Swan Lake on Ice

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 November, 2007, 12:00am

Lyric Theatre, Nov 27-Dec 9

After 18 months of a two-year world tour, the Imperial Ice Stars arrive in Hong Kong to perform Swan Lake on Ice. The production brings together 25 world, European and national champion skaters who have won more than 200 medals, in a theatrical spectacle of elaborate costumes and sumptuous sets on ice.

The show is the brainchild of producer and artistic director Tony Mercer, a Briton residing in Moscow since 2000 who became intrigued with the story of Swan Lake after he studied Tchaikovsky's original manuscript. Taking a different approach to today's ballet version of the love story, Mercer says his ice show is a truer rendering of the story, as the composer originally intended. Mercer says the norm in today's ballet productions is almost always to cast one ballerina for the characters of Odette and Odile. But his version shows each character performed by different skaters.

'I wanted to create a story around Tchaikovsky's original telling. I understand it's a fairy tale, but this version gives the story a more logical conclusion.'

In 2004, Mercer's ice-skating troupe first came to Hong Kong with Sleeping Beauty on Ice, which toured 10 countries and was performed to more than 500,000 people.

'Before, the [ice-show] genre wasn't developed properly. Now, it's world class ice-skating within the world of theatre,' says the producer, who first started working on ice-skating shows in 1993.

Working round the clock for two days before the opening, 18 technicians will transform the Lyric Theatre's stage into a large ice-rink.

Mercer collaborated with double Olympic figure skating gold medallist Evgeni Platov and quadruple Olympic gold medalist Alexei Nemov, to choreograph intricate moves and skating feats for the show.

The 130-year old story, starring skaters Olga Sharutenko and Vadim Yarkov, tells the tale of Prince Siegfried who defeats evil sorcerer Count Von Rothbart and saves the swan princess, Odette, from a curse, restoring her to human form.

Tue-Sun, 8pm; Sat-Sun, also 2.30pm, HK Academy for Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Rd, Wan Chai. HK$250-HK$645, HK Ticketing. Inquiries: 3128 8288 or www.lunchbox-productions.com