Authentic On-Ice Creation with Ice Cold Combos
He grabbed three friends and a camera. That was the beginning of Ice Cold Combos. Fresh, raw and authentic on-ice choreographed routines posted to social media that allow skating to be seen through a different lens. You thought "ice dancing" was lavish costumes, complicated patterns and palpable tension between partners? Think again. Adam Blake is Associate Choreographer for Disney On Ice, Choreographer for National, World and Olympic Competitors and Founder, Director and Choreographer for Ice Cold Combos. He has a different vision for the future of ice skating and is constantly searching for the next opportunity to satisfy his creative hunger. Adam certainly has no reservation to break the rules and pave his own way through the creative figure skating world that is bound by points & restrictions and plagued by subjectivism.
For aspiring choreographers, Adam notes the importance of embracing every unique experience. The value of putting yourself in uncomfortable situations to promote personal growth will show up ten-fold in your creative work. Ice Cold Combos seem like a couple of friends having fun on the ice with good music. It makes you want to tie up your skates and jump right in. Get some creative inspiration and check out what Adam has to say about his experience as a working creative in the skating world.
How did you come up with the concept for Ice Cold Combos?
Adam: In all honesty, it came as a solution to my creative hunger. I had just came off of the build for Disney On Ice Presents Frozen, and I was yearning for another opportunity to create. So I grabbed three friends (Adriana Krause, Taiki Masaki, Nick Donaldson) and a camera (Terry Lawton) and started making videos.
What vision do you have for the future of Ice Cold Combos?
Adam: I would love to produce more shows or have shows picked up by production companies. ICC is a very real and raw company that steps away from the glitz and glam of most ice shows and dives into the more grittier material. I would love to continue our outreach program that involves teaching at US Figure Skating events and seminars across the world.
How do you see the evolution of the sport of figure skating?
Adam: We need to change the way we film and present skating. With everyone owning a camera in their phone these days, people are more familiar with viewing things so incredibly up close. On Ice Perspectives has really tapped into this genre of video production and this truly is the future of the way skating needs to be viewed. Choreographically the sport is evolving so much. Nathan Chen's "Nemesis" choreographed by Shae-Lynn Bourne was pure genius. I feel that a true artist won't let rules stifle their work.
What has been your favorite choreography gig to date? How did you feel during the experience?
Adam: Producing Music Best Served Cold: The First Live Folk-Rock Ice Concert was the most amazing experience of my life. To have brought together 11 amazing skaters, an incredible band, The Northerners, and to have created an original work was beyond my wildest dreams. There was a moment during rehearsals when we first skated to the band's live music where the energy was so incredibly overwhelming. We all did the finale number in tears because at that moment we were part of something that was truly our own.
Who or what has been your biggest inspiration? How do you stay inspired to choreograph original pieces?
Adam: I have been blessed to have had the best teachers: Simone Grigorescu, Cindy Stuart, Kevin Wilson, and Christopher Dean. I am always learning so much every day from these brilliant minds. But I also keep my mind going by constantly listening to new music and exposing myself to new media from plays to musicals to TV Shows to an avant garde performance in an alleyway.