Miraculous Mandarin





Odd Man Loves Hooker

Bartok’s self-described “grotesque pantomime,” repeatedly banned throughout his lifetime, is remodeled by choreographer Donald Byrd as theatrical pulp fiction. The line between eroticism and savagery is blurred in this twisted fable of an outsider’s tragic fate at the hands of a band of drug addicted thugs and their seductive moll. The Miraculous Mandarin was Bartok’s post-World War I commentary on European society and its fear of “Oriental” otherness.

First presented in 2006 at the Moore Theater, this version of Mandarin continues Byrd’s interest in pushing the edge of how dance theater is presented and changing the audience viewing relationship. With casting, Byrd turns expectations on its head with no visibly Asian performer in the role of the Mandarin. Through support from Storefronts Seattle, this dance performance will take place in the first floor windows of the historic Bush Hotel overlooking Hing Hay Park. This mirroring of the setting of The Miraculous Mandarin, an Amsterdam-style red light district, puts the audience, viewing the performance from the park and located just below the windows, in the complicit role of voyeur.

This rare and unprecedented series of FREE performance was initiated by SDT to broaden the reach of the organization and to make dance performance of this caliber available to the general public. As one of the premiere contemporary dance companies in the country, SDT will bring its signature precision, athleticism, and sexiness to the performance, its first free season performance since artistic director Donald Byrd took the company’s helm in 2002.  This opportunity to see world-class contemporary dance is not to be missed.



Thursdays-Saturdays, May 17-19 & May 24-26

ALERT! Start time for The Miraculous Mandarin will be at 8:30PM due to bright sunset. If you reserved a seat, please arrive by 8:15.

AUDIENCE ADVISORY:  Not intended for children. The performance contains strong sexual content and depictions of drug use.



Hing Hay Park, S King Street & Maynard Ave S
Chinatown-International District, Seattle
Two blocks east of International District Light Rail Station/Metro Tunnel Station
Click here for map and directions 



Seating is limited. Click here to get a FREE ticket for a reserved seat.




“Miraculous Mandarin: Behind the scenes historic tour”

Saturday, May 19, 6pm
Wing Luke Museum/Freeman Hotel, 710 S. King St.
Tickets $12.95. Limited capacity.  Click here to register.

Spectrum Dance Theater is partnering with the Wing Luke Museum to give audience members a chance to tour the Freeman Hotel in the West Kong Yick Building, a historic tenement in the neighborhood, in the context of The Miraculous Mandarin. This building was a refuge and home for many transient and marginal communities in Seattle. Elements of the neighborhood history are implied in the story of The Miraculous Mandarin, and Spectrum is proud to use this opportunity to tell the stories of the area.



The springtime of 2012 heralds a triptych of works that will be presented within large scale installations in non-traditional theatrical venues. The spaces will reflect Donald Byrd’s recent interest in subverting the traditional viewing relationship between dance and its audience. The first two dance works further develop Byrd’s previous explorations of works that first scandalized audiences at Sergei Diagahlev’s legendary Ballet Russes in fin de siècle Paris. But rather than re-staging the previous work, Byrd is creating entirely new evenings of fully immersive dance theater. The season finale will be a World Premiere work by Byrd.