Duane Cyrus’s current projects include

  • Comanche: Hero Complexities, a multi-disciplinary performance work that excavates the problem of black bodies in hegemonic spaces while it examines the emotional and physical dynamics inherent in the act of rescue.


  • Chronicle of the Masked Faggot, a multi-disciplinary work using dance, language, photography and video projection to create an environment for the exploration of a black gay subculture. Chronicle of the Masked Faggot 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.










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, and ultimately softening, 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 trans-disciplinary collaborations and curations––meshing Cyrus’ movement background with photographers, filmmakers, poets, and musicians. Theatre of Movement re-envisions artists developing, producing and presenting their work within a framework that is more equitable, and perhaps sensible, in the distribution of access, opportunity, and resources for artists and the audiences they engage.


An Associate 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.



Duane Cyrus was the grant writer and project director for the National Endowment for the Arts—American Masterpieces Grant that was awarded to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Dance Department in 2009. He has also received grants and commissions from Arts Greensboro, the North Carolina Arts Council, Greensboro Bicentennial Commission, Bricolage Arts Festival, Nannette Bearden, Noriko Hara Ballet, Masako Sakamura, and the Puffin Foundation. He is the recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Award for Emerging Artists, The Career Transition for Dancers Grant, The Bossak Heilbron Foundation Grant, The Astral Career Grant and was a 2012 Coleman Entrepreneurship Fellow and receives regular course development support from that organization.



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.