AMERICAN STANDARD (Brian Sanders’ JUNK): 2015 Fringe review 44

Peter Jones and Teddy Fatscher in AMERICAN STANDARD by Brian Sanders’ JUNK (Photo credit: Bill Hebert)

Peter Jones and Teddy Fatscher in AMERICAN STANDARD by Brian Sanders’ JUNK (Photo credit: Bill Hebert)

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the barn all day, after dark, and behind closed doors? The bold and beautiful dancers of Brian Sanders’ JUNK will show you, in a thrilling, erotic, and playful tribute to the natural life of the country. Sanders’ ever-inventive choreography is set to a bluegrass beat and performed in a lofty multi-level set (Pedro Silva) that completely transforms the company’s headquarters and transports the audience into a rustic straw-covered world, after passing through and leaving behind a contrasting back-stairs installation of urban detritus.

Wearing cut-off jeans, plaid shirts, and cowboy boots, the amazing acrobatic dancers (Teddy Fatscher, Billy Robinson, Peter Jones, Kelly Trevlyn, and JUNK newcomers Regan Jackson and Tunai Jones) clog, jump over rolling human logs with impeccable timing, soar bird-like through the upper elevations of the hayloft, drop off high wooden beams into mounds of straw, and artfully entangle themselves in the ropes used to rustle cattle. They fight, frolic, and couple with bales of hay and “ride” faux bulls with sensual abandon, enveloped in dramatic chiaroscuro lighting (Jay Madara) that accentuates their perfectly sculpted bodies. As always with this incomparable troupe, they will leave you amused, exhilarated, stimulated, and entertained like no one else does, and with an understanding that natural variety is the true “AMERICAN STANDARD.” [2031 Montrose Street, 2nd floor] September 9-19, 2015; fringearts.com/american-standard.  

 

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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.