Frank Erwin Center
"...Sometimes the good folks do get the recognition they deserve. Case in point: Allison Orr, founder and artistic director of Forklift Danceworks, whose choreographic career has had as much to do with building community as building dances, has just been named one of the 2018 USA Fellows, an honor that comes with an unrestricted award of $50,000...."
"...Allison Orr was not always in touch with her inner Elvis...."
"...The day before the 2009 premiere of The Trash Project, the much-lauded choreographic collaboration between Forklift Danceworks and the city of Austin's Solid Waste Services Department, things got a bit hairy for Forklift artistic director and choreographer Allison Orr: "We changed the whole end." What had worked in planning turned out to be impossible at crunch time, and a new ending for the 24 SWS employees in the cast and 16 department trucks in the show had to be invented. But Don Anderson, a SWS employee whose role in the show was to operate a crane – the kind usually used to hoist old couches and piles of brush into tractor-trailer bins – in stunningly balletic maneuvers, was calm..."
"...Allison Orr is back in the old routine: up at 5am (5:30 on a "good" day); out of the house by 6. Meet with city crews between 6 and 6:30, and spend the better part of their shifts – eight to 10 hours – out in the field, observing them do their work and frequently doing it with them..."
"...Although it’s true that one man’s trash may be another man’s treasure, it takes Austin-based choreographer Allison Orr to demonstrate that one city’s trash collection can provide the foundation for an amazing work of art. Initially, the beauty and grace of the garbage trucks and the routine motions of the sanitation workers were but a twinkle in the mind’s eye of this choreographer..."
"...Allison Orr saw it long ago, and for years the award-winning choreographer has been working toward creating a dance that would showcase the movements of the men, women, and machines that carry away our yard trimmings, garbage, recycling, and, yes, dead animals. And as she's done in previous projects that focused on the movements of firefighters, gondoliers, expectant mothers, Elvis impersonators, dogs and their walkers, guide dogs and their blind masters, and roller skaters, Orr has relied less on trained dancers in performance than on the individuals who go through these motions as a natural part of their daily lives..."
"...Bartholomew is a success story, which is why when PARD director Sara Hensley invited Forklift Artistic Director Allison Orr – you know her and her A-team, Krissie Marty, Graham Reynolds, and Stephen Pruitt from The Trash Project, PowerUP, and The Trees of Govalle – to develop a pools project, they chose Bartholomew as the first Eastside site for the three-year initiative My Park, My Pool, My City. But not all the pools that break beyond sustainable repair – and the pools are going to break, PARD has predicted, some sooner, some later – will be reopened as a Bartholomew, which had a final price tag of $5.7 million (most of it was paid for by a 2006 bond)..."
"...If you've ever been awestruck by the wind-up of a pitch or seen grace in the swing of a bat, then you know how closely baseball's moves resemble dance. Well, friends, this weekend the pitch, the swing, the steal, the slide, the catch, the tag, the call at the plate, won't just resemble dance, they'll be dance, thanks to Austin's great champion of everyday motion, Allison Orr..."
"...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..."
"...In the documentary Trash Dance, which opens today at the Violet Crown Cinema, filmmaker Andrew Garrison offers a record of the making of choreographer Allison Orr's one-night-only, site-specific production of The Trash Project – a dance piece performed in 2009 by the workers and machinery of Austin's Solid Waste Services Department...."
"...With her 2009 work The Trash Project, Allison Orr managed the remarkable feat of making us see the daily routines and movements of Austin's sanitation workers and their equipment as dance. Now, the award-winning choreographer is planning to do the same for the employees of Austin Energy...."
"...If you were consuming any kind of media in Austin the past few weeks, it would be hard not to know that Allison Orr has created a dance piece about Elvis using mostly recordings from his famous Aloha From Hawaii concert. The subject of the cover story of both this publication and the Statesman's XL ent weekly entertainment supplement, the reprised and expanded version of this popular piece previously nominated for three Austin Critics Table awards is big news, and rightfully so; Orr's work is perceptive, inventive, and surprisingly engaging...."
"...That was Allison Orr's reaction when she first ventured into the Playland Skate Center a few years ago and witnessed the crowds of Central Texans on wheels. "People you would think would never do this are out there, moving in ways that you just wouldn't think they would," says the choreographer and artistic director of Forklift Danceworks..."
"..."I don't know what the right word is: 'mixed-ability,' 'integrated,' or 'inclusive,'" admits Allison Orr, artistic director of Forklift Danceworks. For promoting Body Shift, a weekendlong dance workshop co-presented by Forklift and VSA Texas (a state organization for arts and disability), Orr seems to have settled on "mixed-ability," but the fact is that each of those terms is relevant..."
"...That's local choreographer Darla Johnson (Johnson/Long Dance Company, Big State Productions) reflecting on her work with students in the Austin Community College Dance Department, where she's been working for several years to help develop the dance-makers of the next generation. ACC's program has long been under the radar in the Austin arts scene but is noteworthy for its faculty of strong local choreographers (Johnson, José Luis Bustamante, Kathy Dunn Hamrick, and Allison Orr, among others), the regular opportunities it offers students to make and present work (such as this weekend's Spring Choreographers' Showcase), and that supportive environment to which Johnson was referring...."
"...We took a journey inside our heads, with Theresa Hardy's "Compassionate Resolution of the Psychological Dilemma," which linked a projected drawing of a brain with the labyrinth that housed the Minotaur of Greek legend. Hardy and dancers Laura Cannon and Allison Orr appeared wearing bolero jackets and affecting the moves of a matador, suggesting daring heroes of the psyche agents of reason or compassion, perhaps braving the maze of the mind to face down the beast within...."
"...From the moment the performance ended 17 months ago, people have been asking Allison Orr when she is going to present The Trash Project again. The unusual dance production, created with the cooperation of the city of Austin Solid Waste Services Department and featuring 24 department employees and 16 large sanitation vehicles, made such a profound impression on the people who saw it – transforming the way they view the men and women who pick up their trash and recycling – that they were eager to see it again and for more Austinites to see it, too..."
"...Especially dances about being with child. Allison Orr is the latest..."
"...After devoting some five years of her life to staging a work that involved tons of mechanical machinery, scores of city employees, and a massive municipal bureaucracy, choreographer Allison Orr is scaling things back a bit. OK, a lot...."