Wake up Wellington! This is a Sleeping Beauty for the 21st century and you'd be mad to miss it. The imperial Ice Stars production under the direction/choreography of Tony Mercer gives us a modern take on the traditional fairytale. Gone are the fairies and the spindles, no one falls asleep for a 100 years, Carabosse is no old crone and the royal wedding is exactly that, not a Royal Variety Show. And while there will always be audiences for the traditional version of this story, it is totally refreshing to see such a different take on it and one that actually makes sense and works.
Charles Perrault would be astonished, but not displeased, by this imaginative staging on ice of his classic fairy tale. Gone are the archaic powdered wigs, knee-breeches and lavishly adorned tutus traditionally associated with The Sleeping Beauty, as well as the unprepossessing crone representing Carabosse, bearer of evil.
The company of mainly Russian championship skaters known as the Imperial Ice Stars are getting the jump on the Christmas season with this, their fourth frozenfloored adaptation of a ballet warhorse. Previous productions of The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Cinderella on ice have all been of a high standard. Their latest offering is a smooth, brightly designed and undemanding (except, that is, on its 26-strong cast) pleasure.
Tony Mercer's ice-dancing spectacular, with a guest performance from Keith Chegwin, opened at the London Palladium last week.
This attractive reworking of ballet’s Christmastime favourite is a lavish creation for ice dance.
It is the first time since John Curry’s pioneer attempt to create ice dance with artistic appeal as, if not more, important than technical skill that I have seen skating in a theatre rather than an arena setting. Since then we have had Torvil and Dean and the recent television success of Dancing on Ice building on that beginning to change audience expectations.
Upcoming show dates
Swan Lake on Ice
The Sleeping Beauty on Ice
- 20-21 Nov, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, CANADA
- 2-15 Feb 2016, Teatro Arcimboldi, Milan, ITALY