Homeward Bound

If you missed Trey McIntyre's latest piece in the Houston Ballet's spring mixed repertory program, all you can do is hope that it doesn't take the 30-year-old choreographic associate another four years to find his way home again. Set to a Benjamin Britten piano concerto, each section of his new work, Bound, was supposed to explore the different meanings of the title -- from boundless space to boundaries, from leaping to getting tied up. But, happily, McIntyre didn't belabor the point by alternating between extremes. Instead the piece was much more organic, each type of "bound" constantly playing off the other, as two parts of a whole. The grand leaps were inextricably tied to the constriction of a partner's hands.

While the ballet was a bit uneven, its occasional lapses in intensity did not detract from its high points. And its highest had to be the spellbinding pas de trois of Barbara Bears, Phillip Broomhead and Nicholas Leschke. Dressed in a corset-inspired costume by Liz Prince, Bears whirled back and forth between the two men in an innovative series of lifts, her expression bringing to mind the powerful pacing of a caged cat. When she escaped from them with clenched fists, she seemed disappointed with the freedom she fought for, sullenly watching as the two men tangled together. In order to bound through space, she must be bound by them.

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