When I knew the Imperial Ice Stars were coming back to the Mayflower I was indeed excited. I have lasting memories of their magnificent Swan Lake performed two years ago and feel yet again this production is more than worthy of five stars. The unadulterated uniqueness of these multi-talented artistes positively captivates their audience throughout the 90 minute performance.
World renowned artistic director Tony Mercer has collaborated with Tatiana Tarasova, the widely acclaimed Russian Olympic coach, to inspire an outstanding team of National, Olympic and European medal winning skaters. The result of their work is the stunning, exuberant performance of Sleeping Beauty on Ice which brings historical folk lore bursting into the 21st Century with more zest and exhilaration than you can possibly imagine.
The story is well known and simple. Despite all, good outweighs evil and there is the inevitable happy ending. Entwined within the narrative the ice dancers hypnotize the audience with their sheer athleticism, teasing the senses with incredible spins, lifts, catches and jumps fusing impossibly in such a small area. The lead skaters are awe inspiring with their ingenuity, versatility and unbelievable timing, but such is the overall high standard, it appears any member of the Company would be highly proficient in the lead roles.
The sets, imaginatively created by Eamon D’Arcy are fairly minimalist, necessarily so due to the lack of available space around the ice, but work well nevertheless. Ingenious lighting, designed by Bruno Hunt and executed by Paul Mansfield enriches the changing moods for this piece of theatrical brilliance. The stunning costumes are designed by Natella Abdulaeva.
Tchaikovsky’s iconic score is consummately performed and although the music has been modified and adapted to suit this genre it is instantly recognisable and balances perfectly with the action on stage.