We had the good fortune of connecting with G’bari Gilliam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi G’bari, what are you inspired by?
I am inspired by the limitless possibilities of the world. I am inspired by new discoveries, the innovation, as well as, the natural and the organic. I love art because there is always a new take, a new idea, a new perspective. Whether it is in music, in Dance, or in physical art. There is a continuous drive to do something new. This pushes my own creativity as an artist. I am a professional dancer working in the Dance Industry, the Concert Dance world, and the underground street dance world. Seeing new movement, new choreography, new video techniques, get me excited. Each person is so different in how they take in the world, and through art you can really get a glimpse of the world through someone else lens for moment. You can see how, they see nature, society, technology, the human body etc. The world has limitless potential.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a professional dancer, who participates in many facets of the dance world. What sets my art apart from others is the diversity of dance backgrounds and trainings that I have studied. I have studied styles such as West African Dance, Street dance styles like Hip-Hop, House, Whacking, Vogue, Popping, and Locking, Classical styles like ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, as well as other cultural dances and dances from the African Diaspora. All of these movement forms inform my movement when I create as well as my lived experiences and who I am as a person. I have worked in the industry and done some fun, story based, and eye catching movement. I have worked in the concert dance world and done very deep, and intellectual theatre work. As well as participating in the Street dance battle scene and shown a very Raw and free side to my movement as well.
When I choreograph, execute choreography or showcase freestyle, I bring all of this knowledge with me to tell my own story and sometimes tell the story of others. My own personal choreography is often based from my perspective as a black man living today, showing the good the bad and the ugly of existing. Showcasing the joy of life, lows that come in life, and the sting of racism. My art is multifaceted, and with it my goal is to inspire at least on person and let them know they are not alone.
My journey was definitely easy, getting to where I am now in my career. I still see it as just the beginning of everything. You definitely have to be passionate and determined to live the life of an artist. There have been different challenges and each challenge has made me stronger and taught me lessons. The first challenge was leaving my home, in the Bay Area, to go to college in Los Angeles, where I graduated from UCLA. Making it through UCLA was a challenge in itself, studying, growing up, juggling school, extracurriculars and doing a junior dance company. Then post graduation, the struggle to become adjusted to a LA life outside of college, finding an agent, joining a dance company. finding teaching opportunities to gain stable income, while still remaining creative and not loosing myself. But with determination, and kind and genuine demeanor; things began to line up.
From my journey, I have learned to always keep faith that “what is meant for you; will not miss you”. Also my journey has taught me to always remain humble and to be continuously learning. There is so much out in the world to learn, just as we think we have learned it all, something new comes along. Whether it is something new to learn in dance, in music, in personal life, there is always something to learn and a way to better ones self.
I would like the world to know that, my art is created out of patience, humility, and vulnerable honesty. I have been myself and my brand around being my authentic self at all time. Sharing my joy, my pain, my mind and my heart. Not everything is sunshine all the time, but the sunshine always returns.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a very introverted person and sometimes a homebody but when I do go out, I like to have a good time. I have different Favorite spots in the city. For a week trip with a friend I would definitely have to take them to Griffith park to unwind and maybe dance in the park, food at Tender Greens and drinks at Angel city Brewery or 1up bar, Another day, I would suggest going to matador Beach and relaxing under the sun, coming back to the city and going and getting soul food from Dulan’s or Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. And another day going to go to Glendale Galleria or the Citadel Outlets and do some shopping, maybe go to a dance studio in North Hollywood Arts District and get some movement therapy at Fusion Force LA.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my ShoutOut to my mother, Tuseda Graggs- Borden . The person who taught me to see the world with wide open eyes, to try new things, to express myself, and to go for my dreams. The Women who raised me, the one who always has my back, who has supported me through it all. My mom deserves so much credit for the man and the artist that I am today.
Vince Trupsin George Simion Ernesto Galarza