The music behind 3 of Kurt Browning's most iconic performances

The beloved Canadian figure skater takes us through his routines to ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ Casablanca and the Grand Canyon Suite.

The beloved Canadian figure skater takes us through his routines to ‘Singin’ in the Rain' and more

The Music Behind Kurt Browning's Iconic Performances

4 months ago
Duration 6:18
Kurt Browning looks back at the music behind his most iconic performances.

Kurt Browning has been a staple on the world figure-skating stage ever since he burst onto the scene from his hometown of Caroline, Alta., in the mid-'80s, competing as an amateur for only a handful of years before becoming the first person to officially land a quadruple toe loop in competition.

After that fateful day, Browning consistently placed first in the World Championships for nearly five years (among many other wins) before transitioning to professional skating and commentating. Today, you can find him as a regular analyst and commentator for CBC at both the Olympic Winter Games and the World Figure Skating Championships.

Kurt Browning first performed his routine to 'Singin' in the Rain' on the 1994 CBC-TV special You Must Remember This. (Fred Phipps/CBC Still Photo Collection)

Whether you know Browning's nearly 40-year resumé in detail as an avid figure-skating fan, or remember him fondly from past TV specials, one thing's certain: you will likely remember three particular performances. 

Browning's 1988 quad-landing routine at the World Championships, set to the Grand Canyon Suite, his 1993 Casablanca routine also at the World Championships, and his delightful "Singin' in the Rain" routine from a 1994 CBC-TV special are all classics that are still referenced to this day. And one thing that makes them so perfect, in addition to Browning's skating, is the music.

"I think that's the most important thing, is that the music and the skater are helping each other along," Browning said, in a Zoom interview with CBC Music. He explained that you don't want the music to overshadow the skater, or vice versa. Balance is key.

In his early years, Sandra Bezic, who choreographed all three of those iconic performances, chose the music for or with Browning. (She was very good at "choosing the right music at the right time so that you win the Olympics," Browning says.) Gene Kelly's "Singin' in the Rain," though, was a memory dear to Browning's heart.

Watch the video above and let Browning take you through the musical decisions behind three of his most iconic performances.


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