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Best of the week: Arts, Sept. 20-26

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Linemen from Austin Energy rehearse “Power Up,” the latest dance event from choreographer Allison Orr, creator of the popular “Trash Project.”

Friday

Vincent Mantsoe & Dance Theatre X. Vincent Mantsoe is one of post-apartheid South Africa’s leading choreographers. His vibrant and charged piece “Opera for Fools” probes South African life during apartheid. Also on the program is a new piece by Charles O. Anderson’s Afro-contemporary dance company Dance Theatre X. 8 p.m. Friday. McCullough Theatre, University of Texas campus. $10-$32. 512-477-6060, www.texasperformingarts.org.

Saturday and Sunday

“Power Up.” Choreographer Allison Orr makes non-dancers dance. Now, Orr employs the same formula she used a few years ago in her super-popular “Trash Project,” her celebration of Austin’s sanitation workers and the equipment they use.

With “Power Up” the performers this time are the high-climbing linemen of Austin Energy and their bucket trucks, cranes and field trucks. Orr again teams with composer Graham Reynolds for some original music to accompany the show, performed outside amidst a gathering of utility poles. Austin Symphony Orchestra conductor Peter Bay leads a string orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Travis County Exposition and Heritage Center, 7311 Decker Lane. Free but reservations required. Reserve online www.forkliftdanceworks.org.

Liam Gillick & Marianne Vitale

Last week, the Contemporary Austin announced that it will inaugurate a sculpture park at Laguna Gloria, its historic 12-acre lakeside home, that will feature many site-specific and temporary projects.

This weekend, the civic art museum opens two large installations by artists Liam Gillick and Marianne Vitale. Both have parts at the Contemporary’s two locations: Jones Center, 700 Congress Ave. and Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. Both sites offer free admission this weekend and two special programs are scheduled:

“Liam Gillick in Dialogue.” 1 p.m. Saturday. The British artist discusses the multicolored, powder-coated geometrical steel platform structure at the base of the Driscoll Villa stairs, inviting the visitor to Laguna Gloria to sit, play or even take shelter beneath it.

“Inuksuit.” 2 p.m. Sunday. More than 40 percussionists will dot the grounds of Laguna Gloria to play John Luther Adams’ monumental composition, an ethereal and environmental piece that honors the natural ecology of the Arctic region that’s intended to played outdoors. In Austin, the audience will be invited to wander the lakeside museum grounds to experience “Inuksuit” on their own terms.

For more information see www.thecontemporary.org.