McIntyre's gorgeously pared-to-the-bone neoclassical ballet is packed with ideas, hagged and elegant at once, with fast lifts melting into slow stretches, arms and shoulders cocked at severe angles, head held loose over precision jumps, packing that seamlessly flows from quiet to urgent, racing and circling and collapsing.
It's a measured dance, almost shocking in its self-assurance.
In Just, McIntyre offers his version of a “leotard ballet”: a lean, unadorned and quietly persuasive interpretation of an intriguing 20th-century score. In Henry Cowell’s “Set of Five for Violin, Piano and Percussion,” exotic percussion sounds intrude on the moody melodies. McIntyre incorporates this tension and uses it to create fluent, often surprising movements.
Artur Sultanov and Jonathan Jordan spring with a plush earthiness and muscular attack, while Alison Roper and Anne Mueller are more severely classical. The women move through sharp, angular shapes, but never seem cold or forbidding. McIntyre follows the music’s twists and turns fluently, as brief encounters—the two women winding subtly around each other—make a vivid impact. When both couples dance together, they fall in and out of unison, through sleek partnering sequences in which a woman’s leg may jut between her partner’s, and a man may rest his head on a woman’s chest as she arches back exquisitely. McIntyre alludes to the familiar, yet takes us somewhere new and quite fascinating.
The piece echoes its score beautifully, complementing strong, simple undertones with a rich overlay of arrhythmic phrases.