UNCG Campus Weekly

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Cyrus Art Production Marks Five Years

Cyrus Art Production will mark its fifth year with a series of concerts celebrating the grace of African-American male dancers and their unique perspectives.

The concerts will take place in the Dance Theater at 8 p.m. Oct. 21-23 and 2 p.m. Oct 23. Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 seniors and children, and $9 students. For reservations, call 4-4849 or visit boxoffice.uncg.edu.

Cyrus Art Production is the creation of Duane Cyrus, assistant professor of dance. His resume includes tenures with the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey dance companies.

“My goal has been to give back the things I was given as a young artist,” Cyrus said, “that includes a sense of professionalism and exposure to high quality art.”

The concerts, “Cyrus Art Production Presents: The Vital Grace Project,” will include the premieres of three works. “Middle Passage,” an original piece choreographed by Cyrus, highlights the journey of African slaves from their homeland to North America.

“Africans coming across on the Middle Passage were naked, given different names, not allowed to speak their language, not allowed to dance their dances,” Cyrus explained. “Yet, they still created the spiritual and the ‘ring shout’ movement. In this piece, ‘Middle Passage,’ I’m talking about changing position, changing space as a symbol of the myriad of ways Africans in America have been able to rewrite themselves.”

Guest artists Germaul Barnes and Juel D. Lane will also premier works titled “Ready*#$?” and the dance for the camera piece “Just Another Day,” respectively.

Cyrus will present “A Seat at History,” a restaging of a multimedia dance theatre work inspired by research into the civil rights movement, and guest artist Christian Von Howard will round out the show with his presentation of “Played OUT,” a movement satire that speaks to the plight of social identity among African-American men in today’s culture.