- January 6, 2018
Year on year the HOI team roll into town with a new show, a spectacle of dance, gymnastics, colour and light – all set to music. And for years the format was traditional, a little cheesy to be frank (not that I disliked that) but, dare I say it, losing touch with modern entertainment. Well I am delighted to say that those days are gone, not just dusted with a sprinkling of contemporary style but almost totally re-imagined. Of course there are nods to the classic days of HOI, the wheel is there and the finale has some pretty amazing feathered costumes of the old school. But as for the rest there is a modernity, a freshness and a cohesive vision, from the pared down and rather sexy costumes, to the impressive lighting and stunning and seamless visual projections above the dark void from which the skaters appear and disappear. In the first half it starts fairly slowly, there is a disco inspired section which is a little less than convincing, but by the time we reach the interval there is little doubt that this is a company who know exactly where the future of ice dance spectaculars lies. Of course the technical skills are there still but now they are a part of the musicality and choreography, not just show stopping feats of athleticism. The music choices are better than ever and reflect modern tastes too, and there was no silliness, clown acts and the like, although there was humour, well judged and delivered by the cast of ice dancers. Hats off to the design and creative team too, with beautiful concepts and in particular a stunning vision of feathered flight. The cast are of course performers at the top of their game but mention has to be given to the breathtaking skill and elegance of Yannick Bonheur and Annette Dytrt and in fact the word elegance could be used to sum up this beautiful production. One has to hope that HOI have not left it too late to reach a new audience and rebuild that stronghold that they held for so many years.