Hot Ice is celebrating its 81st season with a spectacular new show entitled Dreams. But this year’s skaters are noticeably youthful, as well as being physically gifted and athletically balletic.
The entire 31-strong international dream team seems determined to push their skill boundaries to the limit and show off what they can do on the ice, either as individual stylists or in the pair and group pieces, transforming their bodies into gliding, sliding, entwining objects of amazement and beauty.
Choreographer Oula Jaaskelainen, who began his own professional skating career here in 1994 and has done 12 Hot Ice shows since then, puts everyone through their paces in challenging routines inspired by the dream theme.
Technically and emotionally this is dancing on ice at its artistic best. The audacious runs, jumps and intricate sweeping ensemble movements are thrilling to watch, with split-second off-stage costume changes adding another level of spellbinding magic.
As entertainment, the show reaches gold medal standard. I can only guess that director and creator Amanda Thompson had been dreaming in colour when she imagined the show, especially the wonderful costuming, ranging from the carnivalesque and razzle dazzle sequins to elegant cool pastels. Her soundtrack choices are just as bold, mixing Beethoven and Bizet with dreamy romantic balladeering and pulsating pop. Staging, lighting and special effects are as perfectly executed as the skating routines.
Hot Ice is unique in popular entertainment as an art form. It’s now the last of those long-running summer shows that once made Blackpool the capital of entertainment.