Stars On Ice | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Ilia Kulik with Stars On Ice performing at the HEB Center in Austin, Texas on December 15, 2021. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Stars On Ice delivers Olympic, world and national champions this holiday season. If you are dreaming of a white Christmas, then Stars on Ice is granting your holiday wish with a Davis & White Christmas! Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalists, two-time World Champions and six-time United States Dance Champions Meryl Davis & Charlie White will be joined by Canada’s legendary figure skater Kurt Browning to headline a special Holiday performance of the Emmy award-winning Stars on Ice.

The star-studded cast also features Olympic Gold medalist Ilia Kulik, 2014 U.S. Olympic team Bronze medalist and three-time U.S. national champion Ashley Wagner, 2018 U.S. Olympic team Bronze medalist and seven-time U.S. national championship medalist Mirai Nagasu, 2014 U.S. Olympic team Bronze medalist and four-time U.S. national champion Jeremy Abbott, two-time U.S. national champion Alissa Czisny, three-time World Medalists and 2018 Olympians Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and U.S. national champion Ryan Bradley.

Stars on Ice continues to be a pioneer in figure skating by offering fans throughout North America the rare opportunity to witness some of the world’s most accomplished and artistically gifted champions performing together in both individual and ensemble routines.

About Stars On Ice
Founded in 1986 by skating icon Scott Hamilton, the Stars on Ice tour has performed more than 1,500 shows over the last three decades. Past Tour performers include Olympic Gold Medalists Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Tara Lipinski and Ekaterina Gordeeva.

The Tour has won three Emmy Awards, one ACE Cable Award (Best Sports Special), and is recognized as the finest ice production in the world. Stars on Ice is produced by IMG, the global leader in sports, fashion and media.

Ilia Kulik
When 20-year-old Ilia Alexandrovich Kulik stood at the top of the Olympic podium in Nagano, Japan in February 1998, he was only the second man in figure skating singles history to achieve a Gold Medal on his first trip to the Winter Games (the first being the United States’ Dick Button in 1948).

Ilia’s “big crazy dream” as he has called it, started when he was five-years-old in his hometown, Moscow. His mother took him to a children’s skating class to see if skating might be his sport. After watching her son fall and fall again at his first try on skates, Mrs. Kulik thought they should try out another sport right away. She was surprised to hear the teacher ask her to bring little Ilia back.

“But why? He keeps falling.” “Yes,” said the teacher, “but he keeps getting up.” Fifteen years later, with day after day of work marked by the same spirit of determination, an Olympic champion emerged. Ilia’s talent in his formative years enabled him to work with the distinguished Russian coach, Viktor Kudriatsev. Later in his eligible career, he also worked with honored coach and choreographer, Tatiana Tarasova.

Ilia’s first significant international win, at the age of 13, was a gold medal in the 1990 Piruetten Juniors competition in Norway. Early competitive achievements included gold at 1994 Russian Junior Nationals (age 16), 1994 Nebelhorn Trophy, 1995 Junior Worlds (age 17), and most importantly, a gold medal at 1995 European Championships in Dortmund, Germany. On his way to the gold medal in Nagano, Ilia won a wide variety of skating honors including two Russian national championships (1997, 1998).

At the games Nagano Ilia placed first with both his short and long programs, “Revolutions” and “Rhapsody in Blue.” “Rhapsody in Blue,” one of the most ambitious Olympic programs ever successfully skated up to that time, included a flawlessly executed quadruple toe loop, 8 triple jumps, intricate footwork, multiple spins and sweeping connective choreography. In total, Ilia achieved an “overpowering” Olympic performance according to Time magazine.

As a professional skater, Ilia has distinguished himself as an innovative choreographer and as a mature performer who continues to stress technical excellence and classic elegance. He has toured with both Champions on Ice and Stars on Ice in the U.S., Prince Ice World in Japan and performed with Stars on Ice and Art on Ice in Europe and with Yu-na Kim in South Korea. Off ice, Ilia has explored other avenues, the most noticeable being a major role in the 2000 dance film, Center Stage.

In the past several years, Ilia has become more active as a coach. He has often observed that he is committed to passing along the excellent coaching he received as a young skater. Ilia is married to Olympic and World champion, Ekaterina Gordeeva. They live in Southern California with their daughters, Daria (Dasha) Grinkova, 18 and Elizaveta (Liza) Kulik, 9.
Thanks for the magic! I was on the ice, close to the skaters, I almost felt like being with them on the ice, I really appreciated.

We will definitely be back! The show was great as it had our favorite skaters, loved the cast, meet and greet was very well organized.

Great time! Lots of fun, great atmosphere, skaters do a great job of entertaining.

This year's Stars On Ice was nicely done.

Stars on Ice delivered an entertaining night of ice skating. They did a nice mix of single skaters and group numbers including several holiday oriented numbers. I would recommend this show to anyone who enjoys ice skating.

It was amazing! I recommend that everyone should see this at least once.
Stars On Ice was at the HEB Center and continues across the United States with the last stop at the Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minnesota on December 19, 2021.

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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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