fbpx Spectrum Dance Theater: Strange Fruit | Krannert Center for the Performing Arts | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Spectrum Dance Theater: Strange Fruit

Under the visionary artistic leadership of Donald Byrd, Spectrum Dance Theater has become the preeminent modern dance company of the Pacific Northwest and has garnered praise worldwide. 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 for an audience to absorb his ambitious dance vocabulary, or it may wrap itself around a compelling civic issue, encouraging a community to examine ideas and attitudes that may impact lives long after the dancing has stopped.

Strange Fruit draws its title from the 1937 poem and song of the same name by Abel Meeropol that was made famous by the great jazz singer Billie Holiday. The lyrics are an extended metaphor linking a tree’s fruit with lynching victims. The impetus for this work is the employment of lynching as a tool of racial terrorism during the Jim Crow Era. For this dance/theatre work, the facts of lynching act as a springboard into a highly personal interior space and state of mind. Strange Fruit tracks Byrd’s feelings as a response to lynching and plays out as a series of dance/theatre vignettes. The piece is abstract but informed by the reality of these brutal acts of terrorism. The performance will close with Byrd and members of the company participating in a discussion with audience members.

On February 16, 2022, at 4:30pm, attend Donald Byrd's free presentation and panel discussion, Social Justice and Just Causes in Knight Auditorium at Spurlock Museum (600 S. Gregory St., Urbana).

If you can, show your love for the arts by purchasing an “Advocate” ticket; the additional ticket cost directly benefits Krannert Center.

Tickets for this event will go on sale to the public at 10am on Wednesday, January 12, 2022. Tickets will be sold online only as mobile or print-at-home tickets and are not available for purchase by phone or at the Ticket Office counter. Before the on-sale date, please visit Krannert Center’s online ticket office to ensure you have or can create an active account. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel welcome to contact the Ticket Office at 217.333.6280 or kran-tix [at] illinois.edu. All 2021-2022 ticket on-sale dates are now available. To learn about early ticket-buying opportunities, please contact Krannert Center’s Advancement team: 217.333.6700 or advancement [at] krannertcenter.illinois.edu.

In order to attend an in-theatre performance at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, audience members must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. This change is occurring in response to increasingly strict contractual requirements of visiting artists, evolving performing arts industry standards, and audience expectations. At this time, face coverings are still required in indoor university spaces such as Krannert Center. Face coverings must be worn throughout any event or performance. For more information, please see our COVID-19 Safety Protocols page.

On February 16, 2022, at 4:30pm, attend Donald Byrd's free presentation and panel discussion, Social Justice and Just Causes in Knight Auditorium at Spurlock Museum.

Patron Sponsors

  • Jerald Wray & Dirk Mol 

Patron Co-sponsors

  • Susan & Michael Haney

With deep gratitude, Krannert Center thanks all Patron Sponsors and Corporate and Community Sponsors.

If you believe in the life-affirming experiences that Krannert Center and the performing arts at Illinois make possible, please make a gift: advancement@krannertcenter.illinois.edu, KrannertCenter.com/Give, or faa.illinois.edu/giving.

Event Details

Colwell Playhouse
Sa Feb 19, 2022 - 7:30pm CT
Advocate 50 / Standard 25 / SC 20 / STU 15 / UI & YTH 10