Cindy Cummings, Nick Bryson, Chloe de Buyl Pisco, Maggie Harvey; Photo: Brian MacDomhnaill

REBUS poster

REBUS poster

Cindy Cummings, Nick Bryson, Maggie Harvey; Photo: AH

Nick Bryson, Cindy Cummings; Photo: Brian MacDomhnaill

Maggie Harvey, Chloe de Buyl Pisco, Cindy Cummings, Nick Bryson

 REBUS was a performance/research project based at the Granary Theatre (Cork) under the direction of dance artist Cindy Cummings. The idea for the project REBUS emerged from the desire to create an ongoing, contemporary dance practice which specifically engaged in questioning technical/compositional forms in a group context. As part of this evolving process, live performances were staged at regular intervals, inviting an audience into the process to witness risk in action. This structure created a feedback loop that provided momentum for development and transformation, which allowed the players to redefine themselves as performing artists.


‘REBUS...adventures in new dance performance’ was more than a dance performance. Dance is the common language between the performers but the uniqueness of REBUS as a performance experience is the improvised merging of the individual art forms live. The focus of this work lay within images collectively created by the artists involved. The foundation for the resulting images in a live context was the regular studio practice where the idea for each performance structure was sourced. REBUS used the performance space as a 4 dimensional canvas, the movement, sound & light in real time creating a constantly changing landscape. The overall score of each evening’s composition was agreed beforehand and so all players understood the themes underlying the movement, the use of space, and the quality of sound, the colour, position and intensity of light. What transpired when these elements were improvising together in front of a live audience was a singularly unique event. Even with repeated performances, each one following the same basic score/composition, the real time compositions, when combined with the flow of communication/attention from a live audience, were a ‘one of a kind’ experience. This was a key element in the development of REBUS’ performance/practice, exposing audience and performer alike to the possibility of discovery and risk.


REBUS involved the rich cross-pollination of ideas through professional practice and performance by: dance artists Maggie Harvey, Nick Bryson, Chloe de Buyl Pisco, Jools Gilson, Jane Kellaghan, Sarah Gash and Ursula Chapman; sound artist Neil C. Smith, percussionist Dave Boyd; dance and visual artist Inma Moya; ; sound artists Giordai Ua Laoire & Keith O’Brien, and the players of REBUS OPEN (an ongoing workshop series involving artists of various disciplines and the general public).