The 2011 Philadelphia Fringe Festival could not have gotten off a better start! In short, there are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe Brian Sanders’ JUNK. The company’s latest foray into the Fringe, DANCING DEAD, is at once breathtakingly dangerous and hauntingly beautiful.
To say that Sanders’ choreography is “original” would be a gross understatement; it extends beyond avant-garde dance and gymnastics to veritable movement engineering. The members of his daredevil troupe perform astonishing feats of aerial acrobatics, and extend their bodies in mindboggling contortions while perched en masse on narrow elevated platforms; they roll down stairs, and emerge from burial mounds of dirt and bone-filled wheelbarrows–all with supreme grace and control.
The 50-minute graveyard fantasy, staged in the raw underground space of 444 Lofts, is not your typical zombie horror show. It is a poignant celebration of life, passion, and eternal love, set to popular songs of the ’60s and ’70s. Though inspired by Sanders’ own personal memories, the emotions he elicits are universal, with thoughts of longing for loved ones lost. Never has there been as memorable a gravedigger theme since Shakespeare’s HAMLET; this is artistry that touches the soul.
If you are fortunate enough to get a ticket to DANCING DEAD (see http://ticketing.theatrealliance.org/sites/livearts/details.aspx?id=18885 for availability and pricing), you will be amazed, moved, delighted, and very grateful for these dead!
by Brian Sanders’ JUNK
September 2-17, 2011
In the Sub-Basement @ 444 Lofts
444 N. 4th Street
These dancers seemed to surrender their bodies, throwing them into collapses and violent falls. And yet so controlled. I was also amazed at how such an avante garde performance could be so balletic and beautiful. Familiar, but entirely original. I’ll remember Debra’s idea of movement engineering. That’s the perfect description for this.