Review: Dancing on Ice - Wembley Arena ✭✭✭✭

Dancing on Ice 

Wembley Arena

Review by Emma Curry

1st April 2014: The final Dancing on Ice Tour returned to Wembley Arena on Tuesday evening, starring a mixture of celebrities from the recent All-Stars series on ITV, hosted by the inimitable Jayne Torvil and Christopher Dean, and with Robin Windsor, Karen Barber, and Nicky Slater all back as judges. It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since the show began, and this tour stands as a celebration of the longevity and popularity of what seemed at first to be a potentially disastrous concept. Luckily there were no accidents on the evening, however, and I think even the most hardened cynic would have struggled not to enjoy this warm-hearted and rather inspiring show.

The first half of proceedings was devoted to the competition element, and ran very much like the Sunday night TV programme used to: each celebrity performed their routine, received marks and feedback from the judges, and at the end the audience added their votes to determine the winner. Whilst each celebrity performed admirably under the glare of thousands of spectators, as was the case on the TV show this year, there could only really be one winner: Ray Quinn. The former X-Factor star has an unbelievable skating talent: with his leaps and lifts he’s as good, if not better, than some of the professionals we saw, and seeing him skating live was, for me, the highlight of the show. The speed and smoothness with which he moves around the ice are utterly breath-taking, and the leaps that he performs in his ‘flamenco’ routine have to be experienced in real life to be truly believed. Here’s hoping he’ll pursue this new hobby in the future.

The second half of the show, after revealing the winner of the skating competition, took on a more freestyle element, as the celebrities and professionals each performed a further routine, with the addition of props, costumes, and, in one spectacular sequence, fire. The highlight here was Joe Pasquale, possibly performing the world’s first stand-up routine on ice (although, despite the name, he repeatedly failed to remain on his feet). As the rather wobbly underdog, Pasquale had an instant chemistry with the audience, and his brief and comic guide to skating like a professional was an enjoyable moment of slapstick amidst all the other more poised performances.

The show was brought to a close by Torvil and Dean ending, rather fittingly, where they really began: with a stunning performance of the Bolero, which I actually found rather moving. Jayne Torvil commented at the end: ‘This isn’t goodbye. Just goodnight’. Now that Dancing on Ice has come to a close, I look forward to seeing what’s in store for the pair next.

Four stars ✭✭✭✭

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