Glisse on Ice: they found the solution to skate and entertain everywhere
Glisse on Ice creates fully designed skating shows on a portable synthetic ice surface. (Credits: Glisse on Ice)
Have you ever imagined being able to skate out of a traditional ice rink? This is the idea of Glisse on Ice. With a portable synthetic ice surface, the award-winning company travels internationally to celebrate any type of event. We met the Glisse on Ice creator Chantal Fry, she tells us everything.
Chantal Fry: I created Glisse on Ice to bring the art of skating to places you least expect. The Glisse shows are magnificent moving visuals that capture the sheer creative beauty of figure skating. We perform hundreds of shows a year for corporate galas, fundraisers, festivals and weddings and have won best event entertainment several years in a row. For the past two years, Glisse on Ice has created and performed a show in a gorgeous castle in Toronto for the winter holidays. The Glisse skaters are highly trained professional athletes, acrobats and performers. New this year, we have developed an online skating boutique specializing in high quality apparel made in Canada at www.glisseonice.com.
In which countries do the shows take place?
Glisse on Ice performs shows across Canada in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, in France and in Miami, New York, Chicago and Boston for now. Although the Glisse studio is in Toronto, we receive requests from all over the world and look forward to exploring them soon.
How did you get this idea?
As a little girl in Canada, I fell in love with skating. The best feeling in the world is the cool wind on your face and the sound of skate blades to ice. I gravitated to the creative side of the sport and trained in both Lake Placid and France with extraordinary choreographers. As my competitive career came to a close, I was devastated to not be able to skate every day. So the show world called me! When my twins were born in France, touring became complicated, so once again I struggled with not being able to skate every day. It was at that time that I felt that it was an interesting concept to bring skating out of the context of a skating rink and among other great art forms. The only way to do that was using synthetic ice.
And then the concept has developed…
Having the freedom to express ideas and emotion through movement is even more rewarding when done with others. As a single skater, you find yourself alone on the ice. In shows, however, you get to collaborate as an ensemble and that was incredibly inspiring. Meeting other skaters with the same passion, grew the idea to full productions and so Glisse on Ice was born. The reward is always seeing how enchanted our audiences are when they can see how much we love to skate. Glisse on Ice was born in 2005. After several successful tours, I had an opportunity in Cannes (FRA) to perform on a synthetic ice surface. It was such a different feeling but I loved the idea of taking skating out of its context and skating in gorgeous unexpected venues! A few years later I designed my first custom synthetic ice surface and introduced the concept in Canada. We are now an award winning event entertainment company in North America.
I loved being on a synchronized skating team when I was young, but my coaches at the time felt it interfered with my competitive goals. I think that was a big mistake! I absolutely loved the camaraderie with my team and working together for a common goal. The techniques and synchronized movements I learned were a great asset in show skating. Later when I brought Glisse on Ice to Toronto I worked with several champion Synchronized skaters from Canada, one of them has even gone on to create OneTeam Movement! I am a great supporter of the sport and believe it deserves a spot at the Olympics! I continue to hire synchronized skaters for my shows because not only do they have great technique, they also understand how to work as a team and that is incredibly important.
Are you now looking for skaters?
Absolutely, Glisse on Ice is currently recruiting figure skaters. I encourage all skaters to reach out to me through our website www.glisseonice.com and get to know the types of shows we produce. Then through our online portal in the contact section, they can submit their skating experiences, social media handles and video links. This year, we will be holding information sessions and auditions competitions. Keep checking our website for updates.
How is a Glisse on Ice show organized and what are the artists asked for?
Over the years I have developed a very efficient process for the Glisse on Ice shows. However, live events are unpredictable and artists have to be able to adapt to that. No two shows are ever the same! Years of training are important, but spontaneity and a feel for performance are the most important element. Ultimately it is the performers' responsibility to dazzle the audience doing what they love. There is a period of adjustment when I train skaters to transition from the ice to our synthetic surface and that happens prior to rehearsals in our Glisse studio. We are lucky to perform in luxurious venues, so our dressing rooms are plush couches and marble tables. But don't let that fool you its hard work!
Over the years I have skated on every single synthetic ice surface available in the world and decided to custom make the Glisse surface with a trusted Canadian Manufacturer. We were able to devise a portable system that perfectly meets the needs of figure skaters and use this surface exclusively for our shows. So many skaters are looking for this experience that we are currently making it available ti buy on our site You can learn more about it on our website www.glisseonice.com/shop
Which partners have you already worked with?
Great question! Especially since collaboration is the key to every success story! I have been fortunate to work with Canadian and French Synchronized skaters. Many professional show skaters who have performed on cruise ships, Disney and Holiday on Ice as well as National champions, like Josee Chouinard. I have a deep respect for figure skaters and the training they go through. Their commitment to the sport is inspiring. I have also worked with The Cirque du Soleil, The Ritz Carlton, St Tropez, Luminato, Celine Dion, Le Lido de Paris, several music festivals, Casa Loma, The Rom, Sick kids Foundation, The Blue Jays, The Maple Leafs, Les Mairies de France and the most gorgeous hotels and ballrooms in major cities across Canada.
Thank you Chantal for this interview! We wish you all the best with Glisse on Ice!
Learn more about Glisse on Ice