Cynthia Oliver‘s latest evening-length, dance theater work, Virago-Man Dem, navigates black masculinities, a departure for Oliver, whose 25 year career has thus far been dedicated to excavating black female worlds.
In the new work Oliver seeks to dismantle the term virago, which references characteristically male behaviors and female cultural transgressions. A nuanced study in Caribbean and African American masculinities, this stirring work is based in the lives of the performers and extrapolates from their experiences to broader cultural trajectories. Performers include Duane Cyrus, Niall Noel Jones, Jonathan Gonzalez and Ni’Ja Whitson. Oliver’s design team includes longtime collaborator, composer Jason Finkelman, Black Kirby visual artist team Stacey Robinson and John Jennings, projection designer/animator John Boesche, costume designer Susan Becker, and lighting designer Amanda Ringger. The work will premiere in New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) Next Wave Festival in October 2017 before touring around the country.
Virago-Man Dem premiered in New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) Next Wave Festival in October 2017 and comes to the Bride as part of a national tour.