The Nutcracker on Ice – Dubai and On Tour, 5 Stars

The Nutcracker on Ice – Dubai
Imperial Ice Stars
Dubai Opera House
6th to 10th Dec 2016

The Nutcracker on Ice International Tour:

About the show: For their latest production, The Nutcracker on Ice, acclaimed Artistic Director Tony Mercer – the world’s leading creator of contemporary theatre-on-ice – has once again teamed with four-time figure skating World Champion and dual Olympic gold medallist Evgeny Platov, and dual World Champion Maxim Staviski to create choreography that further raises the bar, with ever more breathtaking high-speed leaps and throws, and awe-inspiring acrobatics, coupled with the most graceful and sublime ice dancing.

To Tchaikovsky’s most famous score, the 26-strong cast of Olympic, World, European and National Championship skaters will astound and mesmerise audiences with their adrenaline-rich, dramatic performance, in the intimate setting of a frozen theatre stage.

Set in early 1900s St Petersburg, The Nutcracker on Ice follows the classic Russian tale of Marie, the little girl whose love brings to life her cherished Nutcracker doll – a magical Christmas gift from her mysterious godfather – leading to adventures with the Mouse King, the enchanted Prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Review by Richard Lambert, 10/12/16 Dubai Opera House, 5 Stars

The Imperial Ice Stars have a unique production! It’s huge, it’e beautiful, it’s created for the scale of an Opera House. With multiple Cloths, legs and borders (Eamon Darcy) filling the Stage you’d be forgiven if you forgot that this was an ice show. The skating is balletic with choreography (Tony Mercer) perfectly matching Tchaikovsky’s wonderful music, arguably his most famous work, and most loved Christmas story.

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I could watch Elizaveta Milovanova and Bohdan Berezenko forever. Their skating is exquisite. Her grace and natural body movements matching his incredibly deep edges, their emotional involvement with each other’s characters, so mesmerising. Backed up by 10 Principal skaters and 9 Chorus skaters all of the highest skating calibre! They not only skate – they perform and they’re perfectionists. They appear to relish in death defying elements, hit after hit of breath-taking activities, sharp ice blades slicing the air just inches from each other’s faces, partner work that would be difficult enough even before you add a sharp blade to the feet.

There are so many inventive moves performed – you’ll see throw axel jumps which land in a passing skater’s arms, multiple overhead lifts where the girl is passed mid-air between skaters, Duet Pairs in unison, Death Spirals where the girl holds onto the boy, flashy jumps and spins – always beautifully executed and completed with pillow soft landings back onto the ice. There’s magic and illusion acts, fire, and even an aerial act. Fiona Kirk‘s aerial act needs a special mention!

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Volodymyr Khodakivskyy can apparently turn anything into a front or back spin. Just incredible! Change foot Sit Spins that change multiple times.

Set in the new very impressive and stylish Dubai Opera House, this show is a fast paced evening of entertainment, an emotional journey for the audience that is second to none!

Bodhan Berezenko as Nutcracker Prince


Egor Chudin as Sugar Plum Fairy’s Paige


Elizaveta Milovanova as Marie


Fiona Kirk as Mrs Pavlova


Yahor Maistrou as Mouse King