Posted on Thu, Jan. 20, 2011

Local choreographer and spectacle-creator Brian Sanders will celebrate 18 3/4 years with his dance company, JUNK – slithering, sliding, tumbling from all kinds of found objects.

By Merilyn Jackson

For The Inquirer

APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer

Brian Sanders (upright) with dancer and partner John Luna at a rehearsal for the retrospective shows. Luna will perform Sanders’ “The Grid.”

If you’ve been a regular at the annual Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe or Shut Up and Dance performances, you probably have been mesmerized by dancers hanging from fences, flipping their bodies in the air like trapeze artists, cocooned in plastic beneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, or costumed like liquid robots. This inventive choreography, in such pieces as The Gate, Flushdance, AdShock, Sanctuary, Urban Scuba, and Patio Plastico, is all the work of Brian Sanders, spectacle-creator, repurposer of found objects, and dance-hijinks master.

In the last two decades, Sanders, 44, has become one of Philadelphia’s most enduring and beloved dance-makers. His prolific, daring, and mischievously fun-loving work has endeared him to audiences far and wide, and to the local dance community. Dancers with gymnastic backgrounds or aspirations vie to work with him; other companies commission his choreography; critics fight to review his pieces.

Now, Sanders and his company, JUNK, in typical disregard of convention, are presenting an “18¾ Anniversary Season” through Sunday at the Arts Bank, featuring a work from each of their 18 years since 1992.

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