Now, a few years’ back we went to see their production of The Nutcracker. The latter was absolutely fabulous and made it onto our top-shows-of-all-time list. There were a number of reasons.
- Here you have ice on a stage!
- It’s not a very big piece of ice, yet skaters are going at quite some speed to perform jumps and throws. And, then they have to stop or slow down so that they don’t plunge into the wings or audience. It is a feat of note. It is spectacular.
- Just to watch the beauty of the ice skating and moves is a treat.
- Talking about spectacular, there was no cutting corners on the costumes and set. A real feast for the eyes.
- The Nutcracker music and story was really lovely.
But here we are not talking about The Nutcracker performance, it is Sleeping Beauty on Ice that we are reviewing! Having seen, enjoyed and raved about The Nutcracker I could hardly wait to get tickets for Sleeping Beauty on Ice. In fact, I was one of the crazy people who booked in June 2013 for January 2014! I wanted better seats than previously.
So, we were looking forward to it for a long time and then, we were disappointed.
Sleeping Beauty on Ice
The show simply wasn’t “wow”. The choreography was very bland – not nearly as exciting and “risky” as in The Nutcracker. That really surprised me. There were very many skaters I recognised so it couldn’t have been for lack of skill.
The music was very repetitive and I wonder if that had affected and limited the scope of the imagination and moves. Repetitive music and repetitive moves make for boring. Furthermore, there didn’t seem to be much of a story-line, which also didn’t help to bring life to the performance.
For me it felt as if I was watching a pantomime. There always seemed to be a great deal of gesturing to show awe or amazement or worry, but little energy in the actual skating moves to ignite one. It was as if something was going to happen, but it never did.
One thing I can’t fault though is that the costumes and the sets were spectacular.
From the audience around us, I heard grumbles of discontent (apparently one man thought The Jersey Boys was much better) as well as oohs and aahs of delight. Perhaps the reaction was mixed. Perhaps if you were seeing ice and skating on the stage for the first time the show had more impact and increased the enjoyment of the experience.
My sister-in-law took her daughter (who is 4 years old) to see Sleeping Beauty on Ice and the child was enraptured from start to finish. It held her attention for nearly 2 whole hours. Now that is an amazing feat! And potentially well worth it.
There was a standing ovation at the end of the performance. Some (like us) probably stood out of a sense of obligation. I certainly was hoping that there wouldn’t be much more performance.
I’m not sure how I feel about the price of the tickets. Yes, Sleeping Beauty on Ice was expensive, but a show like this costs a great deal to put on and, in the scheme of the things (i.e. the ridiculous price-level of most things these days) it is probably reasonable.
Unfortunately, the next time The Imperial Ice Skaters come to South Africa, I won’t be booking tickets. Not to say you shouldn’t. You may really enjoy the novelty of a show on ice, not have the expectations that we had or it could be a fantastic outing for your child.
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