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Imperial Russian Ice Stars Return To NZ

Imperial Russian Ice Stars Return To NZ

The Sleeping Beauty On Ice

By Selwyn Manning

The Imperial Russian Ice Stars are back in New Zealand kicking off their Kiwi tour at Auckland’s Civic theatre on Thursday night. This time the ice champions present a fabulous interpretation of Sleeping Beauty choreographed on ice to excerpts of Tchaikovsky.

Ice-skating star Mandy Woetzel stars as Princess Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty.

The Russian Ice Stars arrived in Auckland direct from Sydney where the performers and production received glowing reviews. Here’s what the Australians said: “And all praise to every member of the small, expert, hard-working ensemble. They must be in a constant state of costume change between the interlocking scenes of their good and evil characters in the elaborate, speed-activated costumes by Natella Abdulaeva.” - Sydney Morning Herald

The Russian Ice Stars were in New Zealand in September last year with Nutcracker on Ice – which initiated New Zealand audiences to a transcending style of classic Russian dance and world champion technical brilliance. Back then a Scoop review said: “Pure escapism, pure enjoyment, fantastically athletic, simply superb.”

The Stars’ current show delivers all that and more with a fast paced stunning line up of 21 world-class ice skating champions who combine Olympic-quality moves and ballet styled dance (of which this famous story is renowned) with ice dance moves include triple flips, triple toe loops, double axels, death spirals, camel spins, Bielmanns, triple throw axels and lifts.

The Sleeping Beauty on Ice tour of New Zealand began in Auckland on Thursday June 3, 2004 at the Civic. The Auckland performance will continue through to June 13. The tour continues with performances in Christchurch, Wellington, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth (see details below).

Star billing as Princess Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty, is Ice-skating star Mandy Woetzel (1995 European Champion, 1997 World Champion,1998 Olympic Bronze Medallist). She heads the cast of Olympic, World, National and European Championship skaters.

The show’s choreographer, Tatiana Tarasova, has choreographed/coached the winners of 7 Olympic, 16 World and 18 European Gold Medals.

The story goes like this: Carabosse, the troublesome bad fairy, played by Maria Borovikova, is an uninvited guest at Princess Aurora's christening. Carabosse gets nasty over the rejection and casts a spell on the baby Aurora – who, on her 20th birthday, Aurora gets pricked by a darning needle. This triggers the spell. Aurora then drops into a deep sleep where she rests almost dead until the spell is broken when a kiss from a handsome prince rests on her lips.

Borovikova characterisation of Carabosse is a sensation. Her skating draws young and old sitting rigid with her edgy interpretation. She presents the audience with move after move of world championship level ice dance technique – all-the-while delving deep into this troubled character.

Another star of this show is the Lilac Fairy, Olga Sharutenko, whose ice dancing personifies pure grace. Her performance is superb and is accentuated by her partner, Artem Knyazev.

Princess Aurora’s Prince Desire Vadim Yarkov skates his heart out.

Princess Aurora’s Prince Desire Vadim Yarkov skates his heart out, and Catalabutte, Anton Klykov, who had a troubled first half performance, made up for this with a display of technical brilliance bringing the house down with applause with triple axel after triple axel in what must have been a most demanding performance on a relatively tight Civic stage.

In the first half, the Civic audio-system cracked under the weight of Tchaikovsky’s heavy bass and deep brass tones. This seemed to ease in the second half of the performance which allowed the audience to enjoy this champion line up of arguably Europe’s best performance skaters.

This is another must see show from the Imperial Russian Ice Stars.

The promoters say: With graceful and flawless ice dancing, magnificent costumes, magical staging and glorious music, The Sleeping Beauty on Ice is a spectacular theatrical extravaganza for all ages that brings the thrill of world-class ice skating to the intimacy of theatre stage.


This is another must see show from the Imperial Russian Ice Stars.

at Ticketek: 09 307 5000 or

Touring dates for the New Zealand/Australia tour are:

  • Auckland (Civic Theatre) June 2 - June 13, 2004
  • Christchurch (James Hay) June 17 - June 27, 2004
  • Wellington (Westpac St James Theatre) June 30 - July 11, 2004
  • Adelaide (Festival Theatre) July 14 - July 24, 2004
  • Melbourne (State Theatre, The Arts Centre) July 27 - August 1, 2004
  • Perth (Burswood Theatre) August 4 - August 15, 2004

  • © Scoop Media

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