COCo. Dance Theatre presents: Virago-Man Dem.
“...stunning, with virtuosic displays of endurance, vocal play, and extensive movement vocabularies.”
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. The work is based on the lives of the men performing the work—Duane Cyrus, Jonathan Gonzalez, and Niall Noel Jones—and 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?”
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