The Imperial Ice Stars, featuring 26 Olympian, European, National and World Championship skaters, will be taking to the Artscape Opera House stage until February 9 in a breath-taking new production of the classic tale ‘Sleeping Beauty’. A special ice-rink, weighing almost the same as three elephants is created on stage for this production.
‘Sleeping Beauty On Ice’ is set to Tchaikovsky`s magnificent music and tells the timeless fairytale love story beloved by countless generations. This season will feature Olga Sharutenko (‘Swan Lake on Ice’, ‘Nutcracker on Ice’) for the first time in the role of Princess Aurora. Acclaimed Artistic Director Tony Mercer, widely recognised as the world`s leading creator of theatre-on-ice, has teamed with the distinguished Russian Olympic coach Tatiana Tarasova to take contemporary ice dance to a new level.
Founded in 2004 by James Cundall, one of the leading producers of live entertainment in Asia and Australia, and Mercer, The Imperial Ice Stars have earned an unrivalled international reputation and garnered worldwide critical acclaim for their sophisticated productions. With their innovative interpretations of classic tales, The Imperial Ice Stars continue to break new ground in the genre of ice dancing, elevating the art form and broadening its appeal to a more adult audience.
The company last visited South Africa in December 2011 with their production of ‘The Nutcracker on ICE’, which won them legions of devoted fans, with many of the shows sell-out affairs.
The have performed to almost four million people across five continents and have toured in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, the UK, Germany, Spain, Holland, France, Belgium, Finland, Monaco, Canada, Russia, Israel, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and even in Cyprus in an outdoor amphitheatre in temperatures of 40°C.
They are the only ice skating company to have won a theatrical award – the Manchester Evening News’ ‘Best Special Entertainment Award’ for their production ‘Swan Lake on Ice’ in 2007.
Some of the skating moves performed by The Imperial Ice Stars have never been attempted before, either in competition or on the stage (not even at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics), and are so complex they haven’t been named yet.
The performers between them have won over 250 competition medals. Some of The Imperial Ice Stars started skating from as young as three years of age.
44 people tour with the show including performers, technicians and a doctor, with a further 17 people required in each venue.
Since the last time the company was in South Africa, an average member of the company has travelled approximately 185000 kilometres. In a Boeing 747 that would take 230 hours and is the equivalent of going around the earth nearly five times.
The performers rehearsed nine or more hours a day, six days a week, for seven weeks to pull the show together, and they rehearse for three hours each day before the show.
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