"The opening Pork Songs showed off both his wit and his mastery of classical dance ethic. "
-Kansas Independent Review
As much as Southerners love their barbecue, McIntyre's dance—in which a ballerina portrays a graceful, frightened, and soon-to-be-slaughtered pig—has a curious effect on someone digging into a mess of chitlins.
In years past that meant "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" with dessert. Beautiful but somewhat predictable. This year, Pugh tapped choreographer Trey McIntyre and asked him to, taking into account the love of barbecue hereabouts, work with a cache of songs about pork, to develop a dance around, say, chitlins.
McIntyre chose the song "Chitlins" by Huey Piano Smith, a New Orleans artists who, along with female impersonator Bobby Marchand and a backup band called the Clowns, also recoded "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu.
Smith's tribute to pig intestines is a calypso romp of a song wherein backup singers chant "gimme gimme chitlins." As interpreted by McIntyre and the Ballet Memphis folks, those same pig parts inspired a bacchanal of dance, one that was very carnal, vaguely offal-istic and, yes, beautiful.