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2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Kink Haüs’ by Gunnar Montana at The Latvian Society

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Sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll have long been the rallying cry of post-modern youth, and Gunnar Montana takes that hedonistic call to its most emphatic, explicit, and artistic extremes in Kink Haüs. Inspired by the underground nightclubs of Berlin (one of which had denied him entry), the unabashed multi-disciplinary artist/devisor/dancer/choreographer (who also serves as producer and director) recreates the decadent ambience and dissipated happenings in his company’s own immersive installation and performance for this year’s Festival, transforming The Latvian Society into a dissolute venue where anything goes, “no fucks are given,” and uninhibited Fringers can take a walk on the wild side (after slipping in through the back door).

Avi Borouchoff and Gunnar Montana. Photo courtesy of the production.

Avi Borouchoff and Gunnar Montana. Photo courtesy of the production.

An ensemble of six daring dancers – Avi Borouchoff, Jessica Daley, Dylan Kepp, Frank Leone, and Stephi Lyneice, along with Montana – performs a masterful series of provocative segments that combine eroticism and risqué humor with an array of well-integrated genres, ranging from runway strutting, drag, and disco to striptease and burlesque, from modern dance and ballet to acrobatics and BDSM. Fabulous costumes that indulge every fetish and fantasy, and leave little to the imagination, support the mood of unrestricted debauchery, as does Amanda Jensen’s dark and redolent lighting (coordinated with the bright neon colors of the dancers’ dyed hair), and Montana’s transportive sound design, featuring the loud and pulsing beat of techno rock and club music (sound and light tech by DJ CJ Coleman).

If you’ve ever harbored a taste for, or a curiosity about, the sybaritic denizens and alternative experiences of the no-holds-barred world of late-night clubs, Gunnar Montana takes you there in his Kink Haüs – and you won’t even need a safe word, just an open mind, and an appreciation for fierce dance and audacious design.

Promotional image with Avi Borouchoff. Graphic design by Benjamin Brown.

Promotional image with Avi Borouchoff. Graphic design by Benjamin Brown.

Running Time: Approximately 50 minutes, without intermission.

Kink Haüs played through Sunday, September 24, 2017, at Gunnar Montana, performing at The Latvian Society – 731 North 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA.

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