The Trey McIntyre Project returns to Phillips Center
Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:58 a.m.
The third time may be the charm for Gainesville and the Trey McIntyre Project. The contemporary ballet company returns to Gainesville at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Phillips Center.
Not that Trey McIntyre Project wasn't a hit the last two times they performed here — 2009 and 2011 — quite the opposite. As such, and as part of UF Performing Arts' 20th anniversary celebration, Trey McIntyre Project is reprising “Leatherwing Bat,” which it featured on a 2009 local bill, along with two works that are new to the Phillips stage.
“Leatherwing Bat” is set to music of Peter, Paul and Mary. From his 2009 interview before the company's performance here, artistic director Trey McIntyre said, “It's from the album Peter, Paul and Mommy — that's a children's album. It was kind of the soundtrack of my childhood. I think I played it and listened to it for hours at night.
“I revisited it many years later, cause I happened upon it on iTunes,” he continued. “And I started feeling the same things that I had as a kid listening to it. And I thought that was an interesting starting point to work from — the idea of things that stay with you throughout your life, when you're very young to when you're an adult.”
It seems McIntyre's latest variation on that theme is “Ladies and Gentle Men.” The work is inspired by the 1970s children's album, book and TV special “Free to Be ... You and Me”.
In the Phillips Center's program notes for Wednesday's performance, McIntyre writes that his work is “not a literal rendering of the meaning or spirit of the original (‘Free to Be'). Rather, it is my interpretation of how the songs and stories made me feel as a child ... and their influence on me as a man and artist.”
About the piece “Ladies and Gentle Men,” Dance Magazine wrote: “Featuring a cast of three men in suits and ties and three women in poufy bright-colored dresses, the piece manages to find freshness and vibrancy in rough-and-tumble moves, while coping with material that nobly cheerleads for ... letting each person's individuality emerge triumphant.”
Between “Leatherwing Bat” and “Ladies and Gentle Men” on Wednesday is “Bad Winter.” It begins with a female solo that leads into a pas de deux for two additional dancers.
In a video on the company's website, Trey McIntyre Project artistic director and founder Trey McIntyre explains the making of “Bad Winter”: “Something we have sometimes are open rehearsals — we call them ‘Behind the Scenes.' There was one I made over the summer, while we were at White Oak. It was something about the timing of it — I was having a really hard time for myself in my personal life. And usually with those Behind the Scenes, I just grab a piece of music, go on in the room, and go on instinct. I don't really prepare. So what came out of that was a reflection of what I was feeling and going through myself. And I liked it.
“I was able to revisit it, expand upon it, and finish it up,” McIntyre continues. “I think people are kind of fascinated with how I come up with music to use, so people are always suggesting music to me. This music in particular just came from a friend — it was something he'd just sent me a few days previous.”
The music used is two pieces from The Cinematic Orchestra, as well as Arthur Tracy's “Pennies from Heaven.”
“In some ways the piece is kind of a diary,” McIntyre says in the video. “I think for me it will be a record of this period in my life.”
For this period in the company's “life,” it's all good.
Trey McIntyre Project, which is based in Boise, Idaho, hits Gainesville fresh off of performances in Chicago and Salt Lake City.
Earlier this year, the company toured East Asia as part of DanceMotionUSA, a cultural diplomacy program run by the US State Department's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs along with Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Through the program, Trey McIntyre Project toured China, South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam. And earlier this month, the company hosted Korea's National Contemporary Dance Company members for joint performances at BAM and other sites across the U.S.
Tickets for Wednesday's performance are $20 to $35, available by calling 392-2787.
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