Living & Working: Brontez Purnell & Sophia WangPost an Event ยป

Living & Working: Brontez Purnell & Sophia Wang

Monday, April 22, 2019
8:00 – 9:00pm

Shawl-Anderson Dance Center
2704 Alcatraz Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705

How does one survive and thrive as an artist in the San Francisco Bay Area? The art world is inundated with stories from the community and media about artists being displaced in the face of great wealth disparity, a crushing housing crisis, the lack of sustainable employment in the arts, and a threatening decrease in exhibition and funding sources. Living & Working consists of a multi-author column, a video series, and live events where artists and cultural workers answer the question “How do you live and work in the Bay Area?”

For our live event series, we invited artists to speak to a specific location or site that holds significance to their practice or experience living in the Bay Area. Join Brontez Purnell and Sophia Wang for a late-night conversation at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, where the two of them met and later co-founded the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. We’ll hear about the communities have shaped their practices, and how the two work together through dance and movement.

Brontez Purnell is a zinester, writer, dancer, and musician who lives in Oakland, California. Originally from Triana, Alabama, Purnell has been publishing, performing, and curating in the Bay Area for over ten years. Brontez has written for various publications, including Cakeboy, San Francisco Weekly, and Maximum Rock & Roll. He is the author of Fag School, The Cruising Diaries, and Johnny Would You Love Me If . . . (My Dick Were Bigger). He is the front man for the band The Younger Lovers, and cofounder with Sophia Wang of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company (BPDC). Composed of movers and artists of all disciplines, the company builds works that combine punk rock subversion and free jazz improvisation.

Sophia Wang creates and performs movement-based works in collaboration with performance artists, writers, and visual and sound artists. She is co-founder of the biotechnology company MycoWorks and of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, and has danced for artists Xavier le Roy, Tino Sehgal, Jérôme Bel, Xandra Ibarra, and Amara Tabor-Smith. She earned a PhD in English from U.C. Berkeley, and integrates her research and performance practices through writing and curatorial projects focused on critical somatics: thinking with and as bodies. Since 2015, she has co-produced Heavy Breathing, a discussion and movement workshop series led by artists working at the intersection of performance, visual arts, and pedagogy.

This program is funded, in part, by the California Arts Council, a state agency.