Dance enthusiasts silenced in anticipation as the lights dimmed and the spotlight went on dancer So Jin Lee during one of the two Trey McIntyre Project performances premiering Friday, November 23 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. First for the night was the West Coast premiere of Trey McIntyre Project’s The Unkindness of Ravens, which included three members of the Seoul-based Korea National Contemporary Dance Company (KNCDC). After only three weeks spent with McIntyre working on this new piece, Lee, An Lee Chang and Tae Hee Kim had transformed into some of Trey McIntyre Project’s company dancers; conveying strong emotions through facial expressions, executing flawless technique and fluidity, and most of all grasping the quirky and comedic appeal commonly found in McIntyre’s work.
The highlight of the evening went to the world premiere of McIntyre’s innovative multimedia work titled Ways of Seeing, which began in Segerstorm Hall and transitioned both artists and audience members to the Center’s Arts Plaza. The piece started with McIntyre himself on stage interacting with the audience and choreographing a live, non-rehearsed piece with two of this company’s dancers, Chanel DaSilva and Brett Perry, a rare sight to see. The choreography then led the dancers off stage, which in turn led the audience out into the Center’s Arts Plaza.
Outside in the courtyard, dancers were found in every direction, interacting and weaving through the crowd. The attention was drawn towards a small circular stage where the dancers jumped, crawled and climbed on and off. Excitement was in the air by the time the piece concluded, leaving an amused and chattering crowd.
The Trey McIntyre Project is known for unconventional work, and this night was no exception.