*For the first time in history, a Disney On Ice production has a black princess in its lineup.
Tetona Jackson, who portrays Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog,” is currently on tour with the production celebrating the historic catalog of characters seen in Disney’s animated films over the decades. [View clip below.]
“Being able to watch the young kids’ expressions when I get on the ice, to see how excited they are and to know that I represent all of that scares me a little bit,” said Jackson, a skater, actress, singer and dancer. “At the same time I love the fact that I’m in that position.”
A dancer and skater from the age of five years old the 21-year-old had completed a successful run of the Disney on Ice adaptation of High School Musical last year when they offered her the role of Princess Tiana.
Her performances actually began before the film was even finished. Jackson had to watch completed clips of the film to get a sense of who Princess Tiana was as a character and how to convey that on the ice. Before the world saw – or better yet, heard – Anika Noni Rose capture the role, Jackson had already brought her to the ice.
“I didn’t have much to go on before I got to Florida (for rehearsals) to see more about the character,” Jackson said. “I just had to watch the bits and pieces of the movie to get a feel of how Tiana and Naveen are and how they are with each other.”
“I love the character,” Jackson said. “She’s very strong, very independent and a very hardworking person.”
Naturally, being that the film is set in the heart of New Orleans, Princes Tiana is a crucial element of the Mardi Gras Homage that is given during the show. And just as they do each year in “The Big Easy,” Jackson says that the audience can expect big fun.
“It’s a show for everyone to enjoy as much as I enjoy doing the show,” Jackson said.