Spectrum Dance Theater

Spectrum Dance Theater

Donald Byrd isn’t afraid to mix art and politics. Last year, his Spectrum Dance Theater addressed the struggle between Israel and Palestine, transforming the audience into a wandering tribe dispossessed from its land. This year’s geopolitical subject is a mouthful: FAREWELL: A Fantastical Contemplation on America’s Relationship With China. The show deals with the Cultural Revolution, the two nations’ economic interdependency, and our shifting perceptions of that country from Tiananmen Square to 9/11. Slogans from Mao’s Little Red Book mix with surveillance tapes, and Byrd also adapts Chinese dissident Ma Jian’s Beijing Coma as a source text. FAREWELL incorporates traditional tai chi positions—though probably not Falun Gong exercises—into Byrd’s signature high-intensity style, set to a score by Byron Au Yong. SANDRA KURTZ

Feb. 18-20, 8 p.m., 2010


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