By Suzanna Goussous - Feb 04,2017 - Last updated at Feb 04,2017
AMMAN — Combining ice skating and acting, a group of Russian artists performed “Snow White on Ice” in Jordan over the weekend.
Since 1993, the Ice Stars group has been performing full-length theatre shows on ice such as “Sleeping Beauty”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Cinderella” and “Snow White”, the play’s director, Julian Deplidge, said on Friday, noting that Jordan has become a “regular stop”.
He said the play features characters who were seen as “social outcasts”, such as the seven singing dwarfs and the woodcutters, explaining that the play is not the Disney version; it is more of a “traditional story”.
The 22 skaters rehearsed every day to adapt to the 10m x 14m ice rink and to reduce the risk of accidents, he said adding that the group had previously performed in Amman, with “Cirque de Glace” in 2013 and Peter Pan in 2015.
“Jordan has become a regular stop for us. It’s our third performance here. We always look forward to coming back and the audience enjoys our plays,” Deplidge told The Jordan Times.
Valdis Mintals, who played “Prince Charming” and has been skating since the age of four, said the most interesting part for him is when skaters use their technical prowess to tell a child-friendly story.
“When you’re a sportsman, you have to think only about elements. Here, you have to think about your character as well; you have to show people feelings,” he added.
“On stage, you can really live another life. People watching our show can forget about their problems outside this building and they can enjoy the theatre performance for the next two hours,” Mintals said.
Anastasia Olson, who played “Snow White”, said she got to relive her childhood years by performing as her favourite character.
The 24-year-old explained that another difficulty is that actors and skaters have to skate in time with the beat and speed of the music.
Since the age of 10, Olson had been participating in ballet shows, which made skating easier for her. “Some parts, you get to stand and act. Other parts, you need to concentrate on the skating; of course you need to balance both,” she said.
With two acts and six scenes, the show was previously performed in the UK in December, Olson said, adding that the cast has received positive feedback from children who saw the play.
Organiser Suha Bawab, who is the Friends of Jordan executive director, said the play, performed over the weekend at the Cultural Palace, was aimed at families and children of all ages.
“Stories are told through skating and ballet by actors, who are expert skaters. Such cultural events are important to form children’s characters so they grow up with backgrounds in music, art, and culture,” she told The Jordan Times.