Trey McIntyre Project’s performance at Kingsbury Hall this past week was so uniquely off the well-worn path of non-classical dance that many couldn’t recognize it as such. This work is astoundingly beautiful, emotionally engaging, original and highly detailed. It takes the best of what ballet technique can give you and fills it with purpose. It plays with dramatic intention. The purpose of art is to move us emotionally. So much choreography is either about nothing or so intellectual that it lacks heart.
The title of the first piece, “The Unkindness of Ravens,” is poetic in its efficiency and like so much else in the choreography is both literal and metaphorical. A group of ravens is by definition “an unkindness of ravens.” The etymology infers the birds’ characteristics and ultimately is fascinating source material for a piece of choreography – so it’s funny, it’s strange, it’s sad, it’s twisted. But it is about something, and something interesting.
The solo in “Bad Winter” was soulful, and the duet so personal and sensuous. I was sitting in the hole they call the front rows at Kingsbury so I could not really see the duet clearly. But I saw enough to know the articulation these dancers are capable of make the choreography clear. Everyone has experienced a “Bad Winter” at sometime in their lives.
I loved “Ladies and Gentleman” although I think the last section seemed stuck on and unnecessary. Dynamically it seemed like one section too long to me.
The dancers technical ability and the dramatic expression in their bodies and faces gave me so much information about the choreography. Clarity is just that – there really is no other way to get across the idea.
Kathy Adams is the critic for the Salt Lake Tribune and regular contributor to Dance Magazine