Trey McIntyre Project Makes Final Appearance as Fulltime Dance Ensemble at Jacob's Pillow, Now thru 6/29
A bold company with a strong Jacob's Pillow history including five engagements since 2005, Trey McIntyre Project will make its final appearance as a fulltime dance ensemble today, June 25-29 in the Ted Shawn Theatre. Called "engaging and provocative" by Karen Campbell of The Boston Globe, Trey McIntyre's dances overflow with fresh intelligence, unabashed physicality, and spirit. TMP's Festival 2014 program features The Vinegar Works: Four Dances of Moral Instruction, a new work inspired by the surreal art and writings of Edward Gorey, and the East Coast premiere of Mercury Half-Life, set entirely to the music of legendary rock band Queen.
This engagement marks the last performances of Trey McIntyre Project as a fulltime dance company before artistic director Trey McIntyre shifts his focus to choreographing for a variety of companies, as well as other creative endeavors. McIntyre comments, "There is a great poetry to TMP having its final performance as a fulltime dance company at Jacob's Pillow. Ella Baff was one of the very first presenters to take a chance on us." An official statement from the company offers that "Trey McIntyre Project has fulfilled what we set out to do as a dance company and because of this success we are shifting focus by ending the fulltime dance company and embarking on new projects."
Ella Baff, Jacob's Pillow Executive and Artistic Director, comments: "The Pillow seems the perfect place to close this chapter of Trey McIntyre Project... Audiences connect with Trey's work - and the exceptional dancers in his company - in a way I have not seen in many years. We are honored to host the farewell performances of the Trey McIntyre Project. It will be a very special week and a homecoming of sorts. Trey is deeply creative in many ways, and I'm sure this new artistic direction will be interesting and prolific. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for him and his fabulous dancers."
Inspired by the surreal imagination of writer and illustrator Edward Gorey and his characteristic pen-and-ink drawings, The Vinegar Works is McIntyre's final work for the fulltime company. Taking place in a dark and decadent world brought to life by Bruce Bui's costumes with puppets and props designed by Dan Luce and Michael Curry, whose work is featured in The Lion King on Broadway and various Cirque du Soleil productions, this suite of dances acknowledges Gorey's affection for the ballet and includes recordings of Gorey poems read by acclaimed actor and 1998 Tony Award winner Alan Cumming. The Vinegar Works: Four Dances of Moral Instruction will have live accompaniment by Trio Solaris, a prestigious group comprised of the Music Institute of Chicago's top Fellow Laureates, performing "Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor" by Dmitri Shostakovich. Trio Solaris features violinist Gallia Kastner, 17, gold medal winner of the 2013 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; cellist Nathan Walhout, 16, a 2014 Ars Viva Symphony Concerto Competition winner; and pianist Andrew Guo, 15, a first prize winner of the Society of American Musicians Competition.
In Mercury Half-Life, which premiered in Boise in 2013, the exceptional performers of Trey McIntyre Project dazzle in daredevil partnering through duets and trios, and let loose with infectious, propulsive movement. Mercury Half-Life's score, entirely by the band Queen, includes beloved ballads "We Will Rock You," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "We Are the Champions" as well as lesser-known songs such as "Love of My Life," "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy," "Millionaire Waltz," and a tap number set to "Bring Back That Leroy Brown." This exuberant crowd-pleaser is a fitting capstone to TMP's years as an audience favorite at the Pillow.
Trey McIntyre Project first appeared at the Pillow in 2005 as a summer pick-up troupe comprised of top ballet dancers from across the country. The group returned the following year in the Ted Shawn Theatre, and made its debut as a fulltime company in 2008, with subsequent engagements in 2010 and 2012. Of the company's 2010 appearance, Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times wrote: "The dancers move their whole bodies with a mixture of freedom and precision that's startling, and they look motivated in every moment. The connection of classical form to personal impulse...is unusual...there's a fertility of invention and a modernity of spirit here that are all Mr. McIntyre's own." In celebration of the company, a panel of friends and fans will show and discuss favorite video clips from McIntyre's repertory in a free PillowTalk on Saturday, June 28 at 4pm.