Select Page

2019/20 SEASON

THE CLIMATE GAP: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND EQUITY IMPLICATIONS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Spectrum Dance Theater will explore climate change and The Climate Gap throughout its 2019/2020 season. The climate gap refers to a body of data indicating disparities of how climate change impacts various racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups in the United States. This data shows that racial and ethnic minorities, as well as people in lower socioeconomic statuses, will be more negatively impacted by climate change as it relates to health and economic welfare compared to other populations in the United States.

As the visibility and impacts of climate change increase, its catastrophic effects in/on our communities and our coastal cities, in particular, are inevitable. The question then becomes – how might life be lived in the near future, after humans have adapted? This particular perspective of “adaptation after” will be the artistic point of view for the new dance works and programming for the 2019/2020 Season, specifically the Race & Climate Change Festival.

Donald Byrd’s artistic vision for the world premiere productions in the Race & Climate Change Festival is inspired by a series of speculative visualizations called The Flooded London series by Squint/Opera, a digital design studio, “depicting London in 2090 when climate change has left much of the city underwater… [and] shows how citizens might adapt to catastrophic rising temperatures and sea levels.” What is striking about these visualizations is their “curiously utopian” vision of the future contrasted against our current reality – the world standing on the verge of a potential climate catastrophe. The hopefulness of these images, and their projection of the human ability to adapt, adjust, and, perhaps, be at peace with change, is both compelling and affirming.

FALL

OCCURRENCE #8

This year’s studio series features OCCURRENCE #8, a compilation of improvisations exploring personal history, memory, autobiography and their relationships to the body.

In 2009, during a residency at the MacDowell Artist Colony in Peterborough, NH, Donald Byrd pondered the notion that personal history, memory, and autobiography are housed in the body, and conducted an experiment seeking to answer the question, “how does one access them?” Each day of the residency, Donald recorded himself doing a series of physical/dance improvisations. In studying the tapes, Donald considered that his personhood, the impact of his lived experiences and traumas, his intuition, and his intellect all manifested in the spontaneity of the movement choices he made during the improvisations.

A selection of these recorded improvisations has been reconfigured, manipulated, and transformed into solos and duets for The Spectrum Dance Theater Company Artists for OCCURRENCE #8.

The Harlem Nutcracker

The Harlem Nutcracker premiered in December 1996 at Arizona State University in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Gammage Memorial Auditorium. It made its NYC premiere later that year at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. Touring extensively each holiday season from 1996-2002, The Harlem Nutcracker gained national recognition, received critical acclaim and was dubbed an “instant classic.”

The story centers around an African American family in Harlem at Christmas, highlighting the centrality and significance of the grandmother in African-American culture, the resilience of Black American families, and Harlem as a center of the African Diaspora.

The re-creation process of The Harlem Nutcracker will be carried out in 3 phases, with a main stage production set to debut in Seattle in 2021, on the 25th Anniversary of its premiere.

This “workshop production” is phase 1 of the process and will focus on Act 1, “Party Scene” and Act 2, “Club Sweets” (“Land of the Sweets” in the traditional ballet). The intention of this workshop and subsequent workshops is not to recreate the scale and opulence of the original production, but rather investigate and re-imagine the content in preparation for its new, Seattle audience.

The music in this workshop production of The Harlem Nutcracker will be devised by Composer, Arranger, and Conductor David Berger, who drew from Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s “Nutcracker Suite” to create the evening-length composition for the original production. Using a classic jazz trio of piano, bass, and drums, Berger will rework the music used during the original developmental phase of the production in New York in the 1990s.

SPRING

POOL

Donald Byrd’s artistic vision for the world premiere productions in the Race & Climate Change Festival is inspired by a series of speculative visualizations called The Flooded London series by Squint/Opera, a digital design studio, “depicting London in 2090 when climate change has left much of the city underwater… [and] shows how citizens might adapt to catastrophic rising temperatures and sea levels.” What is striking about these visualizations is their “curiously utopian” vision of the future contrasted against our current reality – the world standing on the verge of a potential climate catastrophe. The hopefulness of these images, and their projection of the human ability to adapt, adjust, and, perhaps, be at peace with change, is both compelling and affirming.

“POOL” is a site-specific work to be presented at Madrona Beach.

After

Donald Byrd’s artistic vision for the world premiere productions in the Race & Climate Change Festival is inspired by a series of speculative visualizations called The Flooded London series by Squint/Opera, a digital design studio, “depicting London in 2090 when climate change has left much of the city underwater… [and] shows how citizens might adapt to catastrophic rising temperatures and sea levels.” What is striking about these visualizations is their “curiously utopian” vision of the future contrasted against our current reality – the world standing on the verge of a potential climate catastrophe. The hopefulness of these images, and their projection of the human ability to adapt, adjust, and, perhaps, be at peace with change, is both compelling and affirming.

“After” is a dance/theater production to be presented at Washington Hall.

WAKE UP! Series

Wake Up! is a series of moderated conversation curated by Seattle-based Arts Curator Vivian Phillips with expert guests on climate change/the climate gap, as well as futurists, and speculative fiction writers.