Flashy 'Cinderella' comes to life on ice

November 12, 1993|By J. L. Conklin | J. L. Conklin,Contributing Writer

There aren't any purple dinosaurs on skates in Dorothy Hamill's Ice Capades.

Instead, like a fairy godmother, Ms. Hamill has turned the once flashy, carnival atmosphere of this popular ice show with its Las Vegas-inspired costumes into a class act with her substantive production of "Cinderella -- Frozen in Time" now appearing through Sunday at the Baltimore Arena.

Local choreographer Tim Murphy, co-founder of the Next Ice Age along with Nathan Birch, have contributed their considerable choreographic talents to this delightful rendition of the beloved fairy tale.

The result is a wonderfully sentimental and magical work that effectively blends the beauty of ice dancing, the thrills of athleticism and the narrative structure of ballet.

Capped off by the power of ensemble skating and the nuance of the pas de deux, this "Cinderella" is wonderfully balanced and enlarged by the lush, emotional, original score by Michael Conway Baker, and the fine costumes by Desmond Heeley.

From beginning to end, this production is warm-spirited and positive.

The children will laugh and boo at the Wicked Stepsisters, Jared Randolph and David Jamison, with their silly preening and stupid pratfalls.

They will applaud when the Fairy Godmother, Catherine Foulkes, appears in a swath of mist.

They will cheer when the pumpkin is transformed into a coach.

Yet, despite the many memorable moments, it is the emotionally connected skating of Elena Kvitchenko as Cinderella and Rashid Kadyrkaev as her prince that is ultimately satisfying.

Watching Ms. Kvitchenko dance, one becomes aware of her range as an actress-dancer.

From her simple solo, in which she shows us her simple dreams, to the playful duet with her friend, "Buttons" (expertly skated by J. Scott Driscoll), or the bittersweet dance with her father, performed by Bob Moskalyk, to the climactic duet at the ball, Ms. Kvitchenko is a solid and convincing heroine.

"Cinderella Frozen in Time" is tailor-made for the young and young at heart.

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