Theater, Dance, Comedy and Performance in Chicago

Preview: The Trey McIntyre Project/Harris Theater

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Photo courtesy Lois Greenfield


It’s been said that artists are people who haven’t forgotten how to play. Take for example choreographer Trey McIntyre and the dancers in his Project; at the base of flawless classical technique is a foundation of energetic playfulness that feels instantly exciting and familiar, like reuniting with your best friend from high school and finding out you still have a ton in common. McIntyre and company are constantly working on cool stuff: their own repertory of course, commissions for McIntyre from high-profile companies across the country (e.g. American Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance), but also beautiful, delightful, often unsettling dance/music videos posted to their website and spontaneous street performances in their home base of Boise, Idaho—be it a twitchy, explosive solo to “Blister in the Sun” in a hotel parking lot or the full company greeting their creative partners from Korea in the airport with the “Gangnam Style” dance (worth two minutes on YouTube. It’s adorable). And then there are the couple weeks each year the company dedicates to community engagement in schools and hospitals.

It’s fitting then that the company would be selected by the U.S. Department of State as cultural ambassadors to East Asia last spring. The trip yielded a partnership with the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company. A handful of dancers from the company will join TMP for the Harris performance this week as part of their welcome home tour. The program centers around a new work by McIntyre, “Ladies and Gentle Men,” a half hour piece inspired by the beloved children’s album from the 1970s “Free to Be, You and Me.” In it, the dancers rid themselves of the stiff trappings of suits and party dresses to romp unencumbered by convention and stereotype. The Trey McIntyre Project is here one performance only. Free up your Friday night. (Sharon Hoyer)

At the Harris Theater, 205 East Randolph, (312)334-7777. Friday, November 30 at 7:30pm. $15-$55.

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