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July 25th – 30th

12:00 – 13:30 am

course language: English

combinable with other workshops

Donald Byrd - 002 - Byrd DSC_2629-scaled.jpg

​one day 28€
one workshop 120*/150€
two workshops 240*/275€

At next booking page choose10 am for Michael or 12 pm for Donald. 

*reduced price for studio members

Donald Byrd

Repertory Studies

Workshop Philosophy

“dance as an art form and as a social/ civic instrument.” 

Early projects that were the beginnings of his citizen artist work at Spectrum are Interrupted Narratives/WAR (2007), a critique on the War in Iraq, and The Theater of Needless Talents (2008), a memorial to the artist victims of the Holocaust. Mr. Byrd’s early repertoire also includes three evening-length works that sought, through dance, to stimulate dialogue around a post-9/11, globalized America: A Chekhovian Resolution (2008), a personal, diary-like reflection on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict; Farewell: A Fantastical Contemplation on America’s Relationship with China (2008), inspired by the novel Beijing Coma from Ma Jian and the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square; and The Mother of Us Al (2010)l a dense, collage-like abstract meditation on contemporary Africa. 

Spectrum’s recent seasons, conceived, choreographed, and directed by Mr. Byrd, are a testament to his commitment to art as a Credible Partner of Social Justice:


He continues to demonstrate this by creating dance/theater that is meant to question, to create awareness, to activate, and to move audiences & citizens into action around the persistent social issues that plague contemporary American society and the world: racism and white supremacy, climate change and the climate gap, gender equality, gender identity biases, xenophobia, and police brutality.  


Donald Byrd (Choreographer/Artistic Director, Spectrum Dance Theater) became Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle in December 2002. Prior to this, Mr. Byrd was the Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed and highly regarded contemporary dance company based in New York that toured extensively, both nationally and internationally. Since 1976, Donald Byrd has created over eighty works for his former company and for Spectrum Dance Theater, as well as for many major modern dance repertory companies including The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), Cleo Parker Robinson, and Dallas Black Dance Theater; and for classical companies including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Concordanse (Paris), MaggioDanza diFirenze, and Oregon Ballet Theater, to name a few. He is probably best know for his reworking of the Christmas classic, The Nutcracker, into The Harlem Nutcracker, which received critical acclaim and toured nationally for 5 years. Other works of note created for Donald Byrd/The Group include Prodigal (a commentary on George Balanchine's The Prodigal Son), The Minstrel Show (Bessie winner 1992), Drastic Cuts, Bristle, Life Situations: Daydreams on Giselle, The Beast, and his evening length explorations into jazz music and contemporary dance, JazzTrain and In A Different Light: Duke Ellington. Donald Byrd has also choreographed for numerous stage productions including work at Intiman, Seattle Children's Theater, Center Stage in Baltimore, the New York Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, San Francisco Opera, and New York City Opera, as well as collaborations with the contemporary theater artist Anna Deavere Smith Peter Sellars, and the jazz great Max Roach. Recent projects include choreography for the Tony nominated musical, The Color Purple. Donald's latest piece for Spectrum Dance, Farewell, looked at China after Tiananmen Square and its relationship with the United States. 

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