It's easy to imagine the look on a hiker's face as he or she, upon walking through Glacier National Park, came upon dancers clad in black suits and red dresses, leaping in unison in the dense forest, or dancing in front of a stunning outcrop, long red scarves trailing their movements in the Montana breeze. While running across a mountain goat or grizzly wouldn't be all that shocking, seeing a dance troupe on the Going to the Sun Road—a 52-mile paved highway that runs through the national park—would be. But the opportunity for that kind of surprise was there when Boise-based dance company Trey McIntyre Project spent time choreographing and filming in Glacier for the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and its Face of America performing arts series.
Wolf Trap, which is located in Virginia near Washington, D.C., is the only national park performing arts center in the country. The foundation's Face of America series is one in which choreographers, musicians and performing artists to create a work of art that incorporates the beauty and grandeur of America's national parks and combines the performing art and video. The result of TMP's time in the mountains is the multimedia creation "The Sun Road," the sixth production in Wolf Trap's Face of America series, which will premier at Wolf Trap's nearly 7,000-seat Filene Center on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
TMP choreographer and artistic director, Trey McIntyre, said that of the three places he was offered to work in—Glacier, the Grand Canyon and the Everglades—Glacier is the one that really spoke to him. And, in his case, the environmental changes coming about as a result of the declining glaciers, spoke loudly.
"What I really tried to do was create something that was about being human and how just being in nature changes that nature," McIntyre said.
The glaciers of the park have dwindled rapidly over the last few decades and scientists predict that if they continue to recede at their present rate, the last glaciers in the park will melt by 2030. Wolf Trap felt the dynamic of the environmental wonders in Glacier that coexist alongside glacial loss provided an important backdrop to feature the state of our parks for the American public.
Trey McIntyre Project was commissioned to interpret and feature the existence of Glacier National Park as it stands now. The dancers were filmed in the park as they danced, the ice and earth important elements of the performance. McIntyre said the cinematographers allowed him to do some of the filming himself.
"They were incredible [videographers], but by letting me do some of the filming, I was able to capture some of the kinetic, frantic energy I wanted," he said.
"The Sun Road" video will be unveiled at Wolf Trap and will serve as both a back drop and a performer as its integrated with a live TMP performance. McIntyre project. "The Sun Road" will see its first western performance at the Sun Valley Pavilion on Thursday, Aug. 27 and Friday, Aug. 28 as well as in October in Boise. See the spirit and existence of Glacier as it is today through the eyes of the Trey McIntyre Project.
Trey McIntyre Project The Sun Road. The Sun Valley Amphitheater. Thursday, August 27 and Friday, August 28. 9:30 p.m. $35-55.