Bounce: Insane in the Brain
- Kelly Apter
- 15 October 2009
A streetdance retelling of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
It took the members of Swedish streetdance company Bounce a while to come up with their name – but once you see them in action, you realise it’s the perfect choice. Their energetic re-working of the 1975 film, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest finds the dancers pounding up and down on mattresses, bungee jumping against walls and generally putting their bodies through the wringer. Yet, in over a decade, the seven dancers who founded Bounce have never had a serious injury.
‘The original Bouncers have been healthy all the way for 12 years,’ says the company’s producer Annica Sigfridsson, ‘and fingers crossed that will continue. Of course they have small injuries or their back will hurt, but they’re still out there on stage every night.’ Not only does Insane in the Brain demonstrate the incredible physical technique of the Bounce dancers, it also gives them an opportunity to show off some characterisation.
Playing a group of psychiatric patients, bullied by the all-seeing Nurse Ratched, the dancers pop, lock, crump and break their way through scenarios that are both witty and poignant. Operating as a collective, Bounce has no leader – just seven members who direct and choreograph everything between them. As producer, is Sigfridsson ever used as an outside eye?
‘Sometimes they’ll ask my opinion, but most of the time they decide everything by themselves,’ she says. ‘Although if they don’t ask, and I believe I have something to say, I’ll tell them – this doesn’t work, I don’t understand it, can you make a change? And they’re all good listeners, they always take on board other people’s opinions.’
Having found innovative ways to portray the Jack Nicholson film through dance (with the odd deviation, such as a hilarious Flashdance pastiche that is worth the ticket price alone), the Bounce team was committed to keeping the story’s sad, but liberating denouement intact. ‘We’ve been asked to change the ending, but we won’t do it,’ says Sigfridsson. ‘Because it would be like making an excuse for the story that’s just been told. So no, take it or leave it, this is how it is.’
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Sat 24–Mon 26 Oct; Macrobert, Stirling, Thu 29–Sat 31 Oct