Ice ballet is elegant, energetic

01 Jul 10 - The Press, New Zealand - Kineta Knight

Swan Lake is already one of the world's most beautiful ballets, but set it on a frozen stage and the splendour turns to elegant grace. There's not much more to say than this production of Swan Lake On Ice is magical.

Twenty-six world, European and Russian ice stars perform in this dynamic, contemporary interpretation set to Tchaikovsky's haunting, yet exhilarating, score. At the beginning we're introduced to Prince Siegfried (Andrey Penkin) who wins us over instantly with his charm and the mischievous smile in his eyes. Deliciously evil, yet beautiful, Odile (Olena Pyatash) and her father, Baron Von Rothbart (Vadim Yarkov), try to lure the prince in to marrying her, but he meets and makes a promise of love at the swan's lake to the truly gorgeous Odette (Olga Sharutenko).

It's not until later, when the prince breaks that promise, that we see the battle of evil (Odile) trying to sway a good boy - deceived by lustful seduction, and the agonising revelation when his swan finds out. The most poignant moment in the performance is when Odile makes a tragically beautiful decision, against the will of her father, when she sees the love the prince has for Odette and hands back the ring. It's in this scene that we see some of the show's most breathtaking pieces of dancing on ice.

This show's choreography is incredibly precise, elegant, energetic and, at times, daring. The set is simply stunning and the costumes alone are worth seeing the show for. Although here as part of a two- year world tour, the cast's energy is as high as if on opening night or in a world-class skating competition. Their skills were showcased superbly at The Palace Ballroom - moving with dedicated discipline.

The Imperial Ice Stars. Artistic director/choreographer Tony Mercer. Isaac Theatre Royal. Until Sunday.

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Upcoming show dates

 Peter Pan on Ice

Cinderella on Ice