Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Show Puts the Icing on the Disney Cake; What's on Editor GORDON BARR Goes Backstage to Meet Skaters from Disney on Ice's 100 Years of Magic

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Show Puts the Icing on the Disney Cake; What's on Editor GORDON BARR Goes Backstage to Meet Skaters from Disney on Ice's 100 Years of Magic

Article excerpt

ICE skater Natasha Kuchiki was just 12 months old when she donned her first pair of blades. But at that tender age, she was more interested in eating the snow and ice off her blades than showing off any artistic skills. It's a different story now, as Natasha, who hails from Los Angeles, California, dazzles in Disney on Ice's 100 Years of Magic. She takes on the roles of Mulan and Princess Jasmine in the celebration of a centenary of Disney characters and Natasha is loving every minute of it, having been with the Disney On Ice team, for nearly two decades. "I started ice skating when I was a wee one," she laughs. "My parents were in the ice shows so I grew up on the road until I was five. "My parents had skates on me when I was about 12 months old but I think I was just eating the snow off the blade. I've changed since then, I have to say." Mickey and Minnie Mouse and their friends from Disney's Mulan, The Lion King and Pinocchio, and Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Toy Story take to the ice for a grand celebration in Disney On Ice 100 Years of Magic at the Metro Radio Arena from October 7 to 12. Produced by Feld Entertainment, this fanfare production features more than 60 unforgettable Disney stars that span the decades, a singalong score of award-winning Disney music, stunning choreography, elaborate sets and beautiful costumes. There's even a never-seen-before segment to close the first half when the skaters invite you to enter their 'Small World',' using the light parade from the Disneyland ride It's a Small World. In fact, this production is most probably the showstopper of Disney On Ice shows. "The house lights go down, the show lights come up, and all the inner child comes out, even in the adults," says Natasha. "And the thing that is so fantastic about it is there is something for everyone in this show, whether it be pretty or dramatic or fun, it's high-energy non-stop family fun entertainment. It never drops, so you never get bored. "There is something for all the boys and the girls and the production has a lot of theatrical effects which are wonderful and add to the skating elements." She has a words of advice, too, for any youngster thinking about tak- taking those first tentative steps on to the ice: "Don't be afraid of it. Start out walking, you have an invisible table in front of you and you put your hands out for balance. If you fall, you just get right back up and try again." Joining Natasha on stage is Jamie Loper, who takes on the roles of Aladdin and Captain Shang from Mulan. "This is my fourth time in the UK. I've had a wonderful time each time," he says. "The wonderful thing about this show is that it has more than 60 Disney characters. If you are not going to Disneyland or Disneyworld this year, this is truly the show to see. …

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