PART of the Newcastle city landscape was transformed into a winter wonderland in spectacular fashion, as two of the world’s greatest ice dancers took to the ice to mark this year’s opening of the longest-running European attraction of its kind.
The open-air ice rink Skating @ Life is back at the Centre for Life at Times Square for 15 weeks until February 24, and 75,000 skaters are expected to enjoy it again this year.
Yesterday, world-famous professional ice stars, who have performed at national, European, world and Olympic level, took to their blades to open the season, with a spectacular performance of Beauty and the Beast, watched by the public.
Eight-time Estonian ice skating champion Valdis Mantals took on the lead role of the prince, with Olga Pershankova as Beauty.
As well as giving people the opportunity to skate, the Centre for Life is offering ice-themed activities to its programme within the science centre, including a new 20-minute live Fire and Ice show which will run in the Life Theatre until February 2008.
Liz Dean, trading and operations director at the attraction, said: “Visitors can enjoy a skate, and then visit the centre to see the Fire and Ice Show where they can find out why ice floats and why the polar ice caps are melting.
“From January, visitors can also see the winter night’s sky in our dome and, elsewhere in the centre visitors can explore one of the permanent exhibitions, Our World, to learn how people survive in the icy conditions of the Arctic.”
The Russian ice stars will be returning to the region next April to perform the full production of Beauty and the Beast on Ice at the Theatre Royal.
Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal box office on 08448 11 21 21 or online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk
For Centre for Life and ice rink opening times and prices, call (0191) 2438210 or visit www.life.org.uk. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult when skating.