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The Snow Queen brings together the hottest European figure skating, ice hockey and performing arts talent for a unique family show
By IQ on 23 Feb 2021
To serve indoor arenas starved starving for exciting, European family-friendly content, an international group of creators and promoters have used the Covid-19 shutdown to create a new, multimillion-euro Nordic ice-show brand bringing together figure skating, ice hockey and performing arts.
The Snow Queen, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name, presents a modernised take on the classic fairytale with a new, originally composed score. It will premiere at the new Uros Live arena in Tampere, Finland, on new year’s day 2022, with a further two performances on 2 and 3 January.
This production, which features the mythology of Lapland, creates a new form of European art that combines sports and arts, say creators, who worked with Canadian scriptwriter Melissa A. Thompson on the project.
“The Snow Queen offers the audience something that has never been seen in Finland or the Nordic countries before,” says Paulina Ahokas, managing director of Tampere Hall and main producer of the show. “There is clearly a great demand for ice ballet productions on the market. In Finland, we have a high-level expertise in the field of ice arts, and it gives us a great foundation to produce a show like his. With these performers, artists and partners it has become reality.”
The performers for the tour will be chosen via international auditions. The concept has certain roles which will be played by each target market’s most beloved figure-skating and ice hockey stars.
“The Snow Queen offers the audience something that has never been seen in Finland or the Nordic countries before”
The Finnish production brings together the brightest stars of the skating world, including major competition winners ranging from figure skating and synchronised skating all the way to ice hockey. They include Kiira Korpi, five-time Finnish champion and three-time European medalist; Laura Lepistö, the most successful solo Finnish figure skater of all time; European champions, European and world-class ice dancing multi-medalists Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko; and figure skater Mila Kajas.
The strong core of the show will be formed by the most successful Finnish synchronised skating team, Marigold IceUnity, with their spectacular achievement of 13 world champion medals, out of which five are gold. The Finnish ice hockey scene is represented by the captains of Finland’s both national teams, Marko Anttila and Jenni Hiirikoski, NHL legend Niklas Hagman and ice hockey star Pekka Saravo, also known as a hockey commentator on television.
The producers, event organiser Tampere Hall and Kantelinen Company, have also recruited internationally acclaimed professionals in lighting design, direction, scriptwriting and costume design. The classic fairytale of The Snow Queen will be given a new arrangement on ice, composed by Tuomas Kantelinen, who is internationally famous for the compositions of two ballet productions, as well as operas and 98 film and television projects.
The show’s visual and lighting design will be conducted by Mikki Kunttu, famous for his work in some of the world’s greatest arenas and productions, including Cirque du Soleil. The show is directed by Reija Wäre, known for her significant musical and arena productions and ice choreographies, while Erika Turunen, Finland’s internationally most renowned costume designer, is in charge of the costume design. The ensemble choreographies are arranged by Anu ‘Jääskis’ Oksanen, known as the trainer and main choreographer of Marigold IceUnity.
“The Snow Queen is a magical theatrical story, and it fits perfectly into the arena environment. The combination of skating art and ice sports, together with music, lights, stage settings and video technology, offers something for everyone – from the smallest hockey kids to their grandparents,” says Kunttu. “The Snow Queen brings the visual elegance and dynamics of dance and ballet to the arena, not to mention the immersive fire-soul energy.”
“The combination of skating art and ice sports, together with music, lights, stage settings and video technology, offers something for everyone”
Marko Hurme, managing director of Uros Live, comments: “The Uros Live arena is a venue for experiences of international interest. It is fantastic to have The Snow Queen as a show during our arena’s opening season. It complements the targets set for the wide audience groups that the Tampere-based arena will attract. The show is interesting for the whole family, and it offers an opportunity to come and see the arena is all its glory.”
The opening of the arena will take place at the end of 2021, and it will be an important landmark even on a European level. The Snow Queen ice show will be included in the culture strategy of the city of Tampere when it is applying for the position of European Capital of Culture in 2026.
“In this show, arts and sports will be combined with great expertise,” says Perttu Pesä, leader of the Capital of Culture application project. “We are excited to contribute to enabling this production, both in terms of applying for the European Capital of Culture in 2026 and for Tampere being a city of great events. What we have here is an international grand show.”
The Tampere Hall team will present an exclusive first see of The Snow Queen at ILMC 33 on Thursday 4 March. To register for ILMC, click here.
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