15 February 2008

Romanza – Act 1

Last weekend I went to watch an ice skating show…called Romanza from the world famous Holiday on Ice group.

It is a romantic trip through history, telling both happy and tragic tales of passion, emotion and love from through the ages. Amazingly skilful skating from 46 world-class skaters, artistic choreography, exquisite & colorful costumes and lighting and what a use of props! And if that is not enough…there is flying, fire and magic! A truly breathtaking performance

I realized during the show that there was no break in between the various numbers and what I learnt later was that during this show NOT A SINGLE costume change is made in the dressing room! All the changes have to be done right backstage! There’s no time for the skaters to make their way to the dressing room, not because of the distance but because of the required quick changes during the entire show.

The show begins with the creation of the heart…and the chorus team all dressed in black suits with red and green electroluminescent light cords on their bodies, shaped like hearts and in wavy lines skate onto the rink. Wonderful routine with many ice skating tricks!

This is followed by the story of Adam and Eve… Colourful paradise birds and other animals in neon pink enter the ice.
The skating by Adam and Eve was mind blowing…how he just lifts her and turns around in the same place…or when he swings her from her leg…so fast …I was like…if he lets go…she is going to go thrashing across the rink, probably onto the stands…
A huge heart with illuminated veins in red and green is moved forward on the ice. Silently a huge pink tree with apples makes its way to the middle of Garden of Eden, followed by an awesome snake, trying to seduce Eve to pick one of the apples for a bite which she finally does.

This leads us to the next scene about the seven deadly sins - Luxuria, the lust, Invidia, the jealousy, Ira, the anger, Gula, the gluttony, Acedia, the lazyness, Superbia, the pride and Avaritia, the greed. All the skaters personifying the sins were so aptly dressed and again mindblowing skating routines.

Next is the story of Samson & Delilah…The scene starts with a farmers’ dance, performed by the chorus boys with stacked up wood which is set on flame – a technical trick that was really outstanding.
Then there was a routine of a Stone Age gym. The girls exercise with huge rock handles while the boys work out their muscles with weight-lifting on Flintstone-like benches. Very, very cute…
Samson is the popular hero who can withstand any danger but cannot resist the charm of Delilah. He is seduced by Delilah and she chops of his hair which is the source of his strength rendering him completely powerless.
The skater playing Samson (he also plays Ceaser later) was the most energetic skater/dancer…twice he nearly skated off the rink…

Geishas enter the scene, carrying huge red lanterns which are being placed around the ice. Beautiful props creating a very intimate and romantic set….this has to be the famous Japanese story of love and betrayal of Madame Butterfly and Pinkerton…
A bed under a huge pavilion rolls onto the ice and there is a dream sequence where he remembers his wife in USA …so he deserts Madame Butterfly and flees

The next scene is a parade of famous couples in history - Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf…who suddenly freeze as the next couple enters: The frog and the princess and finally a bit drunken, but happy in love, Popeye the sailorman as he tells his beloved, Olive: “I wanna be loved by you”.
They are joined by girls’ in golden dresses and blond wigs, happily jumping: “I’m a barbie girl in a barbie world”. And where there’s Barbie, Ken is not far away. The chorus boys as Kens in fine white jackets with yellow hearts, yellow shirts and black trousers take their Barbies out for an excursion.
Danny and Sandy from Saturday Night fever are next with “You’re the one that I want”, before a Dirty Dancing sequence ends this number with “Time of my life”.
And then one of my favorites…a solo girl in a red dress skating to “The lady in red”…. Superman appears and takes off on an invisible cable, taking his Lois Lane with him.

The last part of the Act 1 begins with a parade of Egyptian girls, beautifully dressed in basketwork dresses, personating Egyptian amphora. Fantastic!
Then the curtain opens again and an enormous Sphinx statue with a black face is being positioned to demonstrate the arrival of Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.
When she steps down from her throne, she pulls behind her extra long golden train like a never ending waterfall.
Her entire court surrounds her with “Walk like an Egyptian”.
Caesar tries his best to seduce Cleopatra who is not easy to get…and there is a love triangle with Mark Anthony. He says “She drives me crazy” (and this is the same energetic fellow who played Samson earlier)
Lust is there to help him reach his aim, but is there a rival in the plot? Jealousy, the next of the seven deadly sins is there, too…he is killed and Cleo is off with Mark Anthony.

Act 1 ends with golden banners in a breath-taking finale! Act 2 to follow.

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