Lyttelton Arts Factory, Lyttelton

31/10/2020 - 08/11/2020

Production Details



Lyttelton Arts Factory

26 Oxford Street, Lyttelton

November 31, November 1, 6, 7, 8 at 7.30pm

Ticket price: $30.00
Bookings: http://laf.co.nz/shows

Rebound Dance Company comes out of the stables to present Unbridled, an unorthodox representation of race day. 

Rebound Dance Company has made a reputation for itself with innovative, high energy, clever, witty dance theatre performances. The contemporary dance company of mature and very experienced dancers, carries on this tradition, bringing their latest show to Lyttleton Arts Factory.

Under the Artistic Direction of Fleur de Thier, 12 seasoned performers and choreographers return to LAF to present this work of theatre and dance. 

With flamboyant costumes, equestrian humour, a rocking soundtrack, quirky dance and general horsing around, you are promised an entertaining evening.

Having recently celebrated their 10th year anniversary and following on from a sold out season of Hay Bales and Chandeliers, Rebound is ready to break the COVID bubble. 

This high energy, polished and witty show exhibits the skills and life experience this company of mature artists has to offer. 

“Rebound Dance Company is making a significant contribution to recalibrating expectation of what dance performance is and can be”.  Theatreview 2019.

So, come place your bet and be prepared to be thoroughly entertained and a little bit surprised. 


Marg Flyvbjerg


Dance-theatre , Dance , Contemporary dance , Commercial dance ,

1 hour

Dancing in celebration

Review by Dr Ian Lochhead 01st Nov 2020

Raceday is one of the social rituals that has been central to New Zealand culture for more than a century and it is no surprise to find that Christchurch’s Rebound Dance Company has now turned to this Kiwi institution as the starting point for its latest production.  Group behaviour has been an underlying theme in Rebound’s productions over the last decade, ranging from 2016s exploration of marriage rites with Someone Say, “I Do”, to 2018’s Haybales and Chandeliers, a quirky look at partying.  The title for their 2020 production, Unbridled, is appropriate to the horse racing theme, but it also reflects the sense of release from confinement that we have all experienced over the last eight months.  Raceday, of course, is synonymous with dressing up and having a good time, and this is exactly what Rebound’s dancers do.

Getting started is not so easy, especially when lockdowns and social distancing have made dance one of the art forms most impacted by Covid 19.  The evening’s opening sequence finds the company on stage but sound asleep.  Things finally get going when the morning alarm rings, but the conflict between the urge to continue sleeping and the desire to begin the new day produces an ensemble of rising and falling bodies in which pillows become an essential part of the choreography.  Once fully awake breakfast is the ritual to be negotiated, the morning newspaper and the toaster providing the focus for a gentle parody of ‘The Last Supper’.  Nothing is more essential for a race meeting than having a stunning outfit; competitive dressing, with clothes racks brought on stage, provides the impetus for the next sequence, dominated by Andrew Shepherd’s strategically padded and spectacularly wigged drag queen.  Outrageous hats are also expected and Rebound does not disappoint with a range of millinery that would stand out on any racecourse.  With the company now properly dressed for the big day, the races can now begin.

Following the interval the company returns, this time dressed soberly in black but bearing numbers on their backs; the would be spectators have now become the horses they had come to watch.  The choreographic and comic potential of prancing horses is wittily exploited.  This is no common herd but a paddock of individuals that range from a prancing ‘My Little Pony’ to a sleepy nag.  If dressage is not, strictly speaking, a part of the racing calendar, it nevertheless provides an opportunity to explore the dancelike elements of that slightly absurd aspect of equine eventing.  The incongruity of accompanying the horses’ synchronised movements with the galloping rhythms of Rossini’s William Tell overture is brilliantly exploited.  The music as a whole, an eclectic selection that ranges across the spectrum from Shirley Bassey to the Bonanza theme tune, ideally supports the action.Show jumping is not a usual part of horse racing either and the idea that we were at a steeple chase or a hunt is never suggested, but jumping is an essential part of dance and so becomes an integral part of the show. 

If the audience had any thoughts of placing bets on the outcome of the race that provides the culmination of the show, they have plenty of opportunities to assess the form of the thoroughbreds before it finally gets underway.  The eventual result is the dance equivalent of a photo finish, a frozen tableau before a blackout.  If the result of the race remains in doubt, the evening as a whole is a total success.  Rebound’s indefatigable over-40s dancers bring terrific energy and boundless enjoyment to the production, making it difficult to decide whether the audience or the dancers had more fun.  This is an unashamedly light-hearted evening’s entertainment and just the tonic required as we contemplate an uncertain future.  Let’s hope another Rebound production will be part of it.


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