Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Trash Project

This past Saturday we wandered over to the tarmac of Austin Studios which is housed on part of the old Mueller Airport land. Undaunted by the much needed rain, we embarked on our mission to catch the once-only performance, The Trash Project, created by choreographer Allison Orr of Forklift Danceworks. It is a pretty complex piece, but I'll go out on a limb and distill it down to this--dancing city sanitation vehicles. Yup. Tangoing trash trucks. Sashaying street sweepers. Rockin' recycling rigs. You name it. If it is part of the Solid Waste Services fleet, it had a role in the production. Of course, these behemoths weren't on autopilot. They were under the adept care and control of two dozen of the City's best sanitation workers. It's hard to NOT be upstaged by 16 hulking rigs, but these men and women performed like pros. As skies darkened, rain slowed and lights shimmered off the pavement, they danced in and among the garbage trucks on simulated pick-up routes, commanded multiple trucks to circle and entwine around one another at astounding speeds, and even managed a stellar harmonica solo and hip-hop number to boot. As if all of this wasn't enough, composer and ├╝ber-talent Graham Reynolds wrote an accompanying soundtrack. Weaving sounds recorded from the various work and vehicles into the composition, Reynolds created music that not only heightened the effect of the performance, but had me searching through iTunes when I got home. This was easily the best dance performance I have ever attended. I hope they bring it back for an encore during the upcoming East Austin Studio Tour in November.


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