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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 13, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 02
Spectrum Dance Theater presents World Premiere, SHOT an unapologetic critique of racial profiling and police aggression toward black lives
Arts & Entertainment
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Spectrum Dance Theater presents World Premiere, SHOT an unapologetic critique of racial profiling and police aggression toward black lives

In a time when black people fear for their lives when in proximity to those who are empowered to protect them, Spectrum Dance Theater announces their world premiere contemporary dance production, SHOT. The evening-length devised dance and theater performance is the first of their three-part season, 'AMERICAN - Identity, Race, Or Culture?,' where socially relevant themes are stripped from the headlines to be questioned and carefully considered live on stage. Conceived and choreographed by the visionary choreographer, director, and tenacious social provocateur, Donald Byrd, and performed by the Spectrum Company, SHOT aims to spark an unapologetic critique of a current American landscape where we find ourselves in an intense cycle of fear, intimidation, and aggression.

Byrd's work centers on the alarming and continuous murder of black people by American law enforcement and its expanding power and authority. This past summer Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer gave this visceral description of racial profiling, 'For generations, black and brown parents have given their children 'the talk' - instructing them never to run down the street; always keep your hands where they can be seen; do not even think of talking back to a stranger - all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react to them.' SHOT explores this atomic bomb of a problem: the systematic and institutionalized slaughter of blacks by the police, and 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 will deploy methods and strategies articulated in what he calls 'theater of disruption,' a genre of artistic work 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. 'I have spent much of my career focusing my work on prominent civic issues, leveraging the arts to bring important subjects to the forefront of civic dialogue,' Byrd comments. 'With SHOT, I deeply hope that audiences leave with a sense of acknowledgement for who the men who have been the target of police brutality are - human beings and not just headlines in the news. These men are so much more than the stereotype of thug, felon, robber - they are fathers, brothers, and children. I hope that this work creates discussion and stirs passion within the audience.'

Spectrum dancers will perform alongside the emotive musical stylings of artists Julius Eastman and Jaimeo Brown.

Community Outreach:
Join The Conversation

You're invited to join Spectrum and Crosscut for a community panel on Race and Police Brutality (#WhenWillItStop) in anticipation of Donald Byrd's SHOT. The FREE conversation in partnership with Crosscut and HIDMO will be held on January 17, 6:30 p.m. at Washington Hall (153 14th Ave one block north of E Yesler Way). Details: http://bit.ly/2iM2ikU

SHOT will be presented January 19-February 4 | Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm; Sunday @ 2pm | at the Seattle Repertory Theatre's Leo K. Theatre, 155 Mercer St @ Seattle Center. OPENING NIGHT - Thursday, January 19 - PRE-SHOW TALK - doors @ 6:30pm; pre-show talk @ 6:45pm. Tickets: $42 general; $32 seniors; $21 students. For ticket reservations call the Seattle Repertory Theatre Box Office at 206-443-2222 or toll-free 877-900-9285 or go to spectrumdance.org.

After SHOT, Spectrum Dance Theater will produce two additional works as part of its 2017 Season. Those include RAMBUNCTIOUS ITERATION #3 and the world premiere production, (IM)PULSE. For details, visit SpectrumDance.org.

Season and individual tickets are now on sale. (Please note all ticketing is managed through the Seattle Repertory Theatre box office and the Spectrum website will redirect to SeattleRep.org/Spectrum.)

ABOUT DONALD BYRD
Donald Byrd, the enfant terrible of the New York dance scene of the 1980s and 90s, achieved international visibility for the creation of the The Harlem Nutcracker. Byrd is a Bessie Award winner for The Minstrel Show and was nominated for a Tony Award for his choreography for the Broadway production of The Color Purple. Byrd's body of work is varied and impressive, spanning more than four decades, pushing the boundaries of movement and message. The work may be purely an aesthetic experience or it may wrap itself around a compelling civic issue, encouraging a community to examine ideas and attitudes that it may impact.

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

SOCIAL:
Facebook.com/SpectrumDance
Twitter.com/SpectrumDT
Instagram.com/spectrum_dance_theater #SpectrumSHOT
#WhenWillItStop (specific panel discussion hashtag)

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, Rita Shaw Memorial Fund, and May and Wah Lui.

Courtesy of Spectrum Dance Theater

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