Peak Performances Presents ‘Strange Fruit’ From Award-Winning Choreographer Donald Byrd

PEAK Performances at Montclair State University presents Strange Fruit, from Tony-nominated and Bessie-winning choreographer Donald Byrd and his Seattle-based company Spectrum Dance Theater, February 10-13 at the Alexander Kasser Theater.

Strange Fruit draws its title from the 1937 poem and song of the same name by Abel Meeropol and made famous by the great jazz singer Billie Holiday—which metaphorically addresses lynching as a tool of racial terrorism during the Jim Crow Era. For this dance/theater work, the facts of lynching act as springboards into a highly personal interior space and state of mind. Abstract yet grounded in a brutal reality, Strange Fruit tracks choreographer Donald Byrd’s feelings as a response to the legacy of lynching as a form of racial terrorism and plays out as a series of dance/theater vignettes.

“For 100+ years, there’s been no acknowledgement for the most part about these lynchings. It’s a little bit like those people have not been buried. We are offering a prayer up to them. To their memory,” says Byrd.

Strange Fruit‘s duration is a total of 80-minutes, including a 40-minute performance, 10-minute break, and concludes with a 30-minute talkback that is integral part of Strange Fruit.

Performances of Strange Fruit take place February 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30pm, and February 13 at 3pm. Tickets are $50 (and free for MSU undergraduates, with valid ID) and can be purchased at or 973.655.5112. The Alexander Kasser Theater is located at 1 Normal Avenue, on the Montclair State University campus.

Strange Fruit

Thursday, February 10, 2022 | 7:30 PM

Friday, February 11, 2022 | 7:30 PM

Saturday, February 12, 2022 | 7:30 PM

Sunday, February 13, 2022 | 3:00 PM

40 minutes, no intermission

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