2022/23 Season

40/20 Anniversary Season


For the Spectrum Dance Theater 2022/2023 Season we will be acknowledging and celebrating two landmarks – the founding of Spectrum Dance Theater 40 years ago and the 20th year of appointment of Donald Byrd as Artistic Director. Additionally, over the course of the next 9 months we will ask “What’s next?” and begin to envision “The next 10”. 

For this celebratory season we will create and present special performances and events that highlight each of the three key areas of operations of Spectrum Dance Theater – Company, School, and Community Engagement. We will focus on our history, growth, and evolving mission, vision and values.


Occurrence #11 - The Best of Occurrence

The first Occurrence was presented at La Usina Del Arte in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 20, 2016. Over the past six years there have been 10 iterations of the Occurrence program. In addition, it has grown into a much-loved Spectrum tradition – the kickoff of the Company’s performance season. Modeled on Merce Cunningham’s “Event”, where old works and newly created movement ideas are mingled, juxtaposed, and reconfigured, where perspectives are shifted, and where different works are often performed simultaneously. These mashups reveal exciting new moments and insights into works that are familiar and awaken the joy of play and discovery in the new configurations of material.

While the basic organizing principle of each Occurrence is the same, each has a different modality. In the spirit of choreographic play that is central to the Occurrence process, that modality develops throughout the creation and rehearsal process with Mr. Byrd and the company.

Dancer standing on one leg bent forward with the other leg extended. the word "occurrence" and the number "11" written around the dancers body.
The Harlem Nutcracker Teaser

A Preview Production

“The Harlem Nutcracker utilizes Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s “Nutcracker Suite” as a musical starting point. The original story centers around an African-American family in Harlem on Christmas Eve. It highlights the unique warmth and centrality of the grandmother in African-American culture, the resilience of Black American families and Harlem as a center of the African Diaspora.

This year’s Harlem Nutcracker production will be a “teaser” to the final production, which is tentatively scheduled to premiere a little over a year from now. The “teaser” is everything except for the last 20 minutes of the show. It has many of the final costume elements and some of the less elaborate scenic elements. The final moments of the show are a surprise that we are saving for the completed premiere. Students from The School of Spectrum Dance Theater and its Academy Division will also be integrated into the production.

External Event

2023 Rainier Club Laureate Event

November 16, 2022 5:30P-9:30P
The Rainier Club, 820 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Donald Byrd will be named the 2023 Rainier Club Laureate. This event honors and recognizes the significant impact Donald’s work has had in shaping dance in the region and the country. Receiving this distinction not only highlights the creative artist who shapes the culture, but also embraces the spirit of humanity in their field. Past recipients include Ernestine Anderson (2002), August Wilson (2004), and Peter Boal (2016).


Spectrum Dance Theater is currently developing our Spring performances.

Stay tuned for updates!

External Event

Music of Remembrance Concert: Intonation – Songs from the Violins of Hope

March 19, 2023 5pm
Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, Seattle, WA 98101

When Donald came to Seattle to become Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, a lack of resources required he partner with arts organizations around the city in order to establish performance opportunities. Music of Remembrance was one of the first organizations Donald collaborated with and this performance honors a creative relationship nearly 20 years in the making.

“Donald Byrd’s brilliant choreography brings a new dimension to Joel Engel’s music for the iconic Yiddish play, based on a timeless folk legend that resonates in fresh ways for our world today. Featuring former Spectrum Dance Theater dancers Kylie Lewallen and Joel Myers who premiered the piece in 2010.” – Music of Remembrance

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