Monday, February 11, 2013

Skatexpress at Charity Ball

Me and two of my rollerdance partners, Jim and Marjo, had committed to perform an act at the Charity Ball of MAGliss'XS, the profit of which is going to go to the "Toiles Enchantées" association, fighting for cinema to be available to hospitalized children.

"When children cannot go to the movies,
the movies should come to them"


The ball was a skating night with an ice disco preceeded by a show, and took place in the ice rink of Asnières, in the close Parisian suburbs.

In order to rehearse for the performance we were treated to two 3-hour time slots per week for more than a month in a heated room of the ice rink with a huge mirror. Paradise? Almost. The ground is made of plastic puzzle slabs with a slight cushioning. Tiring. But let's not complain! It is good for the thighs and the heart, after all!


The show alternated between single or group, and ice or rollerskating acts. The organization had put the very same puzzle slabs on the ice for the rollerskaters to perform. The surface was only 5 meters deep, which is quite short when you have to take a run-up and jump over the legs or your partners. However we had been warned and had worked on our choreography with full knowledge of the fact... And more!

We were dreading it, and it happenned. With the ambiant cold and humidity characteristic of ice rinks, the slabs were wet and some of them had even frozen! A condition worsened by the ice speed skaters and hockey players who would deposit extra samples of ice on the slabs at the end of each bend during their demos...

Skatexpress: Hip Hop goes Roaring 20's

The ice skaters were at home on a perfect surface while the rollerskaters were struggling on slippery slabs. Which in comparison was belittling rollerskating a lot. The skaters had to carefully test their balance before putting their weight on their legs: the general rendering was overly slow, hesitating and crucially lacked amplitude. Of course. But who's to blame?


We had warned the organization from the beginning though: we would not perform on D-Day if the conditions were not decent at least. The three of us decided in unison that we would not make fools of ourselves and ridicule our discipline with a messy performance.
We activated our neurones to announce it to the organization. The acts were following one another and the deadline was getting closer. I was mockingly suggesting to move the public into the rehearsal room... when Jim had the idea that would save the situation:

"Why not doing it in the entrance?
Let's wait for the end of the show after the finale.
People will have to go past the entrance to rent their skates.
We block them there, put the music on, and do our thing."

It was a 'take it or leave it' suggestion, and they said YES!


We took over the entrance, did that amazing two-part performance halfway between 90's hip-hop and 20's jazz, were acclaimed by the audience and became super rock stars for the night.

the END...*

* ...of the beginning!


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