Friday, February 25, 2011

Allison Orr's Trash Project's Triumphant Return! Please Help!

Please, please listen up. In 2009, Allison Orr-- the genius behind Forklift Dancworks-- presented the Trash Project out at the old airport. This was not my first chance to see Allison's amazing choreography. Previously I'd seen, to my tremendous joy, her SKATE! project, which took place at a roller rink. Allison's deal is this: she works with both trained dancers and everyday folk to put together unforgettable shows. If you were lucky enough to see SKATE! or the Trash Project or 200 Two Steppers at the State Capitol, you already know what I'm talking about. But if you haven't seen her stuff yet, let me try to explain.

For the Trash Project, Allison spent countless middle-of-the-night hours riding routes with City of Austin sanitation workers, interviewing them about their jobs, and then putting together a series of dances that included 26 employees of the Department of Solid Waste and 16 huge trucks. Yes, the trucks "danced." I wrote all about that show over at the Austinist. I wept throughout it-- me and everyone else in the audience--  and even just remembering seeing it I again find myself weeping. I mean, it was STUNNING. Allison's interviews were incorporated into Graham Reynolds' amazing score, some commentary totally uplifting, other stories so sad, all of it giving much insight into the lives of some of the most under-appreciated workers in the city. Oh, and to see THEIR faces as thousands of people cheered them on and rushed them afterwards to get pictures taken together. I'm serious, people, I am crying over here as I recall this. It was one of the most special shows I've seen in my life, and I have seen an awful lot of shows.

As it happened, the event got so much pre-show buzz that they wound up turning away hundreds, maybe even thousands, at the gates. I was, literally, the last one to get in, and that only happened because I begged and had to resort to using my press credentials (not a trick I am fond of, especially not when there are several hundred other people around me who can't get in). The night of the show it poured rain, and then stopped right before the dance, which had the added wonderfulness of turning the old tarmac into sort of a reflecting pond for the big trucks big lights. OMG it was SO FANTASTIC!

Allison has been wanting to do an encore performance for some time, one that will allow for far more people to see the show. Now the dream will be coming true on August 27th and 28th of this year, and the goal is to allow 4,000 people (2,000 per night) to see the show for free.

Of course there are expenses involved in this production. Forklift Danceworks has a Kickstarter page up to help defray some of these costs. They are aiming to raise $10,000 by April 1st. They need more than that to make the whole thing happen, but for now, $10k is the goal. Already they are nearly halfway there. The minimum pledge is $1. That's right-- just One Single Buck. If every one of my FB friends chipped in just $1 today, Forklift could easily surpass the 50% mark. And, on top of that, if you donate one dollar, you are a bonafide supporter of the arts-- very nice.

So please pretty please pretty please pretty please-- mark your calendars for the shows. And throw a couple of bucks (or even just one) into the hat. You will be so glad you did. Plus, if you go to the Kickstarter page, you can see a video clip of the original Trash Project and read, in Allison's own words, all about why she does what she does. She is truly one of Austin's finest treasures. Let's show her we appreciate all she does.


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