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What Does It Mean To Be American Today?

SEATTLE, WA (November 2, 2016) – With the core of its mission at heart, perhaps more than ever before, Spectrum Dance Theater announces its 2017 Season of contemporary dance entitled AMERICAN – Identity, Race, or Culture?. Conceived and choreographed by the award-winning artistic director Donald Byrd and performed by the Spectrum Company, the 2017 Season features three World Premiere productions and the return of the popular Rambunctious series. All three evening-length productions deeply explore socially relevant themes stripped from the headlines to be questioned and carefully considered live on stage. Season tickets are on sale now and single tickets will become available on December 1, 2016. Ticket information can be found online at SpectrumDance.org. (Please note all ticketing is managed through the Seattle Rep box office and the Spectrum website will redirect to SeattleRep.org/Spectrum.)

The season opens in mid-January with the demanding World Premiere production SHOT  (January 19-February 4, 2017) from visionary choreographer and director Donald Byrd. This work centers around the alarming and continuous murder of black people by American law enforcement. “SHOT explores not only the systemic and institutionalized slaughter of blacks by police, but also their outward intensification and militarization where a ‘shoot first, think later’ method to policing is fortified and at times praised by a force that is entrusted with the duty to protect and serve,” Byrd, a tenacious social provocateur, comments. SHOT aims to spark an unapologetic critique of a current American landscape where we find ourselves in an intense cycle of fear; an American landscape were blacks fear for their lives when in proximity to those who are empowered to protect them.Byrd deploys a method he calls ‘theater of disruption,’ a genre that uses dance, text, fiction, music, mise-en-scène, sound, voice, facts, media, and speculation to engage audiences in issues that are difficult and intractable.

Back by popular demand is the Rambuctious series in its third iteration – The Immigrants (March 2-5, 2017). In 2014, The Seattle Times reported that with Rambunctious, “Spectrum Dance Theater showed us again how contemporary dance, especially when paired with great live music, can be one of the most exciting of art forms.” In 2014, Rambunctious: A Festival of Music and Dance (first iteration) focused on string quartets by American composers. The second iteration, which premiered in 2016, explored African-American composers. Now in its third iteration, Rambunctious Iteration #3 – The Immigrants focuses on classical composers who are American, but not native-born, and specifically composers from parts of the world that have at times been at odds with America. The Immigrants features multiple contemporary dance works, four of which are World Premieres, and all of which will be performed to live music performed by artists on stage with the dancers.

Spectrum closes out their 2017 season with a highly anticipated World Premiere of (IM)PULSE. This cutting edge production is a response to the Orlando Pulse Nightclub tragedy and on-going aggression towards the LGBTQ community. Utilizing the visceral protest-art performance style that was popular in the New York “downtown” art scene in the 1990s, (IM)PULSE incorporates the work of gay artists David Wojnarowicz, a painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, and AIDS activist, and playwright Brian Quirk (2010 winner of The Robert Chesley Award) to bring unique life to the social issues connected to this community.

Donald Byrd has been devoted to focusing his work on tough, current civic issues for his entire career, and Spectrum Dance Theater is committed to that focus, having built it into its mission and values. “The 2017 Season is my response to the greater need to not shut out the pressing social issues that riddle our headlines these days,” Byrd articulates. “The shootings of unarmed black men continue, immigration issues have come to a head in our election, and the LGBTQ community continues to be targeted and brutally attacked. The arts are a powerful voice, and we aim to use ours to present these issues under new light to our audiences.”

ABOUT “AMERICAN – Identity, Race, or Culture?”

SHOT (WORLD PREMIERE)

In partnership with Seattle Rep
January 19-February 4, 2017
Seattle Rep’s Leo K. Theatre
Through visceral and urgent contemporary dance theater, you are invited to contemplate the alarming and continuous murder of black people by American law enforcement. With the police’s ever-expanding authority, supported by recent rulings of the Supreme Court, we ask – when will it stop? Shot is an unapologetic critique of the current American landscape, where black people find themselves in an intense cycle of fear, intimidation, aggression, and death.

Rambunctious #3 – “The Immigrants”

March 2-5, 2017
Cornish Playhouse
Back by popular demand! The Rambunctious Series returns, this time exploring works by Immigrant-American classical composers. In his quest to ‘Make the Invisible Visible,’ Donald Byrd will look to the works of American Composers whose countries of origin are ones that America has been at odds, or are part of the current debate on immigration. This program will include four dance World Premieres with choreography by artistic director Donald Byrd and music by American composers who are immigrants from non-European countries. Dancers will perform to the music of live guest artists.

Rambunctious #3 – The Immigrants is sponsored in part by May and Wah Lui and the Raisbeck Fund for Live Music.

(IM)PULSE (WORLD PREMIERE)

In partnership with Seattle Rep
June 15, 2017 – July 2, 2017
Seattle Rep’s Leo K. Theatre
This eagerly-awaited World Premiere uses two works by two gay artists as its jumping off point: David Wojnarowicz, a painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, and AIDS activist and playwright Brian Quirk. Utilizing the visceral protest-art performance style popular in the New York “downtown” art scene of the 90′, this two-part dance theater work is a hair-raising dramatic dance-theater work in response to the Orlando Pulse Nightclub tragedy and the ongoing aggression towards LBGTQ people.


FOR CALENDAR EDITORS

Spectrum Dance Theater’s 2016/17 Season

“AMERICAN – Identity, Race, or Culture?

In the 2016/17 Season AMERICAN – Identity, Race, or Culture, Donald Byrd and the Spectrum Company will explore what it means to be American in today’s diverse cultural landscape.

SHOT (WORLD PREMIERE)

In partnership with Seattle Rep

January 19-February 4, 2017

Seattle Rep’s Leo K. Theatre

155 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

Rambunctious #3 – The Immigrants (4 WORLD PREMIERES)

March 2-5, 2017

Cornish Playhouse

201 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

(IM)PULSE (WORLD PREMIERE)

In partnership with Seattle Rep

June 15, 2017 – July 2, 2017

Seattle Rep’s Leo K. Theatre

155 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

TICKETS:

Season Tickets Start at $125 – ON SALE NOW

Single Tickets Start at $46 – ON SALE DECEMBER 1

For more information on how to purchase tickets, visit SpectrumDance.org. or www.seattlerep.org/spectrum

SOCIAL:

Facebook.com/SpectrumDance

Twitter.com/SpectrumDT

Instagram.com/SeattleRep

#Spectrum2017

#SpectrumSHOT

#SpectrumRAMBUNCTIOUS

#SpectrumIMPULSE

About Spectrum Dance Theater

Under Donald Byrd’s artistic leadership since 2002, Spectrum Dance Theater has become the foremost contemporary modern dance organization in the Pacific Northwest, gaining recognition nationally and abroad.  For over thirty years, Spectrum Dance Theater has brought dance of the highest merit to a diverse community working to make dance accessible to all through contemporary dance performances and high quality dance training in a variety of dance styles.  Three components comprise the organization: the professional Company, the School and Outreach programs.  With Donald Byrd’s visionary artistic leadership, the organization has embarked on an exhilarating transformation that has attracted world class dancers, produced some of the most avant-garde works in contemporary dance, and generated local and national praise. www.spectrumdance.org

Spectrum Dance Theater’s 2017 Season is sponsored in part by Raisbeck Fund for Live Music, Tricia Stromberg Professional Dancers Fund, 4 Culture, ArtsFund, City of Arts and Culture, Laird Patterson, and May and Wah Lui.

For more information, please contact:

Michelle S. Leyva
Michelle Sanders Communications
(206) 595-1151
michelle@michellesanderspr.com

 

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