Published on October 7th, 2014 | by Amanda Caple Melton


What LOVE has to do with it: Spectrum Dance Theater at Tacoma’s Armory Building

Saturday, October 11 in Tacoma’s historic Armory Building, the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts presents Spectrum Dance Theater’s final performance of LOVE, an intimate, visceral exploration of that notorious emotion.Armory exterior

Architects Ambrose James Russell and Everett Phipps Babcock originally designed the century-old Armory Building as cavalry and infantry housing and over the decades, the space has hosted assorted martial, cultural, and civics-related activity.

The structure’s past–punctuated by war, celebration, calamity, and confrontation–closely hugs LOVE’s narrative.

With award-winning choreographer and artistic director Donald Byrd at its helm, Spectrum Dance Theater has carved its mark as a masterful contemporary dance company–the kind that induces thigh tightening, shallow breathing, and edge sitting.

Byrd has delivered more than eighty contemporary dance works, celebrated for their emotional complexity and athletic prowess. LOVE – composed of intricate, demanding solos, duets, quartets, and corps performances – is no exception.


Spectrum Dance Theater, photograph by Nate Watters

LOVE makes us think about every relationship we have been in, or have currently, with people around us. LOVE makes us analyze why we are drawn to people, the nature of our relationships, and what love is actually; not just the romantic part–the nitty gritty part,” shared Spectrum Dance Theater dancer and Tacoman, Kate Monthy.

The Seattle dance company, wrapped in bed linen white, will charge the Tacoma landmark with tender-tough movement from atop two stark platforms.

Notable musician Wendy Sutter ups the intensity with Benjamin Britten’s rigorous Cello Suites. The invitation: “[That] the audience sees their own story in LOVE,” said Monthy. From agony to lust, frailty to synergy, LOVE hits on the myriad ways heart feeling is universally experienced and expressed.

Armory interiorThis event marks an exciting new venue addition for the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

Said Mariesa Bus, BCPA’s marketing coordinator:

“Tacoma Armory owner Fred Roberson wanted the building activated with art, so he sought out the events management and booking leadership of Broadway Center. Spectrum is our first-ever show in this space and it’s the perfect performance to bring energy, life, and joy to this historic building. At the moment, Spectrum is the first event we’ve booked and we anticipate scheduling two or three more events  before the end of the season. The immense and unique nature of Armory make it a great venue option for non-traditional events, like sporting matches, roller derby, banquets, concerts, trade shows, and all kinds of other possibilities for Tacoma to dream up!”

Check out (the Tacoma Armory and) experience LOVE’s honesty and electric tenderness first hand.Spectrum LOVE marquee

For tickets to Broadway Center’s inaugural event at Tacoma’s Armory Building, visit

Saturday October 11, 7:30 pm
Tacoma Armory
715 S 11th St, Tacoma, WA

Featured photograph by Nate Watters.

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About the Author

A Tacoma-based nonprofit communications specialist passionate about creative agitation and community empowerment.

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