Theatre & Reviews

Cinderella on Ice is a spectacular skating experience

The Imperial Ice Stars have returned to Johannesburg for the festive season with a spectacular reworking of the classic Cinderella fairy tale – and warmed the hearts of their audience.

The traditional story of Cinderella has been reinterpreted with the focus on a more contemporary feel. This lovely creature (Olga Sharutenko) is not a very happy child since her mother passed away and her father, a watchmaker (Sergei Lisev), has remarried an evil woman (Maria Mukhorttova). Her stepmother has two nasty daughters (Alina Saprykina and Elena Shurakova) who belittle their stepsister and make her life a misery.

Bogdan Berezenko as the Lord Mayor’s Son

The narrative then follows the more traditional trajectory with a glittering Birthday Ball, a handsome hero looking for the owner of a lost shoe, and time ticking away on giant clocks. The character of the Fairy Godmother has been replaced by a Gypsy Fortune Teller (Fiona Kirk), She conjures up the coach which takes Cinderella to the Ball. The handsome Prince has now become the Lord Mayor’s Son (Bogdan Berezenko) who is captivated by the lithe Cinderella.

Bogdan Berezenko and Olga Sharutenko

A crew of 22 international skaters, including Cape Town born Fiona Kirk, held the audience at the Teatro, Montecasino, spellbound with dazzling set pieces and precision skating.

Founded in 2003 by James Cundall, one of the leading producers of live entertainment in Asia and Australia, and Tony Mercer, one of the world’s foremost creators of contemporary theatre on ice, the Imperial Ice Stars are regarded as the world’s pre-eminent performers of “theatrical ice dance within the intimacy of the stage. Their productions have been acclaimed for their innovation and sophistication.

Cinderella on Ice displays the same high production values as its many predecessors and what we see on stage is something quite spectacular. The evocative Eamon D’arcy sets enchant, Albina Gabueva’s costumes are striking and beautiful and Mark Jonathan’s lighting designs are effective.

The performers work in perfect harmony, with stunning displays of individual skills, especially from the lead skaters who zoom around the artificial ice with elegance and style.

Dancing on Ice

When Olga Sharutenko’s Cinderella and Bogdan Berezenko’s ┬áLord Mayor’s Son come together, their partnership sizzles, creating a magical union of love and trust. There is an engaging moment two when aerial acrobatics take over and this inclusion fits snugly into the narrative thrust.

As noted in the programme, staging this story on ice injects far more drama into the proceedings because of the speed involved and the breathtaking manoeuvres that are executed. Despite the fact that there is no dialogue, the narrative is conveyed through the characterisations and movements of the skaters.

When the evil mother gets angry we all know about it.

The Imperial Ice Stars have continued to raise the bar with expensive and artistically challenging ice spectaculars and novel interpretations of timeless stories. Added to this is the challenge of creating new musical scores and in Cinderella on Ice the composers, Tim A Duncan and Edward James Barnwell, have surpassed themselves in approach and mix of styles.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Mercer, this production is the perfect start to the festive season and is recommended for the whole family.

Book Now

The Story of Cinderella

About the author

Peter Feldman

Peter has been a journalist and arts critic for almost 50 years and served on The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, both in South Africa and overseas. He also covered some of South Africa's biggest film and musical events. He was one of only two South African journalists to be invited by Steven Spielberg to the Hook film junket in LA in 1991 where he interviewed the famous director as well as Dustin Hoffman and the late Robin Williams. He attended the gala James Bond premiere in London in 1981 and did an iconic interview in a Rolls Royce with Roger Moore who played Bond. He spent a week touring England with Queen prior to their Sun City visit in 1983, interviewed a host of international stars on films sets in Hollywood and London and was the first local journalist to nail an interview with The Rolling Stones prior to their SA visit in 1995.
He is active in the freelance field and his work has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines. He has also worked on TV and radio (ChaiFM 101.9) in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been the recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He is a recent recipient of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz award in recognition for his long standing journalistic support for the arts. He wrote lyrics for some top artists, including Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, "Video Games," which was released in 1988. He coined the phrase "Local is Lekker" which he used in his columns in The Star Tonight and broadcast in the 70s on David Gresham's popular afternoon show on Springbok Radio.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Sorry! No About Author Shortcode Found.