These images are inspired by the performance work Hero Complexities created by Duane Cyrus and documented by Devin Newkirk from 2017-19. Models are members of  Theatre of Movement: Billy James Hawkains III, Devin Hayes, Tyrell Simpson, Melvin Sutton, DeVontee Tanner, Devonte Wells. 

Hero Complexities is a multidisciplinary performance and visual art project inspired by the selfless 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 North Atlantic during World War II. 


Choreographer Duane Cyrus and the performers continue to explore the confluence of questions surrounding themes of rescue, self-sacrifice, and heroism as a cast of contemporary artists navigating and articulating their perspectives on this important legacy and its relevance for our future.


Heartfelt thank you to the collaborating performers, Thomas DeFrantz, John Perpener, and Cynthia Oliver.

Funding support from The University of North Carolina College of Visual and Performing Arts, The University of North Carolina Provost's Strategic Seed Grant, and the North Carolina Arts Council.