by Daphne Backman

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend Ice Dance International’s rehearsal at Troubh Ice Arena in Portland, Maine.  Ice Dance International (IDI), which is based in Kittery, Maine, conducted a week-long residency to create a new piece of repertory by dance luminary Trey McIntyre.  In addition, two existing contemporary pieces (previously choreographed by Benoit Richaud), Reflections and Take 5, were also rehearsed.  Photographs included with this article were taken during the June 6th rehearsal. 

As a fan of ice dance, watching the creative process that surrounded this ensemble piece was inspiring.  As a photographer, it was a learning opportunity as so much of my most recent work has involved photographing only 1-2 people at a time.  I focused on capturing movement, expression and choreography as it was developing.  

The McIntyre-choreographed piece is a quartet and features company members Erin Reed, Carly Donowick, Mauro Bruni, and Joel Dear. Wesley Campbell and Garrett Kling also participate. This untitled piece will be featured on “The World of Ice Dance International, Part 2” on public televisions nationwide, airing in April 2019.

About Trey McIntyre: Trey McIntyre was born in Wichita, Kansas, and trained at North Carolina School of the Arts and Houston Ballet Academy. In 1989, he was appointed Choreographic Apprentice to Houston Ballet, a position created especially for him, and in 1995 he became the company’s Choreographic Associate. He has worked for more than 25 years as a freelance choreographer, producing more than 100 pieces during the span of his career so far.

McIntyre is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Choo San Goh Award for Choreography, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, two personal grants for choreography from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is a United States Artists Fellow. His works have been performed by companies around the world, including Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Queensland Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, New York City Ballet, BalletX, The Washington Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.

In 2005, McIntyre founded his dance company, Trey McIntyre Project (TMP), based in Boise, Idaho. The company was a tremendous critical success and was lauded for its innovative business model. In 2014, the company transitioned towards new artistic ventures, reducing greatly its efforts in dance, focusing currently on the feature-length documentary, Gravity Hero.

A renowned photographer, McIntyre’s photographs have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and Sunset Magazine and he was commissioned by the U.S. Forest Service to create a series of photographs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. He is currently working on two books of photography. You can see more of his work at his Patreon page.  

About IDI:  Based in Kittery, Maine, IDI was founded just over three years ago by Dick Button, Edward and Linda Villella, Debbie Gordon, and artistic director Douglas Webster. IDI has created a full show of touring repertory with work by Edward Villella and Douglas Webster and choreographers Benoit Richaud and Stephanee Grosscup. This past September of 2017, IDI taped two one hour television specials called “The World of Ice Dance International.” The first is currently airing on PBS stations nationwide. It is IDI’s vision to build a bridge for figure skating from sport to art.  To learn more about Ice Dance International, please visit icedanceinternational.org.