Review: Preservation Hall Jazz Band & Trey McIntyre

Last night, my man and I got off work early, got all dressed up and drove downtown at rush hour. We ditched the Dancing With The Stars finale in favor of a very grown-up date orchestrated by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association – oh, how good it feels to step out of your comfort zone. But it wasn’t hard to tempt me with this one – the thought of the soulful sound of New Orleans jazz unexpectedly meeting glorious contemporary ballet isn’t short of seductive, and we were thrilled as soon as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band & Trey McIntyre’s dancers met on the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage.

In the first act, the cast is dressed in skull masks – a wink to the entrancing world of voodoo and New Orleans mysticism. They dance in perfect macabre synchronicity to the beat. Exquisite. We only have photos from this first act – but the second was even more spectacular; and I’m not sure if it was the warmth of the singer’s voice or the power of the choreography, but I found myself in tears. “In the 9-month-old “The Sweeter End,” the 10 members of the Trey McIntyre Project performed with devastating sharpness a breathless, engulfing, high-speed amalgam of ballet steps, gymnastic feats, ballroom fragments and eruptions of snake-hips undulation. And it always flowed, always swung,” the L.A. Times reviews. Agreed.

The PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. The band has traveled worldwide spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, this music embodies a joyful, timeless spirit.

TREY MCINTYRE is one of the most sought-after choreographers working today. Born in Wichita, KS, McIntyre has created a canon of more than 90 works for companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, New York City Ballet, and Ballet de Santiago (Chile). He served as Choreographic Associate for Houston Ballet from 1989-2008 and Resident Choreographer for Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Memphis, and the Washington Ballet before forming his acclaimed Trey McIntyre Project in 2008, based in Boise, ID.

In 2010 McIntyre was named the United States Artists Wynn Fellow. He has received two choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography, was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2001, one of People magazine’s “25 Hottest Bachelors” in 2003, and one of Out Magazine’s 2008 “Tastemakers.” New York Times critic Alastair Macauley said of McIntyre “there’s a fertility of invention and a modernity of spirit here that are all Mr. McIntyre’s own” and the Los Angeles Times told the world to “keep [their] eye on Trey McIntyre, who creates brilliant works” in their dance preview of the 21st century.


< Photos by Dennis Martin >

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