Classic tale has no chill factor

19 Aug 08 - Adelaide Advertiser, Australia - Peter Burden

IN a natty take on the original, Cinderella on Ice has the star of the show swap her housemaid's apron for a lowly place in the corps de ballet in a regional dance company, where her two nasty stepsisters have become the prima ballerina.

When the harridans falter on the opening night of Swan Lake, Cinderella is propelled to sudden stardom.

The principals of the Ice Stars troupe again underpin the cast, with Vadim Yarkov a commanding presence as Cinderella's father, and Andrei Penkine severely bereft as the Mayor's son (Cinderella's admirer in this version). Both were audience favourites, as were the incredibly acrobatic Watchmaker's assistants, and the shadowy figure of Thirteen O'Clock, in a sensational performance by Denis Balandin.

The star of the show is undoubtedly Cinderella herself, and Olga Sharutenko does a fine job, exuding gentleness and femininity as well as powerful athleticism (even if she does get an easy time of it in Swan Lake, having been Odette in the Ice Stars production!).

Artistic Director Tony Mercer is not above a cheeky move or two, as when the happy couples strolling past Cinderella's lovelorn paramour include the company dressmaker and the prince from Swan Lake!

Eamon D'Arcy's Australian-built, British-dressed set is a joy, especially the black and silver art deco theatre, while the costumés (made by the dressmakers to the Bolshoi Ballet, no less) ravish the eye while coping with formidable physical demands.

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