'PowerUP' Taking Reservations

Reserve tix now for Forklift's follow-up to 'Trash Project'

Still on the line: Austin Energy's high-wire repairmen
Still on the line: Austin Energy's high-wire repairmen
Courtesy of Forklift Danceworks

If you thought Allison Orr worked some choreographic magic with some men working leafblowers and a fleet of sanitation trucks, imagine what she's likely to conjure with 18 linemen and as many utility poles. That's what awaits you in PowerUP, Orr's collaboration with Austin Energy that premieres Sept. 21 and 22.

Orr wants to do for the employees of the city's utility what she did for the employees of its Solid Waste Services Department (now Austin Resource Recovery) in The Trash Project, the award-winning and wildly popular large-scale dance performance she produced in 2009 and revived in 2011: reveal the artistry in their daily routines, the pride they take in their work, and their often heroic dedication to getting the job done.

The scale of PowerUP is on par with that of The Trash Project, utilizing bucket trucks with cranes that can reach more than 100 feet in the air and employing a squadron of linemen working high atop a forest of utility poles. Composer Graham Reynolds will provide the score, which will be performed by a string ensemble under the direction of Austin Symphony Orchestra Maestro Peter Bay, and Stephen Pruitt will supply the lighting.

Here's the thing: PowerUP will only be performed twice, and though the show is free free free, you have to make a reservation in advance in order to be admitted to the performance site at the Travis County Exposition and Heritage Center. No reservation, no admittance. But Allison and the Forklift Danceworks folks have made the reservation process quite easy. Just go to www.forkliftdanceworks.org, and there's a form that takes all of two minutes to fill out. Then you're directed to a page that gives you all the pertinent info about when and where the performances are and what you need to know before you go. The hardest part, really, is going to be waiting the two weeks for the show.

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