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Brown club figure skating delivers magical performance

‘Disney on Ice’ event includes tributes to ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Moana,’ other Disney classics

From 7 to 8 p.m. Monday evening, Meehan Auditorium echoed with familiar tunes that evoked childhood memories of talking candlesticks, flying magic carpets and underwater kingdoms. Along to the sweeping melody of “A Whole New World” and the upbeat rhythms of “Under the Sea,” 20 members of Brown Club Figure Skating spun and glided across the frozen surface of the auditorium’s ice skating rink while spectators enjoyed complimentary cups of hot chocolate.

The figure skating team’s annual spring performance was themed for the first time. Inspired by — and named after — Disney’s popular series of touring ice shows, “Disney on Ice,” the Brown Club Figure Skating performance featured songs exclusively from Disney films old and new such as “Lady and the Tramp” and “Moana.” The show involved skaters of all levels, performing both in groups and solo. There were also periodic “demos,” in which individual skaters demonstrated common skating moves, such as two-foot turns and bunny hops for the benefit of audience members.

“(Putting together the show) has been a great bonding experience,” said Elizabeth Pan ’18, co-president of Brown Club Figure Skating. “It’s really cool to see the creativity of all the skaters and all the hard work (they put in), too — because participating in the show takes a long time.” Involvement in the show was voluntary for members of the skating team. Those who chose to participate had the opportunity to choreograph and perform their own pieces, Pan said. For the past month, performers were hard at work perfecting their routines, practicing both on and off the ice. Planning the show itself was an even longer process and began last semester partly due to time constraints imposed by the annual closing of the Meehan ice rink after spring break, Pan added.

To kick-start the event, 20 performers filed onto the rink for a group number: “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King.” Due to the size of the performing body, Pan and Jacob Jaffe ’17, co-president of the team,  worked together to choreograph the piece. In choreographing ice show performances, they took into account both the music and visual effects. “Listen to the music,” Jaffe said, also referencing several movements he and Pan chose to incorporate that “produced a cool visual result.”

Brown Club Figure Skating has been around for about seven years, eventually growing from a student activity to an official club sport in 2014. Apart from staging their semiannual shows, the club also competes in regional intercollegiate skating competitions and practices regularly in the mornings at Meehan. The semester performances themselves were established around four years ago but since then have grown to be much more “cohesive,” Jaffe said. “This year has been more intensive. Our choreography has definitely gotten more structured,” he added.

As part of this expansion, Brown Club Figure Skating took initiative on a long-time goal to become more involved with other student groups on campus, choosing to team up with Disney A Cappella, a student-run a cappella group specializing in Disney songs, to put on “Disney on Ice.”

The group took to the stage partway through the performance, singing selections from a variety of movie soundtracks, including “I Won’t Say I’m in Love,” “Colors of the Wind” and — fittingly — an entire musical medley from “Frozen.”


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