Fringe favorite Brian Sanders offers introspective new dance work

As Philadelphia embarks on the second week of the 17th annual Fringe Festival, this weekend features performances of a perennial Fringe favorite: Brian Sanders’ Junk.

The title of the choreographer’s new work, “Hush Now Sweet High Heels and Oak,” reads as a list of the major elements of the dance; there are lullabies, industrial-strength high heels, and an enormous (fake) oak tree. How these things relate to one another is, in part, up to the viewer.

Sanders’ choreography is known for its raw athletics, daring acrobatics, and sexuality. It has always been about ideas, but never about issues. He works intuitively and very personally, drawing on private — even Jungian — imagery to make his work.

“I’m not an issue-based artist,” said Sanders. “I feel like most art that I connect with comes from that artist’s experience. But I intentionally try not to make things overly personal, and abstract them a little so that people have a greater societal consciousness access to them.” He paused. “Those are horrible words to use.”

Sanders, 47, normally dances in his own work. Not this time. After suffering from arthritis for years, he had total hip replacement surgery two months ago, just as “Hush Now” was coming together.

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