Equality Forum Pays Tribute to Choreographer, Dance Faculty Member Brian Sanders

School of Dance students to perform choreography by Sanders, Zane Booker, Christine Cox and Ronen Koresh

April 14, 2010

The Equality Forum will pay tribute to University of the Arts School of Dance Assistant Professor Brian Sanders, one of the nation's most innovative and prolific choreographers and founder of the nationally acclaimed company JUNK, with a special performance at the Merriam Theater (250 S. Broad St.) April 30 from 7 – 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 (students and seniors), $10 (general admission), $25 (preferred seating) and $100 (VIP) and are available online.

Dancers from the University's Dance program will perform four original pieces created by Sanders and faculty members Zane Booker, founder of the Smoke Liles and Jade Arts Initiative, BalletX co-founder Christine Cox, and Ronen Koresh, artistic director of the Koresh Dance Company.

Sanders' "Patio Plastico," which was originally created for the 1999 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, will be performed. "Patio Plastico" is a poignant, witty look at humanity through a group of patio dwellers. Now in its extended version, still devoid of anything natural, these particular patio denizens attempt to "get back to nature" with their only available resource: plastic. Acrylic-clad dancers glide, tumble and whirl in a synthetic world of physical theater. Conjuring up a dynamic smorgasbord of musical genres, Sanders animates this work with tightly crafted, Fellini-like glamour.

Booker's "Deconstructing Macbeth," Koresh's "The Beast" and "X, Y and Z" by Cox round out the program.

After receiving his BFA in modern dance from the University of the Arts, Sanders joined Moses Pendleton's famed MOMIX dance company and soon began choreographing for the company known for presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty. In 1992, Sanders founded Archetype Dance Company, which he re-established in 1998 as JUNK. Since then, JUNK has been seen swinging through a cavernous garage ("Demand & Writhe"), scaling a giant scaffold beneath a towering bridge ("The Gate"), and sliding through an industrial power station ("AdShock"). Sanders created over 30 other pieces and three more full-length works for the company. JUNK has found widespread success performing on a regular basis at the Live Arts/Philly Fringe Festival.

Sanders began guest teaching and choreographing at his alma mater in 1998 and became a part-time faculty member in 2001, teaching modern dance and improvisation. He became a full-time assistant professor in 2007 and now choreographs new works for student bi-annual concerts at the Merriam Theater.

The annual Equality Forum is an internationally focused, seven-day celebration of international gay culture that includes top-tier panel discussions, parties, an annual art exhibit and International Equality Dinner.

Photo by Neal Santos

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