Canadian ice dancing show This Is Contemporary Ice Skating visits 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
- Lucy Ribchester
- 30 July 2014
This article is from 2014.
Unconventional troupe promise 'tap-skating' and acrobatics on ice followed by a party after every performance
‘We're not cerebral artsy-fartsy intellectuals,’ says Alexandre Hamel, founder of ice-skating troupe Le Patin Libre, and one of the performers in their show This Is Contemporary Ice Skating. ‘Far from that. But through the fun of the event, we believe deeply that the performance introduces a new unique art.’
Unique certainly sums up the Montreal-based company (whose name translates as ‘The Free Skate’). Kicked out of multiple skating schools for refusing to adhere to the ‘extremely conservative’ culture, they developed their style on Quebec’s frozen ponds and set their sights on changing perceptions of ice skating. Their show promises ‘acrobatic performance style’ and segments entitled ‘tap-skating’ and ‘the underwear opera’.
But there is a serious side to the medium. ‘Ice allows glide,’ says Hamel. ‘On normal stages an artist must walk, crawl, run, jump. On the ice, a body can be moving at 40km per hour. This makes skating magical to watch – a bit like flight.’
Each performance is followed by a party, and Hamel is keen to point out that having two left feet should be no barrier to joining in. ‘I'm a clumsy person. My girlfriend is ashamed of me on dance floors. But on the ice, everything changes.’
Murrayfield Ice Rink, 07532 181402, 3 & 4, 9–11, 13, 17, 20, 22 & 23 Aug, times vary, £15 (£13; family ticket £38).