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Spark Fire DanceBack in 1995, the businessman Reto Caviezel and the figure skater Oliver Höner came up with the brilliant idea that a figure skating gala needed real concert music with a stage, singers, an orchestra and dancers. Art on Ice was born. The premier took place in January 1996 in Zürich with 6’500 tickets sold. Today, it has become the most successful figure skating gala production in the world playing to almost 100’000 live spectators a year.

The 19th edition of Art on Ice is just over. The event took place in the first half of March with 13 shows in Zürich, Lausanne, Davos, Helsinki and Stockholm attended by almost 100’000 live spectators. I had the opportunity to cover the show in Lausanne for Get Sport Media.

The 2014 edition

In about two and a half hours, the spectators could enjoy the spectacular performance of current and former elite figure skating in this 19th edition of the ice gala. In addition to three current Olympic champions, there were also many other former World, European and Olympic champions. Unlike competitions, the show and entertainment is the foreground at Art on Ice.

For the live music program, this year presented in the first part of the show, the Swedish winner of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2012, Loreen as well as one of today’s most sought pianists, the young Swedish Khatia Buniatishvili. The second part of the show mainly featured Adam Anderson and Theo Hutchcraft known as the English band Hurts from Manchester.

Adelina SotnikovaAs local performers from Switzerland on the ice, the European Figure Skating Champion from 2011 Sarah Meier performed on the title My Heart Is Refusing Me of Loreen. The fans of classical music enjoyed a composition of Edvard Gried played by Khatia Buniatishvili on the performance of Stéphane Lambiel, the World Champion from 2005 and 2006 as well as silver medalist at the Olympic Games in 2006.

Additional highlights in regards of figure skating were provided by amazing shows from performers like Canadian Joannie Rochette, bronze medalist at the Olympic Games in 2010, French Florent Amodio, European champion 2011, German-Ukranian Aliona Savchenko & German Robin Szolkowy, bronze medalist in Sochi, Russian Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov, gold medalist in Sochi, French Nathalie Péchalat & Fabian Bourzat, 4th in Sochi, Russian Adelina Sotnikova, gold medalist in Sochi and Canadian Kurt Browning, World champion from 1989 to 1993.

At least as impressive as the figure skaters were Dan Miethke and Steffi Hoeggerl from Spark Firedance with stunning fire shows along the evening.

“It was a challenge. We used special spikes in the shoes to give us traction and grip, but it’s still sometimes very slippery and we cannot do everything we normally do, because it’s very hard when you fall!” says Dan Miethke

Tatiana Volosozhar - Maxim TrankovFinal words

It was the very first time I attended Art on Ice. It truly was an amazing show combining dance, figure skating, live music and a perfect light show. I was just an arm length away from the ice field and was tempted to put the camera aside and enjoy the show without the viewfinder in between, but that was not the purpose I was there.

 “It’s a fantastic production. We did not realize the scale of the show they would put on this year. ” says Dan Miethke of Spark Firedance

With such a show for the 19th edition, I am wondering how the organizer will be able to top to celebrate the 20years of Art on Ice in the first half of February 2015.

Dominique Schreckling
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