South Florida's Gentry George Returns Home to Showcase His Zest Collective's, "Courageous Chapel" During a One Night Only Performance

Fort Lauderdale, FL

South Florida Native Son, Gentry George, returns home from Washington Heights, New York to present a special one night performance titled, "Courageous Chapel, Abandoning Theater," at the Broward County Main Library Theater in Fort Lauderdale, March 16th at 6:30pm. The project contains danced ‘short stories,’ a Dj’s operatic interlude, and a finale re-interprets traditional gospel songs and spiritual dances through a collage of modern choreography by The Zest Collective featuring riveting music from Elvis Presley, Inez Matthews, Jessye Norman to the oriental and Persian melodies of Peyman Yazdanian.

Clare Vickery, Director of Grace Art Center, and George, Founder and Creative Director of Zest Collective, discussed a year ago how they might collaborate in South Florida to present an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet that was fresh and relevant to modern audiences while following closely the poetic message of the precursor to Shakespeare’s play. The popularity of Painter, Kehinde Wiley, and movies such as ‘Belle’ juxtaposed classical European and traditional African themes and history in pop culture fueled the project for Vickery. “The final work of the night includes an ingenious embellishment of iconic speeches and poetry about freedom - and responsibility - of abandoning ‘theater’ in the hopes of finding real solutions. It speaks to a new generation about translating their hope into creative and purposeful lives.” Vickery arranged a talk back with Neil Ramsay, curator of "ArtsUp," a gallery in nearby Flagler Arts Village, featuring astounding ceiling sculptures and a new 3-d installation planned.

In describing the new work, Julliard-trained and recipient of numerous creative excellence awards, George said, "I think what we are presenting through performance art is very relevant now given the world's current political, spiritual and socioeconomic climate. This new work expresses … love, joy, and forgiveness…and the striving human spirit."


What: Courageous Chapel, A Performance by Gentry George and the Zest Collective

When: March 16th, 2016  6:30pm-7:30pm

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

Tickets: $20.  $25 at the door

Tickets available via Eventbrite

After Party & Talkback with the Cast: March 16th at Arts Up. (529 NW 1st Avenue)

Tickets: $45 (includes appetizers, light fare and beverages)

Details: Zest Collective: 5 stories told through dance and musical interpretation featuring

DJ Felix, of Fusik, Florida's Funk Band and the Zest Collective


About Gentry George:

Company member with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Gentry Isaiah George was born in Miami, Florida in 1990.  At age eight, he began his artistic studies with the Founder of The Community Book and Dance Academy, Linda Agyapong.  He went on to study with Daniel Lewis before graduating from New World School of the Arts. George also trained with Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida’s Artistic Director, Vladimir Issaev.  He was a scholarship student at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, The Ailey School, and The Miami Conservatory’s Thomas Armour Youth Ballet. George is a recipient of a Level 1 ARTS Award, given by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and is featured on HBO’s “Masterclass,” also starring Jacques d’Amboise.  He has graced the pages of Essence Magazine, and can be seen in the feature-film “Life of an Actress.”

In February 2015, George's company debuted an installation performance - 'A Matter Of Heart' with visual artist Brian Michael Reed, accompanied live by electronic performance duo Pax Humana at the Alchemical Theatre Laboratory. George has created work for The Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA and choreographed two ballets on the Peter London Global Dance Company: the most recent of which premiered in December 2015 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

George has presented work throughout New York City, New Jersey and Florida. In New York City, ZEST has performed at the HarlemStage Gatehouse Theater, Ulster Performing Arts Center, Whitebox Art Center, Madiba Harlem, Marcus Garvey Park and the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood.

Also a former Dance Artist for Ailey II and a Juilliard alum, George is an Associate Artist at New York Live Arts and has also danced for Lustig Dance Theatre, Collage Dance Collective and Malcolm Low’s Formal Structure.

To interview Gentry George or Clare Vickery of Grace Arts Center FL, contact publicist Tandi Wilder at She Got Game Media