Brian Sanders’ JUNK has sold out Philly Fringe shows every year for almost twenty years with innovative, ingenious, and boundary-defying choreography. This year, us “JUNKies” have double the chance to see the highly physical, energetic dance company: For the 2018 Fringe Festival, JUNK is presenting TWO shows: FIGMAGO (through September 23) and Plunge (through September 22).
A multi-faceted artist, Sanders shows us his family-fun side with FIGMAGO, an ongoing collaboration with muralist Meg Saligman.The artists connected at the dedication of Saligman’s Theatre of Life mural on Broad and Lombard streets. “I repelled down the face of this giant mural and danced among the painted figures,” he says. “We always knew we would work together but we just didn’t know when and how, but the right space and the right time brought about FIGMAGO.”“Meg and I share a lot of the same aesthetics,” Sanders tells FringeArts. “Bold but not over-the-top, dynamic, intense and emotional.”
On weekend matinees and evening shows during the Fringe, audiences can enter the working studio of public artist Meg Saligman where a work of art becomes a world of art through secret passageways, hands-on exploration, and immersive choreography from JUNK. The dancers invite audiences into a labyrinth of three-dimensional murals that come to life in stunning and unexpected ways.
When the sun sets, join JUNK on the Patio at Spring Arts in “a plunge of the senses”. In Plunge, Sanders invites us to savor the sleekness of jet-black oiled skin against the bright white of patent leather in a saucy look at today by way of the future via a 1960s Palm Springs-esque garden patio.JUNK takes the audience on a 50-minute anthropological survey of today’s culture under the newly opened Rail Park in Center City’s Loft District. The troupe performs atop reclaimed shipping crates, on make-shift “go-go box” boulders, and suspend on high from the rail tracks above. Plunge is a mockumentary “presented by the Ministry of Aesthetic Embellishments, founded in 2060” claiming a role in the future as “a leading sustainablism excavation-site dedicated to advancing research, education, and public engagement in anthrotropic artifactuals.” “I needed to invent a couple of words, as we humans do, to make sense of things,” says Sanders. “My favorites are, sustainablism and fecophogus.” (The company provides definitions on their website so you can study up if you are etymologically inclined.) Visitors to the site have the opportunity to get face-to-face with towering rusted relics, meet live scientistorians, and explore a mid-century garden patio filled with artifactuals of the era. Within the story, there is reference to a technological catastrophe in the near future which has obliterated all of our records of the past. The ministry is in charge of reconstitution our histories through ghost bytes and artifactuals of the past. It is explained that the scientistorians of the ministry “spend their days focusing on critical global issues and their anthrotropic relevance. In the field, scientistorians have traveled as far as the Jenkintown flats . . .These research efforts and many others enable the Ministry to provide accurate, real-time information to the public on anthrotropic scientistories and the ancient rite of sustainablism.” Interested? It’s one of two chances this Fringe to take a plunge into the world of Brian Sanders’ JUNK.