Magic on Ice

My theory of unplanned weekends turning out spectacularly has just received a shot in the arm. A big one.

After hours of planning and trawling through the Internet for a place to visit this weekend, we fixed on the Esplanade- not for any particular reason. It was the best thing we could have done.

Cinderella, revamped and reinforced with a meatier storyline, played out on ice by top-class ice skaters- Cinderella On Ice– was the show we treated ourselves to. It was sheer delight from the beginning. Cinderella plays a chorus dancer who finds herself suddenly offered the chance to play Odette in a production of Swan Lake, and incurs the wrath of her already envious step-mother and step-sisters. Her grace enchants the young son of the Lord Mayor of the town, and of course you know what happens next. The fairy godmother, interestingly, is a gypsy woman in colourful clothes, carrying a crystal ball.

Ballet meets ice skating in this spectacular show, enacted by European skaters who have, at some time, been involved with the sport professionally. Clever lighting and sets, delightfully authentic costumes and apt music add to the thrill. Flying artistes, fire and rain, tap dancing on ice. I remember the 2006 Salt Lake City Olympics on TV, the never-ending sessions of figure skating on DD Sports, watching Ice Princess on Star Movies, admiring their pirouettes and lifts. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d watch it all for real.

Towards the entrance to the Esplanade Theatre, we were greeted by four violonists playing to a crowd lounging around, listening as they wove spells with strings. We had 30 minutes before the show began, so we decided to tuck in, as we hadn’t really had a proper lunch. Adventures of people getting locked out of theatres because they were a minute late came rushing into my head, and so we crammed in our Swiss cheese and tomato sandwiches and gulped down the vanilla milkshake with the delicious whipped cream and the luscious cherry on top. When we made it into the hall, three minutes before the show started, we found somebody else already in our seats. (A brief line of background is due here- our tickets had been upgraded, and they had apparently messed up somewhere, giving us the wrong seats.) A profusely apologising theatre assistant helped us out, running as if somebody’s life were at stake, changing our seats and giving us an even better view than we were originally offered. I wasn’t a bit annoyed by the confusion- it all turned out for the best.

Violins, Cinderella, living in a city that’s throbbing with excitement as it gets ready to host an F1 race in a few weeks, an Il Divo concert in the offing. I’m living a story here.

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