Last on the program is McIntyre's "Wild Sweet Love." Inspired by the "Wedding March" from Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and taking its name from the lyrics of Jimmy Webb's "Do What You Gotta Do" (as recorded by Roberta Flack), it is a loosely narrative ballet about a lonely woman (danced exquisitely by Goldman) and her search for love. Her periodic appearances throughout the piece personalize the dance.
It begins with Goldman dancing solo to "The Way I Feel Inside" (popularized by the Zombies in the 1960s), then seques into a crazy "Wedding March" joyously danced by Lülebas, Hansen, Cunningham, Finley, Pabst and Williams.
The ensemble is in continuous motion as songs as varied and -- one might think -- incompatible as the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You," Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" and Queen's "Somebody To Love" depict the expectations, demands and rewards of love.
Like Balanchine, McIntyre builds an excitingly modern dance upon a classic foundation. "Wild Sweet Love" is both wild and sweet. And very, very good.
Almost all of Sacramento's rep was totally new to Shanghai, especially Trey McIntyre's Wild Sweet Love, choreographed to songs by Roberta Flack, The Partridge Family and Queen, which was performed as part of the performances Sacramento presented on its own in Shanghai and Beijing. Cunningham and Binda had not planned to bring such a contemporary work to China, but after the McIntyre piece received wild applause at its March premiere in Sacramento, the directors added it to the tour.
The Chinese audience, prone to talking and taking photographs during the performance, grew silent during Wild Sweet Love. As the dancers, led by soloist Ilana Goldman, swerved through McIntyre's almost animalistic movement, everyone, regardless of national background, sat rapt.