Timeless Disney ‘magic’ on ice
(Page 3 of 4)
Obst and his skaters are especially excited to be doing the show in an Olympic year. “We always see a spike in interest around the Olympics,” he said. “Audiences have become increasingly educated about skating. “We love it when they respond to the level of what the skaters are doing. Skaters make it look so easy when it is not. The high caliber of skating combined with the production values of this show is a good recipe for an afternoon of great family entertainment. We love to hear the audience’s reaction. That’s why we do what we do.”
With Mickey and Minnie leading the way, audiences see breathtaking production numbers created by renowned choreographer Sarah Kawahara. Kawahara, who won two Emmy® Awards for the skating segments in the 2002 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies and Scott Hamilton: Upside Down, defines choreography for figure skating as “the fusion of music with interpretive movement and the technical elements of skating. It is more than just skating. You define what you want to say and how you want to say it.”
Complementing the skate sequences, Scenic Designer David Potts, who has worked on numerous Broadway productions, creates a theatrical atmosphere on ice. Skaters weave around and enliven the “It’s a Small World” sequence amidst sparkling floats that turn into a radiant light parade; a blanket of snow and an avalanche fall as Mulan battles the Huns; the African Pride Lands are imaginatively recreated as everyone’s favorite sidekicks, Timon and Pumbaa, delight audiences with their wacky antics and unique sense of adventure, among other highlights.
Obst is especially fond of the It’s a Small World segment. “To see 36 skaters perform in traditional folkloric costumes is really special, with the cool light parade, similar to the parades at Disney parks, as the finale to the first act.”