When an irresistible force converges with its irrepressible match, heaven and earth meet.
Cross classical ballet with figure skating on ice and you get a tantalizing blend. Add some of the most accomplished performers in this seductive genre, and the result is shameless delight.
Swan Lake on Ice, performed on Wednesday 25th July by the Imperial Ice Stars at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, showcased the innovative choreography of Tony Mercer. In the course of developing the company, the Imperial Ice Stars, Mercer had assembled a first class creative team for each production, from such eminent athletes as dual Olympic figure skating gold medallist and four-time World Champion Evgeny Platov, quadruple Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Alexei Nemov, and former ice dancing pairs World Champions Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski.
Mercer says “I can safely say that the new choreography includes ice skating elements that have never been seen in the world of figure skating before. To say that the rules of figure skating have been and continue to be broken would be an understatement, and for that I have to thank the incredible talents, tenacity and dedication of the skaters. The performance in Sydney is the result of more than two years of pre-production planning on the original staging, and lots of ‘hindsight’ musing by me in the six years since Swan Lake on Ice was first shown to the world.”
In the Sydney performance, Olga Sharutenko literally took the role of Odette to captivating new heights with a stunning aerial performance. Bohdan Berezenko shone as Prince Sigfried; Maria Mukhortova played an alluring Odile; Stanislav Pertsov absolutely owned the role of Benno; and we loved to hate Sergei Lisev in his demonically mesmerising portrayal of Baron Von Rothbart.
Tchaikovsky’s iconically beautiful music was masterfully arranged by Tim A. Duncan. Had the volume been sensitively modulated to reflect the changing moods of the action, the audience engagement would have been even more keen.