Queensland Performing Arts Centre
The world's premier theatrical ice skating company, The Imperial Ice Stars make their triumphant return with a dazzling new production of The Nutcracker on Ice.
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The Imperial Ice Stars - Nutcracker on Ice

Venue Lyric Theatre, QPAC
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Dates 20 to 24 Jun 2012

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The world's premier theatrical ice skating company, The Imperial Ice Stars make their triumphant return with a dazzling new production of The Nutcracker on Ice. Over the last eight years, The Imperial Ice Stars have performed to more than three million people across five continents, with their last four world tours being greeted with standing ovations and five-star reviews.

Now they present their brand new production The Nutcracker on Ice, once again thrilling audiences with their exhilarating displays of breathtaking high-speed leaps and throws, and awe-inspiring acrobatics, coupled with the most graceful and sublime ice dancing. Boasting a 25-strong cast of World, European and National Championship skaters, The Imperial Ice Stars are set to once again astound and mesmerise audiences with their adrenaline-rich, dramatic performance, all within the intimate setting of a frozen theatre stage.

The production features lavish and fantastical new sets from one of Australia's premier scenic designers, Eamon D'Arcy, whose designs for previous Imperial Ice Stars tours have captured the imaginations of audiences around the world.  Together with characteristically sumptuous costumes, magical special effects and arguably Tchaikovsky's most famous music, The Nutcracker on Ice promises to be a feast for the senses.

Please consider wearing warm clothing to The Nutcracker on Ice, as the air conditioning in the Lyric Theatre will be slightly cooler than normal in order to stabilise the temperature of the ice.


"The Imperial Ice Stars give skating a stamp of class - the cast is simply superb."
The Daily Telegraph, Sydney (Swan Lake on Ice)

"One of the most exhilarating entertainment spectacles you will ever witness."
The New Zealand Herald (Cinderella on Ice)

"Takes ice ballet to another level... the stuff dreams are made of."
Adelaide Sunday Mail (Cinderella on Ice)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the running time of the show?
The show lasts approximately one hour and forty minutes (Act One 48 mins, Act Two 51 mins including curtain call), with a 20 minute interval in-between acts.

2. Where I can read more about the show?
You can visit www.imperialicestars.com for more information about the show.

3. Who are The Imperial Ice Stars?
The award-winning Imperial Ice Stars are the leading performers of theatrical ice skating in the intimacy of the theatre stage. The 26 World, European and National Championship skaters, who between them hold more than 250 competition medals, take contemporary ice dance to a new level with their daring and graceful feats - some of which are so complex they haven't yet been named -- performed in the intimate setting of a frozen theatre stage. The Imperial Ice Stars have earned an unrivalled reputation for pushing the boundaries in the genre of ice dance with their skill and athleticism on the ice, their creative and powerful story-telling, their sumptuous sets, spectacular special effects and opulent costumes. The Imperial Ice Stars have been touring the world since 2004 and have now performed to almost four million people across five continents and 22 countries. With their shows The Sleeping Beauty on Ice, Swan Lake on Ice, Cinderella on Ice and now The Nutcracker on Ice, they have won five star praise from critics and nightly standing ovations from audiences at some of the world's most prestigious venues - London's Royal Albert Hall and Sadler's Wells, Singapore's Esplanade Theatre, Montreal's Place des Arts and Cape Town's Artscape.

4. What makes this ice show so special?
The Imperial Ice Stars specialise in performing theatrical ice skating in the intimacy of the theatre. Normally ice shows are performed in large arenas, making it difficult to see some of the skating manoeuvres but in this show you will see stunning skating at very close range. The Imperial Ice Stars are renowned for their daring and innovation on the ice. The Nutcracker on Ice continues to break new ground in the genre of ice dancing. Stunning skating feats, some only seen in Olympic arenas and some never seen before, are performed within the confines of a frozen theatre stage, including breathtaking high speed throws and incredible lifts and lift sequences. The exceptionally talented skaters have been given the freedom to experiment outside competitive skating, while working alongside some of the top figure skating coaches and choreographers in the world, and as a result they have taken ice choreography to new limits. Their style of story-telling is unique and is a fusion of ice dancing, ballet, drama, gymnastics and aerial acrobatics, so there's something for everyone. There are gloriously colourful costumes and lavish scenery and props to the highest standards of London's West End.

