When dance lovers speak wistfully of finding the next Balanchine, Trey McIntyre's name often comes up. And why not? McIntyre began at Houston Ballet as a dancer and left as an associate choreographer; he has made more than 75 dances for companies spanning Balanchine's New York City Ballet to Oregon Ballet Theatre. (OBT artistic director Christopher Stowell is a fan: "Over the years, he's constantly reinvented himself…and it says a lot that, throughout that evolution, he's consistently maintained the interest of both audiences and critics alike.")
So when McIntyre started his own company in the cultural hinterlands of Boise, Idaho, local and international confusion ensued.
"There was a lot of 'splainin' to do," McIntyre admitted in a phone call from L.A., where the Trey McIntyre Project was performing before hopscotching to Santa Barbara, Modesto and Portland. By his count, his company is on the road 22 weeks a year, but the increase in space and peace has made working outside the world's dance capitals worthwhile. And Boise has come to embrace the company.
"There's a divide between big and small cities in terms of access to culture," he said. "Why wouldn't people in small towns appreciate it? It's a great thing to add to a landscape."
To any landscape, McIntyre adds a blend of classical with contemporary and lyrical with athletic, using ballet as an organizational framework. He's good at crafting flowing movement patterns and adding flourishes that catch the eye. Here, his company will dance to songs by the Beatles ("A Day in the Life") and Peter, Paul and Mary ("Leatherwing Bat"). (Serious), a new trio piece commissioned by White Bird and set to a score by Henry Cowell, completes the bill.
McIntyre's aim, wherever he has worked, is not to be the next Balanchine but "to find the truth, whatever that may be." He's searching for that with his company on his own terms, so for now, creating work for other groups is on hold. "I'm enjoying this process so much," he said. "I don't really want to do anything else."
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 790-2787. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 25-27. $20-$50.