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Believing is Just the Beginning!

Echo Arena
16 October 2009

Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes Celebrates the Power of Wishes

Tinker Bell Whisks Audiences through the Breathtaking Stories of Seven Disney Princesses and Their Inspiring Wishes.

After the outstanding success of Disney On Ice presents Disney / Pixar's Finding Nemo at the end of last year, Disney On Ice is back!  See this dazzling new ice show where secret wishes are revealed when Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes skates into the Echo Arena Liverpool 25-29 November 2009.

Through artistic skating and graceful acrobatics, Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes beautifully recreates the defining moments when seven Disney princesses' wishes are fulfilled.  With Tinker Bell as their guide, guests will see the inspiring stories of Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Mulan, Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and witness their wishes being granted and their dreams coming true.

In this new touring show produced by Feld Entertainment, audiences will go where imaginations soar and anything can happen if they just believe.  Ariel's dreams are unlocked from under the sea and, in one magical moment, she finds happiness in an exploration above the waves.  Mulan teaches inner strength, Jasmine discovers a whole new world and Snow White finds her one true love.  This beautiful presentation also reveals Cinderella, Belle and Sleeping Beauty’s deepest wishes.

"Before dreaming up this edition of Disney On Ice, we reflected on what makes Disney’s princesses so special,” said Producer Kenneth Feld.  "It didn’t take long to realise that every princess had one thing in common: each embarked on an adventure to find their heart’s fondest wish, and through believing, they come true.  We wanted to share that inspirational message with our audiences by celebrating the stories of these enchanting characters."

Adapting the inspirational moments of these beloved princesses to the ice presented an interesting challenge to the creative team that collaborated on Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes.  To cause audiences to re-experience the emotions evoked by the films would take glittering sets, dramatic lighting, breathtaking choreography and a few surprises. Each member of the creative team approached this challenge with their own unique perspective.

For Director Patty Vincent, it was about realizing her goal for the overall vision of the show.

"My favourite part of this entire experience was actually piecing it together from my original dream," she noted.  "Starting with a blank piece of paper then gathering ideas, finding music, working out the choreography and costumes – I really loved creating it from scratch.  One of the most perfect moments for me was when I found the song "If You Can Dream" on the Disney Wishes album.  It just embodies the wishful and inspirational tone of the show. There’s nothing like seeing ideas that start with your imagination become something real – it’s an incredible experience."

An example of this creative process is evident in Vincent's favourite part of the show.  "I love the 'Under the Sea' production number because I was able to combine bubbling special effects with the most fantastic costumes and high-energy skating.  The scene is even more fun than I imagined it would be."

Recognizing the timeless nature of the princesses' wishes, Creative Director Jerry Bilik sought a cast whose talent would make the stories more real and inspiring.

"To me, the most exciting part of the show is really the cast," Bilik said.  "These exceptional performers help make the stories translate to the ice magnificently.  Their portrayal of the seven princesses and princes sweeps the audience away because they capture the essence of the characters' hopes and dreams."

For Costume Designer Ilona Somogyi, this experience was similar to her work on costumes for the hit Broadway production Spamalot, where she also used a very well-known film with many beloved characters as her primary resource.  For Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes, she sought inspiration from the original films and some other, more unusual places.

“In addition to the films, specific scenes also had their own sources of inspiration,” Somogyi said.  “For the Cinderella ball, Fabergé eggs were the basis for the full-flowing waltz gowns.  My underlying inspiration was the little girls who go to Disney On Ice shows dressed as their favourite Disney princess. Seeing them made me nostalgic and took me back to what dazzled me as a little girl.”

Choreographer Cindy Stuart focused on crafting numbers that highlighted the unique story of each princess.  For example, in the Mulan 2 segment, Mulan teaches several children in her village to be tough and gentle at the same time; a balance that is reflected in the choreography.

"For Mulan we felt it was very important to do as much as we could to keep the movement genuine," said Stuart.  "To ensure this authenticity, we hired a martial arts expert who came and taught us some Tai Chi movements (which are very ethereal and slow) and some Kung Fu movements (which are quicker and stronger), thus creating the balance that the song describes and a very dramatic number."

Set Designer Robert Little’s goal was to create a set that would be as beautiful and surprising as the princesses themselves, but flexible enough to allow the telling of so many classic stories.  The core setting is a cascading, multi-tier waterfall with actual flowing water.  With a little pixie dust, Tinker Bell magically transforms the set into a different backdrop for each princess's wish.

"We had this idea early on about wishes and the types of places where you'd be compelled to make wishes, and we hit upon the waterfall," said Little.  "Like Snow White, who wouldn't be inspired to wish for their dreams to come true at such a beautiful, magical place in the woods?"

Little also had a hand at crafting the dragon from Sleeping Beauty, one of the most exciting and dramatic elements of the show.  "The effect is truly magnificent – and there's a thrilling surprise in store for the audience that will really ignite their interests and the ice itself."

In this, his fifth ice show credit, Emmy® Award winning Lighting Designer Peter Morse sought to compliment the set design with the appropriate lighting that would transition smoothly between the stories. For instance, Morse used leafy designs of greens and sepia tones to establish the forest where Snow White wishes by a well.  He also recreates the night when Cinderella’s dreams come true with bursts of bright white stars.

"When telling seven distinct stories, it's important to be able to create a new environment to set the stage for each tale," said Morse.  "Robert Little did this with the transformable set, and it was my mission to fill the rest of the ice with radiant lighting that would place the audience in the heart of these stories."

Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes invites audiences to come along as Tinker Bell shows them the timeless tales of seven inspiring princesses.  Focusing on the moments where the princesses' dreams come true, the show uses high-energy music, glittering sets and dramatic choreography to make a truly breathtaking experience.