Reviews

Get your skates on for Sleeping Beauty ice show thriller

05 Jun 13 - Telegraph & Argus - Emma Clayton

Outside the sun is sizzling, but inside the Alhambra there’s a chill in the air.

The stage has been transformed into a shimmering ice rink for this spectacular version of Sleeping Beauty, performed entirely on skates.

The Imperial Ice Stars showed why they are the world’s leading theatrical ice dancers, blending sublime skating with breathtaking high speed lifts, jaw-dropping aerial stunts and awesome acrobatics.

With skates scraping across a frozen stage at breakneck speed, the show was particularly thrilling within the intimate setting of a theatre, rather than in a soulless arena.

A total of 14 tonnes of ice – the same weight as three elephants – was used to transform the Alhambra stage.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s score, the show was a striking version of the classic fairytale, with a lavish set shifting seamlessly from an elegant Royal court to a menacing forest.

The 26-strong cast of Olympic, World and European Championship skaters performed a dazzling succession of gravity-defying lifts, leaps, somersaults and spins, blending top-class skating with classical ballet.

Olga Sharutenko from TV’s Dancing on Ice gave a scene-stealing performance as Aurora, cursed as a baby by black fairy Carabosse, who vows that one day the princess will prick her finger on a needle and die.

Iulia Odintcova was mesmerising as evil Carabosse, leaping effortlessly into aerial stunts as she spun her black magic across the stage.

Impressive performances too from Bogdan Berezenko as Prince Desire and Aleksei Vasilev as caring Catalabutte, who reveals the story of the sleeping princess.

It’s one thing watching world-class ice skating on TV, but when you see such powerful athleticism and skill live and close up it brings an added thrill, not least with the element of danger that comes with high speed skating in an intimate stage setting.

A red hot ice-breaker of a show!

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