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spectrum: announcing the 2010-2011 season


…because can you resist Spectrum’s 2010–2011 season? No, I didn’t think so. It starts in October with two Studio Series programs… Their press release follows after the break.


Spectrum Dance Theater is excited to announce its schedule of performances for 2010-2011. With two Studio Series, one main stage production, and three very unique collaborations, this season is bound to offer something for every taste.

The season will kick off with the return of the popular Studio Series at Spectrum Dance Theater’s home in Madrona Park. Artistic Director Donald Byrd has created two programs that delve into the theme of relationships; pulling together works from Spectrum Dance Theater’s repertory, as well as pieces he has created for other dance companies.

Continuing in its tradition of collaboration, Spectrum Dance Theater will perform as part of Music of Remembrance’s presentation of The Dybbuk Suite, op. 35 (1922) composed by Joel Engel. Featuring dancers from the company, Donald Byrd will create new work for the incidental music that originally accompanied S. Ansky’s play. This is Spectrum Dance Theater’s second collaboration with Music of Remembrance.

In March, the final installment of Spectrum’s ambitious three year initiative Beyond Dance: Promoting Awareness and Mutual Understanding (PAMU) will be presented at the historic Moore Theatre. Entitled The Mother of Us All, this full length evening of dance theater will delve into the centralizing role of Africa to the United States.

April marks another collaboration in the season with The Early Music Guild’s production of Claudio Monteverdi’s Il ballo delle ingrate (1608). This ballo will be part of The Early Music Guild’s full evening A Day on the Town, A Night in Hell.

Later in April, Spectrum Dance Theater is teaming up with Seattle Dance Project and ACT Theatre to present The Variety Show, an eclectic collection of dance inspired by everything from game shows to cabaret to dada. The first week of The Variety Show will be presented at Spectrum’s Madrona Studio, and will travel to the Bullitt Cabaret at ACT Theater the following week.

After a successful partnership with on West Side Story and On the Town, Spectrum Dance Theater will close the season with The 5th Avenue Theatre’s new production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic Oklahoma! Donald Byrd will be creating new choreography for the musical.

October 8-24, 2010
Madrona Studio

Week 1 (Oct 8-10)
During the first week of the Fall Studio Series, Spectrum Dance Theater will present a mixed repertory program of works that deal with the subject of relationships. Each of these pieces examines the themes of how people relate to each other, how they relate to society and how the audience relates to the performance. Included in this week will be Donald Byrd’s Drastic Cuts: Duet (1992) and a revised version of Soap Box (2007). Additional pieces in the program will be announced in the fall.

Weeks 2 & 3 (Oct 15-24)
Peering into the Ballroom: 3 Dances
looking through the proscenium and into the soul
Utilizing the ballroom of the late 19th Century, each of the works in this program explores the complexity of relationships between men and women. As Donald Byrd says, “Think of these late 19th Century ballrooms as a kind of social platform where complex personal dramas, charged relationships, distortions of memory and time, societal anxieties, anticipative excitement about, or despair facing impending change might play themselves out. These rooms were a place where the previous two centuries of European culture and its societies converged and were distilled into a single iconic image – elegant embracing couples spinning gracefully in a beautiful chandeliered room.” The program will include:
La Valse (Act II of Bristle, 1993)
Music: Maurice Ravel
Choreography: Donald Byrd
Originally created for Donald Byrd/The Group

Longing (2005)
Music: Johannes Brahms
Choreography: Donald Byrd
Originally created for Cincinnati Ballet

La Bal Noir (2006)
Music: Johannes Brahms
Choreography: Donald Byrd
Originally created for Koresh Dance Company

Beyond Dance: Promoting Awareness And Mutual Understanding (PAMU)
March 3-5, 2011
The Moore Theatre

