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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In Context: Contemporary Color

Creative mastermind David Byrne's multi-genre, sabre-spinning spectacular Contemporary Color comes to BAM by way of the Barclays Center on June 27 & 28. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of articles, videos, and original blog pieces related to the show. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought below and by posting on social media using #ContemporaryColor.

Program Notes


BAM Illustrated: Icons and Innovators in Sparkly Spandex (BAM blog)
Acclaimed indie musicians style the latest in color guard garment innovation in this series by illustrator Nathan Gelgud.

David Byrne Raises Flags (BAM blog)
Learn how the downtown prodigy continues to keep audiences on their toes after all these years.

David Byrne, St. Vincent, Ad-Rock Blow Minds With Contemporary Color Show (Rolling Stone)
“Contemporary Color is Byrne’s attempt to reconcile seemingly oppositional entities: sports and art, downtown and suburbia, pop stars and regular folk."

Join Byrne, Lucius, How To Dress Well, and tUnE-yArDs at April's Winter Guard International championships in Dayton, OH.

From Talking Heads to Twirling Flags: Behind the Scenes of David Byrne’s ‘Contemporary Color’ (VICE)
Go backstage in this comprehensive look at the numerous collaborations underpinning this arena spectacular.

Contemporary Color
Official show page courtesy of Todo Mundo.

Look & Listen

Contemporary Color Video Channel (YouTube)
Get in on the fun (and creative process) with exclusive behind-the-scenes video content.

David Byrne and St. Vincent (NPR MUSIC LIVE)
Byrne and St. Vincent share selections from Love this Giant with fantastic synchronized choreography by Big Dance Theater's Annie-B Parson.

Winter Guard International offers an exclusive peek at the remarkable young artist-athletes performing alongside How To Dress Well this Saturday and Sunday.

We're joining forces with PHHHOTO to capture every moment of Contemporary Color excitement! Download the app, and look for our PHHHOTO booth to take your own dynamic portrait.

Now your turn...

What did you think? How familiar were you with color guard beforehand? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #ContemporaryColor.


  1. This show was amazing. My daughter is in color guard. We'd seen some of the groups before, but the collaboration with the musicians took things to a new level. The behind the scenes video was excellent and showed a whole unseen side of competitions. As a color guard Dad, I have to thank David Byrne and everyone for creating something incredible. Please do it again.

  2. It's great to see the color guard world be exposed to the average person! The show was exciting and fun and a great opportunity for the activity. I never thought I'd see the day some of my favorite guards took the Barclays Center stage -- truly amazing!

    The collaboration with musicians was very cool, however, there seemed to be a big disconnect between what a few of the artists had created and what each show was actually about. One of the best things about winter guard is that each show tells a story...with the music being a huge part of that story making any sense. I watched the show with some people who were viewing it for the very first time and spent the car ride home explaining why Emanon lit up, and what happened every 40 seconds in Mechanicsburg's show anyway? Some of the most interesting show concepts were really lost once they were stripped of their original music.

    The gap between artistic winter guard and crowd-pleasing simple spinning is one that will probably be hard to close. I found myself cheering wildly for tricky turn-arounds or catching tape while the "regular-folk" went crazy for the finale as they clapped along and watched all of the pretty flags go around together.

    I think Contemporary Color can eventually close that gap! It's exciting to think that so many more people are educated and even appreciate what we all do. I would love to see this grow and continue throughout the years. :) Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

  3. Excellent performers, great experience !


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