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Perfect Pitch: Antuan Byers

Founder, CEO, Dancer

Current City: New York City.

Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Dancer, Creative Entrepreneur, Arts Activist / Founder/CEO of Black Dance Change Makers.

Notable Prior Jobs: Former Dancer with Ailey II.

When I Started Performing: At church, in the choir and praise dance, mime, and "drill teams."

Performing Arts Background: Antuan Byers is a principal dancer and regular performer at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, where he performs repertory by choreographers such as Kim Brandstrup, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Susan Stroman, Mark Morris, Lorin Latarro, Sue Lefton, Philippe Giraudeau, Carolyn Choa, and Chiang Ching. He has also toured internationally with Ailey II, and has performed in several productions at the Park Avenue Armory, including Nick Cave’s Bessie Award Winning “The Let Go,” choreographed by Francesca Harper, featured Nona Hendryx. Additionally, he has also danced with Mark Morris Dance Group, The Washington National Opera Ballet, Keigwin + Company, Danielle Russo Performance Project, konverjdans, MorDance, as well as solo work by Kyle Abraham. Antuan also danced alongside recording artists Erykah Badu, and Jennifer Holliday, and has choreographed for The Skins, and D.R.A.M.

How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? What has been most helpful for me on my entrepreneurial journey has been resisting the urge to unnecessarily compartmentalize my artistic and administrative practices. In the same way that I prepare for a performance at the Metropolitan Opera, I also warm up and rehearse for a video collaboration with Urban Outfitters. Mirroring how I structure a ballet class, I start new business projects with small ideas, gradually adding fundamental building blocks until we reach our grande allegro. Similarly to how a choreographer uses tools to design a dance piece, the same nuance, abstraction, canon, motif, contrast, fragmentation, and embellishment can be present when choreographing a new website. I'm often exploring how my artistic values, techniques, and aesthetics can be apparent in the performance of my entrepreneurial and administrative practices.

Favorite Performer: Matthew Rushing.

Follow this Performer:

Instagram - @antuanbyers

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