Russian Ice Stars At The Blaisdell

Yu Shing Ting
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Friday - July 29, 2009
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Olga Pershankova (center, left in white) and the cast of Beauty and The Beast On Ice

The Russian Ice Stars lace up their skates this week for Beauty & The Beast On Ice at Neal Blaisdell Center Arena.

“It’s going to be a very nice, colorful show for everyone in the family,” says Olga Pershankova. “There’s really nice skating, and it’s just a beautiful story about love.”

Pershankova, 37, was born in Russia and has been figure skating since she was 5. In her competitive career, she was champion of Moscow and winner of the USSR Cup, a member of the USSR Junior Team and at 15 received the Master of Sport title and Champion of Russia.

She credits her parents for having helped her discover her passion for figure skating and believes all children should be involved in some kind of physical activity.

“In the 1970s, figure skating in the Soviet Union was very popular,” recalls Pershankova. “I was quite an energetic child and my parents decided to put my energy into some type of sport, and they liked figure skating.”

From there, her coach noticed that she was really good at it and brought it to her parents’ attention. And the rest is history.

Joining Pershankova (who will play the old hag) on the ice are Irina Tkachuk (as Beauty), winner of the ISU Junior Grand Prix and the Winter Universiade; and Andrey Chuvilyaev (as The Beast), who stands at 6 feet 8 inches tall and is believed to be the world’s tallest professional ice skater; as well as other European and world skating champions who have worked with the famed Moscow Circus.

“My favorite thing about skating is gliding because it feels like freedom,” says Pershankova. “But now, skating is more theatrical for me, so what I like about it is acting, the stage and the audience.”

Beauty and The Beast On Ice takes place July 29 through Aug. 2. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. each evening. There are matinee shows at 2 p.m. Aug. 1 and 2.

Tickets are on sale now ($30, $45 and $60) at, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at all Ticketmaster outlets and at Blaisdell Center box office.

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