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'Dove Springs Swims' In New Forklift Danceworks Performance

"It's the second in a trilogy of dances with Austin Aquatics," says Forklift Danceworks artistic director Allison Orr, speaking about this weekend's production of Dove Springs Swims. Last summer, Forklift partnered with the city's aquatics division to present Bartholomew Swims, and next summer they'll stage a third performance at a yet-to-be-named east Austin pool.

As the did last year, Forklift has been working not only with the city's aquatics division, but also with Dove Springs residents who regularly use the neighborhood pool. 

"Dove Springs is a very activated neighborhood with a real long history of organizing," Orr says. "And Parks and Rec really wanted us to work with Dove Springs because... the rec center is a real center of community life, and the swimming pool as well. So we are there to help tell the story of the swimming pool, of why people love to swim, and also of... a really great neighborhood in Austin that has a lot to say."

"[Dove Springs Swims] is the story of who's in the pool,' says Forklift choreographer Krissie Marty. "We're meeting seniors... people who are coming to swim for therapy or just to cool off, and families. Lots and lots of families."

One of the residents who is helping to create Dove Springs Swims is Jenny Ramirez. She attended last year's performance at Bartholomew pool and was excited to be a part of bringing the project to her own neighborhood. 

"I saw it and I was... so fascinated, and I was like, 'I want to do that!'" Ramirez says. "When they said they were going to use my pool, I was like, 'Oh my God! We're considered special now!'.”

Paul Slutes, who is the head of aquatic maintenance for the city's Parks and Recreation department, was part of last year's performance and is happy to return this year.

"It's really an honor to be asked to come back and help out on this project, and any Forklift project," he says. "Watching Forklift do their choreography -- with the dancing, with the music, with the lighting -- is just an amazing thing to watch and it's an amazing thing to be a part of."

Slutes takes the job of maintaining Austin's neighborhood pools seriously.

"It's my job to make sure that the community has a place to swim, because I know I grew up at the pools and that's how I got into this business, was swimming there every day as a kid," he says. "And I know how important it was to me. We [in aquatics maintenance] care about the community, and that's what we want to highlight in the show is that we do care about the community and every pool matters."

'Dove Springs Swims' is this weekend at Dove Springs neighborhood pool. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance.

Mike is the production director at KUT, where he’s been working since his days as an English major at the University of Texas. He produces and hosts This Is My Thing and Arts Eclectic, and also produces Get Involved and the Sonic ID project. When pressed to do so, he’ll write short paragraphs about himself in the third person, but usually prefers not to.
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