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Spectrum Dance Theater: A Rap on Race

  • Orpheum Theatre 409 South 16th Street Omaha, NE, 68102 United States (map)

6:40 PM - Preshow lecture with UNO Professor Dr. Jennifer Harbour
7:30 PM - Performance
9:00 PM - Talkback with Tony-nominated choreographer Donald Byrd

In 1970, two towering personalities of American intelligentsia sat together and recorded a conversation about the defining subject of the American experience: race. Mead, 68 years old, white and liberal, was the most famous anthropologist of the 20th Century. Baldwin, 46, black, living in exile in France, was one of the most prominent novelists. The two had never met before. Their conversation, carried out in three long sessions over two long days, was tape recorded, transcribed and published as a book. 

Now over 40 years later, two contemporary artistic icons, Smith (best known for her documentary theater style in plays such as "Fires in the Mirror" and "Twilight: Los Angeles") and legendary choreographer Donald Byrd, re-imagine this monumental moment in history through an evening of devised dance and theater. In this innovative production featuring the world-renowned dancers of Spectrum Dance Theater.

This groundbreaking performance is part of the dance company’s residency in Omaha, which includes workshops and lectures open to the community.  

Events open to the public
January 8
4:30 PM – Free Community Dance Workshop at I AM DANCE studio. Open for all ages and levels. 

January 9
5:00 PM – Free Side-by-Side Company Class at the Orpheum Theater led by choreographer Donald Byrd. Open to advanced community dancers.

6:40 PM – Preshow guided conversation by Dr. Jennifer Harbour, assistant professor in UNO's Black Studies Department, at the Orpheum Theater. Harbour is an 19th century social historian who teaches courses on all periods of African-American history, slavery, feminism, the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power.

7:30 PM – Performance at the Orpheum

9:00 PM – Talkback after the show with Donald Byrd and company dancers

For more information or to register for a class, contact Community Engagement Assistant Taylor Wyatt at 402.661.8425 or

Earlier Event: January 5
Wine, Dine & Paint Night
Later Event: January 11
Black Coffee and Black Business