NAC Dance steps from the concert stage to centre ice! Le Patin Libre is a Canadian collective of professional skaters who are breathing new energy into skating by bringing urban street dance and high-level artistic expression to contemporary skating. Vertical Influences, co-produced by NAC Dance, Festival Dance Umbrella (London, UK) and Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), received its world premiere in London in October 2014.
Writing in The Guardian (October 30, 2014), dance critic Judith Mackrell said, “The wonderfully fresh and inventive Canadian group Le Patin Libre are worth the wait: a quintet of bearded, dreadlocked, baggy-jeaned dancers who spark with movement ideas that I’ve never seen on ice before, let alone on stage. The group are former championship skaters and at moments they remind us of the fact, pulling off dizzying spins and spiralling arabesques with a fine insouciance. But much of Vertical Influences plays with choreography and imagery that rinses viewers of all conventional expectations. All five are joyously engaging performers, communicating a pure body rush of liberation and space. Vertical Influences is one of those rare shows I could willingly have sat through all over again.”
Disappointed with the lack of opportunities for self-expression and artistic endeavors in the figure skating business, the artists who formed Le Patin Libre quit the world for which they had trained for many years. They now use their skating skills as an artistic vocabulary, exactly as dancers use their dancing skills.
Le Patin Libre is proud to initiate many of its spectators to the joys of contemporary performance art with a cool attitude and the virtuosity of world-class skaters. NAC Dance is equally proud to have co-produced this exciting work.