HACHINOHE, Aomori -- Popular figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, a back-to-back Olympic champion who turned pro in July, performed the finale of his ice show "Prologue" in the northern Japan prefecture of Aomori on Dec. 5.
The performance at the Flat Hachinohe arena in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, winds up his first solo show after starting his new professional career in Yokohama in November.
At the venue, the crowd heard the call "No. 1, Yuzuru Hanyu" announced, and Hanyu glided onto the ice. He skated first to the song "Seimei," the same piece he used for his free skate during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games to win the gold medal. The lighting was the same brightness as at the competition venue, making it appear as if spectators were watching one of his competition performances. He received a standing ovation from the first song as he completed an errorless run, including a quadruple jump.
He then performed to "Change," an exhibition number from his junior skating days, and unveiled a rocky dance with red and purple laser beams to the live music of a Tsugaru shamisen, a traditional three-stringed Japanese instrument.
Hanyu then took the microphone for a Q&A session, and politely responded to questions as he caught his breath. "I've reached the last day of my prologue. I don't know if I'll hold out (physically) till the end, but I appreciate your support until then," he said.
Continuing the show, he then skated to musical pieces including "Sing, Sing, Sing," "Romeo and Juliet," "A Fleeting Dream" and "Haru yo, Koi," finishing to an encore featuring the pieces "Parisienne Walkways" and "From Russia with Love."
As he closed the roughly two-hour performance, Hanyu told spectators that the prologue had ended and said, "The end is the beginning of the beginning. Please look forward to the main feature that you haven't yet seen." He announced that he would hold an ice show titled "Gift" at Tokyo Dome on Feb. 26, 2023.
(Japanese original by Tatsuya Haga, Sports News Department)