On Sept. 21 and 22, approximately 6,000 people in the Austin area will have the opportunity to watch more than 50 linemen in a choreographed production featuring bucket trucks, utility poles, and a live orchestra as part of PowerUP, a grand civic spectacle produced by Forklift Danceworks.

Featuring the employees and machinery of Austin's municipal power company, the performance is free and will be a massive outdoor production — a set of 20 utility poles, bucket trucks weaving in and out, cranes extending 100-plus feet into the air, and 50-plus linemen climbing and performing aesthetically sculpted choreography that intertwines their physical work — high-wire repairs, fixing electrical grids, and responding to power emergencies — with personal narratives of the long process it takes to become an expert at the job.

All this will be accompanied by a live orchestra performing a score by Austin's celebrated composer Graham Reynolds, conducted by Austin Symphony Conductor Peter Bay. The performance will take place at the Travis County Exposition and Heritage Center in Austin, Texas.

More than $22,000 was raised in March and April of this year to help fund the project, according to the kickstarter.com website.

Allison Orr, the artistic director of Forklift Danceworks, said she has been shadowing and getting to know the Austin Energy employees for nearly two years.  

“Linemen are true cowboys — people who are willing to do whatever it takes, in all kinds of weather and at great personal risks, to make sure you and I can turn the lights on every day. These men are also big talkers, characters, risk takers, and — believe it or not — dancers. All of their work relies upon highly choreographed movement. One wrong move and someone could die. And they rely upon each other — moving like a highly trained group of dancers — to make sure the work gets done right every day,” Orr wrote on the kickstarter.com website.

“The ultimate goal in creating this dance is for the performance to give the audience a deeper appreciation, respect, and understanding for the work of our public power employees — work which supports all of our lives going well on a daily basis. The dance will also show the beauty and artistry inherent in this job, creating a deeper connection to the human being behind the work,” she added.

Learn more at www.forkliftdanceworks.org.