The Imperial Ice Stars was formed in July 2004 as a joint venture between two leading producers of live entertainment, Tony Mercer and James Cundall, and businessman and former speed skater Vladislav Olenin. Originally collaborating on a production of The Sleeping Beauty on Ice in Hong Kong in 1998, James and Tony also produced The Nutcracker on Ice in Australia and New Zealand in 2003 before creating their own company The Imperial Ice Stars in 2004.
Award-winning Tony Mercer is widely regarded as the world’s leading ice director and choreographer, and has over 15 years experience in creating ice shows such as The Sleeping Beauty on Ice, The Nutcracker on Ice, Cinderella on Ice, Barnum on Ice, Phantom of the Opera on Ice, Peter Pan on Ice and Carmen on Ice. With his new productions of The Sleeping Beauty on Ice (2004-06 and 2007-09), Swan Lake on Ice (2006-08) and Cinderella on Ice (2008-2010), performed by The Imperial Ice Stars, he has added a greater theatricality to the performances, and taken ice choreography to new limits, creating a new genre of ‘Theatre on Ice’ and broadening its appeal to a more adult audience.
James Cundall is one of the top producers of live entertainment across five continents with over 80 productions to his name – musicals such as Les Misérables, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Chicago, Singin’ in the Rain, Oliver, Cabaret, and We Will Rock You; spectaculars such as Cirque du Soleil’s Alegría and Riverdance; plays such as The Blue Room and Talking Heads; and solo performers such as Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Jose Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, Elaine Paige, Clive James and Jamie Oliver, to name just a few.
James Cundall is Chief Executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, based in the UK with subsidiary offices in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Cinderella on Ice is produced by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, Tony Mercer, Vladislav Olenin and David Atkins Enterprises.
David Atkins Enterprises (DAE) is one of the world’s leading Event & Production Companies. Headed by David Atkins OAM, DAE has been producing international ceremonies, musicals, arena events and live productions across Australia, Asia, America, Europe and now the Middle East for over 25 years. DAE co-produced The Imperial Ice Stars – Swan Lake on Ice. Most notably, DAE created and produced the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the Doha 2006 Asian Games. Most recently DAE is proud to have been awarded the contract to create and produce the Opening, Closing & Victory Ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.
Tony Mercer assembles a first class creative team for each production. The creative team for The Imperial Ice Stars current show, Cinderella on Ice comprises Evgeny Platov, dual Olympic gold medallist (1994 and 1998) and four-time World Champion (1994-1997), and 2006 & 2007 ice dancing World Champions Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski. Together with Tony Mercer they have choreographed an unrivalled show incorporating all the intricate and thrilling moves seen at the Winter Olympics and feats never attempted before in figure skating.
Cinderella on Ice is performed against lavish projected scenery, created by one of Australasia’s leading scenic designers, Eamon D’Arcy, renowned for his spectacular staging of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, and the Ceremonies for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. He has designed for drama, dance and musical theatre in both Australia and Asia over the last 25 years, notably for the Australian touring productions of Cabaret, Singin? in the Rain and Saturday Night Fever.
Seventy-seven richly decorative costumes have been specifically created for Cinderella on Ice by Albina Gabueva, head designer at Moscow’s famed Stanislavsky Theatre. Every costume is an individual design – no two are the same – and all have been made by the famous Bolshoi Ballet’s costume cutters. Ten of the costumes cost over £4,000 each and incorporate luxurious fabrics and intricate detailing. Ms Gabueva also created the stunning costumes seen in The Imperial Ice Stars – Swan Lake on Ice.
The specially commissioned score for Cinderella on Ice has been composed by Tim A Duncan and Edward Barnwell, both of whom are highly regarded contemporary composers and re-arranged Tchaikovsky?s score for Swan Lake on Ice. Tim A Duncan has worked with Tony Mercer for more than 15 years on ‘theatre on ice’ productions. The Cinderella on Ice score took 9 months to compose and arrange from start to finish. It is performed by the 72-piece Moscow State Cinematic Orchestra and 10 soloists from the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, as well as Tim Duncan, Edward Barnwell (piano) and David Alexander (percussion). The score was recorded over 3 days using the latest digital technology to achieve the best possible sound quality. At the Royal Albert Hall it will be complemented by a live 20-piece orchestra.
The Imperial Ice Stars is one of the world’s leading companies specialising in performing theatrical ice skating in the intimacy of the theatre stage. Comprising the cream of Russian skating talent, the majority of the skaters have been trained by Russia’s leading coaches, and some from as early as four years of age.
The Cinderella on Ice troupe boasts 25 World, European and National Championship skaters who between them have won more than 250 competition medals.
The Imperial Ice Stars perform stunning skating feats, normally only seen in Olympic arenas, within the confines of a frozen theatre stage, including breathtaking triple flips, triple toe loops, double axels, death spirals, camel spins, Bielmanns, throw axels, awe-inspiring aerial gymnastics and their performance specialty of incredible lifts and lift sequences, unrivalled throughout the ice skating world, as part of their unique style of theatre on ice.
The internationally renowned Imperial Ice Stars have toured The Sleeping Beauty on Ice (2004-6, 2007-9) and Swan Lake on Ice (2006-8) to such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Finland, Monaco, Cyprus, France, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Canada and the UK. Their stunning productions have been enjoyed by nearly three million people worldwide and have been acclaimed by critics from London to Sydney, Toronto to Cape Town and Tokyo to Moscow.
In 2008, for the first time, The Imperial Ice Stars Treasure Houses Tour saw The Sleeping Beauty on Ice performed in a sumptuous Tented Ice Palace at some of England?s finest stately homes.
Cinderella on Ice had its world premiere in New Zealand in July 2008 before going on to tour Australia’s capital cities and the UK. In total the show is expected to visit 22 countries over a two year period.
The technical team behind The Imperial Ice Stars has perfected the creation of ‘on stage’ ice rinks to provide the ideal skating surface for the performers. Two chillers, over 10 miles (16kms) of refrigeration pipes and 600 gallons (2,700 litres) of water are used to create 14 tonnes of ice, all in the space of 34 hours.