Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning - First Friday Residency Series - July 01, 2016

'Lili Marlene'

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George w/ Nami Kaigaishi and Cajai Fellows Johnson

Dance Artist: Nami Kaigaishi

Music: Vera Lynn

 

'Guarded Acceptance'

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George w/ Luca Devlyn and Devin Packard

Dance Artist: Reo Suzuki

Music: Olivier Lecoeur

 

'Resolve'

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George w/ Dance Artist: Cajai Fellows Johnson

Music: Aaron Scott

 

'Crying in the Chapel'

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George w/ Crystal Lynn Rodriguez, Stephanie Williams, Emma Fitzsimmons

Dance Artist: Marcus Williams

Music: Elvis Presley 


SummerStage NYC (2016)

(SummerStage NYC, presented by Dance On The Lawn)

Performance Footage, Brooklyn's Coffey Park - June 18th, 2016

'Lantern' (world premiere)

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George w/ Nami Kaigaishi, Cajai Fellows Johnson

Dance Artists: Nami Kaigaishi, Cajai Fellows Johnson, Riiko Kitayama, Taquirah Thompson

Music: Olivier Lecoeur, Vera Lynn 

'REVERIE'

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George

Dance Artists: Nami Kaigaishi, Mariusz Kujawski

Music: Alex Heffes, Matthew Barley 

'Guarded Acceptance' (world premiere)

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George w/ Devin Packard, Luca Devlyn

Dance Artist: Reo Suzuki

Music: Olivier Lecoeur


ZEST's First Tour - Fort Lauderdale, FL (March 2016)

Courageous Chapel:  Abandoning Theater

In March 2016 ZEST traveled to South Florida for the first time to present a special one night performance entitled, “Courageous Chapel, Abandoning Theater," at the Broward County Main Library Theater in Fort Lauderdale.  In collaboration with Grace Arts Center, the project contains three danced ‘short stories,’ a Dj’s operatic interlude, and the finale re-interprets traditional gospel songs and spiritual dances through a collage of modern choreography by George and members of ZEST, featuring riveting music from Elvis Presley, Echoes of Nature, Inez Matthews,  and Peyman Yazdanian.

This work speaks about translating one's hope into creative and purposeful lives!

 

Performance Footage - March 16, 2o16 / Broward County Main Library

Filmed by:  Steven Sarsfield, South Florida Video Productions and Fort Lauderdale Friends of the Library

Production Photography by Armando Colls, Robert Church, Eric Walker, and Gregory F. Reed.

'How to Fly: Module II'

Choreography by Dance Artists: Emma Fitzsimmons and Mariusz Kujawski

Music: Dj Felix Fusik 

'Crying In The Chapel'

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George w/ Dance Artists Crystal Lynn Rodriguez, Stephanie Rae Williams, Emma Fitzsimmons

Dance Artist: Marcus Williams

Music: Elvis Presley 

'All For The Life'

Choreography: Jesse Obremski

Dance Artist: Jerard Palazo

Music:  Scott James 

'Talk About A Chile'

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George

Dance Artist: Zui Gomez

Music: Inez Matthews 

'Lord, I Didn't Know'

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George w/ Dance Artist: Jerard Palazo

Music: Inez Matthews 


Promotional Video - ZEST Collective presents new work in Fort Lauderdale, FL

South Florida Native Son, Gentry Isaiah George, returns home from Washington Heights, NYC to present his company in a special one night performance titled, “The Courageous Chapel, Abandoning Theater," at the Broward County Main Library Theater in Fort Lauderdale, March 16th at 6:30pm. In collaboration with Grace Arts Center, the project contains three danced ‘short stories,’ a Dj’s operatic interlude, and the finale re-interprets traditional gospel songs and spiritual dances through a collage of modern choreography by George and members of his Zest Collective featuring riveting music from Elvis Presley, Echoes of Nature, Inez Matthews,  and Peyman Yazdanian.

 "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 people of all walks of life coming together to remark through movement, literature, love, joy, and forgiveness, in efforts to encourage young people to take leadership roles addressing spirituality as it relates to human progress,"  said Artistic Director Gentry Isaiah George.


On The Wind - Virginia's Governor's School for the Arts

In December 2015 Artistic Director Gentry Isaiah George was invited to choreograph a new work for The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA.  The work premiered at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center.

