CURRENT PROJECTS

 

Duane Cyrus’s current projects include

  • Hero Complexities, a multidisciplinary performance work created by Duane Cyrus that is inspired by the heroic acts of Charles W. David Jr., a Caribbean American United States Coast Guardsman who served on the USCGC Comanche during World War II and lost his life helping to save nearly 100 drowning servicemen in the icy waters off Greenland. It investigates the confluence of questions surrounding themes of rescue, self-sacrifice, and heroism as the cast of contemporary black male artists navigate and articulate their perspectives on this important legacy and its relevance for our future.  What does it mean to be a problem and a savior at the same time? And how do black contemporary bodies simultaneously relate to past acts of heroism while negotiating present-day dilemmas through art? How can these questions lead to healing for all people, regardless of race or gender? Other questions being explored are: What is the impact on families when servicemen are lost? What does survival mean to Veterans?.

 

  • Masking Chronicles, a multi-disciplinary work using dance, language, photography and video projection to create an environment for the exploration of a black gay subculture. Masking Chronicles transcends the notions of masculine behavior parameters within black gay culture.

 

  • Evening with the Creative Class, a community engagement forum on the arts with a panel of curated guest artists sharing their talent in an enriching evening of community, networking, and discussion.

 

 

 

 

ART WORKS BY CYRUS

COLLABORATIONS

WORKSHOPS

BIOGRAPHY

 

Duane Cyrus is a performing and creative artist whose work explores the tenets of cultural values through dance and movement. Rooted in research into Black American and Caribbean culture, Cyrus’ choreographic and directed works fluidly negotiate the physical capabilities and possibilities of the human body in motion and in conceptual environments. His background as a performer, a community collaborator, and as a teacher serves as the foundation for a multi-leveled approach that melds a range of performance genres and styles with an equally broad range of people to question social norms through accessible, touchable, and relevant engagements. In creating visually and emotionally stimulating scenes, Cyrus seeks to transform and shift the viewer’s perception of that which is observed––challenging the monolithic paradigm between the voyeuristic and passively invisible observer and the inscrutably remote performer. 


Duane Cyrus is the director of Theatre of Movement, a performing and visual art collective that produces multidisciplinary collaborations and curations––meshing Cyrus’ movement background with photography, film, poetry, and music. Theatre of Movement seeks to disrupt and re-envisions how artists develop, produce and present their work within a framework that is more equitable in the distribution of access, opportunity, and resources for artists and the audiences they engage.

 

A Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Duane Cyrus teaches dance repertory, improvisation, technique, choreography, and arts entrepreneurship, among other courses. His teaching practice is focused on the development of future-mindset oriented professional artists for the 21st century. Duane holds a BFA from the Juilliard School and an MFA from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In between, he danced with the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in musical theater (including the original London production of Disney’s The Lion King), on television, and in a variety of other venues nationally and internationally. He has worked as an independent artist and director of Cyrus Art Production LLC (2006-14) throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as teacher, performer, and choreographer, and was also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Illinois. Duane Cyrus consistently shares his knowledge and experience through his method for creating live performance called Theatre of Movement. He has developed curricula for community outreach, intensives and arts-in-education programs for New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Circuit Productions, Museum of the City of New York, Charlotte Ballet, Ailey Camp, and American Ballet Theater among others. Duane has received commissions and developed projects for American Dance Festival, Nannette Bearden, Martha Connerton, Noriko Hara Ballet, Masako Sakamura, and the Puffin Foundation. He has received grants from the Princess Grace Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council's Choreographer Fellowship, Arts Greensboro, and The Bossak Heilbron Foundation. He was selected as the 2009 University/College Educator of the Year by the North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and is a Coleman Entrepreneurship Fellow. He is the co-author (with Joanne Savio) and editor of the book Vital Grace––The Black Male Dancer, a photographic essay on male dancers of color including interviews with Gregory Hines, Bill T. Jones and Evander Holyfield published by Edition Stemmle. Cyrus and co-author Savio also published their work as a poster and calendar from Pomegranate titled Dancing a Dream. Duane regularly produces live performance and cultural events. Most recently, his seminar and moderated panel, Evening with the Creative Class, brings together artists and scholars to foster deeper understanding of the value of the arts to our society.

PRODUCER

 

 

 As a producer and curator, Duane Cyrus develops interdisciplinary projects that are indicative of his own diverse experiences as a performer and choreographer––working successfully in live performance, film/photography, and events development. Duane Cyrus is an active collaborator, developing projects with: Tony award winning director Trezana Beverley (Blue Door as choreographer and Salome as featured performer); ballet phenoms Brooklyn Mack and Aran Bell; former Martha Graham dancer and University of North Carolina at Charlotte assistant professor Kim Jones (TheCenterCannotHold); Tap dance master Maurice Chestnut; and Tony award nominee Karine Plantadit (Coco Tries New Things). He regularly produces high profile regional and national dance performances including The Vital Grace Project, Dance Gala: Greensboro and Stars of American Dance (co-produced with Greensboro Ballet and the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro). These events brought a roster of high level professionals to the area and featured choreography by Cyrus including his work for Ms. Plantadit and local professionals. He is the co-author (with Joanne Savio) and editor of the book Vital Grace––The Black Male Dancer, a photographic essay on male dancers of color including interviews with Gregory Hines, Bill T. Jones and Evander Holyfield published by Edition Stemmle. Cyrus and co-author Savio also published their work as a poster and calendar from Pomegranate titled Dancing a Dream. Duane regularly produces live performance and cultural events. Most recently, his seminar and moderated panel, Evening with the Creative Class, brings together artists and scholars to foster deeper understanding of the value of the arts to our society. Visit: theatreofmovement.org

AS A PROFESSOR

 

As a teacher, Duane Cyrus has consistently shared his knowledge and experience through his involvement in community outreach and arts-in-education programs. He has developed outreach programs for young people from a wide range of backgrounds and ability. He regularly presents outreach programs in North Carolina and abroad through various initiatives including, Access to Art Academy, Theatre of Movement, and The Vital Grace Project. In 2013 Duane was invited by the American Dance Festival (ADF) to restage Martha Graham’s Helios from Acts of Light for ADF’s Forces of Dance performance at Durham Performing Arts Center. He has worked with Christine Witte in Bremen, Germany for her teen program titled Die Friedenskrieger (The Peace Warrior).

Cyrus’s students at the University of North Carolina were selected to perform at The Kennedy Center for American College Dance Association’s National Gala in 2016 and will perform Martha Graham’s Prelude to Action at the Joyce Theatre in New York City for that company’s University Performance Series in 2017.