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Justin Reiter, U of M '13, chosen by Celebrated Choreographer to open Seattle's Spectrum Dance Theater season

After graduating just this May, Justin Reiter (U of M '13) has leapt into a professional dance career with Donald Byrd's critically acclaimed Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle. This influential company introduces world premieres and explores traditional pieces to bring them new meaning. Mr. Byrd, a "brutal, magnificent talent" (Seattle Times), has tapped Justin Reiter, of Sioux Falls South Dakota, to join his company.

Mere months ago, Reiter completed his Dance BFA at the University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, where he reflects, "I was given the insight I needed to become a contemporary dancer in a global context." The December 2012 production of Dance Revolutions on Rarig's Whiting proscenium stage provided an opportunity for him to showcase his talents, performing pieces by acclaimed choreographers Bill T. Jones, Shapiro & Smith and Donald Byrd.

When Mr.Byrd came to speak at the Barbra Barker Center for Dance and guide students in the revival of his piece, Jazz 1 (1997), he recognized in Reiter the special skill, talent and passion demanded of Spectrum Dance Theater artists. This summer, Reiter was invited by Byrd himself to participate in a Spectrum Dance Theater workshop, and two weeks later was chosen to join the company. Subsequently, Reiter moved to Seattle to pursue his wildest dreams.

Next week on October 4, Spectrum Dance Theater's 2013-2014 Season: America: Sex, Race & Religion opens with Byrd's Prodigal and Justin, four months after his graduation, will celebrate his debut as the newest Spectrum Dance Theater company member.

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