The opening show of Spectrum’s 2015/16 Season #RACEish, Rambunctious 2.0 included four world premiere dances focusing on Black American composers. Music was performed live by Seattle based Simple Measures and Judith Cohen. Music selections included SPIRIT SONGS for cello and piano by T.J. Anderson, an elder statesman among black composers whose work formed the nucleus of the programming, and the award-winning multi-talented Wynton Marsalis, and cutting edge composer/performer/media artist Pamela Z.
Donald Byrd’s career has been long and complex and his choreographic and theatrical interests are broad. The New York Times describes him as “a choreographer with multiple personalities … an unabashed eclectic.” It continues, “Yet he does more than hop like a magpie from style to style, taking any subject matter and imagery he finds along the way that strike his fancy. His unruliness is accompanied by a love of order.” In the same article it states, “Mr. Byrd has repeatedly alluded to George Balanchine in his works. Balanchine was an unparalleled master of form. Yet he could also present haunting visions of chaos. Mr. Byrd, like him, is preoccupied with harmony and disruption.” Mr. Byrd, a TONY nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award winning (The Minstrel Show) choreographer, became Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in December 2002.