Tickets & Events

Cynthia Oliver :: Virago-Man Dem

KST Presents

Friday – Saturday, September 28 – 29, 2018
8pm / Kelly Strayhorn Theater
5941 Penn Ave

Approx 1hr 15min

All about defying cultural pressures and expectations, or slyly slipping out from underneath them.” —The New York Times


In what ways do we all embody masculine energy? Who gets to decide what is “masculine”? Virago-Man Dem is an evening-length, dance-theatre work by Cynthia Oliver that navigates stereotypes, rumors and half-truths that surround black masculinities. While celebrating infinite variety and nuance, Virago-Man Dem charts that elusive flicker between genders we know so well, and deny so violently.

Virago-Man Dem constructs a bold visual tableau of sashaying, screaming, speaking and soaring individuals, all grounded in the real lives of its riveting dancer/performers. “I want to get dirty, acknowledge demons, hail the angels, tell secrets, question and celebrate conflicted, complicated, glorious lives fully lived,” notes Oliver. Together, the ensemble excavates layers of racial and gender performance, refracted through the shared lens of their Afro-Caribbean and African-American ancestries.

PLUS: Artist dinner, master class and artist luncheon, and Q&A.

Virago-Man Dem is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Dance Place (DC) in partnership with the Painted Bride Art Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Kelly Strayhorn Theater and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information:

The presentation of Virago-Man Dem was made possible by the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program, and 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.