BECKET -- Trey McIntyre Project is making its final appearances as a fulltime dance ensemble this weekend in Jacob’s Pillow’s Ted Shawn Theatre.
Performances are at 8 tonight, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
TMP’s Festival 2014 program features "The Vinegar Works: Four Dances of Moral Instruction," a new work inspired by the surreal art and writings of Edward Gorey; and the East Coast premiere of "Mercury Half-Life," set entirely to the music of legendary rock band Queen.
This engagement marks the last performances of Trey McIntyre Project as a fulltime dance company before artistic director Trey McIntyre shifts his focus to choreographing for a variety of companies, as well as other creative endeavors.
"Trey McIntyre Project has fulfilled what we set out to do as a dance company and because of this success we are shifting focus by ending the fulltime dance company and embarking on new projects," the company said in an official statement.
"There is a great poetry to TMP having its final performance as a fulltime dance company at Jacob’s Pillow," McIntyre said in a Jacob’s Pillow news release. "(Jacob’s Pillow executive and artistic director) Ella Baff was one of the very first presenters to take a chance on us."
"The Pillow seems the perfect place to close this chapter of Trey McIntyre Project," Baff said in a news release. "Audiences connect with Trey’s work -- and the exceptional dancers in his company -- in a way I have not seen in many years. We are honored to host the farewell performances of the Trey McIntyre Project.
"Trey is deeply creative in many ways, and I’m sure this new artistic direction will be interesting and prolific. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for him and his Š dancers."
Inspired by the surreal imagination of writer and illustrator Edward Gorey and his characteristic pen-and-ink drawings, "The Vinegar Works" is McIntyre’s final work for the fulltime company.
Set in a dark and decadent world brought to life by Bruce Bui’s costumes with puppets and props designed by Dan Luce and Michael Curry -- whose work is featured in "The Lion King" on Broadway and various Cirque du Soleil productions -- this suite of dances acknowledges Gorey’s affection for the ballet and includes recordings of Gorey poems read by acclaimed actor and 1998 Tony Award winner Alan Cumming.
"The Vinegar Works: Four Dances of Moral Instruction" will have live accompaniment by Trio Solaris, a prestigious group featuring Music Institute of Chicago’s top Fellow Laureates, performing "Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor" by Dmitri Shostakovich. Trio Solaris features violinist Gallia Kastner, 17; cellist Nathan Walhout, 16; and pianist Andrew Guo, 15.
In "Mercury Half-Life," which premiered in Boise in 2013, the performers of Trey McIntyre Project partner through duets and trios. The score, entirely by the band Queen, includes "We Will Rock You," "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are the Champions" as well as lesser-known songs such as "Love of My Life," "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy," "Millionaire Waltz," and a tap number set to "Bring Back That Leroy Brown."
Trey McIntyre Project first appeared at the Pillow in 2005 as a summer pick-up troupe of top ballet dancers from across the country. The group returned the following year in the Ted Shawn Theatre, and made its debut as a fulltime company in 2008, with subsequent engagements in 2010 and 2012.
A panel of friends and fans will show and discuss favorite video clips from McIntyre’s repertory in a free PillowTalk at 4 p.m. Saturday.