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Social Justice and Just Causes

Donald Byrd, artistic director, Spectrum Dance Theater
George A. Miller, visiting artist

What is the balance of the didactic, the authentic/personal, and the aesthetic in the creation of dance works during a time of racial reckoning and consciousness expansion?

Tony-nominated and Bessie Award-winning choreographer Donald Byrd will present some of his work and then join in a panel discussion with FAA Dean Kevin Hamilton, Latrelle Bright (Clinical Assistant Professor of Theatre), and Cynthia Oliver (CAS Professor of Dance and Associate Vice Chancellor—Humanities, Arts and Related Fields.)

Donald Byrd has been the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater since December 2002. Formerly, he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured both nationally and internationally. His 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.” He is a Tony-nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award-winning (The Minstrel Show) choreographer.

Byrd has frequently been referred to as a “citizen artist,” a descriptive that perfectly aligns with an important component of Spectrum Dance Theater’s mission and Byrd’s personal beliefs—“dance as an art form and as a social/ civic instrument.” He set his work Love on Dance at Illinois students, which was performed in November Dance 2021, and will present his work Strange Fruit in the Marquee Series at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on February 19, 2022.

This presentation and discussion will last approximately 90 minutes.

Presented by the Department of Dance in collaboration with Center for Advanced Study, College of Fine and Applied Arts, Department of African American Studies, Illinois Theatre, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and Spurlock Museum.

In accordance with University of Illinois policy, all attendees must wear face coverings for the duration of this event.

If you require any accommodations for this event, please contact Spurlock Museum at https://www.spurlock.illinois.edu/visit.

Join us at Krannert Center for Donald Byrd and Spectrum Dance Theater's presentation of Strange Fruit on February 19, 2022.

Event Details

Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S Gregory, Urbana, Illinois
We Feb 16, 2022 - 4:30pm CT