Guest Teachers Faculty Bio | Donald Byrd | Steps on Broadway Faculty – Steps on Broadway

Guest Teachers

Donald Byrd
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.