Interviews

Antoine Hunter

A Bay Area native, Antoine Hunter is an award-winning African-American Deaf producer, choreographer, film/theater actor, dancer, dance instructor, model, poet, speaker, mentor and Deaf advocate. Hunter received his training in dance and acting training at Skyline High School Oakland, Ca, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and Paul Taylor Dance School in NYC. The founder and artistic director of Urban Jazz Dance, Hunter has performed with Savage Jazz Dance Company, Nuba Dance Theater, Alayo Dance Company, Robert Moses’ KIN, Man Dance, Sins Invalid, Amara Tabor-Smith, Kim Epifano, Push Dance Company, Fly Away Productions, Joanna Haigood, OET Theater, and the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. He has performed throughout the Bay Area and the world including Cuba, Rome, Hawaii, Peru and London. He is a faculty member at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Shawl-Anderson, Youth in Arts and Dance-A-Vision. He is the founder of Iron Tri-Angel Urban Ballet in Richmond, was an instructor and rehearsal director for the Ross Dance Company, dance captain for Expedia.com commercials and was head Choreographer director for an Philippines's Musical "Amerikana-The Musical". He loves doing short films and long films plus music videos, and was Head Choreographer for D-PAN: Deaf Professional Arts Network ASL Music Video: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. An interview with the man himself revealed some absolutely fantastic facts.


Q: Could you tell us about your achievements?

Ans: I'm known advocate fighter. I stand with all human, nature and animal. I'm known as many things "Firestorm", urban dancer, the great dancer, Golden Deaf Dancer, young master artists and Baba Hunter. I am leader and explorer.

Q: : How do you spend your leisure hours ?

Ans: A. I love to swim, visit my family, cook, Oh yes! I love cooking, gardening, hangout at the beach, read comics book like Superman, Bat Girl, Panther, Xmen, Moon Girl and sometimes I just gaze at the stars and wonder about the ways of the world. I love to sleep, love to teach children dance and sign language. Yes, I know, you could say I love to work more in my free time too. I love to travel and learn dances of other countries. I learnt Kathak at from the age of 12 to 18. I would love to learn all Indian cultural dances and hope someday someone would invite me to India to do so

Q: To whom would you give the credit of your success?

Ans: First of all, the highest Divinity, without doubt! Then, My mother, my high school dance teacher Ms. Dawn James, Mr. Savage (dance director), Ms. Kim. E (trolley dance in SF), Racha Lawler (midwife) , Ms.Joanna Haigood (Dance Master), Zahna Simon ( my Assistant and Dancer) , Zula Hunter, Cassie Benton, Makeda Benton, Sol, Zahn, and so many Others, but most importantly my native place Oakland and my deaf Community made me what I am today!

Q:If you had a chance to go back 25 years, would you make the same journey or would you improvise/undo any of it?

Ans: I would change nothing because every fault and victory is what made me the person I am today. I feel that it's a blessing to learn from our mistakes. I'm happy because I'm wiser and I can help others because of the experiences I have. Arts of all kinds, especially dance and I thank the spirit of Dance for just being in my life.

Q:Having gained so much experience until now what kind of change do do you hope for as an artist, father, husband and as a common man?

Ans:A. As an artist maybe I would be a better grant's writer but I am just thankful. My mother Charlotte Mitchell is amazing, she is my role model, when my 1st love broke my heart, it made me a better person and my mother showed me that. As a man who loves his whole family: I would love to spend more time with Racha and Zula Hunter, more time with Curtis Mitchell who passed away in a car accident, but I'm blessed that my family support my dreams. My uncle Curtis told me before he died that he believed in me since I was 11, his faith in me was one of the reasons I surged ahead, he will always be in my heart. Bottom line is, I wouldn't go back on time because I'm really happy with my present - no change needed only more time to improve on my work.

Q:Any punchline you would like to give to our youth?

Ans:No punch just the truth. "When we do something different people sometimes call it ugly or strange. Just remember you're beautiful no matter what, even when you make mistakes you're still beautiful. To do some different strange, people thought it was a strange idea for a man to walk on moon yet it happened. Go ahead! Be strange and make great things happen.