About the Film
ACCLAIM FOR TRASH DANCE
“Magical” – THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Inspired and inspiring…Not to be missed!” – PASTE MAGAZINE
“Unbelievable, incredibly beautiful and moving” – BLACKBOOK MAGAZINE
“Captures the human spirit of dance” – HOUSTON CHRONICLE
“Garrison’s thoughtful, eloquent documentary illuminates the reality that all work matters and has dignity, no matter the invisibility of the labor.” – AUSTIN-AMERICAN STATESMAN
“Amazing, inspiring and unexpectedly moving” – Emily Ramshaw, THE TEXAS TRIBUNE
“A Must-See—A joyful, exuberant tale” – LA PRENSA
Choreographer Allison Orr finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and in the unseen men and women who pick up our trash. Filmmaker Andrew Garrison follows Orr as she rides along with Austin sanitation workers on their daily routes to observe and later convince them to perform a most unlikely spectacle. On an abandoned airport runway, two dozen trash collectors and their trucks deliver — for one night only — a stunningly beautiful and moving performance, in front of an audience of thousands.
ANDREW GARRISON – Director / Producer / Cinematographer
Andrew Garrison is an independent filmmaker based in Austin, Texas, who works in both documentary and fiction. His past films include the documentary feature THIRD WARD TX (2007) and the narrative triptych THE WILGUS STORIES (2000), both of which premiered at SXSW and aired on PBS. Additional films include the award-winning shorts, FAT MONROE (1990) and NIGHT RIDE (1994). Garrison’s work has earned him Guggenheim, Rockefeller, NEA and AFI Fellowships, and his films have screened at Sundance, SXSW, Berlin International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. He is an Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media Production at The University of Texas at Austin.
Garrison was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, and has been working in independent film since graduating from Antioch College in 1974. That year he co- founded the Dayton Community Media Workshop in Ohio with Academy Award- nominated filmmakers, Julia Reichert and Jim Klein, and four other friends. He was later invited to work at Appalshop, the acclaimed documentary collective in the heart of the coalfields in Eastern Kentucky, where he spent more than a dozen years as a cinematographer, as well as producing and directing his own work. In addition to directing, he continues to freelance as cinematographer and sound recordist. Garrison has worked for FRONTLINE, MTV, ART 21, Charles Guggenheim, and the BBC, and has been a sound recordist for interviews with Martin Scorsese, George W. Bush, Pete Seeger, Michael Cain, Karl Rove, Billy Bragg, Eldridge Cleaver, Eva Longoria, among many others.
ANGELA K. PIRES – Editor
Angela K. Pires was born in Port Alegre, Brazil and has worked as a director and editor in both fiction and documentary, and as a commercial editor. She wrote and directed the short THE COLOR WHITE (2001), which won 16 awards, including a Special Mention from the Jury at the Berlin International Film Festival. She was the Associate Producer of the feature narrative THE OVERBROOK BROTHERS (2009).
GRAHAM REYNOLDS – Composer
Austin, Texas-based composer-bandleader Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs and concert halls with collaborators ranging from Richard Linklater to DJ Spooky to the Austin Symphony Orchestra. As bandleader of the jazz-based but far reaching Golden Arm Trio, Reynolds has repeatedly toured the country and released three critically-acclaimed albums. Reynolds also composes film scores for fiction and documentary. His score to the 2006 Robert Downey, Jr. feature A SCANNER DARKLY was named “Best Soundtrack of the Decade” by Cinema Retro magazine.
ALLISON ORR – Choreographer, Forklift Danceworks
From Venetian gondoliers to firefighters, trained dancers to Elvis Impersonators, maintenance men to women over 65, Allison Orr creates award-winning choreography with all kinds of performers. Defying easy description, Orr’s work challenges audiences to expand notions of dance and performer while posing the question: who and what can be presented on stage? Orr finds the raw material for her work among the stories and everyday experiences of ordinary people, spending months researching and immersing herself in the community she is engaging. Uncovering that which is essential to the life of a community but often goes unnoticed is central in Orr’s work, as she seeks to give voice to people who may be marginalized or frequently overlooked.
Orr was named Best Choreographer of 2003 and 2008 by the Austin Critics Table. Her most recent large-scale work, The Trash Project, was named the #1 Arts Event of 2009 by The Austin American Statesman, the #1 Dance Event by The Austin Chronicle, and was awarded Most Outstanding Dance Concert of 2009 by the Austin Critics Table. Her work has been funded by the City of Austin, the Texas Commission on the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Austin Community Foundation, and the City of Venice, Italy. In 2005 she received a commendation for her work with visually impaired people from the City of Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities. In 2010 she served as a guest artist at the American College Dance Festival South-Central Regional Conference and was commissioned to choreograph the kick-off event for Austin’s Fusebox Festival involving over two hundred two-steppers on the steps of the Texas State Capitol.
Orr’s choreography has been featured in documentaries in film and book form, including BRAINDAMADJ’D… TAKE II—a film about a man’s recovering from a disabling car accident; LEFT TO OUR OWN DEVICES—a film exploring art- making and disability; VENICE DANCE, a soon-to-be published photography book showcasing dancers in Venice, Italy; and DOGS WITH JOBS—a program on the National Geographic Channel showing Orr’s choreographic work with guide dogs.
Orr is on the dance faculty of Austin Community College. She has taught a wide variety of students, including children, adults over 65, and people with disabilities. Before founding Forklift Danceworks, Orr taught dance and studied with MacArthur Award winner, Liz Lerman, and performed with Robert Moses and Janice Garrett in the Bay Area. Orr received an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Mills College.
TRASH DANCE was made possible in part by the support of the Warren Skaaren Charitable Trust, Humanities TX, Texas Folklife, the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin, the RTF Dept. of the University of Texas at Austin, and the generous support of numerous individuals.