Robin Cousins’ Ice comes to Festival Theatre

Robin Cousins ice dance show, Pic: Comp
Robin Cousins ice dance show, Pic: Comp
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DANCING On Ice may have come to an end after its ninth series, but that doesn’t mean head judge Robin Cousins will be avoiding the rink anytime soon.

The Olympic champion may not don his own skates too often these days, but his affinity with the ice has never been stronger, as audiences at the Festival Theatre will discover this week, when Robin Cousins’ Ice glides onto the stage.

“It’s been 30 years since I created Electric Ice, which took to the theatrical stage and changed the look of ice shows.

“I am very excited to bring the daring and dazzling world of figure skating back into an intimate theatrical setting,” says the 56-year-old.

“To be able to move like a skater is every dancer’s dream - to be motionless, yet travelling at great speed. Skaters are able to soar across the frozen stage in ways a dancer can only dream of doing.”

For his new show, Cousins has hand-picked 14 of the greatest skaters from around the world.

“I have a nice mix of people who I know can deliver what I want to see,” he says. However, Cousins, who won Olympic Gold at Lake Placid in 1980, definitely won’t be one of them. Indeed, it comes as a surprise to discover that, despite his sparkling career, he doesn’t miss his competitive days in the least.

“Not at all,” he says, “for the very simple reason that novice ladies are now required to do what I did when I won the Olympics. And what the men and women are doing now at Olympic level, was science-fiction in my day.

“So while I appreciate it and can commentate on it, I have no wish to try to keep up with them,” he laughs.

Creatively, Cousins now gets far more pleasure from choreographing others or, as he puts it, “from getting other people to do what I can no longer do.”

“At some point you have to go, ‘I can’t deliver what I would want to see if I was in the audience’,” he says candidly, “So you just stop.”

Such a highlight of Ice is sure to be the ‘head-banger’, the move made famous through Dancing On Ice.

“It’s not called the head-banger because, if done properly, the head is nowhere near the ice,” corrects Cousins. “It’s a standard pro-move that has been in professional ice shows for 60-odd years and there are variations of it in the show.

“I love trickery. People always told me, ‘You should never do back-flips, that’s for circuses,’ so I did a back-flip, and yes there will be back-flips and all sorts of spectacular tricks in the show, but not at the expense of the skating.”

Robin Cousins’ Ice, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, tonight-Sunday, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £15-£40, 0131-529 6000