30 Years Of Junk

brian sanders

It takes a lot for an artist to stand out. Even more to keep standing out.

Over the last three decades, dancer and choreographer Brian Sanders has awed audiences worldwide with his creative, provocative, sit on the edge-of-your-seat performances, daring guests to step outside their comfort zones.

On June 17, to celebrate the launch of Brian Sanders’ JUNK 30th anniversary season, a one-night-only event, Beaux Tease, will give viewers an inside glimpse into their 2022/23 season. Hosted in an intimate and unique venue, Concourse Dance Bar (1635 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19103), the show will offer General Admission and “Special Features” passes. The “Special Features” tickets include a sultry performance, Let Us Eat Cake!, by former JUNK dancer turned MasterChef Courtney Lapresi, early admission and preferred seating, and two complimentary drink vouchers.

In addition, to celebrate 30 years of JUNK, Sanders is unveiling a new initiative, hoping to raise $30,000 by the end of the year to help continue the tradition of creating provocative, innovative, and one-of-a- kind dance works. The funds raised will allow JUNK to provide equitable access for the community by providing free and discounted ticketing for artists and LGBTQIA and HIV+ communities.

Beaux Tease will feature performances from the upcoming season, including Sanders’ 2022 Philadelphia Fringe Festival show, Luster; annual winter fundraiser, Snowball – Back on Ice; and upcoming 2023 collaboration with The Philadelphia Orchestra. The event also features a guest appearance by Urban Movement Arts, avant-garde go-go installations, and an immersive, reimagined 2nd Sanctuary journey down Broad Street, via virtual reality headsets. As per usual, you can expect the unexpected.

“Over the last 30 years, JUNK has continued to evolve,” said Brian Sanders, founder of Brian Sanders’ JUNK. No one, even Sanders, can predict what audiences can expect next. “The decades-long collaboration process with various artists, dancers, and creatives continues to help me reimagine my work, transform it, and present it in new and exciting ways.”

The name JUNK is said to reinforce the authority-provoking verbal and visual puns for which its founder and director is famous. With JUNK, Sanders brings formal dance into an immersive setting, while ensuring shows stay accessible – both via content and venue – to younger urban audiences.

JUNK continues to blend traditional dance theater with an unparalleled physicality, eroticism, and use of found objects and clever inventions. Their work blurs the lines between dance and physical theater. The uniqueness of JUNK and their performances has led to shows at the Knitting Factory, Joyce Theatre, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, The Annenberg Theatre for Dance Celebration, and the Wilma Theater. Sanders has collaborated with companies including MOMIX, Eleone Dance Theatre, Freespace Dance Company, Koresh Dance Company, the Philadelphia Ballet, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He choreographed two nationally televised mini-series and gained international recognition when he created and arranged a touring show, NOGRAVITY, presented to audiences as part of the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Torino.

As Sanders follows his artistic path, his audience has followed, always eager for the next production. He is excited to bring people together to celebrate and unveil his new work. As Sanders points out, “If we don’t lift each other up, who will?”

    • Karl Michelfelder is a Philadelphia-based journalist, disc jockey, and philanthropist. After attending Temple University with a degree in communications and a minor in journalism, Karl (under the moniker DJ Carl Michaels) immersed himself in all that is Philadelphia. He worked as a label and store manager at the famed 611 Records, toured the country, and […]

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