Frye Art Museum Fetes Seattle Choreographer Donald Byrd with a Retrospective

The exhibit will explore his life and work

By Gavin Borchert


October 7, 2019

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the October 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

To mark his 70th birthday and a body of work that has covered subjects from musicals to race relations (sometimes at the same time, as in his Tony-nominated dance for The Color Purple), the Frye Art Museum is honoring Seattle-based choreographer and Spectrum Dance Theater artistic director Donald Byrd with a career retrospective of performance footage and memorabilia. Byrd’s use of music ranging from that of Duke Ellington to Bartók and his rethinking of iconic ballets, as seen in his 1996 The Harlem Nutcracker, share a motivation with this exhibit, titled Donald Byrd: The America That Is to Be. It will present “a full spectrum of who lives in America on the stage.” 10/12–1/26/2020. Times vary. Free. First Hill.

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