5. I saw Swan Lake on Ice/Cinderella on Ice - is this just more of the same?
Not at all! If you liked Swan Lake on Ice/Cinderella on Ice you will be blown away by The Nutcracker on Ice -- to put it simply, this show is even better, in every way. The Imperial Ice Stars are renowned for taking ice dancing to new limits. Manoeuvres performed by the principal skaters in Cinderella on Ice are now performed by the ensemble skaters in The Nutcracker on Ice, while the principal skaters perform feats that have never been attempted before. It took many hours of rehearsal time to even see if the moves were possible, and then to perfect them. There are some show-stopping pieces of ice dancing.
In addition, the show has a greater theatricality than previous shows, with the skaters giving the characters greater depth, and real magic tricks being performed on stage. The stage set for The Nutcracker on Ice is truly magical with stunning three-dimensional scenery and props, and special effects including fire, snow, flying and beautiful pyrotechnic effects both on stage and in the auditorium. The costuming in The Nutcracker on Ice has a more contemporary edge to it than Cinderella on Ice, and has been designed by one of Russia's leading theatrical costume designers -- Elena Predvodeteleva -- who has worked with a large number of top directors and created outstanding costumes for theatre, film, circus and variety shows as well as haute couture.

6. Will the theatre be cold if the show is on ice?
No. The stage is obviously kept at a controlled temperature (-15c), but this does not affect the rest of the auditorium at all.

7. Is photography allowed within the theatre?
We ask that people do not bring cameras or video cameras into the theatre as it may distract the ice skaters as well as other members of the audience.

8. What is your latecomers' policy?
This will be at the discretion of the venue, but we suggest that any latecomers wait until the first piece of skating is over and a suitable break in the performance occurs. This will be just a few minutes after the show commences.

9. Will there be merchandise?
Yes. There will be a range of Imperial Ice Stars merchandise available at each performance, including a range of Nutcracker-themed charms and a bracelet, snow globes, a Russian Doll 'Soldier', a DVD and CD.

10. What is the music?
The music is the famous Tchaikovsky score, which has been specially re-arranged to suit the tempo of ice dance by Tim A Duncan and Peter Whitfield. Tim A Duncan is a highly regarded contemporary composer (he composed the score for Cinderella on Ice), and re-arranged Tchaikovsky's score for Swan Lake on Ice. He has worked with Tony Mercer for almost 20 years on 'theatre on ice' productions. The Nutcracker on Ice score is performed by the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and was recorded using the latest digital technology to achieve the best possible sound quality.

11. How is the ice made?
Briefly, it is made over a 24 hour period by laying a waterproof 'baking tray' on the stage which is then covered with piping similar to the back of a fridge. A mixture of antifreeze and water is then circulated through the pipes, and the chillers are turned down to a temperature of minus 15 degrees C. Crushed ice is then spread over the piping and regularly sprayed with water which soon builds up to form a smooth ice surface, approximately 3 inches thick.  Visit http://www.imperialicestars.com/behind-the-scenes/how-the-ice-is-made to find out more.


