A dance company explores our heart of darkness in a Center City bar

Photo courtesy of Bradley's Bucks

Photo courtesy of Bradley's Bucks

Rebirth of the Jungle

by Heather Shayne Blakeslee

Bradley’s Bucks—an all-male dance troupe that has been offering up semiregular performances this past year at bar and burlesque hub Franky Bradley’s—makes its Fringe Festival debut with “Jungle.” The production will explore the rebirth of the jungle in a post-apocalyptic ecosystem where—after the first red sunrise—man struggles to redefine his relationship with the other beasts who inhabit his world.

Producer and co-creator Dave Morreale, 30, who is also the venue director at Franky Bradley’s, says the concept was born out of an ongoing creative bent in the company. 

“We’ve always had this interest in an animalistic style of dance,” he says. 

The troupe, all University of the Arts graduates, is relatively new, but don’t come expecting a bunch of Fringe first-timers. Morreale told Grid that the other co-creators of the piece, Teddy Fatscher and Tommy Schimmel, who are also directors of the company, are talented and experienced dancers who have performed in several Fringe pieces, including with JUNK choreographer Brian Sanders. 

By bringing high production values to where people already are, Morreale hopes to introduce more people to dance in Philadelphia. 

“It’s unique because the environment is so comfortable,” he says.  

But you won’t be able to get too comfortable; it is, after all, the Fringe. Morreale mischievously describes “people flying through the air on a cargo net made of duct tape,” a set that is essentially “a huge art installation” and a moment in which they’ll make it rain with real water—to say nothing of the waterfall. 

“Something that we’ve always done,” says Morreale, “is push the boundaries of what we can do.”

Bradley’s Bucks

Sept 20-21 • 10 p.m.
Sept 22 • 10:30 p.m.

Franky Bradley’s
1320 Chancellor St.
Philadelphia, Pa., 19107