by Zoe Wolfe, 11th Grade, Hunter College High School
Dance is an interesting form of performance. Virtually any type of movement can be classified as “dance”. In UBA Bounce (UBA is pronounced oo-ba), the chosen form of movement is – no, not bouncing – rolling. The performers slide, glide, twirl and even walk on large exercise balls and circus globes. This style of movement is very intriguing. It’s not commonly used outside of the circus, but it clearly has its place in this dance piece. Using the balls gives the dancers freedom that feeds into a playful quality. In one dance, the performers dive off of the balls over and over again. It is clear that they are thoroughly enjoying themselves.This deliberate carefree-ness, however, is not followed through in all of the dances. In many, it seems as though the balls have control over the dancers, forcing the dancers to struggle with the balls. This struggle is apparent from the moment the lights come up. We see a dancer standing on a green ball, trying to be as still as possible and yet quivering with a look of two parts concentration and one part horror on her face. While I understand that working with rolling objects is hard, as an audience member, I don’t want to see the work that the performers have to put in.
UBA Bounce is presented as a series of dances. While each one is good in its own way, they do not work together as a cohesive piece. All in all, UBA Bounce is like many shows at the Fringe Festival; it shows much promise, but it isn’t quite there yet.
Schedule and ticket information here.