Alternative Skating with Le Patin Libre
If you haven't heard of Le Patin Libre yet, now is the time to check them out. They are quietly shaking up the skating world by creating their very own underground world of show skating. A mix of alternative lifestyles and thinking outside of the box, the artists of Le Patin Libre are making some amazing frozen waves. Pensive audience members are left to reflect on their unique live performances that can inspire any skater to find their very own niche in the sport. They are here to prove a point: your days of skating don't have to end as soon as your competition days are over. Their dedication and raw belief in their own on-ice creations is so pure they don't even feel the need to convince others to believe in what they are doing. They know it's right for them.
Could you please introduce Le Patin Libre to our readers?
Alex: Le Patin Libre is a contemporary ice skating company from Montréal, in Canada. We are completely unknown in the figure skating world, but we do about 150 shows per year, mostly for international contemporary dance festivals. Our skaters are Pascale Jodoin, Jasmin Boivin, Taylor Dilley, Samory Ba and myself, Alexandre Hamel. Our style mixes the virtuosity of figure skating with the processes of contemporary dance: long research, questionning everything, lots of experimentation. We feel like what we do is an art form. It is poetic and about self-expression, only. It is impossible to judge or evaluate with a point system. Our shows can only be judged subjectively, which means "with emotions". We propose it as it is. You can like it or not, be moved or not... that's it!
How was Le Patin Libre created?
Alex: After my competitive career as a figure skater and a short pro career in Disney On Ice and other traditional ice shows, I felt like I still wanted to skate. However, I wanted to do it my way, away from the strict demands of competitions and commercial show-business. So, I started a little skating band, with a few friends I was training within elite figure skating schools in Canada. We were all on the "alternative" side. We were very inspired by the freedom and creativity of urban dances and contemporary dance. We wanted to show that figure skaters could also do clever, cool and innovative stuff. Our first shows were done outdoors, on frozen ponds. We literally did the equivalent of street performances, during the winter carnivals organized in small cities of Quebec. It was a very modest and cold beginning!
What does the name 'Le Patin Libre' mean and why was it chosen as the name of your group?
Alex: It means "The Liberated Skate". I let you figure out why...