Cinderella On Ice
23/07/2008 - 26/07/2008
11/07/2008 - 20/07/2008
The world-famous Imperial Ice Stars, who have won international critical acclaim with their previous tours of The Sleeping Beauty on Ice and Swan Lake on Ice, are set to thrill once more with their brand new production, Cinderella on Ice.
More than two million people across five continents, from London to Auckland and Toronto to Cape Town, have been swept to their feet by The Imperial Ice Stars’ adrenaline-infused performances.
New Zealand audiences will be the first in the world to see this dazzling display of skating brilliance from 23 Olympic, World, National and European Championship skaters. The Imperial Ice Stars are renowned for their unique brand of innovative skating and story-telling, as they continue to break new ground in the genre of ice dancing with daring feats never seen before – and all performed in the intimacy of a frozen theatre stage.
Cinderella on Ice has been conceived and choreographed by Tony Mercer, widely regarded as the world’s leading creator of theatre on ice, together with Evgeny Platov, dual Olympic gold medallist and four time World Champion, and Alexander Zhulin, Olympic silver and bronze medallist and World Champion.
The production boasts special effects rivalling Cirque du Soleil, including fire and rain; lavish sets depicting Siberian snowscapes and gypsy carnivals from one of Australia’s top scenic designers; and glorious costumes from Albina Gabueva, head designer at Moscow’s famed Stanislavsky Theatre.
In this retelling of the traditional story, Cinderella is a prima ballerina whose dancing captivates the Mayor’s son. Despite rival attempts by her stepsisters to steal his heart, the kindly Watchmakers and Gypsy Fortuneteller ensure that true love triumphs.
"A spellbinding dramatic experience that will thrill the senses" Sun Herald
A unique chance to celebrate timelessness
The Imperial Ice Stars production of Cinderella on Ice is a sight to behold. Extensive attention to legend and detail has brought this production into alignment with dreams of childhood. Dance in theatre or as a spectacle, as with any visual art form, most often extends itself beyond what the audience can physically do. This performance is beautiful and evocative of pantomimes from childhood – children in this audience and they were gasping and so was I!
I took with me an ice skater, to check what I was seeing – she has since told me that I don’t have to mention her as an ice skater but as a "dance person who worked with skaters and understands the craft". Similarly, I got caught into the dynamic difference of watching dance performed purposefully on a slippery surface. The dancers on skates float backwards; their movements took us back too. To childhood stories and imagination, where many of us also thought we would be seen by a prince. The centrifugal force of the spinning dancers drew and captured us in a sort of visceral, kinaesthetic flood.
The company seems in good shape – this is not a physical, technique observation, it is about the company as a whole. As a kaleidoscopic group, visionary producers, musicians and particular mention of the costuming artistry of Albina Gabueva, they managed that extremely small icy space with flying blades. There were all sorts of well placed, perfectly timed heads, turned to one side or gently coordinated ducking. The combination of speed, elegance and focus was perfect, and it was in this way that the characterisations found their force.
The elegance of Cinderella’s Dad, Vadim Yarkov, his astonishing artistry, high cut extensions and partnerwork gave this evening some of its power and unforgettability. The impossible maturity in the dance of the evil Stepmother, Olena Pyatosh, and her coy and fictitious daughters, were matched by an impeccably technical performance from Cinderella, Olga Sharutenko. This show didn’t really make her the star but her exquisite lines and uninterrupted poise did.
I am just going to insert another quote from my friend the non ice skate: "One great thing about the prince, Andre Penkine, (he was really rather mad but I did love him), was his energy and his triple Axels. This is the only triple jump in ice skating that takes off from a forward outside edge for three and a half revolutions to be completed in the air. These were what made me love him – as trust me they are very hard to do and not to mention on such a small scale of ice. He was a technical wizard."
The Programme notes align the production to Cirque du Soleil. In comparison this show has places to go. An uneasy fit with some golden rope dancing showed up as an artistic direction glitch. I am not sure, as a watcher, that these comparisons are that useful. What dancing on ice offers, embellished with fly acrobatics, music medley and vast production elements, in full support of an extraordinary group of artists, is a unique chance to celebrate timelessness.
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Fabulous ballet on ice one of the hottest shows in town
Review by Joanna Hunkin 14th Jul 2008
To the uninitiated, ballet on ice may seem a little naff. For days leading up to Saturday night’s premiere of Cinderella on Ice people openly laughed at my excitement and enthusiasm for the coming event. But those who have discovered the extraordinary dexterity, grace and power of the Imperial Ice Stars will know it is, in fact, one of the most exhilarating entertainment spectacles you will ever witness.
Think of the thrill of watching Olympic figure skating – the sharp intake of breath every time someone launches themselves, spinning into the air, spraying ice as they land at speed – and then multiply by 10. [More]
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Thrilling blend of ice skating, ballet and theatre
Review by Jessie Kollen 13th Jul 2008
It’s difficult to describe a performance of Cinderella on Ice without using words like "magical" or "sumptuous" or a phrase like "spell-binding" … If you have ever been impressed watching Olympic ice skating on TV, then Cinderella on Ice is even better, mixing of the magic of theatre with the thrill of ice skating.
Artistic director, producer, choreographer and creator of Cinderella on Ice, Tony Mercer, combined his talents with a performance creative team of world class figure skaters to choreograph this third production featuring the Imperial Ice Stars. A great deal of money was spent creating Cinderella on Ice, and it shows.
One might think that the skaters’ skill and the dramatic choreography would be enough for most of us, but this is theatre and this is ice dancing, not just any old figure skating display. It’s an elaborate opera -without the singing. The Imperial Ice Stars actually fly through the skies, the carriage that takes Cinderella to the ball is created by the use of lighting effects that are literally dazzling, the music swells, there is fire, mist, rain, and of course, ice.
Cinderella on Ice retains the historical context with which the story of Cinderella is associated, while adding something contemporary and interesting. The set design, by Eamon D’Arcy, has a kind of Moulin Rouge opulence-meets-art-deco style and yet manages to be somehow modern. The gorgeous costumes designed by Albina Gabueva, have a hint of haute couture and the music by Tim A. Duncan, Edward Barnwell and Peter Whitfield, blends the serene with the edgy. There is even the faintest touch of Disney-esque sentimentality, which is also visible in the bold animation style colours of the lighting (Gavan Swift) and the scenery.
While Cinderella on Ice tells a story that is perhaps less familiar than Disney’s pervasive version, where the fairy god mother takes the form of a mysterious gypsy woman; the step sisters are still beautifully bitchy, the step mother exudes ambition and Cinderella is the perfect graceful heroine who finds her prince in the boyishly charming mayor’s son.
The fairy tale world the stage scenery and lighting creates is eloquently matched with the musical score and to the ice dancing itself. This production of Cinderella on Ice reflects a certain harmony of entertainment and artistic expression, with a balance of all the elements that we have come to love and expect from ice skating, ballet and theatre.
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