Skeleton Clock


The Houston Post

“New Dance Work Highlights Ballet’s Opening Performance: Two dance works entered Houston Ballet’s repertoire Thursday night, as the company opened it’s 1990-91 season with the the variously kicky steps of Trey McIntyre’s Skeleton Clock and Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Synchopations. McIntyre’s piece is brand new; MacMillan’s is fifteen years old, but is being done by this company for the first time.

Fortunately, both pieces offer many moments to delight the dance-watcher’s eye, since the two works also have to prop up Artistic Director Ben Stevenson’s overwrought series of dance poses, Image, which serves as a centerpiece to the Wortham Center program.

McIntyre, a member of the Houston Ballet corps and former Choreographic Apprentice with teh cmopany, has created a whimsically motoric 25-minute ballet for 12 dancers, employing the urgently pulsating music of John Adam’s work, Fearful Symmetries.

McIntyre’s choreography is made up of swinging tick-tock movements, rigid square cornered arm gestures, oriental upturned palms, and long lines of dancers cantering along in columns that weave in and out of the ensemble.

It offers a kaleidoscope of ever-changing patterns, with small solos and ensembles suddenly emerging from or dissolving into larger groups of dancers. At times the movement becomes more personal, intuitive and emotional, but much of the work churns along in a rather agreeably mechanistic interaction of component parts.

McIntyre’s choreography certainly expresses the energy of Adam’s music, but it does not parallel the ominous vein of tensions that runs through the musical score, which Stewart Kershaw ably conducted.

As the dancers began Skeleton Clock, it seemed that Horne’s huge, swinging pendulum might distract ones eye from the movement onstage. But McIntyre’s choreography soon commanded prime attention.”


  • Choreography: Trey McIntyre
  • Music: John Adams
  • Costumes: Trey McIntyre
  • Set: Peter Horne
  • Lighting: Christina Giannelli
  • Project Details

  • Premiere Company: Houston Ballet
  • Date of Premiere: January 1, 1990