Disney on Ice

Russian skater Ekaterina Larionova proves it's more than possible for a pixie and eight princesses to 'Dream Big'

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
January 24. 2018 1:10PM
Eight princesses (Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White) of animated movie fame will come to life at the SNHU Arena in Manchester. 
If you go...
WHAT: Disney on Ice presents "Dream Big"

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: SNHU Arena, 555 Elm St., Manchester

TICKETS: $15 to $75

INFO: ticketmaster,com

‘Disney On Ice presents Dream Big” is a show through the ages that revisits classic tales with eight Disney princesses — Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White, along with Tinker Bell.

Tinker Bell opens the show, and the Russian-born skater who portrays the famous pixie calls playing the character a dream come true.

Ekaterina Larionova, who hails from Pervouralsk, Russia, started skating at age 5.

“My mum wanted me to be healthy, and the best way was to start figure skating lessons,” she said via phone last week from New York, where the newest Disney show was performing.

She said the production has presented her with many opportunities, including meeting her husband. The travel, Larionova said, is a perk, and it allows the troupe to bring joy to young audiences around the world.

“I am married to a wonderful man. We met at rehearsal four years ago when I joined the company and now we get to travel and go sightseeing together and be a part of something wonderful,” she said.

Her role as Tinker Bell is pivotal to the “Dream Big” production.

“She opens the show and brings all the stories of the princesses together,” said Larionova. “She is like a bridge between the characters, the sections of the show. This job is everything I could have asked for and everything I dreamed of.”

Show organizers call the production an empowering tale of Disney’s most courageous leading ladies told through artistic skating and acrobatics.

Using her enchanted pixie-dust, Tinker Bell takes audiences on a journey of beloved Disney tales. Dreamer Ariel comes out of the ocean to explore life above the waves.

“Aladdin’s” Jasmine joins Snow White, Aurora and Tiana in a lesson about strength and kindness. Rapunzel, Cinderella and Belle learn about the power to make their own kind of magic.

And then there is a trip to the wintry world of Arendelle, where sisters Anna and Elsa and the snowman Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen” discover that true love is the greatest magic of all.

High-flying jumps, acrobatics and skating will all be part of the performance.

Larionova said her favorite production number is from “Frozen,” the blockbuster animated movie.

“Well, the whole show is my favorite,” she said. “But I get so excited for the highlight of the show, when ‘Frozen’ is on. It is unbelievable, the work and talent of so many people on this show. The end product is amazing. You get chills when you watch Elsa sing and the whole audience sings along.”

Larionova was a regional champion skater in Russia and is also an aerial gymnast. She has been with Disney on Ice since 2013. She is a graduate of the Ural State University.

She said that life on the road can be hard, but she is glad to have her husband, Lester, with her.

“I always wanted to be part of this show,” she said. “I chose to do my (college) project on Disney On Ice, and now I am part of the show. I never imagined I would be a part of this.”

The look on the children’s faces is the reward.

“The smiles make all the hard work worth it,” said Larionova.


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