The days prior to a sophomore release for any artist whose debut was a smash must be fraught with anticipation and apprehension. Expectations are that the follow-up will not only build upon, but improve upon the first. Both critics and fans of Trey McIntyre Project have been exhaling as the quality of the company’s second-season premieres have exceeded those expectations.
New York Times quipped, “The great Boise experiment appears to be a smashing success”; San Francisco Bay Guardian wrote, “McIntyre has done well as freelancer of fast-paced, musical, and accessible ballet choreography”; and in regard to a performance of “The Sun Road,” a brand-new dance by McIntyre, Dance LA penned, “a moment of alchemy reveals the tremendous possibilities of this experiment.” But what of the TMP dancers? Do they see this season shaping up to rival the first or are they still holding their collective breath?
Dancer Jason Hartley—who is also the company’s newly appointed assistant to the artistic director (think ballet master)—said the move from season one to season two was a subtle one.
“I think we have a better idea of what to expect [in the second season]. We have a lot more confidence now that we have that experience under our belt,” Hartley said.
For some of the dancers, their first year with TMP was their first year dancing professionally, but for others like Hartley, who is a seasoned performer with 14 years of dancing behind him, when one season wraps up, that merely means it’s time to start readying for the next one. One big contrast between TMP and other companies they may have worked for, however, was the media attention the company garnered.
“The difference with TMP was all the cameras,” Hartley said. “We had so many videos and still photos taken of us, but that’s to our credit. The more we’re seen, the more we’re seen. It was like a reality show: For the first couple of episodes, we were posing for the cameras, but by the end of the season, we forgot the cameras were there,” he said, laughing. “It’s just another aspect of our job.”
And like the first season, TMP’s second promises a return to some favorite programs from farther back in McIntyre’s repertoire and an opportunity to look forward to some brand new choreography.
“I enjoy revisiting works of [McIntyre's] I’ve done in the past,” Hartley said. ‘Golden Slumber,’ the minute-and-a-half solo I do in the [Beatles] ‘Day in the Life’ is like a best friend of mine,” Hartley said. “I’ll pull that out of my pocket and dance that whenever I can. But any time you get to create something new, it’s such a rush.”
TMP returns to the Morrison Center with the Boise premieres of “The Sun Road” and of “Shape” and the return of McIntyre’s 1997 “Like a Samba,” with music by Astrud Gilberto.
Saturday, Oct. 17, 8 p.m., $10-$50, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, 208-426-1609 mc.boisestate.edu.