Apr 25

Real life romance comes to the ice during ‘Worlds of Fantasy’


By: Kate Morris

Published: Saturday, April 25, 2015 

Portraying the characters Ariel and Prince Eric from “The Little Mermaid” comes easily to skating partners Bertalan Zákány and Agota Zákány-Szabo — they just use their own love story as inspiration.

“It’s a classic love story, and it’s so easy for us because we’re married and we love each other,” Zákány said.

Local audiences can see the husband and wife skating partners bring the classic love story to life when Disney on Ice presents “Worlds of Fantasy” at the Arena at the Gwinnett Center for nine performances May 13-17.

Zákány and Zákány-Szabo have know each other since they were young, having grown up skating in the same shows and competitions back in their native country of Hungary. They both joined Disney on Ice in 2010, growing closer and closer before eventually tying the knot in 2011.

The couple remembers it was challenging getting used to married life at first because they spend a lot of time together on tour. Zákány said they try to keep their work and personal lives separate, and they also spend time apart enjoying activities with castmates, like table tennis or soccer.

Zákány-Szabo also remembers the roles of Prince Eric and Ariel coming with a few challenges. Both spouses were predominantly single skaters before Disney on Ice, having performed together in previous shows and at competitions but not as a pair.

“It was a little challenging in the beginning, and we are still learning new things all the time. All the tricks that we do together and skating together, we have to work on the timing,” she said.

According to Zákány-Szabo, performing in Disney on Ice has been very different experience from competition skating.

“There’s more acting, so you have to put that part into it as well because it’s not just skating and technical wise. You also have to give 100 percent in acting, you have to learn how the character, or whoever you play, moves,” she said.

Disney on Ice presents “Worlds of Fantasy” incorporates skating, special effects and beloved characters to bring favorite Disney moments to life.

In addition to “The Little Mermaid” characters, audiences will be able to witness thrilling stunts from Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney Pixar’s “Cars.” Enter the enchanted world of Pixie Hollow with Tinker Bell and the Disney fairies, and join Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the rest of the “Toy Story” gang as they escape from the rambunctious tots of Sunnyside Daycare during their adventure home.

Both skaters say it’s very rewarding to perform in front of audiences and watch their faces light up as they enjoy their act.

“We both like skating, but it’s always an extra when you can look around and see that everybody likes you and is enjoying what you do. It’s just a really nice feeling,” Zákány-Szabo said.

Zákány-Szabo and Zákány are looking forward to returning to the Gwinnett Arena and encourage everyone to come enjoy “Worlds of Fantasy.”

“We can just say that everybody is more than welcome to come because Disney movies aren’t just for kids, and also it’s for both boys and girls,” Zákány-Szabo said. “There’s not just one type of person we’d like to see in the audience, we would like to see everybody.”