Dance troupe ages with grace and suppleness

Dancers Serena Gallagher and Andrew Shepherd (front) with the Rebound Dance Company, perform at Arts Festival Dunedin. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Dancers Serena Gallagher and Andrew Shepherd (front) with the Rebound Dance Company, perform at Arts Festival Dunedin. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A Christchurch dance company is proving advancing years shall not stop the movement.

The Rebound Dance Company is made up of dancers aged from 44 to 71, who continue to take the stage for a discipline many would associate with the young.

The company's oldest member can still so the splits and perform headstands, choreographer Fleur de Thier says.

The company performed Born Out of Curiosity as part of Arts Festival Dunedin at the Mayfair Theatre last night, and will again tonight.

The company, which included dance teachers and former professional dancers, had been going for almost 10 years, de Thier said, and its members kept fit and supple though dance.

''We all do other stuff too, we all do yoga and go to the gym.

''We don't treat this as a hobby, we treat this as a really great opportunity to perform.''

The company was formed after de Thier decided in her late 30s she could not dance professionally any more alongside young dancers.

''So I decided not to put myself through that any more, went through a wee grieving phase, and then discovered some other dancers that felt the same way.

''We went 'let's form a group and reinvent ourselves'.''

The company coped with the physicality of dance by managing their bodies better and knowing their limitations.

''We still challenge ourselves, but we have decided that we are here for the long haul, so we know when to stop thrashing our bodies.

''We also know how to tap into who we are as people who, being older, know who they are.

The show, de Thier said, was split into three works.

''All three works celebrate quite different aspects of being older.''

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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