Manuwatu Standard, New Zealand
by STEPHEN FISHER
Two years ago, the Russian Imperial Ice Stars won our hearts with a spectacular performance of Sleeping Beauty on Ice. This year, they have returned with an adaptation of another of Tchaikovsky’s ballets - Swan Lake.This was an excellent choice for a company of ice skaters, and last night’s audience was enthralled throughout the evening with a production that was even more spectacular than that of two years ago, as the composer’s gloriously romantic score provided the perfect accompaniment for this talented company.
The awards won by individual skaters - as listed in the programme - is most impressive. And all the skaters’ skills were demonstrated during the performance, with impressive elegance and grace. Indeed, the beauty of their work never ceased to amaze.
Director Tony Mercer has based his production firmly in the classic choreography of Swan Lake. But he has beautifully complemented this with the breathtaking leaps and spectacular lifts that we have come to expect from performers on ice.
This glorious artistry has been superbly matched by the design elements of the production. The sets and costumes brought a magnificent evocation of imperial Russia or mystical forest lakes to the stage. And if all this wasn’t enough, several of the sequences included spectacular aerial sequences, bathed in blue light. These created astounding stage magic that completely entranced the audience.
Swan Lake on Ice is undoubtedly a glorious feast for eye and ear and truly wonderful to behold, live, in the theatre in a performance characterised by brilliant artistry and absolute excellence.