Humanities - yon Tande • The Radical Body as Art

yon Tande (né Whitney V. Hunter) works in the areas of performance, exhibition, curation, and education. He creates for the stage, gallery and alternative spaces. Whitney has performed in the companies of, and with, Martha Graham Dance Company, Reggie Wilson Fist and Heel/Performance Group, Rioult Dance, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Martha Clarke, John Jesurun, Fiona Templeton, Daria Faïn and Robert Kocik, at the Metropolitan Opera.  He directs his performance collective Whitney Hunter[MEDIUM] and is a Movement Research 2013 Artist in Residence.

Artist Statement

As I continue to excavate the layers of my artistic practice, particularly as it regards performance art as a spiritual, social and political endeavor, I ask myself what do I expect from my practice? One of the important layers in my artistic practice involves critically interrogating my African American diasporic identity and history. Additionally, my continued research through corporeal interactions function as a way of decoding social structures. I am interested in the complexity of hybrid forms and works as in this proposition new ideas arise and meanings re-contextualized. Process is my product and the transformative possibilities within my practice is the ultimate investigation

His grants and commissions for the creation and exhibition of his works are numerous including Puffin Foundation Grant, Harlem Stages, Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center, Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, Lumen Festival, and others.

His work focuses on the politics of personal and cultural identity and creating alternative pathways of cognition through ritual-based performance art.  Recent performances include Body Count:  Counting the Dead, #101 which initiated the founding of Body Count Collective (BCC) with fellow artists Preach R Sun and Lisa Lewis, D.R.O.M.P, Airing Dirty Laundry (with Andre M. Zachery),  1st American Shapist House…and others.

He has taught nationally and internationally at Peridance Center, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Harlem School of the Arts, The Ailey School, Dance Institute of Washington, and Centro Nacional de Danza Contemporánea (MX), and is on the faculty at LaGuardia Performing Arts High School, the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and Long Island University. He holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts/Dance (Howard University), an M.F.A. in New Media Arts and Performance (Long Island University) and is presently an Institute for the Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts Driskell Fellow.