Johnny as Enchanted Kai with Evgeni Plushenko as the Snow King. Exclusive photo © Elena Vasileva. For cheeky video of this moment, scroll down (through all the gorgeous picspam) to the end of the post!
The Moscow leg of the Snow King 2 tour has nearly drawn to a close, with one final performance to go of the fifteen that began just after Christmas (if you missed the previous megaposts, please see all the amazing photos and videos here, here, and here). And the fan response has reached nearly Weibo-esque proportions, particularly on Instagram, leaving me gloriously awash in so many pics, clips, galleries, etc., that it’s taken me forever to organize Round Two of our coverage. But yay at last here is yet more stuff!
My dear friend Elena Vasileva has attended nearly every rehearsal and performance in her capacity as an official photographer for the show, and has kindly shared with us another huge batch of exclusive photos today. This series is absolutely mesmerizing, and I found myself literally at a loss for words in trying to come up with a headline for this post (besides just HEY HERE’S SOME MORE UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL PICS, which certainly wins for clarity but lacks a little something in the poetry department).
So I asked her, after having seen Johnny skate the role of Kai over and over and over these past few weeks, what words she might use to sum up his performance—forgetting for the moment that Elena is Russian. She is quite fluent in English, but it is often difficult to find the right words to convey the impact of Johnny’s skating even in one’s native language, let alone someone else’s. And I’m asking her for a phrase that would resonate with a mostly non-Russian-speaking audience.
She responded immediately in English: “Endless perfection on ice.”
I couldn’t agree more in any language.
PART 1: Kai, Gerda, and the Snow King’s Carriage
PART 2: Enchanted Kai at the Snow King’s Palace
PART 3: Gerda Comes to Rescue Kai
PART 4: Finale: ‘When the Ice Melts’
Interview with Zhenya during the cadets’ master class. At about 1:16, Zhenya is asked what is the best age for a child to begin figure skating. He says: “In speaking of elite athletes, it would be ages 3 to 4. But there are unique cases. For example: Johnny Weir. He started skating at the age of 11 or 12. That is late, but he became a top athlete, he won the World bronze medal, he was a multiple US national champion. A uniquely talented person can begin even as late as age 11, but it’s easier for a child to start as early as possible, at ages 3 to 4.” Special thanks to Elena Vasileva for the translation! Please enjoy random Johnny in the background throughout the interview, having his photo taken with an endless stream of young cadets and goofing around adorably with the lovely Katarina Gerboldt.
Brief lolworthy clip from the end of the cadets’ class.
Video of Kai and the Snow King’s chess game from one of the January 4 performances. Watch for the booty bump at about 1:48. And watch Zhenya try not to crack up. Then watch it again. And again. And again…
New video of Kai and the Snow King’s chess game! Sadly, no booty bump, but a wonderful program even so.
Very special thanks to Elena Vasileva for the exclusive photos!