Cinderella on the cutting edge

08 Oct 08 - Perth Post -

Olympic medallists and world champion skaters, sparkling costumes and the most expensive set ever created for a theatrical ice show all come together in Cinderella in Ice.

The ice show is produced by English merchant banker turned theatre producer James Cundall, of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, who readily admitted that the only thing he knew about ice when he first started was that it was good for gin and tonics.

Now the Imperial Ice Stars, a company of 23 world-class Russian competition skaters, who between them have won more than 250 competition medals, specialise in skating on small theatre stages all over the world.

Their challenge is to perform spectacular triple flips, triple toe loops, double axles, spirals and spins, normally performed in a large arena, within the confines of a 15m x 15m frozen theatre stage. Skaters all agree there is a huge difference between skating in a two-hour show eight times n week and the intensive daily training for just four or five minutes of absolute perfection in front of judges.

It will take 14,000 litres of water. 2500 litres of antifreeze. 15km of refrigeration pipes anti 140 hours to turn Burswood Theatre stage into a fragile and tricky ice surface.

This version of Cinderella, conceived and choreographed by Tony Mercer, incorporates fire, rain, flying and state-ofthe-art projections. It has Cinders training to be a ballerina, an opportunity for her to show off some extraordinary dance moves, and meeting her handsome hero "back stage".

The Fairy Godmother is a gypsy fortune-teller who weaves a little magic for Cinderella at the Lord Mayors Ball. The creative team includes Evgeny Platov. dual Olympic gold medallist in figure skating (1994 and 1998 winter Olympics) and four-time World Champion (1994-1997): and Athena Denkova and Maxim Staviski ice dancing World Champions in 2006 and 2007.

Tony Mercer says that some of the skating moves in Cinderella have never been attempted before, either in competition or on the stage. Cinderella on Ice performs at the Burswood Theatre From October 10 to 19.

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