MANTIS


Reviews

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“McIntyre’s “Mantis” is a powerful, well-constructed work that makes a strong connection to contemporary music by John Oswald, Elliot Shar, and John Zorn. Its tale is not a pretty one, but McIntyre Never Draws back from its bleakness. Indeed, he leans into it. Beginning with Ariana Lallone as the queen, the cast was strong. A member of the corps, Lallone has a dramatic stage presence that should serve her well. Sterling Kekoa, as the sole male, was also good; so were Marisa Albee, Kristen Brackman, Theresa Goetz, Bryce Jaffe, Melanie Skinner, Laura Taylor, and Lisa WIlliamson.”

Seattle Weekly

“Serious choreographic accomplishments were reserved for the second half. Though it’s shard to figure how his dark work would fit into the company repertory, Trey McIntyre’s Mantis is a brilliant accomplishment for a young choreographer (at 23, he’s still primarily a dancer with Houston Ballet). Set to an ominous, buzzing score by the Kronos Quartet, Mantis uses the notion of the bug’s weird projecting forward limbs to inform the movement idiom, and its nasty habit for interspecies cannibalism to drive the plot. (In the first tableau, long-limbed Ariana Lallone, in forest green leotard and tights, sits in profile on a thick, oversize tree stump; the final image is a stageful of wasted younglings – in a lighter, apple-green version of the costume – none of whom survived the 20-minute dance.)

The mantis’ weird ambulatory style is presented straightforwardly and seriously. McIntyre provides long passages of her slithering on her belly, her elbows walking out in front of her, her hands very stylishly, and uselessly, cupped. We also get plenty of sweet and nasty time to take in her dramatic hip-twisting walk, in which her legs are planted very carefully in front of her as though by some external supervisory force. After so much deliberate movement, the speed with which things take off is the second section is extraordinary. As Lallone’s introduction closes (she finishes off her mate, danced by Sterling Kekoa, with a fatal neck snap), a half-dozen mantis younglings encircle the stump, sitting with knees bent up, heads bowed, hands linked and trembling – a nightmare vision of infestation. These youngsters inspire McIntyre to create a twitchy, exuberant group jig – Mark Morris meets the Hellstrom Chronicle.”

Credits

  • Choreography: Trey McIntyre
  • Music: John Oswald, Elliot Shar, and John Zorn
  • Costumes: Larae Theige Hascall
  • Lighting: Randall G. Chiarelli
  • Project Details

  • Premiere Company: Pacific Northwest Ballet
  • Date of Premiere: May 8, 1994