The Accidental


The New York Times

“Another American, Trey McIntyre, made a world premiere that was the most remarkable feature of this triple bill.

“The Accidental,” like some other McIntyre works, employs pop music: in this case, four extended songs, close to folk in style, by the Canadian Patrick Watson. The first three are used in successive duets for three male-female couples, with an attractive variety of images of tender, amorous cooperation. Then, unusually, the last number is danced as a solo by one of the men, Alexander Peters; and in this surprising solo the work reaches its most singular and affecting. It’s a bright dance, and yet what it keeps suggesting, very movingly, is youthful perplexity.

The redheaded Mr. Peters, a dancer of marvelous freshness, trained in New York at the School of American Ballet and in 2011 he winningly created the title role in William Whitener’s full-length “Tom Sawyer” at Kansas City Ballet before joining Pennsylvania Ballet soon after. He also danced with Philadelphia’s BalletX at the Joyce Theater last August, in Mr. Neenan’s intensely appealing “The Last Glass.”.

In this final solo, which is in waltz tempo, Mr. Peters never loses his energy or openness; but the directions and dynamics he takes contradict themselves, compellingly. This way? That way. Left? Right. Jump? Walk. At the end, center stage, facing us, he raises one arm. Then, keeping it aloft, he takes his other hand, and slowly brings it down that raised arm, then down and across his torso until it hangs by his side; both arms now make a single vertical line, and his head and torso tip sideways. It’s a weirdly eloquent image (not without sensuousness), suggesting that he is helplessly caught by an impulse larger than he is. This is his fate; he presents it to us, frankly, even sensuously. Marvelous dancer; compelling solo.”

The New York Times

“All three employ taped music: This works best for Mr. McIntyre’s “The Accidental” (2014), the program’s centerpiece, which is danced to appealing songs by Patrick Watson. Having seen “The Accidental” when it was new in Philadelphia, I love again the wonderful self-contradictions of human behavior that Mr. McIntyre strings together into single dance phrases. A male-female duet begins with the man (James Ihde) standing in a formal fifth position (with turned-out feet, one tightly in front of the other), the woman (Oksana Maslova) hidden behind him; within moments, he’s partnering her. A man (Ian Hussey) advances to the audience in a funny cross-kneed sequence only to open out with elegantly stretched limbs.

A final male solo abounds in singular incidents: In one fast step, Craig Wasserman arches sideways like a bow while extending one leg like its arrow. He ends both solo and ballet with a slow, marvelous and extraordinary gesture: Standing upright, he first holds his hands together high above his head, but then very slowly peels one hand down — down in a vertical line, down the other arm, down across his chest, down past his hip. As that hand and arm descend, they pull his upper body off-center, so that he seems to be hanging like a puppet from that one, still-raised hand; he seems also to have opened his heart to us.

Mr. Wasserman, boyishly innocent and energetic, becomes more multifaceted as we watch. And Mr. McIntyre confirms his status as one of America’s most peculiarly original dance poets. This performance showed the marvelous musicality of his phrasing. Details of footwork (notably with Evelyn Kocak in the first song) and sweeps of phrasing were married to the music with a felicity that made “The Accidental” the highlight of the evening.”

Philadelphia Weekly

““The Accidental” ended with one of the most stunning solos I’ve ever seen in my life. Alexander Peters, a member of the Corps de Ballet, may have been given a chance to shine, and from where I was sitting, he took it and ran with it. The music, the costuming, the lighting—it all magically came together for an absolutely breathtaking expression of movement. Peters is clearly more than a capable dancer, but his effortless management of grace and athleticism, expressiveness and reserve expertly communicated the choreography of Trey McIntyre. I had never heard of the music of Patrick Watson, but McIntyre’s selections were both completely appropriate and wonderful surprises; we encourage PA Ballet’s use of non-orchestral suites wholeheartedly.”


“Corella’s current crop of dancers is strong and adaptable, and that he seems to favor shorter dancers with very clean footwork and strong technique who, when given the opportunity, can really move. This quality came through particularly strongly in the second work, Trey McIntyre’s The Accidental (2014), set to folksy, soulful songs by Patrick Watson. McIntyre has a rare ability to draw very pure, very honest performances from his dancers. In his hands, they give the impression that they are revealing much about themselves. His steps flow from the music, but also from the feeling behind the music – it stirs something in him, and through him, in them. (His musical choices feel extremely personal.) The movement he creates is expansive, fluid, full of twists and turns, but also textured and expressive. When the dancers look at each other, you feel you are almost hearing them speak. The theme of McIntyre’s dances is often the same: the relations of individuals within a group. The awkwardness and joy being together, the vulnerability and beauty of solitude. He ends The Accidental with a solo for a male dancer, performed here by Craig Wasserman. Full of starts and stops, falls, slides and foldings, it unspools like a monologue, an expression of the performers’ deepest thoughts and vulnerability.”


“The second work, Trey McIntyre’s 2014 ballet “The Accidental” to a collection of songs by Patrick Watson, seemed a superior work and offered nuanced self-assurance enveloped in the soft rock plush of the musical accompa-niment. The one real complaint with it would have to be the odd costuming — the skin-tight, flesh-colored leotards and body suits embellished with nature-inspired colored designs kept calling to mind Adam and Eve, and the pieces would have likely worked better in something more calibrated to the jazzy and soft-rock flavors of the songs.

That aside though, it too revealed some remarkable dancers. The small-statured Oksana Maslova, partnered by the taller and more commanding James Ihde, used the steps and dissonance of their size to create an attention grabbing duet. Maslova gave focus to her power in the various supported leaps and dismissive flicks out of little developpés, and it was completely unexpected to see the almost seductive string of movements these dancers presented coming out of the contained classic fifth position that they assumed at the start of the piece. Another “Accidental” revelation was apprentice Craig Wasserman, whose solo at the end of the piece possessed remarkably seamless continuity of motion – a quality that coupled with the music made the scene feel like one uninterrupted thought in movement. He retained this mesmerizing quality even when he would descend into a full grand plié in fifth position, and then, floor-bound, rotate out of it to elevate himself again.”


  • Choreography: Trey McIntyre
  • Costumes: Andrea Lauer
  • Lighting: John Hooey
  • Music: Patrick Watson
  • Project Details

  • Premiere Company: Pennsylvania Ballet
  • Date of Premiere: May 8, 2014