THE NUTCRACKER ON ICE
Tony Mercer, Evgeny Platov, Maxim Staviski, designers scenic designer Eamon D’Arcy and Albina Gabueva
at St James Theatre, Wellington
From 10 Jun 2012 to 15 Jul 2012
ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland
From 3 Jul 2012 to 8 Jul 2012
Reviewed by: Bernadette Rae (NZ Herald);
The international ice dance sensation The Imperial Ice Stars makes a triumphant return to New Zealand with a dazzling new production of The Nutcracker on Ice in Auckland and Wellington from 3 - 15 July 2012.
Over the last eight years, The Imperial Ice Stars have performed to almost four million people across five continents, at some of the world's most prestigious venues -London's Royal Albert Hall and Sadler''s Wells, Singapore's new Marina Bay Sands casino and theatre complex, Montreal's Place des Arts and Moscow's Red Square.
This award-winning troupe comes to New Zealand direct from a performance in May of Swan Lake on Ice at the Royal Albert Hall, and a best-ever sell-out tour of The Nutcracker on Ice in South Africa earlier this year.
he Imperial Ice Stars have built a worldwide following and established an unrivalled reputation for their sophisticated portrayals of classic works, and for executing the most complex and daring manoeuvres on the ice. Their previous world tours (Sleeping Beauty on Ice, Swan Lake on Ice and Cinderella on Ice) have been greeted with nightly standing ovations and five-star reviews.
"The Imperial Ice Stars give skating a stamp of class "
“ the cast is simply superb."
-- The Daily Telegraph, Sydney (Swan Lake on Ice)
For their latest production, The Nutcracker on Ice, acclaimed Artistic Director Tony Mercer - the world's leading creator of contemporary theatre-on-ice - has once again teamed with four-time figure skating World Champion and dual Olympic gold medallist Evgeny Platov, and dual World Champion Maxim Staviski to create choreography that further raises the bar, with ever more breathtaking high-speed leaps and throws, and awe-inspiring acrobatics, coupled with the most graceful and sublime ice dancing.
To Tchaikovsky's memorable score, the 26-strong cast of Olympic, World, European and National Championship skaters will astound and mesmerise audiences with their adrenaline-rich, dramatic performance, in the intimate setting of a frozen theatre stage.
Set in early 1900s St Petersburg, The Nutcracker on Ice boasts sumptuous sets by leading Australian scenic designer Eamon Dâ€™Arcy in this his fourth Imperial Ice Stars show, with opulent and stylish costumes from Elena Predvodeteleva, a renowned Russian designer of costumes for theatre, film and circus as well as couture.
This brand new production follows the classic Russian tale of Marie, the little girl whose love brings to life her cherished Nutcracker doll - a magical Christmas gift from her mysterious godfather - leading to adventures with the Mouse King, the enchanted Prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The story was originally penned nearly two centuries ago, in 1816, by the German author E T A Hoffman, and was later adapted by the French writer Alexandre Dumas in 1847. From this adaptation, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographer Lev Ivanov created their ballet, The Nutcracker, which was first performed in St Petersburg in 1892 and has since become a perennial Christmas favourite the world over.
"One of the most exhilarating entertainment spectacles you will ever witness."
-The New Zealand Herald (Cinderella on Ice)
The Imperial Ice Stars Artistic Director, Tony Mercer, explains "The art form of ice dance lends itself beautifully to this well-loved tale. Not only does the story entail some beautiful romantic â€˜adagiosâ€™ with lifts and jumps, but the exotic divertissements from Spain, China, Arabia and Russia allow us to introduce some gymnastics, flying, acrobatics, magic and special effects..
The Nutcracker on Ice will thrill and enchant all ages.
44 people tour with the show including performers, technicians and a doctor, with a further 17 people required in each venue.
The music is performed by the 72-piece Moscow State Cinematic Orchestra, and 10 soloists from the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, together with Tim A Duncan, Edward Barnwell (piano) and David Alexander (percussion). It took three days to record, using the latest digital technology to achieve the best possible sound quality.