Monday, January 24, 2011

Trey McIntyre interview in Dance Magazine about TMP/PHJB collaboration

Article and Interview with Trey McIntyre regarding the sequel to the Trey McIntyre Project/Preservation Hall Jazz Band collobartion "Ma Maison":

They're With The Band
Trey McIntyre returns to New Orleans
Dance Magazine, January 21, 2011

When Trey McIntyre choreographed Ma Maison, he didn't know the piece would become one of his company's most popular works. Commissioned in 2008 by the New Orleans Ballet Association and set to music performed by the celebrated Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ma Maison captures to the city's jaunty embrace of life and death, and its extraordinary will to survive. On February 4, The Trey McIntyre Project will return to New Orleans at NOBA's invitation to premiere the choreographer's companion piece to Ma Maison at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. It too will be set to a score performed live by Preservation Hall Jazz Band. (For tickets, click here.) McIntyre spoke with DM's ENews about the new, as yet unnamed piece, and why he finds New Orleans a source of inspiration.

Why did you decide to choreograph a sequel to Ma Maison?

I'm very interested in the idea of live music, but wary of it. Ma Maison got me out of my comfort zone, and I wanted to go deeper. The new work is set to "St. James Infirmary," which Preservation Hall Band performs as a dirge, and then in an upbeat version. It's about 14 minutes and it has a grand scale-it's really inspiring.

What are the themes? I wanted to deal with the notion of pleasure. Our society maligns pleasure-we see it as self-indulgent-but in New Orleans, it's part of the spiritual journey. And I keep returning to the theme of death, and how death and pleasure relate.

What's it like to work with the Preservation Hall Band? It was so inspiring the first time the dancers and musicians got together. We each had diminished expectations based on prejudices. But the company had sent a video of our work, and the musicians got excited. The minute we walked in the door, there was camaraderie and razor sharp focus. Now the dancers and the musicians have such a give and take.

What appeals to you about New Orleans? My dad took me to the city when I was 6. I remember even then walking down Bourbon Street and being curious about everything. When I danced with Houston Ballet, I always went to New Orleans during my layoffs. It's a place with a very special, loving, and sensual connection with death. They live that connection every day, and it has an effect on how they live every day. You don't know why you like it, but you do.


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