THE NEXT ICE AGE:
A SEASON OF THANKS AND GIVING
As the New Year approaches, we reflect on the highlights from 2012 and look ahead toward what promises to be an exciting season in 2013 with The Next Ice Age.
New Years Eve Performances:
Three holiday shows are slated to take place on December 29th, 30th, and 31st at the Carousel Resort in Ocean City, MD. Moving into our 12th year as partners with the Carousel is an example of the strong business relationships The Next Ice Age organization has forged. Please consider coming down to the Ocean and supporting the local community there in celebration of the New Year.
Recently at the Gardens Ice House, skaters from both the Student and Apprentice companies united to form one troupe of 21, to conduct an open rehearsal for parents and members. The rehearsal started with a Class directed by Nathan Birch but quickly was turned over to three of the skaters to give them each the opportunity to manage a large group on a full ice sheet. Allison Timlen, Sarah Yasenka, and Tess Terpos each took the helm and sailed the skaters through exercises from our certification program, The Next Ice Edge. The Class was followed with a partly improvisational and partly directed building session of new choreography set to music by Alexander Glazunov. The skaters are learning to create choreography and direct that choreography and onlookers got a clear glimpse of exactly how this process works and how it progresses from generation to generation.
Ice Champions Live!
Earlier this Fall the Student Company made an appearance at the Michael Weiss Foundation event in Virginia. Our skaters were excited to share the ice with luminaries like Brian Boitano, Ashley Wagner, Ryan Bradley, Kimmie Meisner, and of course Michael himself. The event raises and distributes funds to young skating talent in need of financial assistance. It’s a great cause and was a lot of fun.
New Advisory Board Formed:
Long time friends to The Next Ice Age have stepped up and formed a board of advisors who will lend an ear and a voice. We are pleased to welcome Paul Wylie, JoJo Starbuck, Meg Streeter Lauck, and Elin Schran to our growing group of ambassadors. We also want to take a moment to recognize and thank George Johnston for his invaluable legal advice and guidance to our organization this year.
Dorothy Hamill, in a strong and continued commitment to the company, has accepted our invitation to serve as our Honorary Chair. We remain humbled by Dorothy’s long time support and belief in our skating agenda, and wish her all the best in the upcoming tour of Stars on Ice! As always, Tim Murphy will be choreographing her new work and will be traveling a bit with Dorothy at the start of the tour.
Our streamlined Board of Directors, Officers, and Staff works harmoniously each day to maintain a calm corporate culture that is efficient and cohesive as mandated in our strategic plan.
Our Mission remains clear:
” The Next Ice Age exists to create, present, and preserve figure skating as a dance form through performance and education.”
2012 Accomplishments and Upcoming 25th Anniversary:
Over the past year the company has grown to 26 skaters, produced 4 new works of choreography, trademarked it’s new educational arm, “The Next Ice Edge,” and presented 75 performances with new costumes. This year in addition to our ongoing rehearsals and performances, we set out to video document the Class curriculum, and update the files of nearly 25 years worth of choreography.
Starting next September the company begins celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary which will culminate in the Spring of 2014 with, “A Class Reunion,” bringing together hundreds of skaters who have learned skills originally taught to us by John Curry in his company.
Now is the perfect time to donate to The Next Ice Age, which is a not for profit, 501 c 3 organization. Your tax deductible contribution will help insure this important work keeps going and growing.
Best Wishes to You this Holiday Season:
With a clear vision and renewed strategy, please support The Next Ice Age, and from all of us here enjoy a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Nathan Birch, Founding President and Artistic Director
Tim Murphy, Founding Vice President and Artistic Director
Lad Falat, Treasurer
Eric Price, Secretary
Denise Cahill, Founding Member to the Board of Directors
Andrea Nunn, Board of Directors
Alan Gibson, Board of Directors
Lynn Hampton, Company Manager
Karen Alstadt, Grant Development
Brian Alstadt, Web Master
The Gardens Ice House
Recently at the Gardens Ice House, skaters from both the Student and Apprentice companies united to form one troupe of 21, to conduct an open rehearsal for parents and members. The rehearsal started with a Class directed by Nathan Birch but quickly was turned over to three of the skaters to give them each the opportunity to manage a large group on a full ice sheet. Allison Timlen, Sarah Yasenka, and Tess Terpos each took the helm and sailed the skaters through exercises from our certification program, The Next Ice Edge. The Class was followed with a partly improvisational and partly directed building session of new choreography set to music by Alexander Glazunov. The skaters are learning to create choreography and direct that choreography and onlookers got a clear glimpse of exactly how this process works and how it progresses from generation to generation
What an honor and a thrill it was for our Student Company to perform at the annual Ice Champions Live show on September 8th, 2012! The show, sponsored by The Michael Weiss Foundation, raises thousands of dollars for deserving applicants who show Olympic potential in the sport of figure skating. Our skaters performed alongside Olympic champion Brian Boitano; World champion Kimmie Meissner; National champions Mirai Nagasu, Ashley Wagner, Ryan Bradley, and Michael Weiss; and many others.
The company’s new dance, entitled Mobyle, to the modern music of Moby, was a real crowd pleaser. We are grateful to the Weiss family for presenting us with such an amazing opportunity to benefit a terrific cause.
