Continuing Without a Company

By Lucy Fandel
  • Dancers with the Trey McIntyre Project / Photo by Lois Greenfield
  • Dancer with the Trey McIntyre Project
  • Photo courtesy of Trey McIntyre Project
  • Photo courtesy of Trey McIntyre Project

A new model for dance creation, pioneered by the Trey McIntyre Project (TMP) based in Boise, Idaho, is gaining attention and growing in influence due to the group’s unexpected change in direction. For the past six years TMP has toured artistic director and choreographer Trey McIntyre’s works, inspiring audiences and surprising the dance world with its non-traditional approaches to fundraising, outreach, and management. This summer it will give its final performances as a formal dance company at Jacob’s Pillow, June 25 to 29.

“It has been an amazing ride building a brand new model in the national dance landscape,” said McIntyre, TMP’s artistic director, in a statement. “It is one that is being studied and emulated, changing the direction of where dance in America is going.”

Since its founding, TMP has used a flexible project-by-project structure that allows McIntyre to focus and take creative risks with projects. The disbanding of the dance company (and dancers) this summer is a logical extension of that ethos and will usher in a new stage for TMP with upcoming projects in film, photography, and dance.

Increasingly, independent and multidisciplinary Canadian dance artists are also leaving behind discipline-based professional companies that might inhibit creative gambles. In Canada, where there is emphasis on public education in the arts, non-traditional approaches to performance and public engagement across mediums has encouraged artistic dialogue and influenced artists, works, and communities.

Given TMP’s involvement as a company in the Boise community and its many artistic achievements over the past few years, the change in direction feels bittersweet. Yet, it is testament to McIntyre’s inspired successes and promises new solutions and strategies for dance.

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