Saturday, February 19, 2011

Riverdance on Ice: Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz's "Riverdance"

This afternoon on NBC there was a skating special called Riverdance on Ice. The show combined the best of the Irish stepdancing and music on stage with some of the best professional figure skaters in the world. The spirited music and dancing of Riverdance reminded me of one of Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz's signature freedances to the music of Riverdance.

The 2003 World ice dance champions skated their "Riverdance" program during the 1997/98 season. They finished a controversial fourth at the 1998 Nagano Olympics (many felt they were under- marked and should have finished on the podium), and third at the 1998 World Championships in Minneapolis. Bourne and Kraatz's combination of the staccato steps of traditional Irish step with the smooth flowing edges of figure skating is a terrific contrast. This team exhibited great heart and artistic flair each time they skated this program, winning over the heart's of the audiences. Bourne and Kraatz exemplify the best that ice dancing has to offer.

Posted below is a video of Shae-Lynn and Victor's 1998 Olympic skate, followed by their 1998 World Championship one.


1998 Olympics:

1998 Worlds:


  1. Thank you so very much for posting these videos. While watching NBC's Riverdance, I too couldn't help but be reminded of this program. I think Bourne and Kraatz were the very definition of Ice Dance with their beautiful moves. They were fresh and alive! One of my favorite programs was their Return to Innocence...I just think of it as 'The Wind'. The ending was Shae-Lynn flying thru the wind...simply wonderful. They took me skating with them....and I have yet to share that experience with any other Ice Dance pair. My thanks again to you and to them!

  2. Now I know I confused 2 programs....just found "The Wind" from 1996...LOVED IT! I was dancing in my seat. This program showed everyone that Ice Dance could be modern! Now that I found their programs on You Tube I can enjoy their quality again and again.

  3. Dear Keri,

    Thank you for your comments! I'm glad you mentioned their 1996 program. That's a great recommendation! I hope to post that video sometime in the future. :)