Remember the trash truck dance? Forklift Danceworks’ next performance will make a splash

Remember when Austin’s garbage collectors were the star of the city’s hottest dance performance?

In 2009, Forklift Danceworks founder Allison Orr debuted Trash Dance, where more than a dozen trash trucks — and the men and women who operate them — were the stars of a choreographed piece that they performed on the old airport tarmac at Mueller. (That performance was the subject of a documentary by Andrew Garrison that premiered at SXSW in 2012.)

READ: ‘Dance’ explores art of everyday movement 

Last year, Forklift turned their attention to the Goodwill headquarters in East Austin, where Krissie Marty choreographed an immersive performance piece with dozens of Goodwill workers and the thousands of thousands of pounds of unwanted goods they work with every day. (Missed it? It was amazing. I didn’t get to see Trash Dance, but I saw Re Source, and it was incredible.)

Today, Forklift Danceworks announced the next project: My Park, My Pool, My City, a three-year collaboration with the Austin’s Parks & Recreation Aquatics Team that will highlight the importance of neighborhood pools in East Austin.

Each summer, starting in July, Forklift will feature the pool employees and residents in a performance that — judging by the long list of Orr’s previous work — will be unforgettable.

The first one will take place at Windsor Park’s Bartholomew Pool. Tickets aren’t yet available, but Forklift is hosting a Kickstarter through the month of February.

Forklift Danceworks’ upcoming performance won’t look like this video of synchronized pizza divers, but it will most definitely take place at a pool. Gif from

From the release:

My Park, My Pool, My City is a multi-year residency led by Forklift Danceworks in partnership with Austin’s Parks & Recreation (PARD)/ Aquatics Program. Conceived with PARD leadership to address the complex issues confronting Austin’s aquatic systems, this 3-year residency will utilize arts-based engagement and collaborative performances to foster dialogue between pool users, community stakeholders, and PARD staff in three different East Austin neighborhoods.
As PARD begins the rollout of a new Aquatics Master Plan for the City of Austin, the community faces a number of impending challenges including neighborhood resistance, extreme fiscal limitations, and issues of equity in access dictated by transportation. Forklift Danceworks recognizes the magnitude of these challenges as well as the often intense and emotional responses of residents to ideas about changes that might happen in their neighborhoods. On both sides there is a lack of understanding of the others’ perspectives, experiences, and motivations. The arts can take a role in helping to mediate and bridge these divides in understanding.
Harnessing the power of the arts to address these complex local issues, My Park, My Pool, My City will utilize Forklift Danceworks’ community-based creative process to activate existing community networks–of individuals, community organizers, community groups, PARD staff, and municipal leaders–towards the goal of creating shared understanding of, and finding creative solutions to, neighborhood-level concerns and PARD challenges related to the aquatics system.
Each year for three years, project activities will center on one specific East Austin neighborhood. In addition to creating new original performances, we’ll host town hall gatherings, community workshops, documentary film screenings, and—of course—pool parties leading up to and following each show.

Author: Addie Broyles

Food writer for the Austin American-Statesman and

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