Cyrus selected as guest curator for fall 2021 exhibition at SECCA

“Hero Complexities,” a multidisciplinary performance work choreographed by Duane Cyrus and performed at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Photo by Jay Caldwell.

Cyrus selected as guest curator for fall 2021 exhibition at SECCA
May 05
12:54 2021

The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is proud to present a special exhibition with guest curator Duane Cyrus, coming to SECCA in Fall 2021. A Bessie Award nominated performer and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Duane Cyrus was selected as guest curator for the exhibition from a pool of more than 30 applicants. The exhibition is scheduled to open in mid-November in SECCA’s Main Gallery, and will remain on view through early 2022.

In January 2021, SECCA posted an open call for guest curator submissions, seeking new voices and new perspectives for an upcoming project. SECCA hoped to develop a collaborative exhibition that showcases work being produced in response to the current moment, primarily the onset of and quarantine surrounding COVID-19 and the protests and events surrounding the death of George Floyd and the wider Black Lives Matter movement.

After evaluating numerous exceptional applications, SECCA selected Duane Cyrus for the guest curator position based on his exhibition proposal for ”Black@Intersection: Moving Images from Contemporary Black Voices in Art” (working title). The proposed exhibition draws on Cyrus’ extensive experience in the performing arts while incorporating other artistic disciplines including photography, film, and sculpture.

Black@Intersection will feature Black and African Diasporic artists from North Carolina and beyond. The artists simultaneously exemplify and defy, yet continue to redefine the perceived norms around concepts of Blackness as we see it in our world. They resist the nullifying commodification of blackness into a type of monolith and do so by creating works that reify the world on their own terms.
Duane Cyrus previously exhibited work at SECCA in 2020 as part of Escapes and Revelations, a group exhibition of the 21 different artists who received the 2018-2019 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship.

Duane Cyrus is a Bessie Award-nominated performer and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he teaches choreography, improvisation, repertory, and career strategies for artists. He is also the director of Theatre of Movement, a collective that produces performing and visual art collaborations and curations – meshing Cyrus’ dance background with photographers, filmmakers, actors, poets, and musicians. 

Duane holds a BFA from the Juilliard School and an MFA from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He danced with the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in musical theater (including the original London production of Disney’s The Lion King), on television, and in a variety of other venues nationally and internationally. He regularly works as an independent artist throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as teacher, performer, and choreographer. Duane Cyrus consistently shares his knowledge and experience through his method for creating live performance called Theatre of Movement.

As an educator, Duane has developed curricula for community outreach, intensives, and arts-in-education programs for New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Circuit Productions, Museum of the City of New York, Charlotte Ballet, Ailey Camp, and American Ballet Theater, among others. Duane has received commissions and developed projects for Martha Graham Dance Company, American Dance Festival, and Charlotte Ballet among others. He has received grants from the Princess Grace Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, Arts Greensboro, and New Music/USA among others.

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