Antoine Hunter’s Urban Jazz Dance Company
“We are the music that we see”
WORDS BY ERIN BALDWIN | SAN FRANCISCO | PERFORMING ARTS
FEB 27, 2023 | ISSUE 11
Urban Jazz Dance Company in "Deaf's IMPRISONED" - Photo by Robbie Sweeny Courtesy of UJDC
Purple Fire Crow – also known as Antoine Hunter – is an African, Indigenous, Two-Spirit, disabled, and Deaf dancer who resists expectations to prove that dance is for everyone. Hunter built a dance career by feeling music through its vibrations and using movement as a form of self-expression, communication, and education. Today, the Bay Area native acts as Artistic Director to the Urban Jazz Dance Company, a performance collective that consists of both deaf and hearing dancers, and produces the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival with the aim of giving Deaf artists a platform for presenting themselves to the world. Hunter also continues to work as a dance instructor, speaker, mentor, and Deaf advocate in the U.S. and internationally. He’s performed both to general audiences and school children, and lectured at Kennedy Center’s VSA, Harvard, Duke University, and the National Assembly of State Arts. Hunter joins smART Magazine to discuss the origins of his company, using dance as a medium for his advocacy and education, and how the arts can continue to decenter ableism and fight against discrimination and prejudice.
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