Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

15 December 2013

South Africa: Sleeping Beauty On Ice - Ballet Meets Cirque Du Soleil

analysis

I love Tchaikovsky. It's easy to be evil to the magnificent melodrama of his music, making it perfect for the latest show by Russia's Imperial Ice Stars.

This year's show is Sleeping Beauty on Ice, and everything about it is absolutely astonishing. The music was pre-recorded by the Moscow State Cinematic Orchestra, rather than played live, but the acoustics are so good at Montecasino's Teatro that not having a live orchestra doesn't really detract from the show. Besides, you don't take your eyes off the skaters for a second.

If you read the synopsis it's actually quite a complicated story. The cast can be incredibly eloquent without speaking a word, but I've no idea how well the kids in the audience understood who was who as the characters came and went.

But with ballet, and ice ballet in particular, the plot is often incidental to the spectacle. "If it moves, clap it" as my partner proclaimed. Especially with the Russians, who thrive on our adoration.

The choreography is perfectly matched to the dramatic score, with stunning acrobatic leaps and daring throws contrasting with the ever-present elegant ice dancing. Although the stage is large for a theatre, it's...

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.