The Pepsi Center was packed for opening night of Disney on Ice-Follow Your Heart. This was first time I had ever experienced such an event. As I sat 12 rows up from the rink, I took in all the wonderful sights that were around me. The lighting, the performance props and decor, such perfect ambience; setting the mood for the evening. I knew this was going to be a fun night and I was not disappointed. With a few short words the announcer lets us know the show is about to begin and a hush falls over the crowd. The show opens quickly with scenes from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and I was able to finally witness the performance of the talented artist I was able to interview prior to the shows start. Jason Pacini plays the role of Prince Adam, also known as the Beast.
Xposer Magazine was lucky enough to snag an interview with a Colorado native who is very excited to be performing in his home state.
Jason began skating at the age of 13. After competing in soccer and gymnastics for many years, he was forced to take a break for a number of months to let an overuse injury heal. It was during this time that his mom signed him up for a couple of Skate classes to keep him moving in this meantime. By the age of 18, skating had become his focus. However skating is not the only thing he is good at. Unbelievably, Jason has degrees in both Physics and Journalism as well! With such an educational history, many might wonder what his pull is to the world of professional skating. When asked this, Jason’s reply was “ I love performing, it’s something I won’t be able to do forever and seeing the happiness you create when all of the children are smiling and having a good time makes all the hard work worth it, night after night.” Jason loves playing to the crowd. Though what he does may seem easy from watching the performance, it is certainly much harder than it looks. All of the performers in the cast train for hours each day for months on end to perfect the performance and routine so that it may come to life on the ice. The training begins off the ice, depending on the move being practiced; this training could be a little as a few days to a few months before it is moved to the ice for final perfecting to begin. The whole show itself can take around 6 weeks or more to build from concept to construction of moves. The cast consists of around 40 performers and around 10-15 crew members. Traveling with crates of workout gear to keep in top physical shape along with costume designers, stagehands and many others, all of whom are essential to create this art in motion. Many attendees have no idea what it takes to bring this show to the main stage and all of the behind the scenes work is what helps it all come to life for the viewing audience. During tonight’s performance, I witnessed a few acts that I felt were extremely dangerous maneuvers. The first being an aerial act with Ariel from The Little Mermaid. As if aerial acts were not dangerous enough, try adding ice skates to your feet as you twist your feet around a rope! I literally could not take my eyes off her as she twirled around in the air so carefree. It was beautiful! These artists have sheer dedication to their art form and such discipline that resounds in their performance that almost makes the adults forget they are watching a Disney performance. The second aerial act performed was with Rapunzel from “Tangled” and Flynn Ryder. This duo soared into the air simultaneously, but again while wearing skates on their feet; one wrong move and the show would not go on. From moves such as these, intense and dangerous that create such beauty to even the more ‘simple’ loops, jumps, axel and lutz. Even these more ‘simple’ maneuvers are complicated by wearing costumes that at times cover the whole head, hindering your vision or bulky structure interfering with the way you would normally skate or perform lifts. Again, not something we would normally take into consideration while watching something like this but it just shows how much goes into bringing this show to life. The talent behind each individual performer and what each of them brings to the stage. Performance style is personal so I decided to ask Jason how he would best describe his own, Jason replies with “As a male pair skater, I have been taught from day one to always present your partner like a princess, my performance style is very classic but I do enjoy stepping outside of that approach with different, unique choreography.” Which is ever apparent while watching him take the ice.
Wrapping up our conversation, I decided to ask Jason what are some of the things he misses while on the road, “Home cooked meals” was his reply. So if you manage to meet him during his time on the road, make sure to bring him something delicious *wink*, He would greatly appreciate it! Some of his favorite music would be electronic and classical with his favorite musicians/composer/producers being AU5, Seven Lions, Valentin Boomes and Two Steps from Hell, which consists of producers Nick Phoenix and Thomas Bergerson. All great music you should totally check out yourself.
Thanks again for the read!
Till next time,