Le Patin Libre is a Canadian contemporary ice skating company. You can watch their show Vertical on Scenesaver here. We spoke to Alexandre Hamel, Founder and Artistic Director about how the pandemic has impacted their work.
Our works mostly tour in Arts Festivals and theatres that present contemporary dance. We transform ice-hockey rinks into pop-up theatres. We also host festive events turning these rinks into accessible community spaces where people can meet our artists, dance, learn a bit of ice-skating and explore our choreographic technique.
In mid-March, when the pandemic hit Europe, we were touring in France. The remaining shows of the tour were cancelled and we rapidly switched return-home flight tickets for our artists and technicians. Back in Montreal (Canada), a local tour was cancelled. We also had to postpone two creation residencies for our new upcoming work. We unfortunately expect negative impacts on our next Fall/Winter tours of the 20/21 season.
Our company is like a little family and it is sad to be separated without knowing when we will be together again. All of us are positive and patient people, so we are using this time-off as an opportunity to think, work on other things and create:
Alex and Pascale did quite a lot of skating during their quarantine. In late March, lakes were still frozen in Quebec. A video came out of this:
Taylor is with his family, renovating buildings and enjoying the local wilderness.
Samory dances on roller skates quite a lot.
Jasmin is working on music, as always. He created pretty amazing tracks.
Le Patin Libre is still alive and well, just on pause. We are ready for a big change in how art will be created and shared with audiences. I know the current crisis is tragic and sad but I can’t help seeing change as a good thing. Our artistic community had a lot of things to question anyway.