Virago-Man Dem: Dance Center of Columbia College

Cynthia Oliver (Choreographer), Duane Cyrus (Performer), Jonathan Gonzalez (Performer), Ni'Ja Whitson (Performer), Niall Noel Jones (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


Virago-Man Dem is the newest evening-length, experimental dance-theatre work by Cynthia Oliver. Troubling the term “virago” and its reference to characteristically male behaviors and female cultural transgressions, Virago-Man Dem is a study in masculinities and their multiplicities within cultures of Caribbean and African American communities.Virago-Man Dem captures various masculinities through movement, spoken language and visual design and explores the expressions particular to Caribbean and African American black masculinities as they are performed and expressed by men, staged on male bodies, but designed and interpreted by a woman. Virago-Man Dem contains traces of all those who have generously been a part of the two-year process of bringing it to the stage, is grounded in the lives of the folks performing the work—Duane Cyrus, Jonathan Gonzalez, Ni'Ja Whitson and Niall Noel Jones—and extrapolates to broader cultural trajectories. The work asks, “How can a woman choreograph masculinity without resorting to stereotypes, but instead locate its nuances, challenges and ambiguities? Those very elements that black communities know so well and yet see rarely reflected in the culture at large?”
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


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  • Virago-Man Dem

    Oliver, C. (Choreographer), Finkelman, J. (Composer), Jennings, J. (Artist), Robinson, S. (Artist), Boesche, J. (Animator), Becker, S. (Costume designer) & Ringger, A. K. (Lighting designer), 2015

    Research output: Non-textual formChoreography

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