Blades on Stage: skating fans will appreciate the intimacy

Image from rehearsal of Blades on Stage

Blades on Stage, a unique festive spectacle is sending greetings from Toronto’s Princess of Wales theatre.

In Blades on Stage, Olympic and world champion skaters Elvis Stojko and Shae-Lynn Bourne are confined to a smaller space.

Stojko compares skating in the rink to skating on stage. “The regular ice surface for Olympic-size ice is 100 by 200 feet, NHL size is 200 by 85 feet; this is going to be 40 by 56 feet so it’s going to feel like a dog chasing his tail around.”

“There’s a bunch of different aspects we’re going to have to look at. One is, we’re so used to pushing and driving to get across the ice. Here, it feels like we’re just stepping.”

As for Bourne: “There is a difference in how you can do new movements when you have skates, because you now have speed and centrifugal force and all these other elements that create a different kind of picture and feeling for people, and for yourself. It’s the closest thing I’d say to flying that I’ve ever come to, where you can just soar.”

The swooshing blades are in rhythm with familiar music. Stojko says there are two sections to the show. “One with all Broadway stuff, we’ve got stuff from Chicago, from Les Miz, I’m skating to a piece from Rock of Ages; and then we also have some holiday songs, Christmas stuff.”

Stojko is established as a stage performer, while Bourne’s transition from competitive to theatrical skating is an ongoing process. “I started my own career as a solo ice dancer which is very unusual. I never imagined that my life would go that way, and it seems like every new experience is like that.”

“New things, new doors open and these opportunities and it’s exciting.”

Figure skating fans will appreciate the intimacy of the stage for watching Stojko and Bourne.

Blades on Stage runs through January 4th at Toronto’s Princess of Wales theatre.