Returning to The Lowry with their stunning production, Sleeping Beauty on Ice, the Imperial Ice Stars effortlessly prove why the 26 strong cast featuring Olympic, World and European Champions have won more than 250 competition medals between them. Set to Tchaikovsky’s instantly recognisable score, the show tells the story of the classic fairy-tale we all know and love, through awe-inspiring skating, jaw-dropping lifts and gob-smacking aerial gymnastics, leaving the audience begging for more.
The Lyric stage is transformed by 15 tonnes of ice to create the impressively sized rink, this combined with the imposing set designed by Eamon D’Arcy, allows the performers to move slickly from one scene to the next.
Opening dramatically with the introduction of the Black Fairy, Carabosse (Iuliia Odintcova) her Shadow, (Jurijs Salmanovos) and their henchmen creating a deliciously dark and menacing mood. Odintcova is fearless in her skating, drawing gasps from the audience with several hiding behind their hands at the more daring stunts. She more than does justice to renowned Russian Olympic coach Tatiana Tarasova and award-winning Tony Mercers choreography. Complementing this is an impressive wardrobe of lavish costumes created by renowned Russian costume designer Natella Abdulaeva, handmade by a team of 10 seamstresses.
The grandeur of the Palace is impressive; the Lilac Fairy leads jovial celebrations whilst the Fairy Godmothers present gifts to Princess Aurora, only to be interrupted by a furious Carabosse who has been omitted from the celebrations. After a dramatic battle with the fairies we see Carabosse place her curse.
Princess Aurora is portrayed beautifully by Olga Sharutenko, of Dancing on Ice fame; luckily there is no sign of her TV partner Keith Chegwin tonight! On this occasion the comic element is brought to us by former World Junior Champion Svitlana Pylypenko who portrays Catalabuttes assistant, with great wit and humour.
Prince Desire is depicted beautifully by Ukranian skater Bogdan Berezenko, strong and athletic he treats the audience to impressive high speed lifts. The athleticism continues with a striking aerial routine from the forest bluebirds (Danil Tataurov and Olga Tataurova).
The final battle between the Black Fairy and the Lilac Fairy over the breaking of the curse is fast, ferocious and dynamic. The show is a must see for families and skate fans, with the added treat of the skaters responding to the audiences shouts for “more” by thrilling everyone with some amazing stunts in a hugely impressive encore.
Showing at The Lowry until Sunday 7th April.
by Nikki Cotter