“It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing, and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was just, dancing with me, like a little kid beggin’ me to play with it – for fifteen minutes. And that’s the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know that there was no reason to be afraid, ever……. – I need to remember. Sometimes, there’s so much beauty in the world – I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart is just going to cave in.” – American Beauty (1999)
If the 1999 Academy Award winning best picture, American Beauty taught me anything, it illustrated so beautifully that life, beauty and movement can be found all around us. In the film, Wes Bentley’s character was able to find beauty and movement in even the most mundane thing, a plastic bag blowing in the wind. On March 6th, audiences at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts will once again be reminded of the same construct. Brian Sanders’ dance company, JUNK will be making their New York debut with their piece, “Patio Plastico Plus.” The mission for the JUNK company is “creating inventive, off-the-wall choreography with found objects and other discarded debris.” Suddenly the company’s name becomes so clear. Mr. Sanders is indeed looking to junk, for his inspiration. “I like to find the dance inside these pieces of junk; something unique and unexpected that gives us [the audience] a new and inspiring look on life,” says Sanders. What Sam Mendes did for the plastic bag, Brian Sanders does for a whole slew of every day mundane objects.
If we were to put a label on Mr. Sanders’ style, we would define it as, “found object theatre”. “Found object theatre,” has a history as long and varied as drama and dance itself. In his 1941 book, The Dramatic Imagination, Robert Edmond Jones described his theory of the first dance ritual. According to Jones, a prototypical man whom he calls “Og,” reenacted a hunt for his tribe by taking the skin of his prey and playing the part of a lion that had been killed for the tribe. By employing the use of the lion’s hide, “Og” became the first person to create theatrical ritual around a found object. It is no surprise that found object presentation has been a main stay throughout history, one only needs one object to be inspired.
In “Patio Plastico Plus,” Mr. Sanders creates seven unique pieces around singular items such as window panes, pogo sticks and trash cans. Each piece of “junk” provides a shape and texture that leads to its own distinct movement. From each movement, a story emerges which, in turn, brings a new life to the stage. The result is not only a breath taking dance concert, but a piece of theatre in its richest and truest definition. Through Sanders’ choreography, dancers will challenge the viewer to look at the objects in ways they never thought possible. Objects are turned upside down and sideways and used in ways, unimaginable. Come experience “Philly’s most imaginative perpetrator of dare-devilish physical theater,” and see for yourself why one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
See you at the SchimmelMichael Scott-Torbet
Pace Presents’ Blogger
Brian Sanders’ JUNK: Patio Plastico Plus
March 6th, 7:30pm | March 7th, 7:30pm | March 8th, 7:30pm
Experimental dance-theatre company JUNK, formed by MOMIX alumnus, Brian Sanders, is known for their ingenious use of found objects and clever inventions that bridge the gap between dance and physical theatre. Sanders’ choreography blends traditional dance theatre with an inventiveness and physicality that gives reason for critics to hail JUNK as “Philly’s most imaginative perpetrator of dare-devilish physical theatre” and declare Sanders as “the city’s most exciting choreographer.” Patio Plastico Plus maintains JUNK’s choreographic style, as much of the choreography uses found objects – from trash cans and pogo sticks to broken ladders and windowpanes. The dancers perform with these props and set pieces in unforeseen ways of clever invention.
This project is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and The Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.
To purchase tickets, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/926430 or call (866) 811-4111