George wanted to pay homage to the his company’s founding members so he crafted a new work to echo selections from ZESTs existing repertoire.  'On The Wind' is divided in three parts and features music by Peter Miller,  and Eric Satie.

"On The Wind" (Excerpts)

The Governor's School For The Arts' Winter Dance Concert - January 2016

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George

Music: Peter Miller, Patrick Cohen, Eric Satie, Peyman Yazdanian

Tech. Rehearsal Footage - January 2016 TCC Roper Performing Arts Center - Norfolk, VA


'In Our Skin' - BlakTinx Performance Series, presented by Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!)

Performance Footage - November 14th, 2015 IN OUR SKIN  Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!) 

Filmed by:  Arthur Aviles

AUTUMN

Choreography:  Gentry Isaiah George

Music:  Eric Satie, Echoes Of Nature

Dance Artists:  Leal Zielińska and Nate Carter

CLEOPATRA

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George w/ Dance Artist: Emma Fitzsimmons

Music: Echoes Of Nature 


SOSÚA:  Make A Better World

In the Spring of 2015 ZEST Collective Dance teamed up with FilmMakers Renée Silverman and Peter Miller, creators of the documentary “Sosúa:  Make A Better World” as well as Magician Harry Mandel to present a work that highlights the period of history when the murderous and racist Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo, welcomed to his country hundreds of Jewish refugees escaping the horrors of the Holocaust.  

In the new work entitled "Sosúa" people of all races and walks of life come together to learn about an uncommon past and, in the process, discover countless expressions of what unites them in the present.  This work focuses largely on the metaphors of the Massacre River in the Dominican Republic, and systems of transportation to escape tyranny and injustice.  This work takes a look at tensions between nations past and present and the disadvantages imposed by cruel populations in a world fighting against a culture of racism, discrimination, social inequality and poverty.

On Saturday, June 27th, 2015 the company premiered this work at the first Higher Ground Festival at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood.  The Higher Ground (HG) Festival celebrates the artists of the Washington Heights and Inwood neighborhoods by facilitating multi-disciplinary artist collaborations.  It was founded by Temple Kemezis and Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba Tovar.

 

Choreography:  Gentry Isaiah George

Dance Artists:  Giulia D'Antoni, Leal Zielińska, Jesse Obremski, Amanda Bouza, Michael Greenberg, Riiko Kitayama, Mariusz Kujawski with Magician Harry Mandel

Music:  Liz Swados, Sam Willmot, Charlie Chaplin, Peyman Yazdanian, Peter Miller, Harry Mandel, Gentry Isaiah George

Filmed by Peter Miller and Renée Silverman


Creating SOSÚA - #behindthescenes

Tune in to ZEST COLLECTIVE Contemporary Performance Art's process as they began creating "Sosúa," along with Magician Harry Mandel.  The work premiered at the first annual Higher Ground Festival on June 27, 2015.

Filmed by Peter Miller

Edited by Gentry Isaiah George


EMoves 16:  THE TAKEOVER

In April 2015 ZEST was invited to present a site specific movement series as part of 'EMoves 16: THE TAKEOVER' at Harlem Stage Gatehouse Theater. 

The work was divided in six parts and remarks, through gesture, the complexities and diversity of millennial culture.  The evening's performance featured choreography by Artistic Director Gentry Isaiah George and Stephanie Salts.   ZEST also premiered new work with Electronic Guitarist Dylan Sneed.

#behindthescenes exclusive rehearsal footage, filmed by Dance Mogul Magazine.

TALK ABOUT A CHILE

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George

Dance Artist: Zui Gomez

Music: Inez Matthews

FETUS

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George

Dance Artists: Zui Gomez and Mariusz Kujawski

Music: Peyman Yazdanian


Harlem Arts Festival's Young Patrons' Session - March 2015

On March 19th, 2015 ZEST COLLECTIVE Contemporary Performance Art presented a multidisciplinary program with Projection Artist Andrew Kaminski at White Box Art Center as part of Harlem Arts Festival’s Young Patrons’ Session.

Kaminski who's current body of work focuses on the interactivity between trained dancers and newly developed live video editing software first performed with ZEST on July 27th, 2014 at Harlem Arts Festival’s Opening Night Celebration at Madiba Mist Cinemas.  Together, the work creates visual synchronicity between sound, light, and live dance.  The Collective's performances emphasize the tension of mindful movement and manipulated light.

