‘a giant’s bud’
Water has inspired Brian Sanders’ work. His virtuosic solo ‘underwater study #5‘ has been performed by several dance companies including Momix and Koresh, a pool figured mythically in ‘Patio Plastico’ and last year he brought splash to hilarious lowbrow depths with ‘Flushdance.’ Now Sanders is more than just splashing around at the desiccated environs of the old Gershman Y Pool on Broad St. (closed down for 2 decades) to create his new acrobatic ballet ‘Urban Scuba.’
The other day, Sanders, naked except for a trash bag merman tail, is still working out some of the pulls himself up out of 3 feet of water on the slope of the deep end of the bottom of the pool, lets out a primordial ooze scream. His three dancers- Lesya Popil, William Robinson and John Luna- have been adapting to the space and have been working to clear out the piles of site debris that has accumulated. Sanders has rigged a network of scaffolding and various harnesses on the perimeter of the pool. They literally had to dig out the pool and had to repair part of the bottom of the pool before they painted it.
Choreographically he incorporates some very aero and hydrodynamic movement for the piece. Sanders was nursing a pulled back, not from some of those demanding steps, but the repetitive motion of painting the bottom of the pool. He performs a conservative run-through to compensate, but at one point he is hyper back bends over the wet body of Luna and has to fight not to slide off.
Sanders calls his company JUNK because he recycles discarded articles into costumes and sets that become custom apparatus for his dances. He engineered a 20-foot curved bar with bicycle wheels on either side that Sanders and Robinson perform dangling feats of daring. Cirque du Soleil, eat your heart out. Luna and Robinson dive-bomb toward Popil at the bottom of the pool on bungee chords that are so taut there is an illusion of speeded reverse motion.