[25] HUSH NOW SWEET HIGH HEELS AND OAK (Brian Sanders’ JUNK): Fringe review

Brian Sanders' JUNK Hush Now Sweet High Heels and Oak Fringe review

Photo credit: Kevin Monko

Choreographer par excellence Brian Sanders creates a psycho-sexual dreamscape of children’s fairy tales and nursery rhymes morphing into adult erotic fantasies in HUSH NOW SWEET HIGH HEELS AND OAK. Multiple layers of set and props are peeled away to host JUNK’s signature feats of near-naked, daring dance; the mood shifts from joyous to nightmarish as the nocturnal ecstasies penetrate deeper into the Freudian realms of sleep, the subconscious, and universal symbols; and the palette appropriately changes from pure white (with an aesthetic akin to a Calvin Klein ad) to earthy shades of brown and flesh.

After a shaky start with the dancers tentatively stepping across a row of unstable boxes atop fabric-covered sands, the incomparable troupe (including JUNK favorites Teddy Fatscher, Billy Robinson, Tommy Schimmel, and Connor Senning) displayed its mastery of Sanders’ physically—and emotionally—demanding moves, flawlessly jumping, soaring, swinging, writhing, climbing, hanging, and free-falling with a trancelike grace, ethereality, and eroticism befitting the theme (the sultry Laura Jenkins represents the female libido). As with all of Sanders’ work, this piece will take your breath away, and continue to haunt you long after the 45-minute performance. [23rd Street Armory] September 7-15, 2013, fringearts.ticketleap.com/hush-now-sweet-high-heels-and-oak.

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About the author

Debra Miller

Debra holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware and teaches at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. She is a judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, Philadelphia Arts and Culture Correspondent for Central Voice, and has served as a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and President of the Board of Directors of Da Vinci Art Alliance. Her publications include articles, books, and catalogues on Renaissance, Baroque, American, Pre-Columbian, and Contemporary Art, and feature articles on the Philadelphia theater scene.