Hero Complexities


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by Duane Cyrus and Theatre of Movement


Hero Complexities is a multidisciplinary work created by Duane Cyrus and Theatre of Movement that is inspired by the heroic acts of Charles W. David Jr., a Caribbean American United States Coast Guardsman who lost his life helping to save nearly 100 drowning servicemen in the icy waters off Greenland during World War II. Hero Complexities honors the brave sacrifice made by Charles W. David Jr with a multidisciplinary cast of black male artists expressing their perspectives on who they are and the complex questions surrounding themes of rescue and heroism. The work is iterative and constantly evolving and questioning. It investigates the confluence of questions regarding the black male body in contemporary spaces.  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?  

Theatre of Movement presented Hero Complexities to energetic audiences in St. John’s, Antigua; the Conference on African Diaspora Dance at Duke University; Conference on African Culture and Expression at UNCG, Wake Forest Dance Festival, and TEDx Greensboro! Our performances have featured special guest and speakers including tap dancer Maurice Chestnut (Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk) and ballet star Brooklyn Mack who partnered Misty Copeland in Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center. The evening includes works choreographed, directed, or curated by Duane Cyrus in collaboration with Theatre of Movement artists, Josephus III, Justin TheBeloved, Akiba Hausson Byrd, Billy James Hawkains III, D Noble, Tyrell Simpson, Melvin Sutton, DeVontee Tanner, and Devonte Wells.  Special thanks to our community partners who helped make these events possible. 

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Check out the video below for an excerpt of our recent TEDxGreensboro performance at Triad Stage.


Banner image by: ©Mark Wagoner 2017

Other images by: S. Jemel, S. Karrimbukus, D. Newkirk, B. Vanderveen, WFDance Festival

Video by TEDx

Choreography: D. Cyrus

Hero@TEDx official Excerpt

From March 22, 2018 performance at Triad Stage in Greensboro, NC