A fine Labor Day escape in town with everyone’s favorite Philly Fringe Festi choreographer Brian Sanders & his troupe JUNK already has a huge hit with his macabre movement poetry of Dancing Dead, ingeniously using the sub-basement of the 444 4th St (where people were lining up for the second visit already) complete with mausoleum columns, where at one point his ensemble create an ethereal sculptures of flesh. This segment which brought tears to many was scored to Carly Simon’s tune ‘That’s the way I always heard it would be.’ In fact the soundtrack is an arch 70s panorama of the beloved & kitsch, from Babs and Roberta to Bridge Over Troubled Waters to Love Will Keep Us Together (his low-bow to discorpse).
Brian himself is so memorable as the gravedigger, a dancey Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, I’d say; at one point roller skating with a skeleton at another hoisting corpses on his bent body for burial.
The troupe twisted in grotesque shapes, and at times not visibly breathing (credit the great lighting effects) fly on raggy cords over the audience and tumble in the air over the audience; it is a shared dream & nightmare. Loved that desiccating waltz to ‘You Fill Up My Senses’ by John Denver. The Dead Dancers display tight ensemble work past the tricks & illusions.
Sanders tapped some 6 feet under mein with wry sleights of body and his usual stealth style.