Keiji Tsukamoto and Sachie Yamaguchi
By Mary Tan
AAP Staff Writer
Sachie Yamaguchi and Keiji Tsukamoto are bringing the magic of Disney On Ice to Minnesota. They are ready to captivate audiences and stir the childhood imaginations that remain part of us all.
This season’s Disney “Treasure Trove” show has been called “an action-packed ice adventure” that takes audience members through several Disney animated favorites such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin and Alice in Wonderland.
Yamaguchi has been skating since she was five years old and is from Nagoya, Japan. Her main role in the show is being Jasmine from Aladdin, but she plays other roles as well during the performance. The 26-year-old says she was selected for the part after auditioning for the show’s talent director.
“The best part of the show is when I fly on the magic carpet,” said Yamaguchi.
Her part in the show is fulfilling a dream for the skater, who says her older sister got her started in the sport. “Figure skating is very popular in Japan, just look how many Japanese skaters have excelled in the Olympic games.”
Yamaguchi also has a degree in economics from Nippon University in Japan.
For Tsukamoto, the sentiment is the same. The 37-year-old plays one of the characters from the Lion King and a pirate in the Peter Pan scene. He too started skating at a very young age. He auditioned for the parts last summer when Disney on Ice talent agents came to Japan to recruit skaters for Treasure Trove.
Tsukamoto hails from Osaka, Japan and says he would love to see lots of Asian Americans come see him perform. He believes Minnesotans will not be disappointed.
“We use special sets which are amazing,” he said. “In my scenes you feel like you are on a big ship and sometimes you’ll even feel like you’re underneath the sea.”
Treasure Trove is produced by two producers, Nicole and Juliette Feld, who also happen to be sisters.
“Watching Disney movies is a special pastime for many families,” said Juliette Feld. “For Treasure Trove, we wanted to extend that experience by producing one remarkable show to commemorate the everlasting legacy of Disney animated films, live on the ice.”
A big highlight of the show is the special emphasis on princess characters, including Disney’s newest one, Rapunzel.
“If you love Disney characters you will be sure to see your favorite princesses and princes. I think audience members will have a favorite character and I think you’ll find the performance special,” said Yamaguchi.
The Japanese skaters say it took anywhere from one week to a month to learn their roles. They will be on tour for the next eight months. Both are excited to come to Minnesota and see new things.
Tsukamoto thinks he has the best job in the world. “I like traveling, it’s fun to see different things in the world. I want to keep doing this until I can’t skate anymore.”
Performances will take place December 8 -11 and ticket prices range from $16 to $65. Group discounts are available. For more information, go to www.disneyonice.com.