Note: The following review dates from April 2001 and this production's earlier London run at The Roundhouse.
Bounce is a raucous, predictably high-energy celebration of the myriad forms of street dance. The bass lines pump out and run through you, and the choreography is vibrant throughout. It's impossible not to like this show.
Anthony van Laast directs a fabulously acrobatic ensemble, the five-year-old Swedish Bounce Streetdance Company. Sixteen performers are listed in the program, but I counted thirteen artists the night I attended.
The arena is a large convex raised stage, and in Lez Brotherston's production design, it upholds platforms, staircases and levered tables while offering a generous space for the company's breaking, body popping, and even swing dances.
Indeed, just when one thinks that the show is strictly "for young people by young people", several homages to past eras burst through. A Big Band number finds the dancers changed out of their hip-hop baggy outfits and into pinstripe suits and broad hats. Later, a lovely 1970s disco/funk piece allows for brassy clothes and huge permed hairstyles, especially when it comes to Afro wigs.
Among a series of dazzling solo turns, Damon Frost raps and wows with some muscular locking, while Sonic and WilPower, their shell suits a-shining, deliver some brilliant breakdancing.
Prepare for 75 minutes of high volume music, and surrender to the exuberance of a dance company who break sweat, continually stretch their limbs in directions most mortals would find impossible, and communicate great joy in the fluidity and potential of the human frame.
Paul B Cohen