Skate Night! ICE Rink Opening

The irony’s not lost on Alexandre Hamel that Le Patin Libre, the ice-skating group he founded, is making its American debut in Houston. “We’re doing ice skating in Texas?” he laughs. “We’re going so far south…you wouldn’t think about ice skating in Texas, but we’ll be there.” Le Patin Libre, of Montreal, is performing here as part of Skate Night! ICE Rink Opening, the official launch of Discovery Green’s annual holiday attraction. “We’re bringing a short performance for the opening of the rink,” Hamel tells us. “After the performance, there’ll be an ice dancing party and we’ll be part of it. Also, we’ll have some surprises through the night.”

Surprises seem to be a Le Patin Libre signature. Composed mostly of ex-figure skaters, the group has brought a new sensibility and style to the ice. “We competed at a professional level, and then we performed with Holidays on Ice and Disney on Ice. We got bored with that and we wanted to do something different, something that felt better, more personal.

"I started this collective in 2006 to be able to experiment with new things. We’re still using the traditional movements of figure skating — jumps and rotations and spins in the air — but it’s done in a different spirit, in a way that’s more vibrant. There’s a lot of freedom in what we’re doing now, which was what was lacking in what we were doing before.”

Also on the program is an appearance by Olympic gold medalist Chad Hedrick, an illuminated ArtX art car parade and ice carving by Reverend Butter.

6 to 10 p.m. 1500 McKinney. For information, call 713‑434‑7465 or visit discoverygreen.com/ice. Free.
Tue., Nov. 25, 6-10 p.m., 2014

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Olivia Flores Alvarez