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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

BOUNCE (article first published : 2005-08-17)

Wow … wow … and wow!

This evening I sat transfixed as a high voltage group of young performers blasted their way through Bounce at the comfortable and spacious Izulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom.

If you’re a fan of breakdancing, you’ll go ballistic with delight. If you like movement forms with a high level of energy and discipline, you’ll be completely fulfilled. If you enjoy physical theatre with a huge dollop of fun, this one’s for you!

If, like me, you thought breakdance a rather weird kind of way of throwing the body around in jerky movements, you’ll be entertained … and educated!

Bounce is described as a “streetdance sensation … a synthesis between modern-academic dance and hip-hop” thus creating “an inventive new way of dealing with hip-hop dance.” The setting has an industrial feel with metal platforms, railings, wire mesh and wooden boards. A rusty extractor fan placed high at the back of the stage adds to the impression of a disused warehouse.

Bounce aims to “show the history and culture of hip-hop with funk, jazz, nightclub dance, disco soul from the 70’s, the first raps of Grandmaster Flash, and the MC Hammer dance to the black street culture in a free associative form.” Well, if this happened it went way over my head but aficionados in the audience obviously sussed out what was going on and responded with joy.

I have no idea what “popping” is or “boogaloo” although swing and tap are old dance style friends. What I do know is that this cast of 15 put in astonishing performances of an extremely high level of competence.

During the breakdance sequences, bodies appeared to hang in the air for seconds before they renewed their vigorous choreography. Whirling bodies spinning on their heads for what seemed impossible periods had me astounded. Leaping figures arise from inert positions, galvanised into action while dancers clad in hooded tracksuits became truncated beings as their movements kept them close to the ground.

There is much fun in the show and this you can understand whether you are 6 or 60. The humorous interaction shows the stamp of acclaimed director Anthony van Laast whose work we saw last year in Durban in Mamma Mia!

Presented by BIG Concerts, Vodacom, Metro FM, GHFM and eTV, Bounce! is on the last leg of its South African tour. Durban performances take place from August 16 to 21 at the Izulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom, which is barely ten minutes north of Umhlanga.

Booking is at Computicket. Tickets R170 in Durban. – Caroline Smart

”Bounce” supports Unite Against Hunger, a crisis food relief programme, spearheaded by food and healthcare giant Tiger Brands. This worthy project feeds over 108,000 children every month.




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