The International Writers
Lake On Ice
The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Wednesday Feb 21st.
Performances: Monday Feb 19th Saturday Feb 24th
phenomenon is catching on: joining together the art of dancing
with the skill of ice skating. My friends and I were in need of
something a little different and this performance definitely delivered!
Swan Lake is one of the most talked of ballets across the globe
and was first presented in 1877 as, The Lake of Swans.
The Mayflower decided to bring The Imperial Stars to their stage
in Southampton to capture this remarkable performance of Swan
Lake to compliment the astounding music of Tchaikovsky, which
consists of some of my favourite classical pieces.
I endeavoured not to think about how this ballet was going to
work on ice so that my expectations would not be destroyed: primarily
because I have been focusing a lot of my attention on the current
ITV1 series, "Dancing on Ice," which seems to express
a growing passion and proficiency in this type of sport that leaves
only to be desired.
As the lights dimmed and the music opened up the scene I was taken into
a whirling, mesmerizing and utterly colourful portrayal of this captivating
ballet. On my part I found that there was no disappointment to be had
and I recollected that only once did I see a leg slightly limp as a swan
glided through the air. Perhaps at times some of the choreography was
slightly blemished as the ladies spun into all shapes and patterns, but
this in no way destroyed the enthralling portrayal of this classic tale
of good versus bad that was so successfully being depicted.
All of the ballerinas seemed to have incredible stamina and versatility
over the ice. The leading swan, Odette, was played by "Dancing on
Ice" star, Olga Sharutenko, who beautifully guided the dancers around
her as she opened her wings and took to the floor. The sheer speed and
vitality of these performers was staggering and on a couple of occasions
I found myself holding my breath as they spun and curved or flipped and
weaved. The most memorable image for me was when the leading male, Prince
Siegfried, played by Vadim Yarkov, had two ballerinas both leaning out
from his one arm at a right angle which sat just a couple of inches from
the ground, almost as if the ladies were attached to one another, as he
twirled rapidly around the ice.
There were also a few treats that the Mayflower included in their version
of Swan Lake, such as a blazing ring of fire on the ice as the evil sorcerer
lead us into the interval. The swans were also given wings as they were
lifted by their partners and then pulled through the sky by obscured long
wires. It was an incredibly entrancing scene which, together with dimmed
magenta lighting that concealed the dancers bodies and lit up the
fresh white colour of their costumes, made this an unforgettable performance.
As I began to imagine the extent of preparation and talent that went in
to this production I was staggered: the dancers obviously have the ballet
skills as well as the skating skills and they top it all off by performing
to one of the most powerful compositions in the world. Swan Lake on Ice
was worth every single penny.
© Josephine Green"
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