Swan Lake on Ice

The traditionalist might ask whether Tchaikovsky and ice skating really mix? Can the rhythms of ballet be accurately transferred to the coldest of stages? Will the necessary rearrangements of scene and music disserve the original? These questions, though fair concerns, all become redundant once you’ve seen Swan Lake on Ice at the Royal Albert Hall. Not once did the transition from stage to ice come into question during the simply awesome spectacle that was on display for the audience. Some of the ice skating moves preformed by the Imperial Ice Stars had never been attempted before, not in competition or on the stage, and are so complex that some moves have not yet been named! The overall production displayed sensational triple flips, death spirals, Bielmanns, double axels, throw axels and incredible dramatic aerial gymnastics. I was particularly impressed by both Odette, the White Swan Maiden played by Olga Sharutenko, and Odile, the Black Swan played by Olena Pyatash. Their movements were magnificent yet subtle and I have to say I was transfixed. Equally, Prince Siegfried, played by Andrey Penkin, proved to be a wondrously psychological dancer, displaying real precision and panache. Particularly for those who are less drawn to ballet this really is a worthwhile alternative. Although I still adore the original medium, ice allows for more colour and pace, while the perilous nature of the throws, leaps and spins gives the drama an additional frisson of excitement. Admittedly, being familiar with the original Swan Lake, I did have doubts over some of the chosen omissions but all in all, the plot changes were successful, the individual performances elegant and the whole show a pleasure for the eyes. Swan Lake on Ice offers a new medium for the famous dance, adding a flow that fits the story and music in a way that Ballet doesn’t. It deserves credit for that alone. A must see. And So To Bed… Wayne Clarke, Creative Director

Posted by Iconography Ltd
23rd May 2012

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