Miami-Born Choreographer Inspired By Miami Gardens Church

Mar 15, 2016

Zest Collective, a New York-based dance company, is in Fort Lauderdale for a one-night performance.

Gentry George, the collective’s founder, was born and raised in Miami. This is the company’s first performance outside of New York, and George says it’s only natural that he came home.

George, who also dances with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, says Wednesday night’s performance, "Courageous Chapel, Abandoning Theater," is largely inspired by his experience in the church.

George says his parents are deeply devout. He and his two brothers grew up in Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens.

Every Sunday, his mom, in an effort to keep three boys still with  rapt attention, handed them pens and paper at the start of every service.

“We’d have to write about what we learned,” says George.

George says while he was sitting in the pews and jotting down notes his pastor Arthur Jackson mesmerized him.

Jackson’s booming voice and lyrical cadence stuck with him all these years.

“My pastor was probably one of the most powerful speakers,” he says

George, a graduate of New World School of the Arts and The Julliard School, says his experience in the church continues to inform him as a choreographer. 

Those influences will be on display at the Broward County Main Library Theatre when the troupe performs.  

If you go:

What: Courageous Chapel, A Performance by Gentry George and the Zest Collective co-presented by Grace Arts Collective

When: Wednesday, March 16,    6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Where: Broward County Main Library Theatre, 100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.

Tickets: $20.  $25 at the door

For more information visit zestcollective.org