Face-To-Face and High Fives: Trey McIntyre Project

Apr 18, 2014


Trey McIntyre Trey McIntyre
Photo courtesy of Trey McIntyre Project

The relationship between art and society is changing, and many arts presenters and performers are steering towards a more inclusive and accessible arts experience. Trey McIntyre Project is a leading force in this movement, with their belief that the key to arts engagement is face-to-face interactions and breaking down the often-intimidating wall between the audience and the mover.  I think they’re pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

For 10 years, Trey McIntyre Project has been pushing boundaries in their home base town, Boise, Idaho. Not only are they choreographed and led by one of the most sought after choreographers, Trey McIntyre, but they also allow the people to experience their work in more ways than just attending shows.

The company travels to schools and hospitals to perform their pieces and engage people in discussions about art. They also hold SpUrbans, Spontaneous Urban Performances, in public markets, colleges, lunch places, you name it! It’s all part of the mission to make art a very accessible and integrated part of the surrounding communities. The dancers have become local celebrities in Boise and have transformed a once dance-less community into a community of dance enthusiasts. They even have drinks named after them at the local bar! How cool is that? Plus, they’re just hilarious. Check out this video about their fundraising project, High Five.

But the company doesn’t only bring art out to the public; they also bring the public to the art. Daunting as that sounds, McIntyre makes it very easy to be involved in the whole process. People are invited to watch the rehearsal process from the very beginnings of a piece to the final touches. They host pre and post-show discussions to allow the audience to digest and also question the work they experience. The company also offers master classes for people of all skill levels and experience, so people can experience movement first hand.

But now after 10 years, Trey McIntyre has decided to take the company in a new direction. While the main company will not be full-time anymore, they will continue their mission to engage and create in the arts world. McIntyre will be working on more films, more dance companies and collaborating on new media projects. Perhaps more arts groups will catch the creative engagement bug! I know we have!  

Come see Trey McIntyre Project in one of their last performances as the touring company on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are FREE for U of M students.

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