About Face - Rebound Dance Company

Downstage Theatre, Wellington

10/06/2012 - 10/06/2012

Production Details

Rebound was established in 2009 as a vehicle for experienced dancers, aged 40+ to return to the stage. The company at present has 11 performers, including dancers from NZ School of Dance and Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Rebound is well known for creating versatile and entertaining shows, and specialise in Jazz and Contemporary dance.

‘About Face’ features contemporary pieces and Bob Fosse Jazz numbers by Tracy Scott and well known Christchurch choreographer Fleur de Thier. This new show promises to be an entertaining evening that celebrates who we are.

1 hour

Fit, Fabulous and almost Fifty

Review by Virginia Kennard 11th Jun 2012

Rebound Dance Company consists of 11 ex-professional dancers in their naughty forties, reinvigorating their passion for performance. Their show, About Face, consists of mostly jazzy dances and includes two Bob Fosse numbers, well placed at the opening and closing of the programme. Rich Man’s Frug introduces the audience to the sexiness of these men and women, the tentative cast warming into their heels and evening wear. Closing with classic musical theatre number Bye Bye Blackbird, the night ends on a dynamic high, with the cast clearly having a blast. 

In between each work, video projection is screened of the company. First up, a trailer for the company’s performances, seems rather redundant within the performance proper. Biographic vignettes of the company members are interspersed throughout the programme, perhaps  enabling costume changes. These clips are entertaining and they affirm the company’s ethos, but are rather dance school-esque.

The final clip, Blossom, by Fleur de Thier and Sean James, is a sublime film dedicated to Sheryl Robinson, a recently deceased founding member of Rebound. The blend of soft tones, the drifting away from the camera of the performers and the field setting, the use of stillness and blossoms interspersed with heightened choreographies, makes for a touching work. It has an almost Dressing for Death feel in a very sensitive way.

Sheryl’s choreography One is remounted in this performance, a goddess/pagan-like celebration of dance power. Heavy on the use of the cannon, the performers embrace the jazz-lyrical nature of the work.

Fleur de Thier presents two live works, Out of the Box and Oasis. The former is a duet with a glorious connection between the two performers, with a shared stool giving a sense of a grounding to their relationship, whilst enabling a sense of risk within their partnering.  The simply crafted choreography is assisted with a wonderful clarity in the lighting design.

de Thier opens the latter work with juicy movement and verve, a piece created for a Christchurch Earthquake benefit concert. The group emerges to haunting violins in another lyrical jazz number with its quota of unison ensemble. The sense of falling, extending, and traversing sideways in the vocabulary is enjoyable to watch, as is the quiet ending.

Tom Thumb, choreographed by Paul Jenden (from Fairy Stories) is a theatrical character solo performed with excellent comic timing by Tracy Scott. Her later choreography From Scratch uses an engaging modern dance aesthetic, with clipped movement and flexed feet which match the drumbeat soundtrack.

About Face is what is says on the poster – a celebration of dance that highlights the performance qualities of the dancers. It is not about the steps but how one feels whilst watching, and certainly there is a strong focus on performative energies.  


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