SB DANCE; "Waltz of the Dog-faced Boy," June 10, at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 8 p.m. Additional performances June 11, 4 p.m.; June 16-17, 8 p.m. and June 18, 4 p.m. Tickets available through ArtTix at 355-ARTS (2787) or 1-888-451-ARTS.A line from a Styx song, "The Grand Illusion," says ". . . If you think your life is complete confusion . . . just remember that it's a grand illusion, and deep inside we're all the same . . . "

Well, are we?

That's the question that popped up constantly during the sold-out performance of SB Dance's "Waltz of the Dog-faced Boy" at the Rose Wagner Performing Art Center Saturday night.

The sometimes frantic, non-linear work was set in a Cuban carnival's sideshow. And while the dancers -- Josh Larson, Liberty Valentine, Christine Hasegawa, Tammy Metz Star, Javier Cordoba, Juan Carlos Claudio, Virginia Hagood, director Stephen Brown and composer Ricklen Nobis -- were the actual performers, there was a strange sensation that they were, indeed, watching the audience.

Images of conjoined twins, a dwarf, a bearded lady and a two-headed man (costumes designed by Marina Harris) strutted across the stage to Nobis' original music and sound effects. Then came the three-legged ballerina and the three-armed woman who danced a tender pas de deux.

The humor aside, there were some thought-provoking moments, such as the segment when the bearded lady (Brown) withstood the laughter of the others on stage, even though they appeared completely undressed. And when Brown bore his soul and body, he was met with a brief silence before the laughter began again.

The performance dealt with issues of what society deems as being abnormal. And while the general public considers the sideshow "entertainers" unnatural, what about natural performers who have undergone plastic surgery and other body enhancements?

Interspersed with the frantic sideshow performances, the dancers donned white clothes that represented society but found themselves just as freakish as they indulged in goofy line-dances that represented fads.

In line with last year's "Scampdance" and "Carni Acts" that emerged from the volcanic mind of director Brown, "The Waltz of the Dog-faced Boy" gave the audience something challenging and new to digest. The program combined a bit of social commentary, dance, spoken poetry -- written by the likes of e.e. cummings, Phillip Larkin, Edward Lear and Shel Silverstein -- and live music in a loose package that was left open for any interpretation.

However, the performance is not for everyone. As stated above, the program does include nudity and adult themes.

E-mail: scott@desnews.com