Reviews

Sleeping Beauty on Ice

27 Mar 13 - thestage.co.uk - Francesca Morrison

Imperial Ice Stars are famous for fusing adrenaline-rich ice dancing with the kind of dramatic spectacle and technical brilliance that leave you feeling slightly breathless.

Against a backdrop of sets ranging from painterly and magical to courtly and Tsarist, this extraordinary version of Tchaikovsky’s ballet challenges the confines of a mere stage with skating feats more usually seen in an Olympic arena.

Yet aerial gymnastics, incredible lifts, flips and spins are somehow transmuted into the stuff of art by the sheer beauty of the performance, and staging that includes vivid visual extras like a ring of fire glittering primordially on the ice.

Although Olga Sharutenko (Princess Aurora) is probably best known among this troupe of Russian skating champions for her joyful appearances on ITV’s Dancing on Ice, gravity-defying grace and drive come equally from Yulia Ashcheulova (Lilac Fairy) and Oleg Tazetdinov (Lilac Prince).

Iuliia Odintcova brings a gust of more savage passion to her role of malevolent Carabosse - but this is no wicked fairy panto caricature. Art, acrobatics and athleticism once again converge in the seductive force-field she creates around her.

Director Tony Mercer, widely recognised as one of the world’s leading creators of theatre-on-ice, has teamed to take contemporary ice dance to a new level in this production.

Long gone are the days when ‘on ice’ prompted a derogatory snigger. Like Cirque du Soleil, this is modern kinetic theatre brimming with innovative technical and kaleidoscopic brilliance. Next step, perhaps, is full emotional wattage.

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Upcoming show dates

 Swan Lake on Ice