Displaying all the adventurousness of a chainstore scarf`n'mittens set, Jayne and Christopher never once allow the chill of risk in on their act, nor, heaven forbid, any hint of arty seriousness. The opening sequence features a furry gonk. The second is an elaborate railway-station scene in which cheery folk in bobble hats link up to form a miniature engine which chugs across the ice, puffing steam. The real novelty is the lighting, which allows elaborate designs to be beamed down onto the ice surface (railway tracks, snow crystals, shoals of coloured fish) without being overshadowed by skaters' silhouettes. This makes for some pretty effects but diminishes the skaters' role. Once the ice is no longer a big blank page waiting to be filled by skaters' scribbles, all they have to do is not fall over.
Yet Dean's choreography is never less than stylish (he did the whole show, not just the bits he appears in), and when T&D cut the ice together, the rhythm is impeccable, their unison sublime. Dean is clearly a man whose ideas are not played out. A year ago he produced a more-than-competent little work for English National Ballet. He may well have artistic ambitions for ice dance, but first he needs a new audience and a new format, one that relies more on the development of ideas and less on gimmicks. But, as gimmicks go, flying Jayne Torvill on Peter Pan wires was a pretty good one.
Wembley Arena (0181 900 1234), today, 2pm; Manchester Nynex Arena (0161 950 5555), 13-17 Jan; then touring to Newcastle and Sheffield.Reuse content