The Skating Champions show in Tallinn, Estonia
ItÂ’s Wednesday night and The Saku Arena is sold out. Even the smaller, upper section is full. The arena is prepared for the ice show, the boards are gone and the ice surface is surrounded by lights. Nice music playing in the background to set the atmosphere before the show starts. The lights and sound are excellent. (Good lighting makes the photographer happy!) A small stage has been set up on the short side.
The show begins with Laurent Tobel entering; he tests the ice, slides on it with his shoes, then lies down and falls asleep. All the skaters enter dressed in white (which looks very innocent and romantic). The girls have pretty dresses and one holds an umbrella. The guys are either in elegant suits, like Povilas, or wear a sailor like outfit, like Alexei, or wear ruffles and lace. The phantom (the MC) enters in a cloud of smoke. HeÂ’s wearing a black cape and tells the skaters that they are puppets under his control, and demonstrates it by making them do what he says. He speaks in English for this part, but for the rest of the show he speaks Russian. The pretty singer Valerie enters and opposes the phantom.
Irina Slutskaya and Valerie:
Stanick Jeannette, Zorba:
Rory Burghart, Last dance:
Radka Kovarikova & Rene Novotny:
Laurent Tobel, Bolero:
Marie-Pierre Leray, French skating acrobat:
Armen Saakian and Akop Manoukian, ice comedians:
Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas, Pink Floyd:
Alexei Yagudin, Flamenco:
Laurent Tobel and the phantom enter the ice and then itÂ’s intermission time.
Act II starts with the Estonian skater Elena Glebova, she skates to Â“One day I fly awayÂ”.
Next Valerie is dressed up like a flamenco dancer and sings a tango while the phantom (now without his cape) joins her on the small stage on the short side. They Â“try out Â“some signature Tango moves which are safer on the stage than on the ice .
Stanick Jeannette, Chaplin medley:
Rory Burghart, "Crazy":
The phantom walks around the ice and then comes up to us and asks something we donÂ’t get. It was to scream "oh" but if your entire Russian vocabulary is reduced to the word Â“NastrovjeÂ”, it doesn't help. So he asks the people sitting behind us, and the audience screams "ohÂ” and Â“ah". Radka Kovarikova & Rene Novotny return and skate to the song "oh ah", well, you know the one. The encore is a true headbanger as Radka keeps her arms on her back. Wow.
Marie-Pierre Leray, Memory:
Laurent Tobel, Carmen:
After Carmen the fun continues. Irina is dressed in big, black pants with suspenders and a white shirt, and she skates a fun and playful number this time. Irina has many nice programs on her repertoire, and every time we see her she skates a new or different program. ItÂ’s especially nice for us when she skates to Russian music, but she seems to take on whatever music is relevant to where she is in the world. Very versatile!
Armen Saakian and Akop Manoukian:
These two funny guysÂ’ portrait two boxers fighting. One of them cheats quite a lot, for example by wearing huge boxing gloves or using a fry pan as protection again the others hits. This number is lot of fun!
Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas, Pirates of the Caribbeans:
This program is a mini-play containing good choreography, artistry, sword fights and great skating. Of course they must do an encore, this time with the swords on fire!
Alexei Yagudin, Winter:
Valerie sings "The show must go on" and all skates come on the ice for the finale. They make some characteristic moves and formations, and then line up for final bows. They skate around the ice and wave at the audience and the show is over.
The atmosphere in this Tallinn arena is wonderful, itÂ’s so relaxed. You can throw flowers or toys to the skater and kids can ask for autographs. The latter is nice as long as the kids stay seated when the skaters are on the ice (which wasnÂ’t always the case and the kids blocked the view). But still, the friendly family atmosphere should remain.
The Skating Champions European Tour is now over and itÂ’s been successful. All the shows in Lithuania were sold out, and some of the others too. We can easily understand why; the shows are a wonderful mix of acrobatics, fun numbers, beautiful singing and daring numbers in the air, and of course excellent skating by the very best. Throughout the tour, different guest stars have joined making each show unique, as well as given the audience the opportunity to see more of your favourite stars.
Thanks for the great entertainment, Povilas and Rita! We hope you will return next year with a new show and hopefully visit more cities.
Check back soon to see the photo album!