Cipher XY (2015)

Choreography: Brandon Whited, in partial collaboration with the dancers

Dancers: Quilan Arnold, Tommy Batchelor, Tim Bendernagel, s.lumbert, Calder White

Music: "I am what I am," by Eminem; "Pause," by Nils Frahm; "Wonderful Life," by Black; "Simple Man," by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sound Editing: Cailin Manning

Lighting: Dave Covey

Sets/Costumes: Brandon Whited

Videography: Mitchell Rose, Kim Wilczak

Video Editing: Brandon Whited

Cipher XY was made possible by generous funding from the Graduate School of OSU via the Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship (AGGRS), and the Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women (and Gender Studies) through the OSU department of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies.

** I do not own the rights to the music in this work. 
Covered under Educational auspices through the Ohio State University

Cipher XY is a choreographic exploration of masculine identity and representation in dance. The creative process utilized personal interviews, self-reflection and peer discussions with the cast of five dancers as methodologies to uncover varied perspectives on the meanings of masculinity.  Cipher XY draws on the dancers’ personal reflections on the questions:

  • what is male? 
  • what is masculinity? 
  • in what ways can societal constructs expand to accept variegated notions of maleness and masculinity by considering gender identity as non-binaried?


Utilizing a range of musical and choreographic genres, the dance references themes of difference through the metaphorical exposure of bodies as they exist in “the spaces between.”