Swan Lake's spectacular opening night

08 Jul 10 - Dominion Post , New Zealand - Kent Blechynden

More than 20 of the world's best skaters transformed Tchaikovsky's classic ballet Swan Lake into a skating spectacle when it opened in Wellington, performing some moves so complex they haven't been named yet.

Swan Lake tells the story of Odette, a beautiful princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The ice-bound version of the story has received a warm reception from audiences and critics around the globe.

Swan Lake on Ice combines ballet and adrenaline-infused gymnastics from 26 of the world's best skaters, billed as the Imperial Ice Stars. Heart-in-your-mouth twirls, jumps and lifts are mixed with soaring dancers "flying" on aerial wires.

The show has been performed on some of the world's most prestigious stages, including London's Royal Albert Hall. Skaters from world, European and national championships bring the ballet to life. Between them they hold more than 250 competition medals.

This year's production features a fast-paced portrayal, with new choreography from leading ice director Tony Mercer. There will be 14 more shows in Wellington, until Sunday, July 18.

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