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Ray Routhier

Portland Press Herald staff writer Ray Routhier will try anything. Once. During 20 years at the Press Herald he’s been equally attracted to stories that are unusually quirky and seemingly mundane. He’s taken rides on garbage trucks, sought out the mother of two rock stars, dug clams, raked blueberries, and spent time with the family of bedridden man who finds strength in music. Nothing too dangerous mind you, just adventurous enough to find the stories of real Mainers doing real cool things.

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Posted: December 18, 2017

Made for Disney on Ice, ‘Frozen’ comes to the rink at the Cross Insurance Arena

Written by: Ray Routhier
Anna, Elsa and the characters of the movie "Frozen," including Olaf, below, will come to life on ice skates when "Disney on Ice Presents Frozen" is performed at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Photos courtesy of Disney on Ice

Anna, Elsa and the characters of the movie “Frozen,” including Olaf, below, will come to life on ice skates when “Disney on Ice Presents Frozen” is performed at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.
Photos courtesy of Disney on Ice

Olaf is one of the characters of the movie "Frozen" whose skating skills will be on display when "Disney On Ice Presents Frozen" is performed at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland this week.

Olaf is one of the characters of the movie “Frozen” whose skating skills will be on display when “Disney On Ice Presents Frozen” is performed at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland this week.

Some Disney films just seem to be better suited to ice skating shows.

Seeing “The Little Mermaid” on skates is fun, but it literally takes fish out of water and puts them on ice. And Simba and his pals from “The Lion King” are used to warmer climates than your average skating rink.

But now the folks at Disney on Ice have found a movie that was just about made for them: “Frozen.” The film is about a kingdom stuck in perpetual winter, with everything all icy and cold. How’s that for a perfect ice show setting?

“Disney on Ice Presents Frozen” is at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland through Sunday.

The show features professional ice skaters as the princesses, Elsa and Anna, and all the other characters. The audience gets to hear dialogue and songs from the film, including the voice of Broadway star Idina Menzel, while they watch skaters and spin and twirl their way through the plot.

“People can expect to see the movie, the songs, plus some tricks and some strong skating,” said skater Julianne DiMura, who plays the lead, Princess Elsa. “And there are some great special effects, including snow.”

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated film from Walt Disney Films, inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen.” It tells the story of a princess whose powers have somehow created perpetual winter weather for the kingdom.

The movie, starring the voices of Menzel and actress Kristen Bell, was a box office smash. It won Oscars for best animated feature film and for best song, “Let It Go.”

The two-hour ice show features about 40 performers and more than 100 costumes and 20 snow machines.

DiMura, 26, grew up watching Disney films, with “Beauty and The Beast” her favorite. She said she’s watched “Frozen” about 10 times to get Elsa’s personality down.

A lot of Elsa’s movement on the ice is like that of a ballerina, said DiMura, who took ballet classes as a youngster. In the film, Elsa has the power to freeze things. In skating the role of Elsa, DiMura said she imagines the magical powers coming from Elsa’s hands and fingers.

“So there are a lot of wrist flicks, and elegant movements of the arms and hands,” said DiMura. “It’s almost balletic.”

DiMura started skating in her native East Greenbush, New York, near Albany, when she was 6. She became a competitive skater, winning U.S. Figure Skating medals in ice dance, solo and with a partner. She went to the University of Delaware, where she continued to compete.

She decided in college she wanted to perform professionally and got a job with the Holiday on Ice tour, based in The Netherlands. She performed in cities around Germany and France for three years, before landing the role of Elsa in the Disney on Ice version of “Frozen.”

DiMura finds both parents and kids singing along with the songs while she skates. Maybe that’s because “Frozen” only came out a few years ago, and “Let It Go” was played constantly for a while.

“It’s something we encourage, and it makes performing it a lot of fun,” said DiMura.

“Disney on Ice Presents Frozen”

WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 3 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
WHERE: Cross Insurance Arena, 1 Civic Center Square, Portland
HOW MUCH: $17 to $107
INFO: crossarenaportland.com

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