Posts Tagged: Somerset House

Vertical by Le Patin Libre

Watching Le Patin Libre perform was an incredible experience one much like encountering a flock of birds glide into the the freedom of the sky. The 5 performers each bringing an individual presence when entering the clean slate of ice, seeming to act as one moving effortlessly around the ice like a pendulum clock arms swinging from side to side with refined seamless speed.

Filling the surface with patterns and designs, bringing an aspects of playing or competing with the audience each one reacting off each other inviting the audience to feel included. Introducing themselves though their skating, individually showing there character and style. Even though the ice and weather was cold they keep your full attention, eyes dazed at the swiftness of their performance so much that it makes you want to watch it all over again.

There are some humorous parts, bits wear you are filled with nervous tension as they leap, turn and dance across the ice. By the end of the piece the once clean slate of ice now consists of many configurations and trails, sliced, slashed segments of ice. The blue and pink lights enhance the amazing surrounding architecture of Somerset House contrasting with the white, grey and yellow of the costumes. The lighting making the piece sometimes unreal, bold, dark, cold faced figures advancing towards you then a delicate skater drifting across the surface of the ice. The sounds created by the skates cutting and slicing though the ice creating percussion as well as movement and the patterns curved into the ice each aspect brought something to an inspiration for performance.

The performance length was just right, suiting the weather perfectly on the day I happened to watch it. However the only criticism I might have for future performances is the length, which I think should be extended or stretch out when being performed in inside spaces or warmer temperatures. Apart from this there is nothing I disliked about the performance and I would highly recommend it to anyone. From watching the Vertical it gave me a completely different idea of how two art forms can be made into one seamless piece not even that the ice – skating and dancing came out at different parts but they seemed to combine the two so well that it created a new art form. What also interested me and inspired me was the use of personality that came though with in the performance from each artist. How they portrayed themselves though out the dance is something that I really want to look into and bring into my work a so feel it brings the audience so much closer to the piece and leaves them feeling like they actually know who was on the stage not just a butch of artists performing a piece to entertain an audience.

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Vertical

Le Patin Libre: Vertical 
At Somerset House 14th January 2016
Maisie Sadgrove

On Thursday evening we made our way to Somerset House to watch a performance of contemporary ice skating. This was the extent of my prior knowledge. The ice rink was a smooth glossy platform lit by purples and blues surrounded by the royal like architecture of Somerset House. The five dancers (four men and one woman) entered their clear canvas in casual clothing, tones of yellow, grey and white. As they stand in stillness the outside air blows their shirts in the wind.

As the piece began it was hard to not notice the marks being made upon the ice by the blades of their shoes. Some were clear and direct, some at an angle churning up the ice like piles of dust. The ice became a conscious element of the piece evolving with the movement being performed upon it. By chance as the wind blew throughout the piece the excess fragments of ice blew swept across the floor which created a beautiful layer to the setting. The dancers, unlike your usual performance on ground, could weave seamlessly in and out of formations standing like statues. The gliding was effortless and almost hypnotising. At times the expeditious spinning and gravity defying jumps were terrifying as an audience member but they showed great skill and ability throughout the whole piece.

A clear humanity was emitted from the dancers through their focus. They gave a sense of individuality with alternating solos and differentiating qualities. Despite this they came together harmoniously in times of unison. Their connection between one another allowed them to speed up and slow down without a second glance. The fusion of contemporary and skating was structured seamlessly showing no division. Whilst watching the dancers I was curious what came first, the contemporary or the ice skating, because both were executed so well.

The connection with the audience really eradicated the fourth wall usually holding boundary between front facing audiences and performance. There was personality and playfulness and it was clear the dancers enjoyed the performance just as much as their audience.

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