George likes to dance. He used to play drums in punk bands and work as any early years playworker.
In 2013, he started taking contemporary dance classes in Brighton with Mélanie Quevedo after his friend, Shloka, showed him some videos of Akram Khan on youtube. Mélanie was a wonderful teacher and was incredibly supportive to George, encouraging him to attend more classes and take a few local performance opportunities.
He performed as a community participant with Tilted in Brighton Festival 2016, which lead to him becoming a member of the company for the summer tour of BELONGING(s) the following year.
How did you come to be a performer?
I grew up around a lot of music and played drums in many bands throughout my teenage years and early twenties. In my mid-twenties, I was diagnosed with having a long-term autoimmune condition that was causing me a great deal of pain and some mobility issues. A couple of years later, under the recommendation of a friend, I began to attend a dance therapy group. I attended this group for a year and, through it, I was able reach a place of acceptance with my condition. Through dance, I had found a way to reconnect with my body in a positive way. I also I began to notice an improvement in my physical symptoms.
At the beginning of 2013, I decided to take my movement practice further and took my first contemporary dance class. Since then, I haven’t stopped dancing, taking every opportunity I can to attend classes, workshops, intensives and for performances in several local platforms. In 2016, when Tilted toured BELONGING(s) to Brighton (where I live), I joined them as a community participant, which led to my joining the company as a performer a few months later.
How do you feel when you perform?
For me, It’s all about the shared experience. Tilted is like second family, which has both high and low points. Touring BELONGING(s) in 2017 felt like an epic journey and each time we performed it felt like a compressed version of the journey that we have all been on together, albeit that I have been on this journey for a relatively short time compared to some of the other company members, who have been involved in this production since 2014. I enjoy the contrasting moments of serenity and madness, fear and safety, tension and release. This is my first job as a performer, so I’m still finding my feet, so getting through a performance without feeling like I’ve messed up too much feels like an achievement!
What is your earliest memory?
Getting chased across the village playing fields by my primary school headmistress when I ran away from school, aged four.
How does performing outside feel compared to inside?
The unpredictability of it can be both frustrating and exhilarating. We performed BELONGING(s) in a full-blown thunderstorm in Germany, which was incredible. The atmosphere that it created was something that you could never hope to achieve indoors. At this point in time, we’re just starting to rehearse a new piece that is Maresa’s first indoor work in a long time and I’m really interested to find out what limitations and opportunities this brings.
If you weren’t a performer, what would you like to do?
I definitely wouldn’t stop dancing. I’m interested in the euphoric dance rituals practiced almost universally amongst hunter/gatherer communities and by the possibilities of this kind of dance as a healing tool, so I might spend some more time researching and practicing in this area.
What do you like to do on your day off?
Go to my allotment and catch up on the never-ending list of jobs. This summer I bought an inflatable kayak, that I can easily take down to the beach and go out for a paddle, which is great fun. I dunno… go to a dance class!