Everything you wanted to know about the Imperial Ice Stars:
  • The Imperial Ice Stars have performed to nearly 3 million people across five continents and have toured in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, UK, Germany, Spain, Holland, France, Belgium, Finland, Monaco, South Africa, Canada, Russia and even in Cyprus in an outdoor amphitheatre in temperatures of 40C!
  • Some of The Imperial Ice Stars started skating from as young as three years of age.
  • The performers between them have won over 250 competition medals.
  • The creative team behind Cinderella on Ice comprises some of the world’s most respected ice coaches and choreographers, including Tony Mercer, widely regarded as the world’s leading director and choreographer of theatre on ice; Evgeny Platov, dual Olympic gold medallist in figure skating (1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics and 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics) and four-time World Champion (1994-1997); and Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski, ice dancing World Champions in 2006 & 2007.
  • There are 6 working couples on the tour and 3 children.
  • The Imperial Ice Stars are the only ice skating company to have won a theatrical award – they were awarded the Manchester Evening News ‘Best Special Entertainment’ for their production Swan Lake on Ice in 2007.
  • Some of the skating moves performed by The Imperial Ice Stars have never been attempted before, either in competition or on the stage (not even at the last Winter Olympics), and are so complex they haven’t been named yet.
  • Most of the daring moves performed in the show would normally be performed in an arena of approximately 60m x 60m. The stage the performers skate on in the theatre is only 15m x 15m.
  • 44 people tour with the show including performers, technicians and a doctor, with a further 17 people required in each venue.
  • The performers rehearsed 9 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 7 weeks to pull the show together, and they rehearse for 3 hours each day before the show.
  • 25 pairs of skates and 50 sets of blades are carried with the troupe on tour.
  • 14 tonnes of ice are created in the production – the same weight as nearly 3 elephants.
  • 2,500 litres of anti-freeze are used – enough to fill 100 car cooling systems.
  • The ice reaches temperatures of minus 15 degrees C, three times colder than your household freezer.
  • The ice rink takes over 140 man-hours to build but only 30 man-hours to dismantle.
  • The Cinderella on Ice set is one of the most expensive ever created for a theatrical ice show anywhere in the world. It incorporates three-dimensional scenery, fire, rain, flying and state-of-the-art projection.
  • The sumptuous scenery and props in Cinderella on Ice have been designed by Eamon D'Arcy who was Senior Production Designer for the acclaimed Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and Designer for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. He is one of Australia's top scenic designers and has created sets for drama, dance and musical theatre in both Australia and Asia over the last 25 years.
  • The scenery and props were originally created in Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and take up two 40ft containers when they are shipped from country to country on the tour. They have taken 6000 man hours to create.
  • There are 77 lavish costumes in Cinderella on Ice, designed by renowned Russian costume designer Albina Gabueva, head designer at Moscow’s famed Stanislavsky Theatre. It has taken one year to design and create all the costumes.
  • No two costumes are the same – each one is individually designed and made, cut by the famous Bolshoi Ballet costuming department.
  • Ten of the costumes cost more than £4,000 each to make, and incorporate luxurious fabrics and intricate detailing.
  • There are two wardrobe mistresses who tour with the company to maintain the costumes in perfect condition.
  • The specially commissioned score for Cinderella on Ice has been composed by Tim A Duncan and Edward Barnwell, both of whom are highly regarded contemporary composers. It took 9 months to compose and arrange for the orchestra and piano.
  • The music is performed by the 72-piece Moscow State Cinematic Orchestra, and 10 soloists from the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, together with Tim A Duncan, Edward Barnwell (piano) and David Alexander (percussion). It took three days to record, using the latest digital technology to achieve the best possible sound quality.
  • The music has to be recorded as the timing must be absolutely exact for the skaters to perform their manoeuvres. If the music was conducted live, even slight changes in tempo would cause the skaters to become out of step, which given the speeds involved, could have disastrous consequences!
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7:17 PM - 22/06/2012
By kerry Mckay
Fantastic Nutcracker on Ice
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11:02 PM - 21/06/2012
By Gillian
Better than I imagined ice skating could be. Very expressive cast and fabulous costumes that were alive with colour. My young daughter thoroughly enjoyed it and so did I.
Amazing Performance
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1:44 PM - 21/06/2012
By Judy (Brisbane)
The Nutcracker on Ice was simply amazing. The performers were so professional and a absolute joy to watch. The addition of a little magic, acrobats and in air stunts was a memorable experience. I will definately see this show again, and my teenage Daughter could not stop talking about it.

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