Friday, July 13, 2012

I Never Saw Him Naked, But You Can See Him Dance!

Well I hope y'all enjoyed the evening I planned for you yesterday. And now that the weekend is here, I have still more plans for you. In particular, I'd like to call your attention to a VERY unique happening at the Rollins Studio Theater at the Long Center. Yes, it's another collaboration between Allison Orr and Graham Reynolds. This time they've enlisted Austin Symphony Orchestra Peter Bay to come out and play with them.

Okay, what do you want to hear first? How much I love Allison and her Forklift Danceworks or the story of the time I invited Peter Bay to show me his birthday suit? Decisions, decisions...

Let's start with Forklift... Allison Orr is an absolutely spectacular choreographer who often works with folks who are not trained dancers to create large scale, breathtaking performances. You might remember the Trash Project, featuring 26 City of Austin sanitation workers and their mighty trucks, which also danced (in a manner of speaking). And then there was the night at the capitol when, to help kick off a Fusebox Festival, Allison got two hundred folks two-stepping to Graham's score. At the end of that performance the entire audience joined in and danced. I mean it is impossible to see a Forklift show and not feel stirred to your very soul.

This time around, the show is called Solo Symphony. Peter Bay will be conducting thirteen musicians playing an original score by Graham. But he won't just be using his typical range of baton waving-- he'll be busting some badass moves. Allison says she was moved to create the piece by watching Bay's fluidity as a maestro, and how he becomes the music.

Will he mosh? Will he worm? Will he crowd surf? You'll have to go see for yourself. You only have a couple of chances to see the show-- tonight (Friday the 13th) and tomorrow. You can get tickets here.

Wait, what? You want to hear the other story now? Well, okay. For a few years in the mid-aughts I put NAKED calendars to raise money for uninsured kids. The calendars, as you might guess from the title, featured naked Austin musicians. One year Sara Hickman suggested I try to get the symphony to pose naked, which I thought was a cool idea. So I emailed Peter Bay and to my delight he said he'd consider it. I don't think he had to consider it too long before deciding he'd better not conduct himself that way, but still, I love the idea that he at least thought about taking it all off for the cause.

So go on, y'all-- go see him dance. And enjoy the wonders of Allison Orr. Damn we are lucky to live in Austin.

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