Thanks to the international roster of artists at this year's Fusebox Festival, you may at various times over the next two weeks imagine yourself in Japan, Canada, Mexico, or Brooklyn. But when this jamboree of multidisciplinary experimental performance and art launches on April 21, there won't be any question that you're in the Lone Star State. Fusebox kicks off on the south steps of the Texas state Capitol where Golden Hornet Project maestro and ersatz Bob Wills Graham Reynolds will conduct a 15-piece Texas swing orchestra with vocalists Dale Watson and Christina Marrs as Forklift Danceworks Artistic Director Allison Orr leads 200 – count 'em, 200 – two-steppers in dances to "Waltz Across Texas," "'T' for Texas," and other country classics.
Orr already has close to 80 core dancers with whom she's been working during five rehearsals at the Broken Spoke and Dallas nightclub. Included are regulars from those clubs and Rusty Spurs, and these are some folks who know a thing or two about boot-scootin'. "We have competitive couples dancers, great swing dancers, older couples who are magical two-steppers, and lots of great older men who really can dance – all kinds," says Orr. "There are lots of experts in country western dancing. People who have been dancing for years and have strong opinions about how it all should work. I have been very impressed by the skill and knowledge – but also challenged by that."
Interested two-steppers who missed the club rehearsals are still welcome to take part; if you can make it to a rehearsal at 3pm on the day of the performance, Orr will teach you the opening and closing dances. (Reserve a spot by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.) Or simply watch the show and wait for the finale, when everyone in the audience will be invited to dance. And did I mention that they're serving barbecue from Stubb's?
Two-steppin' and 'cue as performance art? No place but Austin.
T Is for: Two Hundred Two-Steppers on the Steps of the Texas Capitol will take place Wednesday, April 21, 6:30pm, on the south steps of the Texas state Capitol. The Fusebox Festival runs April 21-May 2 at various locations. For more information, visit www.fuseboxfestival.com.