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America ReFramed: Trash Dance

Posted by WMHT Web Editor on


Watch Tuesday January 13, 2015 at 8pm on WORLD.

Choreographer Allison Orr finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and in the invisible men and women who pick up our trash. Following a rich and long trajectory of modern dance artists, Orr’s experiment in dance and social practice celebrates the humanity and dignity of professional sanitation workers. "It’s about me setting up the possibility for people to show themselves to folks they may never ever see again in their lives, in a really personal way…and, for people to leave feeling more connected to each other," says Orr.

Sanitation workers are a part of a cadre of civil service employees who receive little recognition and yet their work is more than “just a job.” They perform a duty that is integral to the health and well-being of the community. Among these sanitation workers we meet intrepid moms, dedicated single fathers, sports coaches, day care providers and youth ministers.

For nearly a year, filmmaker Andrew Garrison follows Orr as she rides along with Austin sanitation workers on their daily routes to observe and understand the job and its functions. She studies the process and movement it requires and along the way makes friends and honors their individuality and humanity. Both the film (Trash Dance) and the dance project culminate on a dark, rainy night on an abandoned airport runway where two dozen trash collectors and their trucks deliver — for one night only — a stunningly beautiful and moving performance, before an audience of thousands, who are awed to discover the spirit and beauty in the people who make a garbage truck "dance."

Additional information about Trash Dance, is available at trashdancemovie.com.

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