Chasing Squirrel


Dance Magazine

“After seeing Trey McIntyre’s Chasing Squirrel to Kronos Quartet on Cincinnati Ballet at The Joyce Theater, I crown him the most musical choreographer alive.”

Cincinnati Inquirer

“Pretty wonderful stuff. “Chasing Squirrel,” by Trey McIntyre is an audacious ballet. With their hair frizzed within an inch of its life, the women look like a cross between the Bride of Frankenstein and a Jean-Paul Gaultier runway show. Indeed, the whole ballet is a visual and kinetic extravaganza; men in red suits and white fedoras, a stage-sized wall covered with flower-filled vases, and at the heart of it all, movement that is eccentric, playful, sensuous and occasionally downright dangerous. There are even moments of tenderness, like the understated duet by Janessa Touchet and Sergey Pakharev. But mostly, it’s a glorious collection of edgy stuff, most memorably a raw, exuberant, testosterone-fueled men’s dance and Sarah Hairston’s bump-and-grind seductress, as savage as she is irresistible.

A giant dose of momentum, paired with sexy couplings, propelled “Chasing Squirrel.” (The women) with giant teased hair and short skirts, were leggy Latin ladies on pointe who left their eager macho suitors, (the men) trembling in their wake. A dance hall scene let the men in red zoot suits and white fedoras bound off each other to impress the girls, who showed plenty of attitude. A sexy chase, full of fast-and-furious-footwork…performed to a distinctly Latin beat.”

The Denver Post

“Trey McIntyre could hardly have come along at a better time.”

The New York Times

““Chasing Squirrel,” a burlesque caricature with feisty women and hapless men, served as a pleasant reminder that not all ballet choreography looks the same. Mr. McIntyre recently announced that he was leaving his company in Boise, Idaho, to pursue freelance projects. “Chasing” made you look forward to his next chapter.”


“The final work is “Chasing Squirrel,” created for the company by Trey McIntyre in 2004. It is a wild and zany piece, as rough-hewn and exuberant as Caniparoli’s work is polished and well-tailored.

With recorded music drawn from Kronos Quartet’s “Nuevo” album, “Squirrel” is an uproarious, testosterone-infused, chaotic delight. It’s even a little juvenile, but in ways that are so exuberant and good-natured as to be charming.

That said, McIntyre still manages to conjure up a lovely and passionate pas de deux for Touchet and Cervilio Miguel Amador. But while McIntyre unabashedly makes the crew of randy men the stars of this entertaining vehicle – Amador, Almarales, Romel Frometa and Fu, along with Zack Grubbs – he leaves plenty of room for women who play the game with equal zest, especially Sirui Liu and Sarah Hairston.”

“Though the first two of the program’s ballets seemed to be well received by the 1,271 audience members present, “Chasing Squirrel,” the third and final piece, was this writer’s favorite, and based on their enthusiastic audible response, the crowd’s as well. With choreography by Trey McIntyre, the ballet was staged by Brett Perry. The music for this ballet is from the Kronos Quartet’s 2002 album, Nuevo, and features the works of Mexican composers. McIntyre was inspired by an incident that occurred while he was running in New York City’s Central Park where he saw a dog chasing a squirrel while he was listening to the volatile Nuevo music on his headphones. Sexy and titillating, McIntyre’s exuberant ballet explores dynamics between the sexes in Latino culture, as expressed by men flirting and cat calling and women who respond with their own wiles. Capturing the rambunctiousness of Cuban street culture, which the ballet emulates, were Sandra Woodall’s costumes and scenic design and Trad A. Burn’s lighting design.”

Cincinnati Refined

“What can you say about Chasing Squirrel other than it’s pure magic. It’s a delicious blend of tension, testosterone, personality, and power.”


“With a Latin-infused score by the Kronos Quartet, “Chasing Squirrel” is rough-hewn and raucous at one moment, then filled with remarkable tenderness the next. It was that broad emotional range and the constant infusion of humor that made the work so popular with audiences when Cincinnati Ballet performed it in New York City last year.

It’s a raucous work, exuberant and raw in a way rarely seen on the ballet stage. Choreographically speaking, McIntyre builds the piece around a ballet vocabulary. But in its soul, this ballet has more in common with a gang of friends meeting on a Mazatlán backstreet and dancing to a scratchy recording of Mexican street music.”


  • Choreography: Trey McIntyre
  • Music: The Kronos Quartet
  • Costumes: Sandra Woodall
  • Set: Sandra Woodall
  • Lighting: Trad Burns
  • Project Details

  • Premiere Company: Cincinnati Ballet
  • Date of Premiere: January 1, 2004