This weekend, the Seattle Theater Group will unveil Spectrum Dance Theater's latest work: FAREWELL: A fantastical contemplation on America’s relationship with China. This highly anticipated piece represents the second year in Spectrum's three year initiative, Beyond Dance: Promoting Awareness and Mutual Understanding (PAMU). The goal of PAMU is to bring collaborators together from all over the world to create works that "examine issues relating to personal liberty, freedom, security and social justice." (Quote: Spectrum Dance Theater.)
In FAREWELL, artistic director and choreographer, Donald Byrd builds a bridge between recent American and Chinese tragedies; specifically 9/11 and Tiananmen Square.
In Part I: Considering Bejing Coma, Byrd draws inspiration from the novel, Beijing Coma written by exiled Chinese author Ma Jian. This literary work tells the story of a young man who is shot while leaving the mayhem of Tiananmen Square, then suffers a waking coma and paralysis. In a creative twist, Byrd creates an American character who suffers the same fate, post 9/11. In his now conscious but immobile state, the young man reflects upon his past and the events surrounding his country.
Part II is entitled, With Begging Bowls In Hand. This piece draws its strength from a quote from a friend of Ma Jian's: “Foreigners come with begging bowls in hand. This is the future.” In this act, Byrd explores the delicate financial relationship between America and China.
Farewell's musical score was composed by Seattle's own Byron Au Yong, a second-generation Chinese American. Au Yong's perspective is sure to add a rich, unique layer to this complex, emotional and thought-provoking performance.
You can catch FAREWELL at The Moore Theatre, February 18th--20th. For ticketing information, please visit Seattle Theater Group.