Guest blogger Linda Parry tells us all about Stockholm’s Dance Group Bounce and their upcoming visit to Hong Kong. Linda’s excitement about Bounce already has us anticipating their arrival. Hope you enjoy her piece titled “So you think you can dance”!
These days it seems like there is so much in the form of dance out there (films, shows, TV programmes and schools) that it can sometimes feel as if we’re on the verge of getting a bit jaded. Which is why I was so excited to see that the Swedish street dance group Bounce were coming to town, this once old school dance group have been going for over 12 years and throughout these years they have put on an astounding 12 main performances, incorporating a fusion of dance styles and taking nothing for granted. They have worked incredibly hard at keeping things fresh and interesting.
The performance they are bringing to Hong Kong this November is Insane in the Brain, a theatrical dance interpretation of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest based on the play by Dale Wasserman and the book by Ken Kesey. The story is set in a mental institution and deals with human behaviour within constraints. Bounce has taken this story and transferred it in to an extraordinary performance full of energy, passion and with sizzling choreography. My personal interest in this group hails back to over ten years ago when I attended a dance course back in Sweden one summer and the instructor was the amazing Ambra Succi from Bounce. I can barely remember any of the steps we learnt during that course but the enthusiasm and power that emanated from this petite woman was astounding. Since then I have followed Bounce with a fervour that probably borderlines on addiction (which makes me more than suitable to write about this particular performance) and when I heard that they were coming to HK I nearly fainted with anticipation (I have seen this show before but have already bought my ticket for this one, it is so good). Luckily I didn’t faint and I managed to secure an interview with my personal queen of street Ambra herself. So after finally catching each other on Skype we exchanged pleasantries and got down to the nitty gritty.
Ambra is a dedicated dancer and has been on the move since she was 15 years old, she is now 35 and have successfully set up her own dance school in Stockholm where she dedicates her time to teaching the art she loves. As one of the founding members of Bounce she has over the last 12 years spent hours upon hours together with like minded and inspiring personalities creating some of the best street dance shows around. When asked about what it’s like working together as a group where more or less everyone has a very strong personality she says it is like a democracy. The person who shouts the loudest gets heard the most, but they also view it as working with a child. The show is their baby.
From scratch a performance takes about nine months to complete. In the beginning they’d all sit down somewhere quiet and talk for hours, juggling ideas, good and bad, in order to get the ball rolling. Of course everyone in the group tends to think that their ideas are the best but this is where Bounce differs, everyone is working towards the greater good of the show and ego’s are ultimately left behind. By the end it is impossible to tell who has done what exactly. That is why they never publish a choreographer for their shows, because when it’s all done and dusted all of their ideas have merged and not one person alone can take credit, they work brilliantly as a team.
This whole notion of teamwork seems to permeate most of what Bounce does, they started from nothing and with no guidance. It was their passion for dance and the lack of recognition for their style of dancing that ignited the idea and they ran with it. When asked about her inspiration Ambra simply says that everything can be inspiring. Her daughter constantly inspires her (she was only away from dancing for two months during and after pregnancy, now that’s dedication), as well as the students she teaches, all the people that surround her, and of course, music. On a more professional level she refers to US choreographer Mia Michaels as someone she admires. But she’s never had an idol as such.
Now, after 12 years of hard work and several successes Bounce have decided that it is time to wrap it up and for everyone to follow their individual dreams. Hence their last choreographed performance The Last Bounce was shown in Stockholm, to a packed arena, back in April this year. When asked about this last piece of choreography Ambra acknowledges that this last year was a sad one, with lots of hard work and some denial. Even though she now says the feeling of loss has diminished it was incredibly difficult to put this performance together, but wildly exhilarating to be able to go out on such a high with five sold out performances in the city where it all started.
So, it is with an exalted heart that I urge everyone to go and see this performance at the Lyric Theatre (Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts) as it may well be the last chance you have of catching this group in action. They are currently finishing off their pre-booked performances but after that, they are no more. And I promise you; you don’t want to miss this!
The show is on 23rd November – 28th November and tickets can be purchased at www.hkticketing.com and prices start at HK$195/ticket.
Photo Copyright: Bounce