Like a Samba


The New York Times

“Mr. McIntyre is a whiz at getting dancers on, off and across the stage in fluid, surprising ways, and “Like a Samba” spools out like silk. Dressed in white summer casuals, the five insouciant performers look like ballroom dancers, though the odd but exquisite lifts and flow of the piece could be achieved only by a ballet choreographer.”

The Charleston Post and Courier

“This carefree piece was happiness personified.”

The Salt Lake Tribune

“Great art does not have to be huge. it can be small, like this, and it can be beautiful.”

The Oregonian

“McIntyre’s warm curiosity about the inventiveness imbedded in popular cultures, which he approaches like a sympathetic anthropologist and then subtly melds with the techniques and vocabulary of ballet. (It’s called “like” a samba because it isn’t actually a samba; it’s inspired by one.) …”Like a Samba,” to a septet of songs by Astrud Gilberto, is a smooth swirl of sly wit and lightness, a carefully calibrated celebration of the sophisticated sexiness of the samba. McIntyre is clearly delighted by the samba’s sinuosity and restrained showiness, which dancers Tracy Taylor and especially Alison Roper inhabit with warm delight.”

The New York Post

“McIntyre’s “Like a Samba” went like an unpretentiously happy breeze.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican

“It was so much fun it made me want to dance up and down the aisles myself…A perfect stunner of a concert climax.”

Dance Magazine

“The closing work on the program, Trey McIntyre’s Like a Samba, topped everything that had come before.”

The Oregonian

“There was certainly no dancemaker remotely like Trey McIntyre, OBT’s resident choreographer. Of course, few choreographers anywhere are like him, which may help to account for why he is catapulting himself around the United States and Europe on commissions. McIntyre’s fluency and expertise at shaping dance phrases is world-class. His musicality – that is, both his choice of scores and the way he stages them – is a joy. And his evident fascination with dance languages, which he treats with wit and respect – whether they belong to ballet, ballroom or hip-hop – is in desperately short supply internationally. He makes real dances, with theme-and-variation structure and decided beginnings, middles and ends; and his storyless work conveys the illusion of storied worlds or atmospheres without, in fact, dramatizing them.”

The Washington Post

“They can look to Trey McIntyre, whose style is grounded in a warm, humanizing physical grace and wit. His “Like a Samba” (from 1997), which ended the evening, felt like a classic next to the other two. He let Astrud Gilberto’s dusky vintage vocals fill in the atmosphere; the dancers responded with understated suggestions of Brazilian moves, a squiggle here, a jiggle there. Solid craftsmanship and sharp comic timing: more difficult than you’d think, though McIntyre makes it look easy.”


  • Choreography: Trey McIntyre
  • Music: Astrud Gilberto
  • Costumes: Jan Elam
  • Lighting: Michael Mazzola
  • Project Details

  • Premiere Company: Oregon Ballet Theatre
  • Date of Premiere: May 9, 1997