The switch has been thrown, and the 2010 Fusebox Festival has officially started generating electricity. Festival mastermind Ron Berry did the honors last week, unveiling the lineup for his cross-disciplinary arts binge's seventh edition to a crowd at Okay Mountain. And based on his announcement, this year's Fusebox promises to be every bit as wild, novel, gonzo, astonishing, thrilling – pick your adjective – as its predecessors. The 11-day event, running April 21 to May 1, will include modern dance from Japan, a Western from England, a Western swing big band with 200 two-steppers on the steps of the Capitol, a stage version of the French film Cléo From 5 to 7, a male performer channeling Joni Mitchell, an invented sorority, a performance of YouTube video comments, a scavenger hunt, and a séance for broken electronic devices, for starters. As usual, Austin will be introduced to artistic innovators from around the world, but more of our local innovators will be showcased as well: Allison Orr, Graham Reynolds, Mike Smith, Wura Ogunji, Okay Mountain, Rubber Repertory, Sodalitas, Luke Savisky, Heloise Gold, and, after too long an absence, Physical Plant Theater. Kicking things off (in a literal sense) will be choreographer Orr and composer Reynolds, who will get the aforementioned herd of two-steppers dancing at the statehouse, then lead them down Congress Avenue to the Paramount Theatre, where Tokyo contemporary dancemaker Kaiji Moriyama will perform The Velvet Suite, which he created for the 2007 Venice Biennale Festival of Contemporary Dance. Other works scheduled include:
• A Western In a bar, two performers from Action Hero of Bristol, England, try to enact an imaginary Western with help from the audience and the environment.
• Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry Winnipeg artist Daniel Barrow manipulates images on an overhead projector to animate the tale of a garbageman with a vision.
• Comme Toujours Here I Stand New York's Big Dance Theater turns Agnès Varda's French New Wave film Cléo From 5 to 7 into an intimate work for the stage.
• WeeTube Two members of Vancouver troupe Theater Replacement watch YouTube videos with audience members, then perform the publicly posted comments.
• Paved Paradise Redux: The Art of Joni Mitchell New Yorker John Kelly becomes Joni Mitchell to perform songs by and tell stories of the singer-songwriter.
• Texan Los Angeleno Greg Brooker crafts a site-specific poem of text, a crop duster, a taxi, a million newspapers, the geography of Texas, and twin brothers.
• L.A. Party Fusebox regular Phil Soltanoff serves a performance with live video about a fanatical vegan who falls off the wagon one night.
• GravelWorks A showcase of moods, humor, bodies, pop songs, personalities, and friendly impertinence by Montreal dance troupe Grouped'ArtGravelArtGroup.
• Erectheum Longtime collaborators Michael Smith and Jay Sanders investigate the Greek fraternity/sorority system by transforming testsite into a new chapter of the National Panhellenic Conference.
• one hundred black women, one hundred actions Wura Ogunji builds a performance of actions, gestures, and movements from 100 black women around the world, performed in East Austin and projected live in West Austin.
• This From Cloudland New York writer-performer Kristen Kosmas and Physical Plant Theater spin stories involving lovers holding themselves hostage, someone falling off a high wire, and someone whose head is stuck in a bear's mouth.
• Blender Love Austin playwright Kirk Lynn and Houston artists Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand create séances for broken electronic devices brought to them by the public.
• First Name Last Name A workshop staging of Rubber Repertory's exploration of one person's life told purely through the physical sensations that person has experienced.
• I've Never Been So Happy Scavenger Hunt Rude Mechanicals spin an original event out of the Western musical they've been developing over the past year.
• Stepchild Video artist Luke Savisky creates an installation on the steps of City Hall.
• Visual-art collective Sodalitas leads a series of walks through Austin that are documented through photography, video, audio, mapping, and objects found along the way.
For more information, visit www.fuseboxfestival.com.
Fusebox Festival, Austin arts festivals, Ron Berry, Allison Orr, Graham Reynolds, Mike Smith, Okay Mountain, Rubber Repertory, Sodalitas, Luke Savisky, Heloise Gold, Physical Plant Theater, Phil Soltanoff, Kristen Kosmas