The Trey McIntyre Project performance that took place in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 18, presented dance that was anything but ordinary.
With unusual themes and distinct choreography, the dance troupe gave a performance that was uniquely theirs.
The opening piece of the evening, titled “Ma Maison,” had the dancers dressed as harlequins with skeleton masks and was set to a combination of flashy music and gospel tunes of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
This piece had a zany nature that came from the costuming and bouncy quality of the dancing joined with the music.
The next piece shifted the tone as three dancers took the stage in tan slacks and buttoned dress shirts. Titled “(serious),” this pas de trois between two men and one woman utilized fluid and unusual partnering that gave the piece a memorable quality.
“Shape,” the following piece, served the audience a new surprise as dancers appeared with balloons attached to their bodies. The first dancer to be seen had two balloons stuffed into her oversized shirt, seeming to represent abnormally large breasts; another dancer had the balloons fixed to her hands, and the third dancer had a balloon on top of his head.
This piece had a flowing continuation of movement, a style that was common in much of the choreography in the show, and was set to music by Goldfrapp and The Polyphonic Spree.
The final piece of the concert, “The Sun Road,” was a multimedia presentation created for the Wolf Trap Foundation of Glacier National Park.
This work combined live dancing with screen projection video recording of the dancers in the National Park.
“It was a strange challenge for me, the idea of making a dance about a national park,” Trey McIntyre, the program’s choreographer, said. “It becomes the story of how human beings move into nature and change it.”
This piece showcased the strength of the male dancers in the company and was set to a variety of music ranging from fragments of Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” to the sounds of rushing wind and native chanting.
Many audience members gave glowing reports of the performance.
Freshman Emma Rishel said, “It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was phenomenal, and some of the things they did I did not know were humanly possible.”
“It was absolutely fabulous,” agreed sophomore Anna Daught, and senior Danielle Feller “loved it.”
Though McIntyre’s innovative choreography is appreciated by many who are well-versed in the dance field, such a performance may have been confusing or even frustrating for those who are not as familiar with the art of dance.
While the unusual choreography may not have appealed to everyone, however, the dancers themselves were all extremely skilled and marvelous performers. Tackling McIntyre’s atypical and demanding choreography with absolute commitment, the dancers in the show were a privilege to watch.
Dance department Prof. Michael Gleason said, “The show was wonderful, and it was really nice to see something that was a little further out there. The dancers’ commitment to the choreography was excellent – they were all fabulous.”