Vertical Influences

Le Patin Libre present, in their latest show Vertical Influences, an innovative visual spectacle, the likes you will have never seen before. This Canadian company reinvent our ideas and perceptions of figure skating as they turn this sport into a performative art form through their two pieces Influences and Vertical.

We become shocked and mesmerised as they skate up close, staring us down, causing an array of responses and emotions from the audience, and an awe-inspiring atmosphere.

One of the biggest challenges this company faces, in trying to reinvent the art of figure skating, is how to transform a bland and freezing cold ice rink into a theatrical space. In their first piece called Influences, the audience are positioned on one side of the rink and we watch the performance from above. The idea for this first piece is that the performers are individually and as a group trying to find harmony. This seems to resonate with us as an audience as we are trying to get used to the idea of sitting in an ice rink watching art, while they experiment and get used to the space.

However, although this first piece is beautiful to watch, it's only a starter to whet our appetites. By being positioned above the skaters, it means we feel very distanced and out of the loop; their movements and tricks don't come across as spectacular as they might do otherwise.

But in the second half the group really comes alive. We change position and are made to sit on chairs on the actual ice. Our whole perspective of these skaters changes as we share eye level with them, turning the stage into a deep, vast space. There are some truly spectacular moments as the performers can now play off the audience. We become shocked and mesmerised as they skate up close, staring us down, causing an array of responses and emotions from the audience, and an awe-inspiring atmosphere.

This is a show which feels somewhat in its infancy as the group continue to experiment with turning an ice rink into a theatrical space. However, their graceful movements and beautiful choreography means that we can definitely expect to see even greater things from them in the future. 

Reviews by Emily Blackwell

Assembly at Murrayfield Ice Rink

Vertical Influences

★★★★
C venues - C

17

★★★
Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Bing Bang Bong

★★★
C venues - C nova

Womenswear

★★★
C venues - C nova

Picasso Stole the Mona Lisa

★★
The Famous Spiegeltent

Shakespeare in the Garden: Cheer Up, Hamlet

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The Canadian iconoclastic ice skaters return to the Fringe with a new double-bill sharing their signature mix of movement, wit, speed and grace. In Influences, the performers play with how our body language can influence others, even with just a glance. In the second piece, Vertical, audiences are invited to view the artists up close, with seating on the ice. The virtuosity of award-winning figure skating joyfully meets the attitude of street dance and the sophistication of contemporary performance. 'A pure body rush of liberation and space. Astounding' ***** (Guardian).