spectrum/stg: one icono-clan man talks about seattle

Splash image from Spectrum’s website
Icono-Clan opens (and closes) at the Moore Theatre this weekend.

Josh Windsor, who is covering the show for SeattleDances, sent us the following link: 4 Culture’s 2008 interview with Donald Byrd. Host Vivian Phillips checks in with Byrd re: what he’s been up to lately and how he has worked to engage the community in a dialogue about the exciting variety of aesthetics in Seattle’s dance scene. Quotes like “If I get fired for being honest, that’s okay” give you a sense of the man inside the choreographer.

It’s about 30 minutes long, with only a few short dance clips…a chatty piece to have on as you’re multi-tasking. Byrd may be about dance, but I gotta say, he and Vivian have lovely voices as well.

Here’s a brief description of the actual show, direct from Seattle Theatre Group’s website:

“During nearly a century of dance emancipation, three artists broke ranks and became three of the most original movement creators and free thinkers of their generation.

“MERCE CUNNINGHAM: Today’s greatest living choreographer
GUS SOLOMON Jr.: A leading figure in postmodern and experimental dance
DONALD BYRD: The most unconventional provocateur and dance maker/thinker

“After dancing with Martha Graham Company from 1935 to 45, CUNNINGHAM formed his own Merce Cunningham Dance Company at Black Mountain College in the summer of 1953.

“Upon graduation with his Bachelor of Architecture degree from M.I.T, SOLOMON Jr. decided to pursue dance in New York, performing with Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham’s companies, among others, while also forming his own troupe, The Solomon’s Company/Dance, in 1972.

“After receiving his training at The Cambridge School of Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and with Mia Slavenska, BYRD broke free, and joined Gus Solomon Company/Dance in the spring on 1976. He later formed Donald Byrd/THE GROUP in 1978, and went on to become Spectrum Dance Theater’s new visionary Artistic Director in 2002.”