Mother of Us All Seattle Times preview

Michael Upchurch speaks with choreographer Donald Byrd about the upcoming performance The Mother of Us All to premiere at The Moore Theatre this Thursday through Saturday. Read the comprehensive interview called It’s complicated: Spectrum Dance Theater explores Africa in Donald Byrd’s ‘The Mother of Us All’ to learn more about the Beyond Dance: Promoting Awareness and Mutual Understanding (PAMU) series.

Here’s an excerpt:
To viewers who protest that they don’t know where to focus their attention, Byrd asks, “Well, do you know where to look in life?”

Byrd admits that theater audiences are used to being told where to look and how to feel. But for this particular subject matter, he believes, streamlining or simplifying the stage action would be the wrong choice.

“I want people to gather the information however they can and make whatever sense out of it they can.” Their role, as he views it, is to “curate” what they’re seeing.

“I can maybe direct them or guide them in a certain direction,” he says. “But I don’t want to come to a conclusion for them.”

It’s not just an aesthetic but an ethical stance on Byrd’s part.

“It minimizes the complexity of the subject to simplify it so much that it’s easy to follow,” he says. “It would be presumptuous on my part to reduce it to something that’s easily digested.”
Read the full preview in The Seattle Times (PDF version).