Dance Mogul Magazine went behind the scenes to capture the company’s historic premiere at the Bowery’s White Box Art Center. 

 

REVERIE (excerpt) 

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George

Projection Art: Andrew Kaminski

Music: Alex Heffes

Dance Artists: Leal Zielińska, Łukasz Zieba

 

TWO MINUTES IN A DREAM

Choreography: Gentry Isaiah George

Projection Art: Andrew Kaminski

Music: Gioari

Dance Artists: Jerard Palazo, Po-Lin Tung

Filmed by Anthony Harris, Dance Mogul Magazine


Originally conceived by Visual Artist Brian Michael Reed, A Matter Of Heart is a performance based installation that combines elements of nature, art, and dance.  In January 2015 Reed commissioned ZEST's Artistic Director Gentry Isaiah George to create an enhanced and redesigned exhibition performance to showcase the work's continued growth and development as a collaborative art experience.  The work premiered February 21st, 2015 to a live improvised soundscore by Electronic Music Duo Pax Humana at Alchemical Theatre Laboratory.

The movements Mr. George curated to join with Pax Humana’s music and Reed’s sacred staffs illustrate that Music, Visual Art, and Dance can be equal partners, co-creators of magnificent experiences that take people to wondrous places deep within themselves.

Choreography:  Gentry Isaiah George with Tyler Brown and Shuaib Dee Elhassan

Dance Artists:  Crystal Lynn Rodriguez, Jake Stainback, Joshi Martina, Leal Zielińska, Łukasz Zieba, Noa Genazzano, Po-Lin Tung, Stephanie Salts

Original Artwork:  Brian Michael Reed

Music:  Pax Humana 


Harlem Arts Festival ( HAF) 2014

HAF celebrates Harlem's cultural landscape and the Artistic community in Harlem today.  ZEST COLLECTIVE Contemporary Performance Art took on the MainStage for a festive celebration on June 28th, 2014. The date marked ZEST's fifth live performance. Audiences saw the world premiere of Truth Don Die by Ernest Baker II as well as returning favorites: TWO WINGS, ME MIRO, All For The Life (by Jesse Obremski) and An Untitled Duet (by Matilda Sakamoto).

All featured material below filmed by Ernest Baker II

 

An Untitled Duet

Choreography:  Matilda Sakamoto

Dance Artists:  Jenna Marie and Shuaib Dee Elhassan

Music: Gregory Alan Isakov

 

All For The Life

Choreography:  Jesse Obremski

Dance Artist:  Matteo Nacci

Music: Scott James

 

TWO WINGS

Choreorgraphy:  Gentry Isaiah George along with Julia Headley and Shuaib Dee Elhassan

Dance Artist:  Shuaib Dee Elhassan

Music:  Jessye Norman

 

ME MIRO

Choreography:  Gentry Isaiah George

Dance Artists:  Tyler Brown, Sergio Tapia-Fikes

 Music: Alex Heffes and Yasmin Levy

 

Truth Don Die

Choreography / Dance Artist:  Ernest Baker II

Music: Femi Kuti


REVERIE is a contemporary meditation divided in three vignettes.  It was created for Harlem Arts Festival's 2014 Fundraising Gala.  REVERIE explores the fleeting imagery of dream landscapes where human contact is but a metaphor and seemingly unrelated events magnify a collective radiance and the brief unravelling of humane defenses.

(Rehearsal Footage)

Cast (in order of appearance):  Jacquelin Harris, Shuaib Dee Elhassan, Danica Paulos, Lukasz Zieba

Filmed by: Cody Perkins, CPerkins Photography

Music:  Jessye Norman, Alex Heffes, Matthew Barley, Gioari, and Peyman Yazdanian

Text by:  Edgar Allan Poe


LAUNCH is ZEST COLLECTIVE's first Contemporary Web Drama.  It is divided in a series of mini-episodes.  LAUNCH explores realities of the dead as well as the living and questions what level of meditation does one attain by moving through raging flames.

LAUNCH was filmed December 15th, 2013 at Hunter College.  The work is a collaboration with Leo Castañeda who designed projected real-time 3d renderings to react to the motions of the dancers.  Sometimes architectural, sometimes organic, these images provide a constantly shifting setting to the work.

LAUNCH, Episode One introduces Jesse Obremski - the story's main character and aimless wanderer as he is depicted immolating his body, thus launching himself into unchartered explorative domain.

