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Originally published April 6, 2012 at 5:31 AM | Page modified April 8, 2012 at 1:07 PM

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Spectrum Dance Theater's 'Petruchska': a tough and lurid carnival

Seattle's Spectrum Dance Theater reinvents choreographer Donald Byrd's "Petruchska" as a roving carnival that's definitely not for children. Runs April 13-15 and April 20-22.

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Spectrum Dance Theater's 2006 production of "Petruchska" was the show that first alerted me to what a brutal, magnificent talent had blown into town with choreographer Donald Byrd (I was, admittedly, slow on the uptake).

Now Byrd is transforming his hourlong piece into a roving spectacle with live carnival performers and multimedia installations. Audiences will start following the action in Madrona Park, then move with it through SDT's studios and theaters.

A "re-imagining of the Igor Stravinsky/Alexandre Benois ballet," the show depicts the yearning and anguish of a puppet (dancer Vincent Michael Lopez) who comes to life and suffers greatly from his all-too-human feelings. Lopez is a spectacular dancer, and he's formidably matched by Jade Solomon Curtis as the ballerina who entrances him.

Audience members with mobility issues should call 206-325-4161 to discuss special arrangements. Note: "Petruchska" contains sexual and violent content and is definitely not for children. 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. April 13-14 and 20-21, 6:30 p.m. April 15 and 22, Spectrum Dance Theater/Madrona Park, 800 Lake Washington Blvd., Seattle; $5-$25 (206-523-4161 or

Michael Upchurch,

Seattle Times arts writer

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