Photo by Joshua Clayton

Brontez Purnell

Brontez Purnell is a choreographer, dancer, writer, filmmaker, and performance artist. His career began with music and dance, founding Fag School Fanzine in 2002, a post-queer core underground music fanzine. In 2003 Purnell formed and fronted The Younger Lovers, a band with whom he has recorded three LP’s and toured internationally. Later that year he joined another group, queer electronic music group Gravy Train!!!, and worked with them until 2008. In 2010 he formed The Brontez Purnell Dance Company, which has presented work at Bay Area institutions such as the Berkeley Art Museum, CounterPULSE, The Garage, Kunst-Stoff Arts, The Lab, SOMArts, and CCA’s Watt’s Institute. This led to collaboration with cinematographer Gary Gregerson to create “Free Jazz”, a black and white documentary film on 16 millimeter that captures "various dance parties, structured improvs, rituals and happenings" performed by the company between 2010 and 2012, which Purnell produced, choreographed, and scored. The film has been shown in countries around the world.