In the mid-twentieth century, dance companies began springing up in communities across the United States. Companies became institutions with a profound cultural connection to their homes. Their very identities were of the city itself, with names such as San Francisco Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet.
The Dancer/Place Project is a collection of figure study photographs that explores this relationship between the artist and where they call their home. Trey McIntyre takes his unique and celebrated eye for the human form beyond the stage and into this second collection of photographs. In 2015, McIntyre is collaborating with dance companies all over the world, shooting in settings that are important to individual communities, examining the vulnerability of the human experience, and how that experience manifests in the places we call home. The book will include a series of essays by McIntyre, giving background and context to these photos as well as insight into process and the nature of creativity.
McIntyre is celebrated for taking apparently separate elements and illuminating the tension that actually lies between them. The chief premise of his work lies in the discovery of the new realities that are created through the process of revealing this tension; creating an alternative narrative to the one a viewer expects to see. Through McIntyre’s unique alignment he reveals to the viewer what is not readily available to the human eye. This has been at the core of his choreography and is now energetically and daringly expressed in this photographic work.
The first collaboration in this project was with Malpaso Dance Company in Havana, Cuba. Trey and the dancers shot in some of the crumbling buildings around the city, contrasting the human form with the stunning architecture as it disintegrated and returned to nature.
From the photographer…
This project began when TMP used to do summer residencies in Northern Florida at a wild animal preserve/dance conservatory called White Oak Plantation. The St. Mary’s river divides the property and the water is black with tannins. I discovered while we were messing around in it one day that flesh tones under the water will ombre from the palest yellow, to the deepest red and brown, before fading into black. We spent about three years figuring out the water technique using a Farmer’s Almanac and swimming technique to get images of dancers floating just below and above the surface. You can see some examples below or click on this gallery if you want to see more: Refract
I am currently finishing up the layout for this new collection and am compiling them into a book as mentioned recently in The New York Times. Projected release date is summer 2017.