#VenueNowVIP: Swan Lake on Ice at Arts Centre Melbourne

A corporate box at the footy, trays of drinks in a bar, private tables at restaurants. When it comes to hosting a corporate client event, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Looking down the aisle of VenueNow clients, it was clear this particular experience was going to be a highlight for the year.

VenueNow and Arts Centre Melbourne recently treated 16 lucky corporate clients to experience the elegant majesty of Swan Lake...on Ice.

Arriving in the Hugh Williamson room, guests were immediately treated to sparkling wine and ice-blue cocktails. The shimmering, textured walls, iced drinks in hand, it was the perfect setting to complement the elegant performance ahead.

Guests happily nibbled on the seemingly never-ending parade of delicious morsels that flowed from the kitchen. And on such a cold winter’s night, there’s nothing better than a hot, crunchy-yet-delicate manchego croquette...except for three hot manchego croquettes. Well, four.

Rounding off the pre-theatre snacks with tiny bowls of creamy gnocchi, we were ready for the main event. Escorted down to the stalls, we were lucky enough to be perfectly positioned front and centre.

From the moment the curtain raised, the audience was instantly transfixed. A digital set projected in the distance, the familiar Tchaikovsky score signalled the beginning of this most beautiful ballet. But gone were the ballerinas, and instead some of the world’s best figure skaters were carving it up. Really carving it up. It’s quite a sight – the State Theatre Stage covered in a thick sheet of ice, tiny shavings flying off the dancers’ skates.

Accompanying the dramatic score, was the almost hypnotic swoosh of blades rushing across the ice. Combining graceful dance positions with the most intense athleticism, the performers spun, hopped and zigzagged their way across the stage. By the end of the first act, our hands were sore from peppering the performance with applause, in awe of the level of technical skill displayed.

At the arrival of the interval, the VenueNow VIP guests were led to the Amcor Lounge for dessert. Surrounded by the multicolour, and multi-textured walls of  this unique space (some 400,000 marbles line the walls), the group remarked on the beautiful performance thus far. Jealous of the extreme level of fitness displayed by the skaters, the room consoled themselves with tiny swan-shaped meringue desserts. Comfort eating at its cutest.

Cutest. Desserts. Ever.

The tell-tale chime indicated it was time for act two, and dusting our fingers free of icing sugar, we filed back into the theatre.

Minutes into the second act, it appeared the first 50 minutes had merely been a warm up. Skaters were tossed across the ice, and dancers spun at almost unnatural speeds. The front row covered in a fine layer of shaved ice, the love story came to a close.

Briefly regrouping in the lobby post-performance, it was clear this was a truly unforgettable client event. Bubbling and wide-eyed, each client thanked their hosts at VenueNow and Arts Centre Melbourne for an incredible, memorable experience.

All part of the service.

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