12:39pm Wednesday 8th February 2012
IT may be winter outside, but inside Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, Holiday on Ice offers a taste of the tropics in its latest show, Tropicana: the Passion Tour.
Introduced by the one and only Robin Cousins - and there’s something inexplicably impressive about seeing the legendary skater gliding on to the ice, however briefly, on a pair of gleaming skates - Tropicana departs in one significant way from other HoI shows in featuring the work of a single songwriter, Barry Manilow, for a considerable section of the show, and it’s the part that proves most effective. Though all the spectacle, razzamatazz and glitz is heavily featured in the ensemble pieces, the real strength of Tropicana lies in the dazzling performances of the principal skaters in a series of solos and duets. Weekend in New England and Mandy, solo skates by two of the company’s male principals, were standouts - a moving interpretation of Weekend in New England that perfectly captured the melancholic yearning of the song, and Mandy an inspired ‘duet’ with a chair.
The highlight for us, though, has to have been Darya Perminova and Evgeny Belyanin, a couple who have been skating together for 17 years, with the exquisitely choreographed Where You Go, featuring a breathtaking repertoire of daring, gravity defying lifts.
Aerialist and skater Sarah-Yvonne Prytula was a close second however, performing first on a hoop, then on a rope, high above the ice with balletic precision and gasp-inducing moves, and, of course, the perennially popular ‘wheel’ drew enthusiastic applause, as one by one skaters raced to join the end of the whirling row.
Adding constant visual interest, the state-of-the-art LED screen provided a great backdrop to the stunning skating, allowing rapid scene changes - from city skyline to toy shop, from Manilow’s trademark piano to gently falling leaves in autumn.
Tropicana: The Passion Show is at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena until Sunday, February 12. To book, call the ticket hotline on 02920 224488 or go to holidayonice.co.uk
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