dates have been announced! And that means the Weibocalypse—the avalanche of AOI photos and videos that engulfs fandom every summer via the Chinese microblog site Weibo, thanks to the amazing generosity of Johnny’s Chinese fans—is nigh.
This year’s AOI theme is “Love You, Love Me—Romance in the City.” According to my dear friend Haohewuyin (or “Number,” her preferred nickname), the press conference included the news that Johnny would again play a Peking Opera woman’s role in a male/male pairs program, which would likely be a prequel to last year’s performance of “When Love Is Gone.” The producers also said that the program may actually include three male skaters, but they did not yet divulge the name of the third man…. (!!)
The four-city AOI tour is a whirlwind this year, beginning Wednesday, July 8, in Taipei, then traveling to Beijing July 10, Shanghai July 11, and ending in Shenzhen on Sunday, July 12. To prepare ourselves for the coming Weibogeddon, please enjoy these flashbacks from Artistry on Ice 2014, beginning with one of the most beautiful sets of photos of the entire tour last year by a Weibo photographer known only as “Jun.” And please visit today’s companion post for the delightful chaos that is a typical AOI press conference with Johnny and Stéphane…
These breathtaking shots capture Johnny’s 2014 AOI program with Zhang Hao in stunning detail. Please click any photo to see the full-size image.
The AOI producers also released a playlist this week of high-quality videos from the final AOI 2014 show in Taipei. Fortunately we don’t have to wade through that whole thing, because the lovely Elena Vasileva compiled all the Johnny moments into one video, from the opening group number to the flower-filled finale:
Note: Johnny had a different partner in Taipei since Zhang Hao couldn’t make the trip.
And finally, one of my favorite vids from last year: rehearsal footage from Guangzhou.