Trey McIntyre Project meets the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in a dance extravaganza
Published: Wednesday, February 02, 2011, 5:00 AM
by Chris Waddington
What happens when a world-renowned choreographer encounters the street styles of the New Orleans second line?
Trey McIntyre answered that question with “Ma Maison,” the electrifying 2008 collaboration between his company of nine dancers and the musicians of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. That death-haunted, 30-minute piece featured dancing skeletons, dressed in Carnival colors, who jigged, shimmied, knocked their knees in a Charleston step and spun in slow motion pirouettes while the band unleashed drum rolls and wails.
Commissioned by the New Orleans Ballet Association, “Ma Maison” got a stomping, cheering crowd out of its seats at Tulane University’s Dixon Hall and has gone on to be reprised more than 30 times nationally. Most recently, a crowd of 7,000 packed the Hollywood Bowl to see the piece.
|photo by Eliot Kamenitz|
“Working on ‘Ma Maison’ was an education for me,” McIntyre said. “I came to see how New Orleanians embrace an awareness of death in the course of celebrating daily life. The city is a richer place because of those contradictions — and very inspiring to me...”