Saturday, September 3, 2011

By Merilyn Jackson

 After 18 years on the boards, Brian Sanders, artistic director of JUNK, showed thematic maturity with last year’s Live Arts smash, Sanctuary. This year, Sanders hews to a morbid theme in this self-produced Fringe work, a ghoulishly touching show prompted by recent deaths of people close to him. If part of grief is healing and part of healing is laughter, then Sanders puts the nail in grief’s coffin.

Part of Sanders’ genius lies in finding the right venue. For Dancing Dead, he’s in an old factory sub-basement rigged with roping and large squares of real turf, dimly lit by Terry Smith. Sanders, a crotchety old cemetery caretaker, does his rounds on skates or a rickety bike, pulling Connor Senning from a mound of dirt where he’d been lying long before the large audience entered.

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