Winter, and in particular Christmas, is a magical time of year, and one of the cities that does Christmas best is New York. An entire Christmas village is created every year in Bryant Park, complete with its own ice rink. Tens of thousands of visitors and skaters flock to it every year, and recently one visitor had come an extra-long way.
Estonian figure skater Johanna Allik flew the 6,646km from Tallinn to New York to skate there. She skates to Billie Eilish’s No Time To Die, the theme song written for the recent James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig. Keeping the Bond theme going, Johanna is dressed in a full-length black leotard rather than a traditional skating dress.
She starts her performance by making a rectangular shape with her hands, an obvious nod to a cinema or tv screen. The camera begins to pull back and she chases it, just the way James Bond would chase after an enemy agent. She almost catches up, before skidding to a stop and showering the camera in ice. That’s when she starts her real routine.
Anyone who has tried to even stay upright on ice skates knows it is not easy but to watch Johanna you would swear it is because she makes it look so effortless. She glides over the ice at incredible speed but her balance and poise never waver. As her routine continues she incorporates more difficult spins and jumps, and New York is the perfect dramatic backdrop. It is a breathtaking display.
The choreographer of this performance must be applauded as every step is perfectly in sync with the song as if the music and lyrics have been translated into dance. Johanna’s innate musicality also adds another layer, the sweep of her arms and position of her hands are beautiful. She has a magnetic gaze and when she stares into the camera you can’t help but be drawn in.
Perhaps this should not be a surprise, though. Johanna is a professional figure skater who has won three silver figure skating medals in Estonia and one in Poland. She also won a gold medal in Estonia for pairs skating with her partner Paul Bellantuono. This video proves she does not need a partner to shine. It’s a superb performance that has received almost 1.5 million views and 41,000 since it was uploaded to YouTube a year ago.
If you wonder if it’s worth watching one YouTuber sums it up perfectly, “The skater, the music, the rink, the view, the camera movement… Everything is perfect!” So please do yourself a favour and watch this wonderful performance now.
Then, if you want to see another stunning routine, check out Adam Rippon’s emotional performance to Lady Gaga’s Shallow. Adam’s skill and power are exceptional but it’s the emotional expression of his skating that’s out of this world. It will bring tears to your eyes. If you would like to see more from On Ice Perspectives, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Instagram.