With the latest in lighting techniques -- spots, strobes and luminescence -- the Ice Capades' new edition opened for a two-week run at the Capital Centre last night. As act succeeded act in this fast-paced show, one could watch the entire spectacle looking down at the glistening floor of the arena, or raise one's eye's to enlarged images of star performers displayed on huge television screens under the ceiling.
Yet, despite this up-to-date technology, a time traveler from the 1880s might feel more at home here than at an evening of modern classical theater or dance. Ice shows today are living relics; it is on skates that old-time music halls and vaudeville live on.
Most of the acts are slanted at the kids, with spaceships, clown acts, characters from "Alice in Wonderland." When there is something spicy for Daddy, like comic Terry Head's drooling over Gisela, a huge showgirl from the distant stars, the television screens choose to be blank.
The dozen headliners were chosen for variety. Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, world champions, show some of the elegance and lyricism of virtuoso pair skating. William Calliontzis and Wolfgang Danne stress the difficult lifts and catches of supported adagio. When Wendy Burge and David Fee are specialists in speed, Teresa Foy skates and sings, Richard Ewell proves that the torso can be used in a lively way on ice and Albert Lucas is sensational as the gliding juggler.
The skaters' personal specialities, the costuming and the themes rather than different movement possibilities, distinguished one act from another. Robert Turk and his co-choreographer's best moments were the gliding, spinning corps, formations in "Precision on Parade."