“Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s flirtation with rock finds another payoff in “Full Grown Man,” a deceptively breezy new work created for the company by Trey McIntyre.
Set to the inviting melodies and puzzling lyrics of Beck, “Full Grown Man” is an onslaught of joy fading to sadness, graced with echoes of Paul Taylor.
Its dozen dancers are clad in scout costumes and frolic around and on top of a series of giant, playground blocks. Games, such as jump rope, tag and blind man’s bluff, inspire the movement and hint at darker themes. With fleet phrasing and radiant form, McIntyre creates a world of airborne delight, a brief eruption of flailing arms and legs, for instance, beautifully inserted in smooth, twirling, light-hearted stretches.
In a way, McIntyre leans on his stage pictures as things deepen. A romantic duet for Tobin Del Cuore and Lauri Stallings takes on a mournful tone, more in the way they’re arranged on stage than in the actual dancing. Similarly, the haunting finale stems from the imagery, the women left abandoned by the men, a forlorn cluster of exiles huddled atop the blocks.
“Full Grown Man” is colorful and delightfully at home with its sly irony and score, revealing a choreographer effortlessly in tune with his time. Christopher Bruce’s much older “Rooster,” to the Rolling Stones, performed last week, is probably better and certainly more dazzling.
But “Full Grown Man,” McIntyre’s second Hubbard venture, may be more important for the troupe, establishing a relationship with the young, Houston-based talent.
The veterans get their due in this engagement: Cheryl Mann’s girlish allure in “Full Grown” and sensual power in Marguerite Donlon’s “Reverse Deconstruct”; Stallings’ beauty and Taryn Kaschock’s spunk in “Full Grown”; Patrick Simoniello’s inimitable wriggle in “Reverse Deconstruct”; and Joseph Pantaleon’s sleek mastery in just about everything.
But two relatively recent graduates of Hubbard’s junior troupe are emerging as stars: Del Cuore, whose towering presence and easy command evoke such dignity, and Christopher Tierney, whose sharp attack and impish flair for detail demand such attention.”
THE TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL
“The evening concluded with Trey McIntyre’s “Full Grown Man,” a provocative meditation on coming-of-age. Dressed in scout uniforms, the troupe’s 12 dancers poignantly mimed various summer camp rituals. From the child’s play of swimming to the newly found passion of slow dancing, McIntyre perfectly captured the wondrous and also uncertain passage from childhood to “full grown man” (and, indeed, full-grown woman).”
“Trey McIntyre’s “Full Grown Man,” in its West Coast premiere, made an upbeat finale. It’s one of this prolific 30-something’s better works: a shrewd pop package combining the postmodern country music of Beck, rock concert lighting and campy boy and girl scout uniforms (the ladies’ with Crayola-hued underskirts) by Sandra Woodall.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES
“An equally energetic world premiere closed the program, Trey McIntyre’s ”Full Grown Man,” an ensemble piece for 12 dancers to rock recordings by Beck. Sandra Woodall put everyone in outfits suggesting Scout uniforms and designed movable boxes that resembled building blocks and steppingstones.
The overall choreographic tone was playful. Mr. McIntyre sent dancers scooting and tumbling, twisting and tilting, and playing little games, including blind man’s buff and jump-rope with invisible ropes. But some of the songs concerned lovers’ regrets and the imbibing of a ”bottle of blues,” and the work concluded with the dancers looking chastened after wild revelry. These kids, Mr. McIntyre implied, were growing older and, perhaps, sadder and wiser.”