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Ice Theatre of New York, Inc presents Pop-Up City Skate Concert as part of Wollman Rink’s Second Ice Season, February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Ice Theatre of New York® (ITNY) to present a Pop-Up City Skate Concert at Wollman Rink on February 2, 2023 at 6:30pm in Central Park. (Rain date February 9.) For more information, visit https://wollmanrinknyc.com/.

ITNY’s principal performer, Liz Yoshiko Schmidt will perform When Atoms Embrace and our performer and choreographer Mauro Bruni will perform God Only Knows. ITNY will also give opportunities to guest artists, young apprentices and long-time performance apprentices and Senior Ice Dance competitors Oona and Gage Brown.

This short Pop-Up concert will take place immediately after the ice resurfacing and is designed to inspire and delight the public waiting to skate the next session, while introducing them to the art of dancing on ice. An additional concert will be presented on March 2, which will include a performance of Of Water and Ice and a preview of a new duet for Liz Yoshiko Schmidt and Danil Berdnikov by choreographer Lorna Brown.

When Atoms Embrace
Choreography by Lorna Brown
Performed by Liz Yoshiko Schmidt
Music: “Spiegel im Spiegel” by Arvo Pärt
Costume by Lorna Brown
When Atoms Embrace, an acclaimed solo choreographed and costumed by original John Curry Theatre of Skating member, Lorna Brown. Lorna is an artist with a deep interest and knowledge in science. The piece is set to Music by Arvo Pärt’s “Spiegel im Spiegel” and was inspired by a poem Lorna wrote herself: She comes to us in blue and lavender light which shines on us all to give mankind energy and love and to help and heal our planet. Lay me in a field of wildflowers, let the scent perfume the hours. When The Atoms embrace and time changes pace, I find my magical powers.

God Only Knows
Choreographed, costumed and performed by Mauro Bruni
Music composed by the Beach Boys performed by Michael Bublé

Of Water and Ice
Choreography by Jody Sperling
Performed by Sarah France and Valerie Levine
Music: “Of Water and Ice” by DJ Spooky
In the polar regions, a constant interplay takes place between H2O in its liquid and solid forms. Set to a DJ Spooky score, generated itself by the geometry of ice crystals and the math of climate change data, the dance explores what happens when this fragile balance of water and ice spins out of control. Choreography commissioned by Ice Theatre of New York® with the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts.

About the Artists
Danil Berdnikov hails from the city of Samara, Russia, from which he competed as part of the junior national team as well as across his vast native land through high school. He then moved to Moscow both to continue his education and to join Stage Entertainment Russia to begin performing as a skater. Performing for an audience allowed Danil to fall in love with skating in a new way and his career has blossomed over eight years with Willy Bietak Productions and Wheeler Productions in the United States, Stageworks Worldwide Production in the UK and Holiday on Ice Productions and Dynamic Shows Entertainment in the EU. ITNY welcomes Danil as an artist, grateful to his parents, coaches, choreographers, and the fellow skaters who have supported him along the way.

Mauro Bruni MBA, BFA, first performed with ITNY in 2014. A leader in the professional figure skating community, Mauro works as an ice performer, as well as a coach, choreographer, and show director.  He has taught students in the USA, Mexico, Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Austria. Credits include: Ice Theatre of London creator and founder; House of Mauro creator and founder; Navesink Country Club Artistic Director; lead performer in numerous ice skating productions globally most notably: Holiday on Ice — star performer between 2007-2018; show director and choreographer for productions in Europe, North America and internationally; head choreographer at the Trelleborgskonståkningsklubb in Trelleborg, Sweden 2016-17. Awards include: US Professional Championships Groundbreaker award; Moins5 choreography award in Monéteau, France; ProSkaters Virtual Skateoff champion. Mauro has been recognized as an AIT certified choreographer PSA rated free skating coach and choreographer, and national and international competitor for Team USA from 1995-2005. @maurojbruni

Oona & Gage Brown became the World Junior Ice Dance Champions representing Team USA at the 2022 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, after winning silver medals at the 2021 U.S. Junior National Ice Dance Championships. They A sister and brother ice dance team from Long Island, NY, they have been skating together for six years in numerous international competitions; performing regularly with Ice Theatre of New York® all that time, while training with coaches Inese Bucevica and ITNY choreographer Joel Dear for over two years. They’ve recently worked with On Ice Perspectives at beautiful Bryant Park Ice Rink and received much love and recognition for the resulting video of their Metallica Free Dance, which has gone viral.

