Les Patineurs (waltz)
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Known in English as The Skaters' Waltz, it was composed in 1882 and was inspired by the Cercle des Patineurs or 'Rink of Skaters' at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. His introduction to the waltz can be likened to the poise of a skater and the glissando notes invoke scenes of a wintry atmosphere. The other themes that follow are graceful and swirling, as if to depict a ring of skaters in their glory. Bells were also added for good measure to complete the winter scenery. It was published by Hopwood & Crew and was dedicated to Ernest Coquelin who was the younger brother of two celebrated actor brothers of the Comédie Française.
Key and structure
The overall key is A major. Among the subsections (Introduction - Waltzes 1, 2, 3 & 4 - Coda) the key alternates between the tonic (A major) and the subdominant (D major).
Use in motion pictures
Les Patineurs Valse has featured in dozens of films from the earliest talkies to the present. These include The Hollywood Revue of 1929, My Favorite Wife, Chariots of Fire, A Simple Wish, My Beautiful Laundrette, Wife vs. Secretary, and many others. It was also played at Rose's "Coming-out" ball in London in the last episode of Season 4 of the TV show Downton Abbey, as well as in the episode "Secret Shopper" of the kids' TV show Fanboy & Chum Chum as the title characters pretended to skate across the wet floors of the Frosty Mart convenience store. It was also used in the original version of the children's television series Pingu in the third episode, The New Arrival, when the midwife is skating to the igloo to help the egg (Pinga) to hatch. It is also on the compilation Andy Williams Christmas Show DVD in a scene from his 1967 Christmas show on television, where Andy and others are skating on an indoor, sound-stage rink made to look like the outdoors; skating tricks were done by professional ice skaters in the Williams 1967 Christmas show.
The Skater's Waltz is also a music record on Nintendogs + Cats.
This piece was remixed in Nintendo's 2005 video game Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix, becoming a song called Rendezvous on Ice that plays when Mario is skating away from an avalanche down a mountain.
This piece was shortened in Sega's 2009 Wii video game Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, which is a figure skating routine.