Aug 8, 2015

Brontez Purnell:
Pre-Party Dance Party
Omni Commons,

A workout disguised as a mixtape: or the other way around? Chance operations, non-sequiturs, and a lot of walking, looking, and running around. Come dressed for your Saturday night out. Live drums by Adan Ortega!


Brontez Purnell has been publishing, performing, and curating in the Bay Area for over ten years. He is author of the cult zine "Fag School," frontman for his band "The Younger Lovers," and founder and choreographer of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. Formerly a dancer with Gravy Train!!!, a queer electro indie band that gained national prominence in the mid-2000s, Purnell's other prominent artistic collaborations include his supporting role in the queer independent feature film, "I Want Your Love" (Dir. Travis Mathews, 2012), and as a dancer for local artist-choreographers Amara Tabor-Smith, Keith Hennessy, Eric Kupers, and Nina Haft, South African artist-choreographer Athi-Patra Rugra, and American performance artist William Pope.L. Since founding his dance company in 2010, Purnell has presented his original dance and movement theatre works at prominent Bay Area cultural institutions that include the Berkeley Art Museum, CounterPULSE, the Garage, Kunst-Stoff Arts, the Lab, SOMArts, and CCA's Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

With cinematographer Gary Fembot Gregerson and lighting designer Jerry Lee, Purnell produced, choreographed, and set the sound score for "Free Jazz" (2012), a 8mm B&W dance film documenting "various dance parties, structured improvs, rituals and happenings" performed by the company between 2010 and 2012, and which has been shown internationally. He was a guest curator for the Berkeley Art Museum's L@TE program in 2012, awarded an invitation to the 2012 Radar Lab queer arts summer residency, honored by Out Magazine's 2012 Hot 100 List and 2013 Most Eligible Bachelors List, and most recently won the 2014 SF Bay Guardian's Goldie for Performance/Music. He earned a B.F.A. in Theatre and Contemporary Dance at California State University, East Bay, just published his first novella,"Johnny Would You Love Me (if My Dick Were Bigger)," with Rudos and Rubes, and will publish a second novel, "Since I Laid My Burden Down…," with the Sister Spit imprint of City Lights Books.


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Heavy Breathing ︎ 2018

Critical thinking often feels heady, abstract, and divorced from the body. How do conversations change when we are moving our bodies and out of breath? What new modes of thinking become possible?