By: Anusri Yanumula~
“The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway”
Last weekend, Disney on Ice was brought to Sacramento at the Golden 1 Center. Disney on Ice, previously known as Walt Disney’s World on Ice, has been running productions since 1981 under the Walt Disney Company. The performances feature Disney cartoon characters that sign and dance while reenacting elements of music and plot collected from various Disney films. The show that I attended reenacted the many revered Disney stories that we’ve all enjoyed watching, including Beauty and the Beast, Inside Out, Finding Dory, and Frozen. Even though these stories weren’t reenacted as completely and thoroughly as the original movies, they still stayed mostly true to what occurred in the story, and more importantly, the message that was to be communicated to the audience. For example, when reenacting the story of Finding Dory, many of the parts from the movie that I thought were funny were left out. Even Destiny the whale was not included! However, the plot was smooth, and the acting matched the qualities that each character possessed. The message that determination and confidence can get you very far if you simply follow your heart was showcased phenomenally.
This exact message has been portrayed in various Disney movies. I think it’s important that children continue to learn about positive qualities through Disney characters because the characters become role models for them. It has become a stigma that a princess should only “sit still and look pretty”. However, Disney has shown through its various characters that beauty is not the only aspect of a princess. Really, there are more qualities that one should possess that are far more important, including compassion, bravery, confidence, determination, honesty, respect, maturity, grace, and love. During the show, each of these qualities were assigned to different Disney princesses, and each princess was showcased through 2-3 minute performances. Merida from Brave danced with valor and power. Mulan did an energetic number with Li Shang. Rapunzel did some acrobatic movements on a rope with her partner Flynn Rider. Snow White elegantly danced along with her seven dwarves. Aladdin and Princess Jasmine danced to A “Whole New World,” and Cinderella slow danced to the all-time favorite “So This is Love” with her Prince Charming.
Frozen, one of the best Disney movies out there, as some would say, was the finale performance. I have never watched Frozen, so witnessing this story for the first time was a great experience. I did recognize some of the songs, including “Let It Go” and “For the First Time in Forever.” It made sense that this story was the finale because it related to the next generation of Disney-lovers--the movie Frozen came out in 2012.
As a dancer myself, I was specifically interested in two things: choreography and expression. I tend to pay careful attention to body language and facial expression, and the solo performance choreography brought out the feelings that the characters portrayed. In “Let It Go,” Elsa underwent a transformation from being cold and angry to simply letting go of the past. The famous “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story had very creative choreography between all of the toys, but more specifically, all the characters showed the joy and cheerfulness seen on screen. I was very impressed with the choreography in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from the famed Fantasia produced in 1940, where the brooms were brought to life with Mickey Mouse’s magic.
Dancing on ice is no easy thing; I can barely just stand on ice without stumbling! However, I was amazed to see the performers walking, skipping, and even running on the ice. The stunts performed were flawless and intriguing. It was almost as if I was watching figure skaters form the Winter Olympics. To perform with such amazing technique while paying attention to dialogue and expression takes so much skill and practice. Even though Disney on Ice won’t be back in Sacramento for a while, I definitely recommend it to those who are looking for live Disney entertainment.