Last night Trey McIntyre Project (TMP) wooed the packed Newman Center at DU. Opening with a Behind the Curtain conversation, Dawn Fay and Garrett Ammon (original founders of TMP and current founders of Wonderbound) answered questions regarding working with Trey and other attempts at unraveling Trey’s creative process. Speculation at best and having been 7 years since them performing together, the summation was he is a talent to be reckoned who works with mad fury.
The performance opened with Pass, Away. Six dancers wove an interplay of weight and wrapped movement to the suite of songs by Richard Strauss, sung by Jessye Norman. Body exchanges from rag doll to rigid, up and down in beautiful symmetry executed using extreme muscle control. The stage was essentially blank with a movie screen projecting a still tuft of smoke. The impetus for this came from Trey’s muse/obsession with death and the different customs associated with letting go. The somber and impassioned operatic singing created a cerebral feel before intermission broke.
Post the 20 minute intermission, the tune literally changed. Mercury Half Life is performed in collaboration with a pastiche of Queen music. To begin, we start with tap dance and then a rendition of We will rock you that imitates a bizarre cheerleading troupe of sorts. The dancers’ display of stamina is awe-inspiring. Running approximately 52 minutes, these performers are at the top of their game. A new-world sock hop musical undulating with sounds and beats and songs ready for sing-along, the crowd builds with an energy that is palpable and also audible. The couple behind us were chatting it up in accolades and whoops and bursts of laughter. Joy builds undoubtedly throughout the movement. Freddie Mercury would be proud.
The only down to the entire performance is that it is likely the last. TMP is evolving and growing into another half-life of its own with the full-length documentary film, Ma Maison, anticipated to release in mid-2014.
TMP brought to Denver a modern day dance performance that knocks you out of your chair. The dancers are immaculate forms of muscle and energy, synchronized and timed to perfection with lyrical and musical interpretations that intrigue and amuse. It is no wonder the Newman Center was full. Dancers, grandmas, couples and groups of friends all experienced an evening that relates to both the millennial and boomer. Taking pop culture and meshing it with the traditionally considered bourgeois world of dance, TMP crosses boundaries. If you encounter the chance to see Trey McIntyre Project, take it.
W. Celeste Davis Stragand: Published author, showcased artist and local Denverite, W. Celeste Davis Stragand is not new to the art world. Her passion for delving into the root of existence and movement will challenge and praise both choreographers and the audience. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Celeste holds two bachelor of arts degrees, one in Chemistry and the other in English. She is also a graduate of Naropa University holding a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing and Poetics from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. A former national slam team poet, Celeste is a graduate of the Downtown Denver Partnership Leadership Program and sits on the American Institute of Architects Colorado board. Her passion and enthusiasm for the kinetic arts will frolic and frenzy through the upcoming season of performances with many hopes for an encore!