Be warned: there’s such a burst of colors, magic, innovations in Evgeni Plushenko’s “Snow King”, that, looking at the tons of wonderful pictures from the show, you’ll completely fall in love with it, wishing you’d been there, in St. Petersburg’s Ice Palace, in the first days of 2015. At the end of act I, we saw Gerda embarking into the greatest adventure of her life, in the quest of her friend Kai. The boy had decided to follow the Snow King into his icy realm – and the girl travels the world in order to find him. She’s helped by two ravens, she meets a prince and a princess, she’s being attacked by the bandits and receives good advice from a shaman, to finally reach Snow King’s palace and her friend, Kai, frozen and obeying the king. But the power of friendship prevails – and, in the end, the ice in Kai’s heart starts to melt and the King, defeated, comes back to his old (good) self…
Do follow us into the second act of “Snow King” in St. Petersburg and take notice that the cast of this particular show is absolutely amazing: Evgeni Plushenko plays the King, Irina Slutskaya is Gerda and Johnny Weir beautifully portrays Kai, while Tomas Verner completely dissolves into the role of a bandit, after being a dance teacher at the beginning of act II; the French Brian Joubert plays too a double role: the prince and, later in the show, the shaman giving good advice… Ready for the second part?
by Florentina Tone
At the beginning of act II, with the help of two ravens, Gerda reaches a palace; she believes she’ll find her friend, but, unfortunately, Kai is not there. She finds instead a prince and a princess – and asks for their help…
In Plushenko’s “Snow King”, Katarina Gerboldt plays the part of the princess and Brian Joubert is the prince.
In his colored costume, Tomas Verner is their dance teacher.
The prince and the princess give Gerda a helping hand: a royal cape, a fur muff and a golden carriage, to continue her search.
The air acrobats Ekaterina and Alexander Chesna as the ravens
Gerda’s golden carriage is attacked by the bandits – and the fiercest of all is the one (masterfully) played by Tomas Verner.
Tomas Verner and some of his fellow bandits: Jason Graetz, Alexey Motorin, Andrey Kositsin, Alexander Yakushin.
The gang: Valeri Batishev, Andranik Karibyan, Alexey Motorin, Sergey Yakimenko, Jason Graetz, Andrey Kositsin, Hovhannes Mkrtchyan, Alexander Yakushin
A colored group number, with skaters, acrobats, trampoline… The bandits rob Gerda’s carriage and take the girl prisoner – but one little robber, played by Katarina Gerboldt, releases her from captivity; and Gerda continues her trip riding a reindeer. Here’s the entire episode…
A very happy bandit; he just found a treasure in Gerda’s carriage (Alexander Yakushin)
A female bandit, played by Nodari Maisuradze
Wonderfully playing their roles of female bandits, Katarina Gerboldt and Nodari Maisuradze
Are the skaters beautifully portraying their characters or what? Gerda (Irina Slutskaya) becomes prisoner – and Tomas Verner’s face is absolutely priceless…
In the end, the little robber played by Katarina Gerboldt is the one who lets Gerda go.
Gerda continues her trip, while we’re witnessing Snow King’s efforts to completely subdue Kai – and this is definitely one of the key-moments of the story, with Evgeni Plushenko and Johnny Weir completely dissolving into their roles. In the end, Kai’s heart is frozen, the king has won.
The Snow King’s palace is guarded by an army of snowflakes – and this is their moment of glory. Surrounded by snowflakes, Fiona Zaldua and Dmitry Sukhanov.
Valeria Grechuhina, Sofia Biryukova and Maria Sergejeva, as snowflakes
Tatiana Rozanova and Alexandra Vasilieva
Sofia Biryukova, Maria Sergejeva and Valeria Grechuhina
Defying gravity: Fiona Zaldua and Dmitry Sukhanov
In the meantime, Gerda continues to travel over the frozen tundra with the reindeer, but she soon loses strength and falls close to a shaman’s hut. It’s time for Brian Joubert to take the icy stage, convincingly playing the role of the shaman.
The shaman helps Gerda recover and encourages her to continue her trip. His message to Gerda? The power of friendship is the strongest of all.
Fighting the trolls to enter the Snow King’s Palace, Gerda finds her friend completely distant and lost. His heart frozen, Kai doesn’t seem to recognize his friend – but Gerda shows him the red rose she’s been carrying from the beginning of her quest. He starts remembering their friendship, but the Snow King is not happy with that…
The King orders his guards to attack the girl…
Tomas Verner on the ice again, as one of the kings’ guardsman
As in any story, the good prevails: the ice in Kai’s heart melts and he’s reunited with his friend. Defeated, the King himself becomes a good one.
With Dima Bilan on the big screen, singing “When the ice melts”, the story ends triumphantly; and all the skaters are now on the ice.
Alexander Yakushin and Tatiana Rozanova
Alexey Motorin, Maria Sergejeva, Andranik Karibyan and Sofia Biryukova
Fiona Zaldua and Dmitry Sukhanov: a wonderful combination of strength and fragility in one pair
Nodari Maisuradze and Irina Usenko
Irina Slutskaya and Evgeni Plushenko: all’s well that ends well.
A happy, very happy Johnny Weir
Johnny Weir, Katarina Gerboldt and Brian Joubert waving to the audience in St. Petersburg’s Ice Palace
The prince: Brian Joubert
The dance teacher: Tomas Verner
Kai: Johnny Weir
A happy Evgeni Plushenko receiving flowers and giving back smiles
Well, Johnny Weir decided to borrow the prince’s hat…
Evgeni Plushenko and his wife, Yana Rudkovskaya
And a touching moment to end with: on January 6th, the day he turned 2 years, Alexander (Sasha) Plushenko, the son of Evgeni and Yana Rudkovskaya, entered the rink along his father, to be congratulated by the entire audience…
One thing is sure: “Snow King” is a feast for the eyes – so, apart from the cast, hats off to the following:
Yana Rudkovskaya and Evgeni Finkelstein, general producers
Evgeni Plushenko, choreographer-art director
David Avdish, mai choreographer
Nikita Mikhailov, choreographer
Ari Zakarian, ballet manager
Alexey Golubev, main stage director & movie clips director
Valery Paramonov, music composer
Igor Gulyaev, costume designer
Galina Filatova, costumes