In the first part of this article, we were introduced to The Trey McIntyre Project and the project's active presence in the community. To find out more about their community outreach efforts and to read the first portion of this interview, click here!
The result is beautiful and engaging in a signature McIntyre way. While technically demanding, it engages with audiences not necessarily versed in dance vocabulary and tradition. For example, at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, also in southern CA, the company recently performed with the Korean dancers. The dance, titled Ways of Seeing, involved an in-theater performance before venturing outside, where the dancers interacted with giant art installation set pieces, each other, and the spectators. Ways of Seeing “explores the roles of audience and performer and seeks to invert that and give a different perspective," McIntyre explained to LA Times writer Debra Levine in this article.
This sort of interaction helps educate broader audiences about the thrills, beauty, and artistry of dance, and the dancers have gained life-enriching experience through the KNCDC partnership. “I always knew that there were people all over the world with the same goals as mine, trying to be dancers. But to meet them and see them working made me feel connected in a way I had never felt before,” says Perry.
This connection through dance was terrifically manifest at the home of the US ambassador to Korea one evening during the Asia tour. Dignitaries were invited to have dinner and watch performances by TMP and five Korean companies, representing ballet, modern, and hip hop styles. Some of the dancers brought traditional Korean instruments. Later on in the night, people started playing the instruments, “and all of a sudden an improv dance circle broke out, right there in the ambassador’s living room!” recalls Perry. “To have this totally organic cultural exchange, communicating with each other through dancing, and with so much joy—the connection was tangible. It was one of those moments that gives you goose bumps.”
Describing the working process between the TMP and KNCDC dancers, Redmond draws attention to the power of a shared experience of dance to bridge difficult barriers. “It broadened my horizons so much. I’m really good friends now with these dancers who grew up in a completely different culture. There’s a real language barrier, but I think because we share the language of dance it’s easier to come together. Now we share this sense of humor together. I hope this pilot program will be a catalyst for others like it.”
For more, check out this portal to TMP’s social media. There’s a very active blog, Twitter feed, and YouTube archive that includes video of TMP and KNCDC collaborations.