Executive Artistic Director, Donald Byrd 2017 Season

2016-2017 Season

Dive deeper into what Donald Byrd calls a “theater of disruption”, and experience a kind of dance-theater not being done anywhere else in the nation.

This highly anticipated season includes 3 World Premiere productions, 2 collaborations with Seattle Repertory Theatre, and 1 common goal – to explore in unique and unexpected ways 3 intractable issues currently occupying the American consciousness: police shootings of unarmed black men, immigration, and violence against LGBTQ people. From these perspectives we wonder at what being an American means in today’s culture.

Welcome to Spectrum Dance Theater

Spectrum Dance Theater (SDT) was founded in 1982 to bring dance of the highest merit to a diverse audience composed of people from different social, cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds.  Our principal objective is to make the art form of dance accessible through contemporary dance performances and high-quality training in a variety of dance styles.

Under Donald Byrd’s visionary artistic leadership since 2002, the organization has embarked on an exhilarating transformation that has attracted world-class dancers, produced some of the most ambitious works in contemporary dance, and generated local and national praise.

The mission of Spectrum Dance Theater is to produce and present contemporary dance of global caliber that challenges expectations and calls forth strong emotions, deep feelings and thoughtful responses.

Spectrum Dance Theater ignites audiences through the ambitious artistic agenda of Donald Byrd, whose appetite to explore the arts knows no boundaries. The enfant terrible of the New York dance scene of the 1980s and 90s achieved international visibility for the creation of the Harlem Nutcracker and his choreography for the Broadway smash, The Color Purple. No less ambitious in the 21st century, Mr. Byrd leads his company through several programming themes that gives an insight into his far-ranging artistic ambition. Under Donald Byrd’s visionary artistic leadership since 2002, Spectrum has emerged as a company of regional and national significance.

The mission of The School of Spectrum Dance Theater is to provide expert dance instruction in diverse dance forms to all.

The School of Spectrum Dance Theater is a reflection of the artistic standards set forth by Donald Byrd, exemplified by the motto “Dance for All.”

While we recognize that there are certain physical attributes that are necessary to rise to the highest levels of being a professional dancer, at the center of The School’s values is a belief that Dance is for All.  We believe that an “ideal body” for dance is one that moves well, and not one that necessarily conforms to a visual representation of an “ideal.”

Spectrum’s Community Outreach Programs provide dance classes, access, education and services that contribute to the health and well-being of the community at large.

“One of the nation’s most daring modern-dance choreographers.”

~Seattle Times

Support Spectrum Dance Theater

“Powerful… meaningful…, [Byrd] is choreographically intelligent and imaginative.”

~ The New York Times

Support Spectrum Dance Theater

What’s New

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    SHOT Review - Drama in the Hood
    January 25, 2017
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    SHOT Review - The Seattle Times
    January 25, 2017
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    SHOT Review - The Seattle Globalist
    January 25, 2017
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    SHOT Review - Crosscut
    January 25, 2017
portrait of donald byrd

Donald Byrd, Executive Artistic Director

Mr. Byrd, a TONY nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award winning (The Minstrel Show) choreographer, became Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in December 2002. Mr. Byrd has frequently been referred to as a ‘citizen artist’ a descriptive that perfectly aligns with an important component of Spectrum Dance Theater’s mission – “dance as an art form and as a social/ civic instrument.”

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