Review- Swan Lake on Ice- Lunchbox Productions

  28-4-16

By: Matthew Gillespie

 

A beautiful blending of classical and contemporary artistry, Swan Lake on Ice takes you on visual and visceral journey.  

 

Tony Mercer’s theatrical production is brought to Hong Kong by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and is presented on the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre stage.  Tony Mercer and the Imperial Ice Stars has brought together 23 Olympic, World, European and National Championship-level skaters who brought a wide array of talents that far surpasses any Ice Capades you may have seen.

 

First, yes, the Grand Theatre stage is fully covered in ice.  Quite a feat to begin with.  But, it only gets better.  

 

They they have dressed the stage in classic ballet grandeur, setting it in the Romanov era.  Albina Gabueva, the immensely gifted costume designer for the Moscow Stanislavsky Theatre was able to create styles for each character that enabled them perform fully as ice performers while giving them a theatrical silhouettes and just that special bit of flash we love to see on the ice.

 

The lighting is masterfully used to create the mood of each moment.  They integrated a few props here and there and used them to full effect.  The canes at the beginning made for some creative lifts.  The sword fighting on ice is not to be missed.  Throughout, the production, they also used some acrobatics on ice - from flips, lifts and balancing four performers on two skates.  

 

They even did pointe in ice skates, paying great homage to Tchaikovsky’s original vision.  While using Tchaikovsky’s original work, they did a few little modifications here and there and were able to integrate the sound of the skates on the ice into the musicality of the presentation. The sword on the ice was also a nice audible enhancement.  

 

To top it all off, in this production of “Swan Lake” the swan actually flies - a magical moment.  Later in the production, some multi-talented performers even use aerial silks to dance above the ice.  

 

All of this is accomplished on a relatively small stage for ice skating. For ice skating, we tend to imagine large arenas where they are able to build up the momentum for great leaps.  Here they don’t have that, so they became creative in their choreography.  This leads to some tricks you just don’t see on ice or in ballet.  

 

The talent of these performers is without question.  All are truly gifted and should be merited; however, I particularly enjoyed the energy and comedic stage presence of Benno (Prince Siegfried’s friend).  Usually a minor character or often dropped altogether, Alexandr Kazakov stole the stage numerous times.  Baron Von Rothbart, played by Yahor Maistrou, who seems 12 feet tall on stage, has a truly commanding presence.  

 

There is little to criticize with this production.  There were some minor technical mishaps that seemed largely in part to adjusting to a new stage. However, there is little doubt that they will worked out by the next performance. 

 

Mixing fire and ice (literally) and a lot of talent; this show is not to be missed. Take a couple hours out of the week to see this production, if you can. It is well worth your time. It is playing at the HK Cultural Centre Grand Theatre until May 8th at 7:45pm from Tuesday to Saturday. Tickets may be purchased at urbtix.com.hk.  

 

For more information on Swan Lake on Ice, click here.


Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 3.0


Comments

  • Glenda
    29 April 2016

    It's a little hard to see ice on such a small stage. I think it would have better suited at the asia arena.

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