The Next Ice Age would like to congratulate Student Company Members Alexis Cruz and Robert Korycinski on their recent high school graduations! We wish Alexis and Robert the very best as they embark on their respective collegiate journeys. We asked our first Student Company graduates about their plans for the future and what they enjoyed most about skating with The Next Ice Age.
Alexis plans to attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota in the fall. She is undecided on a major but is considering biochemistry, international studies, neuroscience, or international business. Alexis has been skating for about 9 years. She describes The Next Ice Age brand of skating as “one of the most interesting and moving abstract forms of expression to both experience and witness.” She credits The Next Ice Age with improving her presence and grace on the ice, and with teaching her to work with a team. Alexis plans to continue skating recreationally while at Macalester, and hopes to teach private lessons as well.
Robert will attend Tufts University near Boston, Massachusetts this fall. He is considering mathematics, English, and international relations as possible areas of study. Having skated since the age of 8, Robert loves the fact that The Next Ice Age allows him to focus on “the artistry and creativity of skating, which is a nice change of pace from all those rules and points (necessary) for competitions.” Robert feels that his time with The Next Ice Age has helped his technique, edge control, and artistry. He plans to continue to skate with The Next Ice Age in Boston.
Thank you both for your contributions to The Next Ice Age – we hope to hear back from you soon!
Tuesday, May 22nd, a dozen students followed The Next Ice Age founder Nathan Birch through The Next Ice Edge Class at Nashoba Valley Olympia rink in Boxboro, MA. Here are some of the experiences from the class…
“Skating with Nathan was amazing! As a former competitor and current official, I thought my knowledge of skating was fairly extensive; however, Nathan has a way of breaking down the simplest skating movements into building blocks that increase your control, efficiency and flow across the ice! I feel like I have a new appreciation for all of the pieces of the puzzle that have to fit together in order to create that seamless picture of an effortless glide across the ice! More importantly, I had a blast in his class and cannot wait for the opportunity to participate again. Thank you, Nathan, for making it fun and challenging to skate again!” ~ Kathaleen Cutone
“Such an opportunity and honor to get to work with Nathan again! I love how deceivingly simple and beautifully detailed his skating is. “Humbling” is the best word I could use to describe but I mean it in the most wonderful way. I appreciate the challenge, the wealth of knowledge and the amazing energy Nathan’s classes always bring!” ~ Matt Lind
“When I was at New England conservatory we’d have great artists come to give piano workshops – I’d come away with an ephemeral inkling of the exquisite combination of technique and artistry – the technique could wobble but it didn’t matter … I come to Nathan’s class to see that” ~ Trish Adams
“Nathan’s Edge class is inspirational. He teaches the ‘elegance’ of skating and addresses the entire ‘line’ we create with a move. That includes fingertips to toes. A skater who can master his techniques will always thrill their audience with grace and beauty. I really do look forward to his next class.” ~ Ruth Anne Rahal
“A superb class. Nathan is masterful at teaching what he knows best and passing it along to his skaters. The Next Ice Edge Master class was challenging and a lot of fun. Well worth the wait.” ~ Sheila Smallwood
On Tuesday, April 17th, Nathan Birch led thirteen adult skaters through The Next Ice Edge Master Class. The Next Ice Edge is a series of edge exercises designed to help skaters develop movements for artistic skating. It is also the building block of ensemble skating performance, similar to how ballet class is foundational to developing dance technique.
Over the course of two hours, Nathan led the class through six exercises – passes down the rink and back – alternating edges and focusing on the elements of the exercise (learn more about these elements). Beth Woronoff, founder and directer of Boundless Edge Ice Dance Ensemble in Saugerties, NY, attended class and had this to say:
It’s wonderful that Nathan has developed a system of exercises specifically for artistic ice skating. Class movements are helpful for any skater to draw power from the ice, but the system is also developed with the aesthetic eye of a ballet master.
Tuesday’s Class was the first in an ongoing series of Next Ice Edge Classes at Nashoba Valley Olympia Rink near Boston, MA. To learn about the next Next Ice Edge class in Boston, contact Karen Alstadt or subscribe to our newsletter.
This past season, The Next Ice Age completed its 10th season at The Carousel Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. Here the Professional Company, comprised of skaters over the age of 18, performs a 30 minute show every day from Memorial Day through labor Day. The shows have become so popular that the Carousel has requested we expand our schedule to include other special dates throughout the year.
This year, skaters performed on December 30th, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. The performances were exhibition format, allowing the young skaters a chance to hone their skills by performing in front of a live audience. The skaters outdid themselves with a performance that brought down the house.
On November 5th, 2011, Artistic Director nathan Birch held an open rehearsal of his first full-length work in a decade entitled “The Debussy Nocturnes.” The following clip shows company skaters performing the first few moments. The Next Ice Age plans to premiere the dance in its entirety in April of 2012.
In a review by Shawn Herne, Chief Curator of the Sports Legends Museum, Mr. Herne says,
watching the skaters perform was a treat. Their poise, professionalism and srtistry were nothing short of amazing. Their level of performance certainly exceeded my expectations.
You can read Herne’s entire article here.
Our thanks are extended to those who made donations at the open rehearsal. Your contributions help us pursue our mission of presenting figure skating as an undeniable art form through performance and eduction. Click here to make a donation.