After focusing on Israeli-Palestinian relations in A Chekhovian Resolution (2008) and the relationship between China and the United States in Farewell (2010), The Mother of Us All will conclude the three-year PAMU initiative with an investigation into the rising importance of Africa in contemporary politics and economics. Moving beyond the traditional humanitarian relationship the Unites States has had with Africa, The Mother of Us All will explore the competition for Africa’s natural resources, its significant role as an energy supplier, and its growing power in trade negotiations. Donald Byrd will choreograph this main stage production to new music by Byron Au Young, who last worked with Spectrum Dance Theater on Farewell.
Launched in 2008, PAMU joins the forces of artistic collaborators from across the nation and world. Together, these bold artists use dance, movement, language and music to examine issues relating to personal liberty, freedom, security, and social justice. Through this initiative, Spectrum Dance Theater seeks to heighten local awareness of critically important global issues, and explore their impact and relevance within American communities. A geographic locale — currently emerging as vital to the interests and future well-being of the United States – is taken as each production’s point of focus.

April 21-24, 2011
Madrona Studio

April 28-May 1, 2011
The Bullitt Cabaret at ACT Theatre

Spectrum Dance Theater will close its season with The Variety Show, delving into the converging place where art, entertainment and innovation meet. The Variety Show is a collaborative effort between Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle Dance Project, and ACT Theatre. Drawing inspiration from a variety of sources – European cabaret, vintage game shows, supper club floor shows, and a little Dada as well – the performance will incorporate a number of short dance/theater pieces created by Donald Byrd, Catherine Cabeen, Joel Myers, David Schleiffers, and Maurice Causey.


Music of Remembrance
The Dybbuk
November 8, 2010
Nordstrom Recital Hall

Early Music Guild
A Day on the Town, A Night in Hell
April 15-17, 2011
The Moore Theatre

The 5th Avenue Theatre
July 10-30, 2011

About Spectrum Dance Theater
Established in 1982, Spectrum Dance Theater is the largest professional contemporary dance company in Washington, presenting work by Artistic Director Donald Byrd and guest artists, with a focus on Northwest choreographers. Its mission is to produce and present contemporary dance that challenges expectations and calls forth strong emotions, deep feelings and thoughtful responses. Three organizational components comprise Spectrum: the Professional Company, the School (serving over 500 students), and Outreach Programs. The school provides expert dance instruction in diverse dance forms to all. Through its outreach programs, Spectrum Dance Theater seeks to educate the community about dance as an art form and as a social/civic instrument.
Under Donald Byrd’s visionary artistic leadership since 2002, Spectrum has embarked on an exhilarating transformation that has attracted world-class dancers, produced some of the most engaging works in contemporary dance, and generated acclaim in both local and national press.

About Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd became Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in December 2002. From 1978 – 2002, he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured extensively, both nationally and internationally.

Byrd created over 80 works for modern dance companies, for his own group, Spectrum, and the Ailey Company, and also for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco). He has choreographed for classical companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Aterballetto, MaggioDanza diFirenze, and Oregon Ballet Theater.

Projects for other dance companies include To Know Her…(2007) a collaboration with jazzman Ramsey Lewis and the Ravinia festival for The Joffrey Ballet; J. Lawrence Paint (Harriet Tubman Remix) based on the paintings of Jacob Lawrence for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (2006). Additionally, he has worked with some of the most prestigious theater and opera companies in the country, including New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the Intiman Theater, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera and New York City Opera. Works Donald Byrd has created for Spectrum Dance Theater include The Sleeping Beauty Notebook, which toured to New York and the Spoleto Festival in Italy; Bhangra Fever, performed by Spectrum in PNB’s April 2007 Celebrate Seattle Festival, The Theater of Needless Talents, and most recently Farewell.

Mr. Byrd has served on the faculty of the California Institute for the Arts and taught at Wesleyan University, the School of Visual Arts, Harvard Summer Dance Center, California State University Long Beach, and the University of California at Santa Cruz, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Dance Theater Workshop in New York. He was a fellow at The Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard for three years. Byrd also served for three terms on the Seattle Arts Commission (Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.) In 2006, Byrd received a TONY nomination for his choreography for The Color Purple.

Spectrum Dance Theater website:
Seattle Dance Project website:
ACT Theatre website:
Music of Remembrance website:
Early Music Guild website:
The 5th Avenue Theatre website:

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