From sanitation workers to firefighters, Venetian gondoliers to professional baseball players, power linemen to forestry technicians, Allison Orr creates award-winning choreography with unlikely performers. Inspired by the beauty and virtuosity in the practiced movement of labor, Allison’s dances feature the often-overlooked choreography of work that sustains our everyday lives. Building on her background in anthropology and social work, over the past 20 years Allison has honed a method of ethnographic choreography that engages community members as co-authors in the creation of large-scale civic spectacle. At MacDowell, she was working on a book about her dancemaking process, which uses interviews with dozens of past collaborators to tell the story of just how these dances are made.
Portrait by Sarah Bork