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Glide by day, grind all night – on ice

A white Christmas will always be impossible in Calcutta, but this Valentine’s Day marks the beginning of frosty nights in the city.

If you think it’s ‘cool’ to be spotted at the hottest nightspots, head for Clown Town, at the Garia end of the EM Bypass, next month. Starting February 14, Icicles — the ice-skating rink — will be transformed into a disco after sundown. And no need to skate, either. It is perfectly safe to groove on the ice, but girls in stilettos may want to rethink their footwear.

The 3,200-sq-ft ‘fire on ice’ will be the first of its kind in the country, claim Clown Town officials. “We have a great surface and the right air-conditioning to make this a happening disco,” says Sanjay Maheshwari. At Icicles, the novelty lies in gliding across the ice, instead of Burma teak used for the dance floor at Tantra or the Pergo wood of London Pub.

The low temperature should be one of the high points for club-hoppers now sweating it out on overcrowded dance floors around town. With the temperature below the ice cooled to minus-10 degrees, five feet above the ice will be less than 8 degrees. The temperature over the tiled area — larger than the iced section and also available to dancers — will hover around 13 degrees, as opposed to London Pub or Tantra, where the mercury settles at 18 to 20 degrees.

The disco on ice will kick off this Valentine’s Day with a figure-skating competition, where the dance group Mayhem will perform on skates. But after that, there is no expertise required. Open to members, skating skills are not needed to dance the night away on ice. A bar licence has been applied for and while standard disco lighting and music will be in place for the opening, high-tech “colour changers” will follow in a few months’ time. To start out, it will be open Friday through Sunday. And the weekend response will determine whether weeknights are thrown in.

In future, the two-month-old ice-skating rink will see other entertainment events, as well. “Since the sport is new to the city, we have to let patrons get used to skating first,” explains Maheshwari. But soon, Merchants’ Cup Ice Hockey and figure-skating competitions may figure on the ‘to do’ list at Icicles.

Clown Town, already playing host to corporate parties, is looking at “value addition rather than bulk visitors”. It has its eye on around 300 nightclub crawlers, while Tantra sees a footfall of around 1,100 on Saturday nights and London Pub’s head count touches 800.

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