For the past few weeks, Artistic Director Donald Byrd has curated a series of re-released performances “From the Vault” of Spectrum Dance Theater. This week marks the final installment in the series with the re-release of LOVE.

The world premiere of LOVE was the conclusion of Spectrum Dance Theater’s 2011-2012 season, a season that explored the most complicated of human emotions. It was a kind of retrospective of several re-imagined narrative works that showed “love” as a torturous, obsessive exercise in despair, frailty, and annihilation. LOVE was a clear contrast from the rest of the season, not only for its complete lack of narrative but also for its austere aesthetic.  

LOVE occurs under the dome of the historic grandeur of the former First Methodist Episcopalian Church, at the time used as a recital hall, Daniels Recital Hall. It is a stripped-down landscape made up of two large island platforms on which the dancers perform and a smaller one from which the musician plays. The spectators observed the “love dances” with clinical distance from above or surgical closeness at ground level.

 Remember, the performance is only available for one week! Don’t miss it. 

From the Vault: A few words from Donald Byrd

When I think about slowing down, I think about TIME feeling extended, more space between moments, the infinite number of points between any two points. To me, time seems unsettled, unstable, without a center. The unique lynchpin that holds time on its axis seems to be missing. It is dislocated. Not only do I feel like I have more time but the concept of time itself seems almost meaningless as each moment, hour and day bleeds into the next. What seems to be the only reliable indicator is light. How much light is entering through my windows? When I stare outside am I staring into darkness or light? How the direction, quality, intensity of light changes from the time I awake to when I return to my bed. This is all I know. The measurement of infinite time into the minutiae of hours, minutes, seconds seems to be lost. They do not exist or seem meaningless. What is true – only the moment I am in now. Objective time does not exist, there is only subjective time and NOW.

What can one do with more time? Perhaps this extended notion of time might provide the space for us to do things we did not have time to do or did not make time to do before. Re-read a favorite book, watch a film long on our watch list, begin to write that book that we said we would write back in college and that we have repeatedly put off; or engage in some artistic endeavor or home project that we have been promising ourselves we would do. Or to do something that has deep and personal meaning for us like reconnect with dear friends from our past or just connect with those in our normal, everyday lives we care about and love but for whom we often don’t seem to have the time. Or do nothing at all, giving our bodies and spirits a much-needed respite from always doing and allow ourselves to just BE.

These are difficult times for everybody. We have been forced to slow down, social distance, and rely on ‘zooming’ to connect with friends and work colleagues. For those of us in dance our performances and educational dance activities have been canceled which is especially difficult because we pride ourselves on “the show must go on”.

Spectrum is creating alternatives so we can keep offering you our art!

Over the next four weeks, Spectrum Dance Theater will stream programs from some of our past productions. Tune in with us Fridays to view my selections from “the vault”:

  • April 24, 2020: Dance, Dance, Dance
  • May 1, 2020: Rambunctious #3: The Immigrants
  • May 8, 2020: Hip-hop, Fado and the Blues
  • May 15, 2020: LOVE

Because most of these programs go back at least five years you might have missed them BUT if you did see them, this is an opportunity to reacquaint, like the pleasures of greeting an old friend. To “tip” and or support our upcoming productions, visit www.spectrumdance.org/donate.

– Donald Byrd, Artistic Director

April 24: “Dance, Dance, Dance #1”
May 1: “Rambunctious”
May 8: “Hip-hop, Fado and the Blues”
May 15: “LOVE”