Allow us to introduce Evelina Pokrasneteva and Ilya Makarov, two supremely talented Russian ice dancers. In the UK, Dancing on Ice is a very popular show. Watching celebrities try to master the challenges and intricacies of ice dancing in a few short months makes for spellbinding viewing.
So it’s no surprise that Russia has its own version of the show. They have the normal version called Ice Age. The twist, however, is that in another version of the show, the performers are not celebrities paired with professionals but rather children and young people. This show is called Ice Age: Kids. Unlike the UK show, which only features pairs, there are boys solo, girls solo and pairs groups.
There have been many stellar performances, but no pair has received more praise and admiration than Evelina Pokrasneteva, who was only nine years old at the time and Ilya Makarov, who was eleven. Their performances to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, which started with Ilya stealing a kiss, and City of Stars from La La Land have already made them internet sensations.
Their skill and musicality would be impressive in adult performers, in children, it’s unbelievable. At eleven years old, Ilya lifts Evelina as easily and securely as a full-grown man would. They demonstrate exceptional ability in the quality of their spins, lifts and general skating. What is truly incredible, though, is the storytelling and emotion the pair express throughout the entire piece. It’s a joy to watch. How can two children, who have never been in love, convey it so perfectly?
The piece starts with Ilya mooching along on his phone. Suddenly, he notices Evelina going in the opposite direction. He is blown away by her beauty and begins to take her picture. Evelina clearly loves the attention and skates back to him before taking his phone to ensure she gets the most flattering shot of herself.
Then they begin to skate, and the piece is gorgeous. To the untrained observer, it seems absolutely flawless, and many commenters on YouTube say they’ve watched it over and over again. I think we can expect amazing things from this talented pair in future.