When the Trey McIntyre Project travels the world--from Southeast Asia to Brooklyn, N.Y.--one question rings out above the others: "Why Boise?" In a video interview projected before TMP's Spring Show at the Morrison Center Feb. 16, McIntyre answered that question. Of all the places the contemporary dance company could've picked to put down roots, Boise felt like it had the most potential. And after five years representing the City of Trees in cities near and far, TMP is only strengthened in its resolve to continue calling Boise home.
"If I can get that message out to everyone in Boise, Idaho, this is the big time," McIntyre's voice boomed over the crowd.
The Spring Show's opening number, "Queen of the Goths," was a fittingly passionate segue into an exploration of the character Queen Tamora from Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus.
As the dance opened, Tamora's son Alarbus had just been killed by Titus Andronicus. With regal poise, Tamora (Elizabeth Keller) commanded the stage in pointe shoes and a white bodysuit with a skirt that hung open in the front, exposing her muscular legs. A cocktail of strength and vulnerability seeped from Keller's every move, highlighted by Travis C. Richardson's dramatic purple lighting and costume designer Liz Prince's billowing fuchsia scarf.
And the intensity only increased with the closing song, "Twilight" by Antony and the Johnsons, which rang out as Tamora unknowingly took a bite of pie made from the flesh of her other two slain sons, Demetrius and Chiron.
The following dance, the world premiere preview of "Pass, Away," was more subtle in its execution but no less striking. Framed by a screen projecting a cloudy, tumultuous sky, dancers Travis Walker and Ashley Werhun started the number locked in a kiss, as Jessye Norman's operatic soprano floated over them. Though Richard Strauss' classical suite lent the piece a more traditional ballet feel, McIntyre's choreography was anything but traditional. Clad in a black midriff-baring bodysuit, Chanel DaSilva grabbed Brett Perry's mouth from behind, sending him spinning like a top; Werhun's head plunged into Walker's abdomen, which rippled at her touch.
"Pass, Away" was arresting in both its athleticism and it's delicacy.
The evening wrapped up with a performance of "Arrantza," a dance commissioned for the 2010 Jaialdi celebration that pays tribute to Boise's Basque culture. Featuring oral interviews with local Basques, the dance was a fitting finale for TMP's fifth anniversary performance.
During the video that opened the show, McIntyre hinted that audiences can expect the company to evolve as time goes on, noting that the stage setup will start to look different as TMP dives further into filmmaking and photography.
"We'll never cease to innovate and push the boundaries of what we do," said McIntyre.