Eis Ballett: Big Bang in Berlin

The sport of figure skating burst into a spectacular theatrical art in 1911 when Leo Bartuschek formed the very first professional ice ballet company at Berlin’s Admiralspalast Ice Arena. The historic initial revue, titled “Montreal a City On Skates,” opened in April of that year. Herr Bartuschek staged thirteen lavish skating productions over the following eleven years, ranging from revues to full-length skating operettas and ballets with large casts and complex story lines.

The IceStage Archive collection contains beautiful photo postcards from eleven of the company’s productions, some expertly hand-colored. Included among the titles are “Alpen Zauber,” “Frau Fantasie,” “Abrakadabra,” and “Die Roten Schuhe.” These excellent photographs of amazing costumes, avant-garde characters, and lavish staging show the work of a brilliant creative team with generous funding.

The spectacular ground-breaking Admiralspalast presentations introduced the world to a wonderful, completely unique, and very versatile form of art and entertainment—magically prerformed on a glistening stage of ice!