A Bay Area native, Antoine Hunter (guest choreographer and artist for 2021) is an award-winning internationally known African-American Deaf choreographer, dancer, instructor, speaker and Deaf advocate who performed throughout the Bay Area and the world including Europe, Africa and South America. Hunter has performed with Savage Jazz Dance Company, Nuba Dance Theater, Alayo Dance Company, Robert Moses’ KIN, Sins Invalid, Amara Tabor-Smith, Kim Epifano, Push Dance Company, Fly Away Productions, and Zaccho Dance Theatre. Hunter is a faculty member at East Bay Shawl Anderson and ODC. Hunter has received the 2019 National Dance/USA fellowship award additionally recognized by the Mayor and City of Oakland and the 2018 inaugural Jeanette Lomujo Bremond Award for Humanity in the Arts by Hālau Ku Ua Tuahine. Hunter is on the board of Dance/USA as of 2018 as an ambassador for Deaf Arts. Hunter has taught workshops and lectured at TedX UCDavisSF, Duke University, Harvard University, Stanford University, WAC Educator Conference, Grantmakers in the Arts, Kennedy Center’s VSA Intersections conference on Arts and Special Education and for the National State Assembly for the Arts. He is crowned King of SF Carnaval 2017 and has been featured on the front cover of Cal Art's The Pool, Deaf Life, in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Dance Magazine and in Oakland North, 48Hills, CNN's Great Big Story, Splinter and KQED Arts. He is former president of Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates and Director-at-Large for Northern California Association of the Deaf. Mr Hunter actively supports DeafHope, an organization whose mission is to end domestic and sexual violence in Deaf communities through empowerment and education. He teaches dance and ASL in both Hearing and Deaf communities and is the founder/artistic director of Urban Jazz Dance Company and has been producing the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival since 2013 which has been awarded an Isadora Duncan (Izzie) Award in 2018 for bridging the hearing and the Deaf communities. His projects have been awarded funding by CA$H Theater Bay Area, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, California Arts Council, Kenneth Rainin Foundation and SF Arts Commission.
Lani Dickinson started her training in Towson, Maryland. In 2010, Lani attended Idyllwild Arts Academy, a boarding high school for the arts, in southern California. She graduated with honors and attended a summer at Alonzo King LINES Ballet. In 2016, Lani graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Dominican University of California, in collaboration with the LINES Ballet BFA Program, in San Francisco. In 2015, she was awarded the Princess Grace Dance Award. Lani joined AXIS Dance Company in August 2016 through November 2019. Now she is a freelance artist for POST: Ballet and Yayoi Kambara, and other Bay area companies/choreographers. She teaches at Menlo Park Academy of Dance and Van der Zwaan Dance Studio. Lani has been interviewed for CNN (2017), Dance Spirit Magazine (Oct 2017), KGO-TV (2013), and The Boston Herald newspaper (2010). She danced as a soloist in a short film that won honorable mention in San Francisco Dance Film Festival (2018). She also appears in a UCSF nationally televised commercial, “How UCSF Health is Redefining Possible (2018). Lani is enthusiastic to dance her first season with the David Herrera Performance Company. Lani is an advocate for inclusive practices, especially in dance and performance.
Kathryn Florez is an Ohio native who made a stop in Chicago and eventually moved to SF to train at the SF Conservatory of Dance beginning in 2010 under Summer Lee Rhatigan. Florez founded Fullstop Dance in 2015, a project-based contemporary dance company, and has since presented work at ODC Theater, Palace of Fine Arts, Cowell Theater, and others. In addition to performing Florez's work, the company regularly hosts out-of-town artists for residencies and open workshops for the Bay Area dance community. Her choreography and teaching have been commissioned by The Merde Project (SF), TWObigsteps (Vancouver), SALT Dance's Link Program (SLC), ODC's Hot Spot (SF), and Shawl Anderson Dance Center (Oakland). This is Florez's second season with DHPCo. Over the years she has also worked with Amy Foley, Amy Seiwert, Robert Moses, ZiRu Dance, and others.
Nico Ortiz Maimon journeyed to the US from Mexico with her family in 1997, and currently finds herself on unseeded Ohlone Land (Bay Area.) She loves using movement to foster community, heal, and solidify her relationship with pleasure. She aims to occupy horizontal collaborations and uplift qtbipoc artists, and is on a forever quest to decolonize her body and configure systems beyond capitalism. Most recently, her solo and collaborative film and live works has been supported by QTBIPOC HIVE TV, HIVE x PLATAFORMA, Joe Goode’s GUSH Open House, Shawl-Anderson’s Queering Dance Festival (with Zoe Huey,) and FRESH festival exchange (with Kassidy Friend and Zoey Huey), and Dance Mission’s D.I.R.T. festival (with bananarama.) Nico is currently dancing with randy reyes, Samuel Melecio-Zambrano, and for recording artist Madeline Kenney. This is her first season with David Herrera Performance Company.
Keanu Brady is a developing San Francisco artist. Prior his move to the Bay Area, Keanu worked closely with Akoya Dance, newERA Creative Agency, and other Denver artists. Before Denver, he was instructing at Middlebury College in Vermont, and performing throughout the Northeast. He hails from Salt Lake City, Utah, and enjoyed a nomadic upbringing with his single mother and siblings. Finding dance at 15, he nurtured his own relationship to the art form through hip-hop, and his improvisational body. He then trained at the University of Utah, which in turn opened doors to dance in California, New York, Vermont, England, Paris, and hopefully more as he continues to find work. Movement is his lens to negotiate his role in this world, find questions to answers, and answers to questions.
Sawako S. Gannon is a dancer/musician based in San Francisco Bay Area. Gannon was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, then moved to San Francisco in 2015 to pursue her career in modern/contemporary dance. Gannon has worked and performed with choreographers and companies, such as, Anna Harris (Driven Arts Collective), Jennifer Gerry, Joselyn Reyes, Jessica Recinos (Rising Rhythm Collective), Raissa Simpson (PUSH Dance Company) and Joe Landini (dog+pony).
Olivia Caldeira Holston studied contemporary dance and ballet at the London Contemporary Dance School where she received her BA Honours degree in 2019. She has also attended summer intensives such as the Alvin Ailey Professional and Junior Divisions in New York as well as P.A.R.T.S. and Eastman in Belgium. Olivia recently worked on a piece with Bellwether Dance Project directed by Amy Foley that was presented in “The Nutshell”, a virtual performance created by Mannakin Theater and Dance. She also worked with Amy Foley in ODC’s Sandbox Series. Olivia choreographed and performed in the dance video project “SweetWire” directed by Greg Niemeyer at UC Berkeley; performed with Rebecca Morris and dancers; and was teaching at Oberlin Dance Commons (ODC) in San Francisco and Shawl Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley until the beginning of the pandemic. She is currently working with Bay Area choreographer Randee Paufve on a solo project. This is her first season as an apprentice with David Herrera Performance Company.
Samuel Melecio-Zambrano was first exposed to dance in the womb, as his mother salsa-ed her way about the living room. Twenty years later, in 2018, he received a BFA in Dance from the University of South Florida, where he worked with Robert Moses, Kara Davis, and other amazing guest choreographers and faculty members. Immediately following his studies at USF, he was a member and collaborator of Tampa City Ballet for its debut season. He then lived in Melbourne, Australia and studied Countertechnique with founder Anouk Van Dijk and other certified teachers, before moving base to San Francisco.
PHOTOS: Emma Massey Photography