Under Fire


the New York Times

“Leading off the opening-night program…is Mr. McIntyre’s “Under Fire,” the choreographer’s first new dance since he decided to shift the focus of his Boise, Idaho, troupe from a traditional company model in order to pursue individual projects. (He’ll still make dances, and that’s a good thing.)”

“This prolific and much-admired dancemaker expresses playfulness without settling into a frivolous place.”

“Throughout the piece, which builds gradually while never relinquishing its silky flow, Mr. McIntyre mirrors his ideas about transformation with the choreographic structure of peeling away. Dancers stand in a cluster and dash offstage, leaving others behind to melt against one another and then separate in windswept abandon. There’s a meditative quality to his swinging, circular patterns, in which slicing arms and legs serve, rather than hinder, an illusion of weightlessness.”

the Wall Street Journal

“Though “misstep” is one meaning for malpaso, there are no actual missteps evident in Malpaso Dance Company’s smooth double bill now playing at the Joyce Theater. In some ways the run is a fresh step in the U.S. for the three-year-old Havana-based troupe now that our government has entered a period, as of December, of more normal diplomatic relations with Cuba.”

“This time, the commissioned dance is “Under Fire” by Trey McIntyre, a 20-minute work for eight dancers, set to music by Grandma Kelsey, that shows off the Malpaso dancers astutely.”

“Dressed in Reid Bartelme’s handsome, casual clothing that features sheer black overlaying dark colors, the four female and four male dancers create moving pictures of dusky hues that match the smoky voice of Ms. Swope and evoke the singed imagery in Mr. McIntrye’s statement about his bonfire. Al Crawford’s shadowy lighting suggests the glow of embers and their inky, charred state.”


“The lights rise on eight dancers in a clump. They scatter to reveal a duet at their core. McIntyre offers variations on this stunning motif before shifting to romance. Under Fire does not arrive at each couple’s essence by reduction à la the bonfire — after all, one couple’s excess is another’s self-expression. But the steps, as homely as the accompanying neo-folk songs, signal they are after the unvarnished truth. The dancers often resemble expired cartoon characters — feet flexed, limbs angled, torsos stiff. They do not melt when their lover transports them. The love is circumspect, as it must be to not burn a hole in the heart. Under Fire kindles this paradox.”

Broadway World

“This extraordinary troupe of dancers is performing a captivating and stunning program consisting of two very individual pieces. “

“Dance enthusiasts will love Under Fire. Sleek, intricate choreography is complemented by graceful acrobatics. The dancers’ perfect syncopation make this piece flow beautifully.”

the Examiner

“With joints like liquid, they seemed to float on and off stage without a single sound. But like most ballerinas, the articulation through their limbs was precise as a puzzle.”

“Watching Under Fire was like seeing pieces of the choreographic puzzle come together. Clumps of dancers broke off, making way for duets that materialized without expectation. A series of waltzing trios near the end showed off the lilt in their feet and legs. Before that, to Kelsey’s version of the popular “Jolene,” simple gestures and moments of stillness broke up the moving images.”


  • Choreography: Trey McIntyre
  • Costumes: Reid Bartelme
  • Lighting: Al Crawford
  • Music: Bijoux
  • Project Details

  • Premiere Company: Malpaso Dance Company
  • Date of Premiere: January 30, 2015