You can’t beat a classic tale of good versus evil and the enduring power of love. Set it to the strident and emotive music of Tchaikovsky and mix in 25 ice skaters that have plundered medals across the globe and you have a fantastic evening of entertainment. Rejoice, the Imperial Ice Stars are back in the Adan Martin Auditorium in Santa Cruz this time with La Bella Durmiente Sobre Hielo (Sleeping Beauty On Ice).

Be careful who you don’t invite to your party, they might get very miffed, such is the case with evil black fairy Carabosse. Overlooked for the celebrations of Princess Aurora’s birth she crashes the party and curses the baby to be poisoned on her 20th birthday. If you like your villain dark and hissable Caraboose is for you, Elena Pyatash weaves her threat through the show whether she is lurking and spinning above the stage from a flimsy harness or skating rings around Prince Desire and his hunting party. Vadim Yarkov is equally menacing as the shadow and sidekick of Carabosse.

The cavernous Sala Sinfonica in the Auditorium adds to the grandeur of the music and dance and the scenery, designed by Eamon D’Arcy, responsible for the 2000 Sydney Olympic opening ceremony, raises and lightens the mood perfectly. The ice is an epic in its own right, 15 kms of tubes, 14 tons of ice, and 140 hours to build.

There’s plenty for all the senses to enjoy; the costumes from Natella Abdulaeva, the black fragmented outfits of Carabosse and her gang have a nightmare quality while at the other extreme the simple flower garlands at the villagers” waltz, and the bright pastel shades of the King’s six fairies shine with goodness and light.

Princess Auhora ( Olga Sharutenko) and her guardian the Lilac Fairy ( Yulia Ashcheulova) add hope and innocence to the story with some dazzling skating ““ you will believe a princess can fly. The lighter moments in this dark tale come from the cheeky Vova Khodakivsky as Catalabutte the royal courts master of ceremonies, he relishes his busy and slightly disorganized character that ties a lot of the story together.

Artistic Director Tony Mercer ( above with skaters) from Salford, Manchester was a little disappointed at ticket sales in the previous tour leg in Las Palmas and in Tenerife. I certainly noticed a smaller first night crowd than for Swan Lake last year but looking out from the Auditorium steps, posters and banners competed for several big city events in these less than fairy tale times. Next week the company move on to perform The Nutcracker on Ice at the Royal Albert Hall but back in the Auditorium a frantic and powerful finale was a great way to end a regal performance.


Shows: Thurs 10 May 8.30 pm; Fri 11 May 6 pm & 9.30 pm; Sat 12 May 6 pm & 9.30 pm; Sun 13 May 5 pm & 9 pm

Tickets from 19 euros to 45 euros from: online booking and from Box Office 10 to 3 pm Friday, 10am to 2pm Sat, plus two hours pre show or call 902317327.

Shows last 2 .5 hours with interval.


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