For those who enjoy an outing to watch live entertainment, 2020 was not their year. Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, however, is offering a safe and free alternative to kick off 2021.

According to a press release, Ice Dance International (IDI) has brought together a group of world-class ice skaters who arrived in Portsmouth, beginning a month-long program that will involve New Hampshire schools as well as pop-up performances at Strawbery Banke's Family Skate and Puddle Dock Pond.

Additionally, IDI company members will also be teaching skating skills classes at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Classes are also open to hockey skaters as well as figure skaters and covers basic to advances skills for both kids and adults, the release said.

Like the pop-up performances, no payment or registration is necessary.

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IDI Founder and Artistic Director Douglas Webster, a New Hampshire native who now lives in Kittery, categorized the performances as "Winter Surprise and Delights," performances that will showcase a mix of world-premiere pieces that he choreographed himself.

"Two new works, 'Revival,' set to the music of Mumford and Sons, Jason Castro, and Audra Mae; and 'New World,' a fantasy ice ballet set to a commissioned score by Jonathan Galland; are both designed to lift the spirits during this unprecedented year. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share this program that focuses on hope, joy, and overcoming struggle."

The release said the scheduled performances will be 13 minutes in length, although times may vary and additional performances will be added. Exact times are expected to be released the day before each event and will be made available on IDI's social media pages and website.

The performances can also be streamed virtually at strawberybanke.org/skate/webcam.cfm

Here is the schedule for the free performances at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond:

  • Thursday, January 23 at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond
  • Friday, January 22 at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond
  • Saturday, January 23 at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond
  • Thursday, January 28 at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond
  • Friday, January 29 at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond

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