Trey McIntyre Project at Zellerbach November 17

5 Dec

The Trey McIntyre Project appearance was a dazzling one-night stand leaving most of the audience standing and thumping with pleasure over the energy expended on stage.  We got three works that had been created in 2007, last August and  this year at and for divergent venues; Memphis, Vail and New Orleans, “In Dreams,”, “Gravity Heroes,” “The Sweeter End.”

Each work  managed to be the same and different, thanks to the classical base, clear in every move each dancer made.  But the three works also chronicled today’s American youth; a fluid continuous line was rare; the impulse never quite flowed down the arm or leg without a syncopation, a knee rising, a foot cocked, and elbow cutting the arm line, the torso, the head flexing forward, sideways, not always together. The dancers had even mastered the sliding neck movement, the side-to-side dislocation which is a clue in Indian classical dance to the sringara rasa,  “the erotic sentiment,’ and please use South Asian tones when speaking the phrase, for the lovely, rounded Indian connotations, to make  the cell-phone generation appearance bemusing.

The first two ballets used five dancers, three girls and two boys, but managed not to make the uneven distribution a matter of contention.  For “The Sweeter End,” the quirks moved into high gear, thanks to the music of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  The NOLA audience must have relished every cocked eyebrow,
and dipped shoulder. There were hints of “The Saints” marching in, the standard  music played at The Second Line following a burial ceremony;  mostly the selections “St. James Infirmary”, “Trouble in Mind” and “Yellow Moon” captured the indefinable ambiance of The French Quarter, NOLA weather and the music.

In the ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties, the Joffrey Company reflected American youth along with the rest of their repertoire.  It’s safe to say that Trey McIntyre Project speaks to that need in these early decades of the twenty-first century.  It will be fascinating to see time and the Project reinforcing each other.

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