'Sanctuary' sets a high bar for festival
by Ellen Dunkel
Published: September 4, 2010
Sanctuary. Monks sporting multicolored mohawks dance with fire, walk on water, and perform aerial acrobatics in the wildly imaginative, Cirque du Soleil-ish Sanctuary, performed by Brian Sanders' company, JUNK.
Using found objects, some built into Alex Gartelmann's sets, others assembled on the spot, the 10 dancers vault over each other onto tables, perform highly gymnastic duets in shadow, and slip-slide through a long trough of water. Sara McCorriston's costumes include flowing white robes that allows three dancers to perform a sort of rhythmic gymnastics routine with poles and fabric.
The show, set to '80s tunes, has a shock factor, as dancers run in and out of confessionals; sway with religious fervor on an apparatus that serves both as both choral risers - with rays of Terry Smith's lighting shot through - and a carnival-like ride; and baptize each other before performing a sensual dance.
It's 45 minutes of nonstop, exhilarating, wondering-what's-next action that often had dancers swinging from the rafters on twirling straps or balancing on hanging metal cubes.
Friday's opening-night performance was dotted with small balance errors and problems with the sets. But it set the bar very high for Live Arts/Fringe shows yet to come.
- Ellen Dunkel
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