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THE INSIDIOUS TRILOGY

The Trilogy contemplates Jim Crow, its history and its contemporary manifestations.

STRANGE FRUIT (2019)

Choreographed by Donald Byrd

Strange Fruit premiered in April of 2019, centers on lynching.

and its usage as a tool of racial terrorism during the Jim Crow Era. As a way to reestablish white supremacy and suppress black civil rights lynching emerged as a vicious and horrific tool of racial control in the South after Reconstruction. “Strange Fruit” plays out as a series of Expressionist dance/theater vignettes. It is abstract and non-narrative but is informed by the reality of these brutal acts of violence and terrorism.

GRIEF (2022)

Grief premiered in May of 2022 (revised 2024), imagines a moment just before Emmett Till’s funeral, the 14-year-old Black boy who was abducted and horrifically murdered in 1955 for whistling at a white woman. Embodying the unendurable grief of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, it shifts from a normal external perspective on the pre-funeral events, to the sensation of experiencing the moment from inside Till-Mobley’s mind and body.

TARGETED (2023)

Targeted premiered June 2, 2023. On May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, New York, at a Tops Friendly Markets store a mass shooting occurred. Ten Black people were killed, and three other people were injured. The shooter, Payton S. Gendron, an 18-year-old college student and a self-described white supremacist’s written manifesto is the source material for this documentary style dance/theater work. It puts on display “the great replacement theory”, a belief that whiteness is under threat, justifying the systematic targeting for murder of Black people and non-white immigrants by white supremacists.

INTERVIEW WITH DONALD BYRD

Hear from the Choreographer and Director of TARGETED discuss the intention behind the final piece to the Insidious Trilogy.

Interview conducted by Vivian Phillips.

Filmed and edited by Luke Wigren

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