by Sophie Shackleton
Since 2010, BAM has produced DanceMotion USA, a program funded by the US Department of State to promote diplomacy and cultural exchange through dance. This year, we sent four contemporary American dance companies to represent the United States on artistic missions in four regions around the world. Using dance as a language, they forged lifelong connections—both artistically and personally—with the artists and audiences they met during their travels.
The dancers were our eyes and ears on tour, sharing videos, photos, and blog posts as they traveled. Over the next few weeks, we’ll feature highlights from each of the four companies’ journeys on the BAM blog, starting with Seattle-based Spectrum Dance Theater, who brought their diverse styles and visionary theatricality to South Asia.
Their tour started in Nepal, where Spectrum discovered b-boy and b-girl culture was thriving (check out these moves!) alongside traditional dance customs. Company member Ty Alexander Cheng reflected on the power of dance and cultural diplomacy after being impacted by the students in his workshops, and the dancers saw the Himalayas for the first time. The local audience in Kathmandu went wild when Spectrum performed Nepali traditional dance during their final performance in the country.