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Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe reviews
By J. Cooper Robb
Posted Sep. 15, 2004
“Awesome” is the only possible reaction to AdShock, the latest full-length production from choreographer Brian Sanders and his remarkable dance company JUNK. Best known for Patio Plastico, a fun-loving piece that’s generally considered one of the great works in the history of the Live Arts and Philly Fringe festival, Sanders has recently moved on to more muscular, industrial pieces such as 2002’s Demand & Writhe.
But where D&W felt excessive and unfinished, AdShock emerges as one of Sanders’ most polished and compelling productions. Staged in an abandoned SEPTA transfer station, the production uses nearly every inch of the cavernous, dilapidated space to fashion a world of corporate power plays and global struggle.
Initially dressed in business suits, the five performers dance around and on what appears to be a giant conference table. As bodies, tables and doors twist and flip, the transfer station becomes a corporate suite in which the metaphoric glass ceiling has become an iron curtain. With the performers alternately moving like cogs in an industrial machine and like the mythological titan Atlas, they balance and writhe on a variety of orb-like objects.
Superbly performed by the five-member company (newcomer Javier Marquis in particular seems a dance superstar in the making) and impeccably choreographed by Sanders, the show is full of compelling moments, all authoritatively lighted by young designer Terry Smith and accompanied by Russell Miles’ imposing music. A potently visceral production, AdShock follows on the heels of 2003’s The Gate to solidify JUNK’s position as Philly’s toughest dance company. (J. Cooper Robb)