(article) TRASH DANCE, a film supported by Texas Folklife, will have its broadcast premiere on PBS's America ReFramed

Season 3 of AMERICA REFRAMED with Host Natasha Del Toro continues with TRASH DANCE by Andrew Garrison


Tuesday, January 13, 2105, on WORLD at 8 p.m.



Twitter: @americareframed #americareframed    


An experiment in modern dance and social practice celebrates the humanity and

dignity of skilled garbage professionals, the awesome grace of massive trucks and on

a dark rainy night wow a crowd of thousands.

“Garbage becomes art” – New York Times, Mekado Murphy 

December 15, 2014 (New York, NY) –  Andrew Garrison’s documentary 

TRASH DANCE has its national broadcast television premiere on Tuesday,

January 13, 2015 at 8 p.m. on WORLD as part of the third season of the 

AMERICA REFRAMED series. (Check local listings.)  Audiences across the nation can also view the film FREE from January 14 to 28, 2015 on http://worldchannel.org/.


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 in the documentary.  “It’s …an opportunity for all of us to be in this shared moment..." 


With days starting at 2:30 am we meet hardworking Americans, many of whom hold two jobs to make ends meet. 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 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."