Trey McIntyre ProjectBoise, ID
Each year Trey McIntyre Project brings two performances to their Boise audience. While the actual time that the company spends on stage is limited, the impact of the engagement surrounding these performances has a permanent and wide-reaching effect on Boise, one that has been chronicled in national press including The New York Times, Dance Magazine and the PBS NewsHour:
“IMAGINE an alternative universe where dancers are treated like celebrities: recognized in public, lavished with gifts, fawned over by fans. They even have cocktails named after them. Now get out your atlas and locate Boise, Idaho, where the skies never seem to cloud over, the people are disconcertingly friendly, and Trey McIntyre Project is the toast of the town.” -The New York Times
This year’s theme is “Welcome Home”, and the show is called Grounded, consisting of three Idaho Premiere works from McIntyre’s repertoire. Trey McIntyre Project’s Engagement Team works together each year to create a theme that encompasses the evolution of the company as well as the evolution of the relationship between company and city. This theme is expressed through every visual, verbal and written expression. The images selected to promote and market the shows reflect the ideals of being “grounded” and every dancer and staff member is prepped with how to speak about their personal feelings of being more grounded and attached to the Boise community.
Leading up to the show, the company spends a great deal of time in the community. Several local business express their support by putting their employees in TMP t-shirts, passing out buttons and relaying information about the show to their customers. The City is blanketed with grassroots marketing: sidewalk chalking, posters in every shop window and volunteers with TMP sandwich boards roaming the streets. Executive Director John Michael Schert is also omnipresent, speaking to local groups and organizations about the importance of creative placemaking and TMP’s status as a role model in the community.
This year two local restaurants, Red Feather and Le Cafe de Paris, are pairing together with TMP to support another local non-profit organization, Treasure Valley Food Coalition. TMP implores potential patrons to “Have your show and eat it too!” Each dinner and a show package includes a 3 course meal prepared with local ingredients paired with donated local wine, a premium ticket to Grounded, and an invitation to the private after party. $20 of each purchase goes to support the Treasure Valley Food Coalition.
The TMP dancers also make themselves available to the community in a variety of ways, including SpUrbans (Spontaneous Urban Performances) at the Saturday Capital City Public Market, and a SpUrban Royale at the weekly Alive After Five music event on the Grove. As the most visible emissaries of TMP, the dancers represent the phyiscalization of the company’s values and ideals, expressing Trey’s vision clearly and succinctly through the non-verbal language of dance.
At the performance we will welcome our audience with this pre-show video that reinforces and cements the company’s sweeping connection with Boise:
The audience members are greeted by an elaborate lobby set-up featuring sky high banners of the dancers in beautiful Boise settings. There are plexi glass kiosks with prompts and markers asking audience members to write their answers to:
TMP feels like…
Tonight I’ll dream of…
Tonight I saw…
Five flat screen televisions play looping documentaries about each ballet, and two stream a live Twitter feed featuring every one who tags #treymcintyre.
All of these ingredients together help to create not just a place for our audience in the theater that evening, but a new Boise by creating new and powerful connections through partnerships, enhancing the chances for new people to meet and converse, and opening new conduits for other arts organizations to follow.