PowerUP - a performance by the employees and machinery of Austin Energy
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On September 21st & 22nd, 2013, in the shadow of Austin’s Decker Power Plant, Forklift premiered PowerUP—a performance featuring the employees and machinery of Austin Energy. Performed to an original score by Graham Reynolds and accompanied by a string orchestra led by Austin Symphony Conductor Peter Bay featuring "digital violin" soloist Todd Reynolds, PowerUP showcased 50+ linemen, electrical technicians and Austin Energy employees in a choreographed 90 minute dance with bucket trucks, cranes and field trucks, a set of 20 utility poles, and an audience of 6,000+ people!
Artistic Director Allison Orr and her team, including Production Designer Stephen Pruitt and fellow choreographer Krissie Marty, shadowed and got to know these employees for over three years. Read more about the process of building the dance in The Austin Chronicle cover story by arts writer Robert Faires. Read about the dance's creation and performance, including post-show interviews with the performing linemen, on our blog.
The performing employees, technicians and linemen, are true cowboys—people who are willing to do whatever it takes, in all kinds of weather and at great personal risk, to make sure you and I can turn the lights on every day. Our hope is that through PowerUP, Austinites have gained a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the work of these vital but often unseen men and women.
PowerUP was made possible by the support of hundreds of generous individuals and businesses. See our list of generous kickstarter backers as well as our Bright Lights Sponsors, Leave the Lights on Supporters, and Corporate Partners below.
Brights Lights Sponsors ($1000)
Leave the Lights on Supporters ($1000+)
Terawatt Presenting Sponsor: Applied Materials
Kilowatt Sponsor: Austin Community College
Community Partner: Austin Energy
Grant Awards and Funding Agencies:
This project is funded and supported in part by grants from the National Endowment from the Arts, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Map Fund, the Texas Commission on the Arts andthe City of Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division, believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.