LOVE press release



Spectrum Dance Theater presents 
world premiere of LOVE,
with Britten’s Cello Suites live


SEATTLE – Spectrum Dance Theater (SDT) presents the world premiere of LOVE, a contemporary dance work by artistic director Donald Byrd that will feature live musical performance of Benjamin Britten’s Cello Suites by cellists Denise Djokic opening weekend and Wendy Sutter closing weekend.

Performances will take place at Daniels Recital Hall in Downtown Seattle, Thursday-Sunday, June 21-23 & June 28-30, at 8pm. Tickets are $25 general, $20 students, and are on sale now at SPECTRUMDANCE.ORG.

The world premiere of LOVE concludes SDT’s 2011-2012 season, Tony-nominated choreographer Donald Byrd’s exploration of the most complicated of human emotions. The season, entitled “love: subject/object,” has been a retrospective of several narrative works that show “love” as a torturous, obsessive exercise in despair, frailty, and annihilation. LOVE — to be interpreted as resolution, solution, or rejection — will be a clear contrast from the rest of the season, not only for its complete lack of narrative, but also for its all ages accessibility.

LOVE returns Byrd to the grandness and aesthetic beauty of pure dance, with leaps, lifts, extensions, and full ensemble numbers. Inside of a stripped Daniels Recital Hall, a landscape made up of two large island platforms, spectators can observe the “love dances” with clinical distance from above or surgical closeness at ground level; or choose to move around and between the islands to create ever evolving viewing options for LOVE.

For this showstopping season closer, Spectrum brings in two world class cellists to perform Benjamin Britten‘s Cello Suites, Denise Djokic and Wendy Sutter. The Suites are a series of three compositions, first composed for virtuoso cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, that are notoriously difficult. Performed without break for 72 minutes, the piece requires stamina and technical prowess. Because of this, the work is rarely performed live.

June 21-23 & June 28-30

Live solo cello performances:
June 21-23: Denise Djokic
June 28-30: Wendy Sutter

Daniels Recital Hall, 5th & Marion, Downtown Seattle

General tickets $25,  Students with ID $20

ADVISORY: Appropriate for all ages. Venue is fully accessible.
Tickets available at SPECTRUMDANCE.ORG or by phone (206) 325-4161.




Benjamin Britten (1913 –1976) was an English composer, conductor, and pianist; and one of the central figures of 20th century British classical music.   The Cello Suites by Britten (opp. 72, 80, and 87) are a series of three compositions for solo cello, dedicated to virtuoso cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Rostropovich gave the first performances of each work, and recorded Suites Nos 1 and 2 commercially. Britten wrote the First Suite at the end of 1964. The premiere was at the Aldeburgh Festival on 27 June 1965. The Second Suite dates from the summer of 1967, and the Third Suite was composed in 1971.



Cellist Denise Djokic has earned world-wide acclaim for her sincere, powerful interpretations and her bold command of the instrument. Djokic’s most recent recording – the complete Britten Solo Suites for the ATMA label – has received critical acclaim from renowned publications such as Fanfare and The Strad. The recording was declared “easily able to stand alongside the great recordings of Rostropovich and Wispelwey” by  Djokic recently made her New York City concerto debut at Lincoln Center with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas and Alondra de la Parra conducting Arturo Marquez’s “Espejos en la Arena”, as well as her European concerto debut with the Aachen Symphony Orchestra under Marcus Bosch.  Other recent engagements featured appearances with the North Carolina Symphony, Portland Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, as well as performances of both Haydn Concerti with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria in Mexico City, in celebration of the 2009 Haydn Anniversary year.



Heralded as “one of the great leading cellist of the classical stage” by the Wall Street Journal, Wendy Sutter has proven herself as one of the leading soloists of her generation, widely acclaimed by critics in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications.

She has served as a soloist under such conductors as Jaap Van Zweden,  Marin Alsop, Gerard Schwarz, Dante Anziolini, Mikhail Jurowski, Michel Tabachnik and Tan Dun. Equally accomplished in the worlds of contemporary music, Sutter performed for 7 years as the cellist within The Bang on a Can “all-stars” collaborating and recording alongside Theo Bleckmann, Don Byron, Ornette Coleman, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley.

In 1994 Ms. Sutter was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to give the world premiere of “A Suite of Dances” an on stage duet for Ms. Sutter playing Bach solo suites for cello accompanying Mikhail Baryshnikov. This piece was choreographed especially for these two artists by the legendary Jerome Robbins. Sutter continues to perform this work to this day with such prominent dancers as Damien Woetzel, Nicolai Hubbe and just this last season for the opening of the new Jerome Robbins Theater at The Baryshnikov Arts Center with Mikhail Baryshnikov.



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. He has created more than 80 modern dance works for his own groups as well as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), among others. He has choreographed for classical companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Aterballetto, Maggio Danza diFirenze, and Oregon Ballet Theater. He has worked with some of the most prestigious theater and opera companies in the U.S., including New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the Intiman Theater, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera and New York City Opera.

In 2005, Donald Byrd was honored by the Kennedy Center with a Master of Choreography Award, and in 2006, he received a TONY nomination for his choreography for The Color Purple. In 2011, Byrd received the Mayor’s Arts Award for his sustained contributions to the City of Seattle; was selected among the first group of Fellows to the American Academy in Jerusalem; and was awarded a fellowship by United States Artists.


For more information, please contact Van Diep at or 206-325-4161. Up to minute updates and announcements about Spectrum Dance Theater are posted on