FIONA Kirk, whose roles are Queen and Hungarian Princess, may have been South Africa’s National Dance (skating) champion, but to our average citizen, board or roller skating are sports with which they are more familiar. Yet, ice skating is a sport/ice-dance art that fascinates all. So when Pieter Toerien presents The Imperial Ice Stars in one of Tony Mercer’s Tchaikovsky ice-theatre spectacles, no one should miss out watching 25 Olympic/European/World champion skaters in action... they are a marvellously co-ordinated team.
**** THERE'S no skimping on even the composer's name. It's written out in full in the programme: Pyotr Iltich Tchaikovsky And why not? Swan Lake on Ice, performed by the Imperial Ice Stars, is an accomplished and elegant show that deserves its place among balletomanes who like their art light, with a twist of Russian.
Typically, I’m not a fan of the ballet. Give me a good old high-camp musical and I’m happy as a pig in the proverbial, but the ballet simply doesn’t do it for me. However, when I heard that Swan Lake was coming to Dublin’s Bord Gais Energy Theatre, with an icy twist, I was intrigued.
Swan Lake is an ice spectacular the likes of which you have never seen before. Yes, there are the flying stunts and the ensemble numbers are packed with death-defying lifts while the White Swan, Odette (Olga Sharutenko), makes one entrance on heavily sequinned pointe shoes.
Swan Lake is a ballet about dance. Dance is how its characters – not just the performers who play them – communicate with each other: it is how the the beautiful Swan-Maiden Odette wins Prince Siegfried's heart, and it is how Odile, daughter of the evil Count Von Rothbart, seduces him.