Cynthia Oliver’s Virago-Man Dem

Event Schedule

Jan 26, 2018
8 PM
Jan 27, 2018
8 PM

Cynthia Oliver‘s latest evening-length, dance theater work, Virago-Man Dem, navigates black masculinities, a departure for Oliver, whose 25 year career has thus far been dedicated to excavating black female worlds.

In the new work Oliver seeks to dismantle the term virago, which references characteristically male behaviors and female cultural transgressions. A nuanced study in Caribbean and African American masculinities, this stirring work is based in the lives of the performers and extrapolates from their experiences to broader cultural trajectories. Performers include Duane CyrusNiall Noel JonesJonathan Gonzalez and Ni’Ja Whitson. Oliver’s design team includes longtime collaborator, composer Jason FinkelmanBlack Kirby visual artist team Stacey Robinson and John Jennings, projection designer/animator John Boesche, costume designer Susan Becker, and lighting designer Amanda Ringger. The work will premiere in New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) Next Wave Festival in October 2017 before touring around the country.

Virago-Man Dem premiered in New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) Next Wave Festival in October 2017 and comes to the Bride as part of a national tour.

Cynthia Oliver will be hosting a workshop in concert with Virago-Man Dem on January 22nd. Find out more information and reserve tickets to Breath, Sound, Dance here. 

This engagement of Cynthia Oliver is made possible through the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.



The presentation of Cynthia Oliver’s Virago/Mandem was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.



Painted Bride Art Center is a NPN/VAN Partner of the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN). This project is made possible in part by support from the NPN/VAN Artist Engagement Fund. Major contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information visit

Virago/Mandem is a National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Dance Place in partnership with Painted Bride Art Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Kelly Strayhorn Theater and NPN/VAN. For more information: