We begin our Sun Valley coverage with Johnny’s exquisite ‘Moonlight Sonata’ program.
And I almost don’t want to write any more words than that, because they just feel like unnecessary clutter against this extraordinarily beautiful performance.
It’s been nearly a week since I was fortunate enough to see him skate this program live. And what still rings in my ears is not the roaring and cheers and clapping when he was announced or when he finished, but rather: the absolute hush that fell over the entire audience as he floated across the ice to Kotaro Fukuma’s spare, piano-only accompaniment.
Not only were the onlookers silent, they were completely still. People held their drink cups frozen in mid-air. Random children paused mid-fidget, mouths suddenly closed, hands unconsciously dropped to their laps. Shuffling feet in the stands simply stopped. Even whispered conversation ceased.
The only movement, the only sound — other than Fukuma’s delicate but passionate touch on the keys of the piano and occasional bursts of applause — came from the lone figure in dazzling white, his blades slicing across the ice impossibly fast yet as lightly as gossamer to hold hundreds of people, for whom this sort of piece might not have seemed terribly accessible, utterly spellbound until the very last note was carried away on the crisp mountain air.
This program is classic, lyrical Johnny at his best, all the promise of his brilliant gift when he was young now realized and informed by maturity and experience, a commanding yet ethereal match for Beethoven’s masterpiece.
And I find myself poring over the photos and watching the video again and again to not only seek every nuance of his performance, but to recapture that feeling of purity and peace that transported all of us for a moment away from politics and wars and rage and disappointment and hardship to a place where healing beauty revives our souls and inspires us to do better, live better, be better.
His performance is captured below in stunning exclusive photographs and exclusive video. As always, the photos are huge, so please click to explore the detail in the full-size images.
Art is uniquely, intensely powerful. Our spirits need its nourishment as much as our bodies need food. And no one wields that power more masterfully or more authentically on the ice than Johnny.
Johnny’s interview during Sun Valley rehearsal.
And yay Cupcake Wars full episode with bonus Boz!
Johnny and Tara are as adorable, funny, refreshingly real, and zany as ever in their new NBC podcast, just launched this week. Listen, laugh, and subscribe now! Available on AudioBoom, iTunes, and Stitcher. Enjoy their latest episode right here: