Spectrum Dance Theater

20/21/22 Performance Season

The Climate series

Pool and After are site specific works to be adapted to conventional presenting venues. They may be presented together in a single concert or separately as part of a mixed rep presentation.



POOL is an Afro-futuristic imagining. It imagines a future where the initial devastating and catastrophic impact of climate change are over and humans have adapted. It imagines a world, a reality, where Greta Thunberg, who warned the world of the impending devastation of climate change, is deified and venerated. Images of her sounding the alarm and her words of warning are everywhere. They are there to remind those that have survived and adapted of the past mistakes made and how they must not be repeated.

In this imagining, humans live in small communities called ‘shucks’ practicing environmentally sound and sensitive ways of living. They have developed new rituals to remind and reinforce the memory of the past and its mistakes. These people are from time to time visited by ‘She Who Sees’. She is Black. She has the ability to moves through time. She has lived many lifetimes. She wears the weeds of slavery in America. She witnesses human history as it unfolds, seeing human activity but not being able to change it, though she can gently nudge it. She is felt and sometimes seen. She is Hope and Perseverance. Her presence is a signifier of the importance of a particular moment in time. POOL unfolds upon her latest arrival to a particular shuck.

After inhabits a psychological landscape and draws a picture of a group of people immediately after a major climate disaster. It occurs decades before POOL. The movement is abstract and visually has as its inspiration (and antecedent) Merce Cunningham’s Winterbranch as it was interpreted by Alla Kovgan in her film Cunningham and the work of conceptual artist/architect/illustrator Nick Stath. As opposed to POOL where existence is seen as utopian, the world of After is filled with anxiety and uncertainty. It is the darkness before the light.




SHOT is an unapologetic critique of the current American landscape, where black people find themselves in an intense cycle of fear and intimidation. Recent episodes of police shootings of unarmed black men have sparked an intense reaction on the part of all citizens. Shot provides an arts platform encouraging civic dialogue on this important moment in US history. Shot is powerfully presented dance theater that encourages an important dialogue for all Americans via Donald Byrd’s sharply fluid choreography and pointed narrative.


In HR 3244 Spectrum Dance Theater dramatizes this legislation – described below in the Congressional record:

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 is a federal statute passed into law in 2000 by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Clinton. The law was later reauthorized by Presidents Bush and Obama. It has the ability to authorize protections for undocumented immigrants who are victims of severe forms of trafficking and violence.

Set to a score that includes JS Bach Sonatas and Partitas, HR 3244 is Byrd’s response to the epidemic of human trafficking. It is as much an exploration of our internal responses to human exploitation as a representation of the tragedy of it’s victims. We are all diminished as long as this modern form of slavery exists. Byrd is anxious to bring this conversation to the theatre and will introduce the performance to audiences and participate in a post-performance conversation.