Hilary Burton
Derby Evening Telegraph


Supreme Skating Stars offer a remarkable spectacle

Ice skating is back in Derby Market Place this week. But if you were among those struggling to stay vertical on the ice rink over Christmas, then you will be amazed at the spectacle provided by the Russian ice stars at the Assembly Rooms.

The show is Beauty and the Beast and the team of more than 20 performers gives an astonishing display of physical prowess coupled with grace and beauty.

It's like a ballet with added danger, as the expressive dancers also have to be supremely excellent skaters.

They command and control the Assembly Rooms stage as if they were born on their skates, which, according to the programme, most were, skating since they were as young as three. This is a stylish retelling of the traditional tale with a marvellous set and colourful costumes.

But be warned, if you are taking along fans of the cartoon movie, Disney this most certainly is not.

Maybe it's all the better for that. Some scenes, especially those in the Beast's castle, have a creepy, almost sinister edge. The Dance of the Magic Table is especially memorable, featuring an incredible display
of pyrotechnic juggling and breathtaking flying routines.

A softer side is shown with the appealing Waltz of the Roses.

All the skaters set and achieve high standards, their skill
belying the hard work and making it all look effortless.

But any review has to pick out the amazingly tall (2m) but strong
and athletic Andrey Chuvilyaev as the rather macabre Beast,
and the lovely and graceful Olga Pershankova as Belle.

Together, they produced some of the evening's most marvellous
moments with a series of dramatic lifts and spins in their dances.

This show is Olga's swansong after 30 years of competition and performance skating. She's certainly going out on a high.

Natalie Anglesey
Manchester Evening News


Beauty and the Beast on Ice @ Buxton Opera House

TALK about dancing on ice, these Russian skaters, champions all, dizzify you with their speed and skills. Within the dramatic discipline of keeping faithful to the fairy story of Beauty and the Beast, they dazzle with their spins and lifts.

Producer Vee Deplidge manages to interweave a number of speciality turns into the narrative, even bringing elements of circus into the entertainment with flame-throwing jugglers and breathtaking aerobatics.

But essentially this is the traditional story, told by an unseen narrator and played out by the ice stars in an array of colourful costumes. Even the scene changes are captured by turning the pages of a giant picture book - a neat touch as a changing backdrop to the ice.

The 20-strong cast is led in style by Olga Pershankova as Beauty and Valdis Mintals as the Prince. The multi-talented Mikhail Stifounine is outstanding as Beauty’s father.

But essentially this is an ensemble achievement, performed with amazing skill and infectious exuberance – a joy to see. If they manage to keep up this level of athleticism on their exhausting eight-month UK-wide tour they’ll deserve even more gold medals.

Worcester News


The tale of Beauty and the Beast -- on skates

Olga Pershankova, as Beauty, and Mikhail Stifouine, as her father, on the rink created at Malvern Theatres for Beauty and the Beast on ice.

DRAMATIC somersaults, jumps and lifts by professional ice skaters will feature in a production of Beauty and the Beast on ice.

The spectacular opened at Malvern Theatres last night with the fairytale performed by dancing troupe the Russian Ice Stars.

The latest leg of a 31-week tour of England and Ireland, which started two weeks ago, includes fire jugglers as well as a variety of circus performers.

The skaters perform on real ice, created using 15km of pipes, to tell the classic story of how Beauty and the Beast fall in love.

Olga Pershankova, who plays Beauty, said the show was a celebration of lighting, costumes, music and skating and would be enjoyed by all the family.

Julie Taylor
Isle of Man Today


Ice show leaves Gaiety Theatre audience spellbound

A HOODED hag swirled eerily out of the mist to grovel at the feet of an indistinct male figure.

The opening scene of The Russian Ice Stars's Beauty and the Beast on Ice set the melodramatic and magical atmosphere for the enchanting production that followed.

Vee Deplidge's adaptation of the classic fairytale captured both colourful joviality and the spooky supernatural to keep the diverse Gaiety Theatre audience enthralled throughout.

Beauty Belle's merchant father falls on hard times. Distraught at his change in circumstances, the father, masterfully played by Mikhail Stifounine, stumbles into a dark and mysterious rose garden.

The Beast – a handsome prince cursed by the hag for his lack of compassion – catches him stealing a rose for Belle, but releases him on the condition that one of his daughters takes his place.

Belle eventually falls in love with the Prince and breaks the spell, leading to the happy-ever-after ending.

The storybook set was incredibly simple and yet entirely effective.

Skaters from the Russian Ice Stars had a comparatively small space to perform in, but they were able to leap, spin and throw each other about in the most incredible fashion.

Add the acrobatic and fire-twirling antics of Russian Circus members and
it was a miracle nobody lost an eye.

There were times when it was dark and brooding, such as the encounter between the father and the Beast, impressively played by the world's tallest professional ice skater Andrey Chuvilyaev. While his stage presence was due, in part, to his massive, two-meter frame, he also deserves credit for his acting ability and incredible agility.

His exaggerated movements did sometimes make him appear like
an escapee from the Ministry of Silly Walks, but they also added
real menace to the character.

Olga Pershankova, who played Belle, put in a flawless performance
as the young woman torn between her family and true love.

The show also had some quirky, light-hearted moments in the Beast's castle as his assorted creatures performed a reduced-friction time warp (it's just a slide to the left ...) to an accompaniment that made more than a passing nod to the Addams Family.

Romance, tragedy, comedy and outstanding athletic skill – truly
something for everybody.