Sarah France joined the Ice Theatre of New York in 2018, bringing her passion for ice dancing and broad knowledge of skating skills and disciplines to the company. France has translated her skills to many different areas as an ensemble performer with ITNY, in addition to being a choreographer, edge class instructor, aerialist, inline skater, dancer and off ice instructor. Her dedication to skating and desire to share her love of the ice with others has made her a sought-after instructor and performer. She believes strongly in the ability of skating to transcend barriers, teach life lessons and give opportunities to all who wish to make their home on the ice. In addition to her work with ITNY, France’s skills have been highly valued in training developmental through internationally competitive skaters, working as a coach, choreographer and program director. She is a faculty member for Shattuck-St. Mary’s International Figure Skating Center of Excellence training camps and a welcomed guest coach in skating programs around the world. France has worked with competitive athletes representing over 40 different countries and facilitated the transition to professional careers for many young skaters. She takes particular interest in developing strong foundational skating skills, mentoring coaches, as well as teaching those who wish to further refine their mastery of skating technique. Her well-rounded education on the ice has allowed her to flexibly work in all disciplines of skating, as well as successfully lead instructional programs as a skating director. She is honored to be the Director of Outreach Programming for ITNY and looks forward to sharing the joy of dancing on ice with students around the greater NYC area through these efforts.

Valerie Levine has collaborated on ITNY events for the past two decades and has been roller-skating as well as dancing tap, jazz, and ballet since the age of four. She started training in figure skating at 11, going on to compete and test until graduating high school, when she turned down a Disney On Ice to pursue her Bachelor’s degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). At 19, she earned her gold level in Senior Ladies Moves and pre-golds in ice dance before skating professionally. While earning her BS in Product Management Textiles from FIT, she minored in dance and trained at Broadway Dance Center in many dance styles, leading to an off-ice career as a professional belly dancer, ballroom dancer and samba dancer. She currently teaches and performs these styles worldwide, while managing her own entertainment company Valerina Dance, which can be followed at ValerieLevine.com or on Instagram @Valerielevine.

Elizabeth (Liz) Yoshiko Schmidt has been skating with ITNY since 2017. Luscious edges, artistic dynamic movement, and traditional ice dancing and fundamentals in figures inform her skating and professional career which began in 2013, at the age of 18, performing internationally in Germany, France, Austria, Egypt and across the United States. A Japanese/German American skater who hails from Chicago, IL, she recently moved from San Francisco, CA, to New York City. A U.S. Figure Skating double gold medalist in Freestyle and Moves in the Field, and a silver medalist in Ice Dancing, Liz received her BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2018, and has exhibited her paintings and art work across the Bay Area. Liz took Jazz Fusion dance class at the Alonzo King Lines Dance Center in San Francisco from Lynn Brilhante for 7 years. Her former skating coaches are: Lorna Brown, Beata Handra, Paul Spruell, Phillip DiGuglielmo, Louis Vachon, Audra Shindo-Chan, and most importantly Larry Holliday (African American 6x US Adult Nationals Campionship champion, former Ebony on Ice performer and her first coach).

About Wollman Park Partners, LLC
Wollman Park Partners (WPP) is a coalition of New Yorkers representing decades of experience across multiple sectors; including sports and entertainment; finance; health and wellness; diversity, equity, and inclusion; real estate; culinary; non-profit; youth development and sustainability. The companies and organizations that make up WPP include Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, Related Companies, Equinox, Ice Hockey in Harlem, Figure Skating in Harlem, Great Performances, Melba’s Restaurant, YMCA of Greater New York, The Boys’ Club of New York and Green City Force. With this expertise, and a deep passion for New York City, WPP offers an energized, year-round experience of Wollman Rink NYC to both New Yorkers and visitors alike, with an emphasis on creating a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive space that promotes equitable economic opportunity and recovery in our City. Wollman Rink partners with ITNY for its arts education outreach programming, the New Works and Young Artists Series, for underserved NYC public school children.

About Ice Theatre of New York®
Founded by Moira North, ITNY’s mission is to celebrate and advance dance on ice as a performance art. Through its performances in both traditional and site-specific venues, ITNY presents ice dance that helps to open one’s eyes to seeing skating in new and unexpected ways. ITNY was the very first ice dance company to receive dance program funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. icetheatre.org

ITNY is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and NYC Council Member Shaun Abreu.

Additionally, ITNY receives funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Lisa McGraw Figure Skating Foundation, the Will Sears Foundation, and its generous private patrons.

MOIRA NORTH (Founder/Artistic Director)—Named one of the 25 Most Influential Names in Figure Skating by International Figure Skating Magazine, Moira has been a driving force in the development of figure skating as a performing art. Since founding ITNY in 1984, she has developed ITNY’s professional ice dance ensemble, has commissioned renowned dance choreographers to make new works for the company, has worked to integrate contemporary dance into ice dance, and has inspired the founding of dance companies on ice in other parts of the world.


February 2, 2023


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