Fairy godmother conjures ice magic

Cinderella on Ice, The Russian Ice Stars, Ipswich Regent until Saturday, December 31

The best-loved of fairytales is given a fabulous ice show makeover in the Russian Ice Stars Cinderella.

A beautiful girl who is treated as a skivvy by her jealous step-sisters and their monstrous mother goes to the palace ball thanks to her Fairy Godmother who transforms Cinders’ rags into a glorious gown.

Prince Charming and Cinderella dance and fall in love but the spell is broken on the stroke of midnight and Cinderella flees leaving behind a crystal slipper – in this case a skate.

The Prince vows to find the mysterious girl by trying the skate on every maiden in the realm.

Finally, and read no further if you don’t want to know how it ends, the couple are reunited and live happily ever after.

The company features an incredible array of talent, not only in ice dance but also in acrobatics. A somersault on land is hard enough but accomplishing this on ice, on a stage elevated several feet in the air is way more perilous and exciting.

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The artists, each of them a star, are splendid to watch. You cannot fail to easily follow the story and, along the way you get to marvel at the grace and elegance of Ekaterina Murugova as the Fairy Godmother, the innocent appeal of Valeria Vorobyeva as Cinderella and the muscular splendour of the powerful Valdis Mintals as Prince Charming.

Some of the biggest cheers of the evening went to Alexander Belokopytov and Ekaterina Belokopytova as the court jesters who thrilled on and off the ice as they rose high above the stage in thrilling acrobatic action.

In this version of the tale, we find Cinderella working in her family’s tavern, where Buttons is her constant friend. Just like the pantomime or the Disney feature, when Cinderella is invited to the ball she makes herself a gown to wear but her plans are scuppered by her horrid sisters and her fearsomely butch (it’s a man) stepmother.

In the second act, the Prince travels the continents to find his true love and his search takes him to Spain, to Egypt and to Russia, cue cleverly choreographed dances.

Back in his father’s kingdom, at the tavern, there is a remarkable sequence when the Cinderella’s sisters and stepmother dance on one skate.

The recorded music is a well-chosen selection of ballet, dance and light classical including pieces by Tchaikovsky, Johann Strauss, Delibes, and Holst.

Cinderella on Ice is a truly delightful seasonal show; top quality entertainment.

LYNNE MORTIMER

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