En Face

Around the World in 87 Days: The Dancer's Life in the Off Season

McIntyreThis summer has been such a fantastic experience for me, and the growth that I have been able to experience as an artist in such a short period of time has been invaluable and so rewarding.

I was fortunate  to start my summer adventures in South America, where I was a part of the small group from Milwaukee Ballet that went with Mr. Pink to represented the United States at the 4th International Ballet Festival in Cali, Colombia. This experience was an absolute highlight of my career. I loved being exposed to and performing alongside so many wonderful dancers from all around the world. Taking class and performing next to dancers from the famous Hong Kong Ballet, Australian Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba, National Ballet of Santiago Chile, InColballet, Ballett Magdeburg (to name a few) was so inspiring and the new friends that I have made worldwide is just AWESOME. Everyone was so nice and were such inspiring dancers and people. One of the pieces I performed was a pas de deux from Michael Pink's Dracula with Douglas McCubbin. It was his retiring performance, which was at the same time sad, but also an honor. I am pleased to say that he went out with a bang, literally. When he was dragging me back in the coda finale for curtain calls, we tripped and both fell. It was certainly one of those moments that was priceless and memorable, LOL! (Love you Douglas and thanks for the nice trip.) Performing Dracula on an international stage (at the historic Teatro Municipal) was certainly a treat, and it was an amazing sensation how the crowds go wild in Colombia. I must say that it was a crowd favorite during the festival.

After Colombia, I flew home to Australia where I was a guest teacher for a couple of weeks at several schools and got to spend some amazing time with my family. I then head off to Osaka, Japan where my next adventure would commence. I had been invited to Japan once again (this being my second time) where I was about to perform the role of Solar in La Bayadere for the first time. It was a week of hard rehearsals working from 9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. daily on La Bayadere while I was also doing some smaller roles in Giselle (Hilarion) and in Bournonville's Napoli. I must say that I admire the hard work and commitment the Japanese dancers put into their craft. The shows went so well and we performed in this humongous theatre to crowded audiences for two nights. I was exceptionally proud of myself for taking on full steam ahead the challenge of Solar and I really enjoyed it a lot.

I am now in Mystic, Connecticut on my final summer contract for this year, working with 3 choreographers on such innovative works that I am really having a blast with. They are Sergei Vanaev (Artistic Director of Germany's Bremerhaven Ballet), Gregor Thieler and Xanthe Geeves, both former principal dancers with Germany's Wiesbaden Ballett. I am being pushed to new heights as their works are very athletic and diverse, and am looking forward to our upcoming shows next week. After I finish here in Connecticut I will be heading back to New York City where I plan to indulge in a couple of weeks off, spoiling myself a bit, before returning to Milwaukee to commence the 2010-11 season.

It certainly has been an exciting summer for me both personally and artistically and I am looking forward to seeing everyone really soon.

Darren McIntyre
Company Dancer

BayadereMcIntyre in La Bayadere. Photo: Niinai Tatsutoshi