The Canadian company brings a unique form of contemporary dance to this month’s Melbourne Festival.

In 2005, a group of former figure skaters in Montreal, Canada decided to turn their back on the sequins and scoreboards of competitive skating and explore a new form of contemporary ice dancing under the moniker Le Patin Libre, meaning “free skate”.

“We didn’t really know what Le Patin Libre was going to be. All we knew was that we wanted to break free from the constraints of the competitions and show business. So at the beginning it was just funny and rebellious with a bit of teenage spirit to it,” recalls Alexandre Hamel, one of the original founding members.

Over the first five years, skaters came and went and the project gradually evolved. The current line-up has been together since 2011 and now tours regularly internationally, thrilling audiences with its unique, signature performance style, which combines the subversive wit of street dance and the technical virtuosity of contemporary movement with the adrenaline-infused speed, athleticism and grace of ice skating. Le Patin Libre makes its Australian debut this month when it performs Vertical Influencesat the Melbourne Festival.

Le Patin...