| Chicago Reader

Trey McIntyre Project arrives from Boise by way of the world 

A widely traveled young Idaho-based troupe comes to Chicago

Ladies and Gentle Men: The 1970s feminism-for-kids media franchise goes dancing!

Ladies and Gentle Men: The 1970s feminism-for-kids media franchise goes dancing!

The Trey McIntyre Project is a small, four-year-old company with a big back story. During his 18 years as an independent choreographer, McIntyre created more than 75 works for companies around the world, including New York City Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. But in 2008 he moved what had been his pickup troupe to Boise, Idaho, and made it full-time. According to the New York Times, McIntyre chose an isolated, heartland home base in order to cut down on distractions. TMP gets around a lot, though. In May, it toured the Philippines, Vietnam, China, and South Korea.

A dance that came out of the Asian tour, The Unkindness of Ravens, is one of three works being offered here. Performed by male TMP dancers with women from the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, it's unified by the fact that everyone involved wears a goatee. Also on the bill is Ladies and Gentle Men, which grew out of McIntyre's memories of the 1970s feminism-for-kids media franchise, Free to Be . . .You and Me. The piece celebrates the idea of fluid gender roles while also showing its quixotic side. And then there's the autobiographical Bad Winter, which was inspired in part by Dennis Potter's brilliant 1981 movie musical, Pennies From Heaven, and combines Depression-era forced gaiety with all-too-real sadness.

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