The Imperial Ice Stars are currently on a South African tour with a re-imagined presentation of the classic fairytale, Cinderella.
It’s almost two hours of extremely technical, yet beautiful ice skating. With music that is equally as enchanting. But what sadly remains with these productions, is the absence of black people on stage. Are there no black professional skaters in Russia? What remains equally intriguing is the absence of black people in audiences in these shows as well. Do black people not like skating?
Back to the show. The costumes, designed by Albina Gabueva, who’s done extensive work for the Stanislavsky Theatre in her three decade long career, are a beautiful enhancement to the themes.
The Lord Mayor’s son, this production’s equivalent of Prince Charming, looks dapper in his tailored white suit. The suit fits like a second skin.
Cinderella, played by Olga Sharutenko, also looks breathtaking in a flowing blue dress. Almost all of the costumes are a mixture of functional and appropriate. Except the ones that are worn by the stepsisters.
Because this show relies very scarcely on the spoken word, the skaters have to make use of their bodies and specific skating techniques to get their point across. One of the performers who excelled at that was Maria Mukhortova. She plays the role of Cinderella’s evil step mother.
The show also makes use of pyrotechnics and additional effects. During a scene titled Dreaming in the rain, where the prince and Cinderella dance separate from one another, but as one, longing for the presence of this lost love, there is rain that falls to make the scene more believable.
As if pulling off a camel spin is not difficult enough on dry ice, imagine when the ice is slippery. But in their synchronised choreography, Berezenko and Sharutenko pull off spins that are enough to leave the audience dizzy, but equally cheering and celebrating the prowess of these skaters. The production is divided into two sections, of equally intense, yet entertaining theatre.
Watching the production certainly makes for perfect family-time viewing. Personally, I believe the show is not suitable for children who are aged eight and below, as they won’t really be able to see and understand what they are watching.
'Cinderella on Ice' will be on at the Montecasino Teatro until January 6.