Obremski is trapped in a world of intimate explorations and is greeted by Jake Stainback (The Sage) - representative of the Womb, and Sergio Tapia-Fikes (The Social Reject) - representative of Air. Jenna Graves plays The Mystic and she foreshadows Obremski's encounter with The Figure of Death, played by Matthew Perez.

LAUNCH questions what level of meditation does one attain by moving through raging flames.

Directed / Edited by: Gentry Isaiah George
Filmed by: Cody Perkins, CPerkins Photography
Art Projections by: Leo Castañeda
Creative Consultant: Shariffa Ali
Music by: H. Scott Salinas and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee

Cast (in order of appearance): 
Jesse Obremski, Jake Stainback, Sergio Tapia-Fikes, Jenna Graves, Matthew Perez

LAUNCH, Episode Two introduces Daphne Lee - The Urban Magician as she conjures up her team of Shadowed Women. Some welcome Obremski (The Aimless Wanderer who has immolated his body in efforts to transcend into an explorative domain), while others attempt to seduce him into a purgatory state. He crashes through them and continues on his journey.

We are also greeted by Shuaib Dee Elhassan - The Caregiver, and once again by The Figure of Death, played by Matthew Perez. They are seen battling for Obremski's mind. Neither is yet successful.

Directed / Edited by: Gentry Isaiah George
Filmed by: Cody Perkins, CPerkins Photography
Art Projections by: Leo Castañeda
Creative Consultant: Shariffa Ali
Music by: Christopher Young

Cast (in order of appearance): 
Daphne Lee, Shuaib Dee Elhassan, Matthew Perez, Jacquelin Harris, Jenna Graves, Nikosa Majid, Leslie Saint Jour, Jesse Obremski

In LAUNCH, Episode Three we meet Sarah Haarmann who mourns the Earthly death of our main character, Jesse Obremski who is seen immolating his body.

She is greeted by The Sage (Jake Stainback) and he urges her to pick herself up and continue on with life. Sergio Tapia-Fikes plays the Social Reject and is representative of Air. He moves through realities of the dead as well as the living and also grieves the death of Obremski. 

Directed / Edited by: Gentry Isaiah George
Filmed by: Cody Perkins, CPerkins Photography
Art Projections by: Leo Castañeda
Creative Consultant: Shariffa Ali
Music by: Anton Sanko

Cast (in order of appearance): 
Jesse Obremski, Sarah Haarmann, Jake Stainback, Matthew Perez, Sergio Tapia-Fikes

Walking Characters: Shuaib Dee Elhassan, Jacquelin Harris, Jenna Graves, Nikosa Majid, Leslie Saint Jour, Daphne Lee

LAUNCH, Episode Four explores the heart of death and the passage of time.

Directed / Edited by: Gentry Isaiah George
Filmed by: Cody Perkins, CPerkins Photography
Art Projections by: Leo Castañeda
Creative Consultant: Shariffa Ali
Music by: Alex Heffes

Cast (in order of appearance): 
Matthew Perez, Jake Stainback, Jacquelin Harris, Daphne Lee, Jenna Graves, Leslie Saint Jour, Nikosa Majid, Shuaib Dee Elhassan, Sergio Tapia-Fikes


STILL is a (solo) contemporary movement performance born out of a cross continental collaboration between Africa and the Americas.  In 2013 ZEST’s collaborator and Theater-Maker, Shariffa Ali was invited to the states to direct Carnegie Mellon, Alum Josh Wilder in a commission for the August Wilson Centre in Pittsburgh.  It was during this time that the concept of STILL was conceived.   While in New York for the remainder of her stay, Ali sought out ZEST COLLECTIVE’s Artistic Director, Gentry Isaiah George to further develop STILL, lending George's technical skill and choreographic intelligence to the piece. Ali and George drew from their own narratives and were glad to find parallels and even happier to note vast differences in their lived experiences.  The interdisciplinary nature of this project makes for a soul-enriching development process.  The result is a single body's rendering of life.  

STILL premiered July 19th, 2013 at The Alchemical Theatre Laboratory in New York City.

Directed by:  Shariffa Ali

Choreographed by:  Gentry Isaiah George and Shariffa Ali

Filmed by:  Tim Waltman

Film edited by:  Gentry Isaiah George

STLL, Excerpt One

STILL, Excerpt Two

STILL, Excerpt Three