Barry George

Founder & Artistic Director

Barry George has had a passion for youth development ever since he was very young. He strongly believes that “the future of a country is centred on our youth and that any idea of national development without the active participation of youth in it, is not just a myth, but should not at all be entertained. Our dreams, passion and aspirations as young people along with our bubbling enthusiasm have to be regulated, utilized and guided accordingly if we are to make any meaningful contribution as key partners in the forefront of the national agenda”.

Barry George has been involved in the performing arts for over 20 years. He first started his journey with his involvement in the St. LuciaTraditional dances and organizations such as Les Dances Traditionel de St Lucie and the Entrepot Secondary School who introduced him to the performing arts. On a school level he was involved in arts class, drama, choir, and was also the leader of the schools dance company between 1987 –1990, all of which set the foundation for his love and involvement in the performing arts.

Soon after graduation from the Entrepot Secondary School he founded and became the artistic director of one of St. Lucia’s leading dance companies, the Silver Shadow Performing Arts Academy for more than 22 years which is an organization designed to create avenues for talented St. Lucian youth in the performing arts. During that time he has revolutionized St. Lucian Dance by fusing St. Lucian traditional dance with a modern touch creating a new twist in St. Lucian folk dance. Through this organization and the work of Barry George, he and the company have represented St. Lucia at a number of regional and international cultural exchanges such as Trinidad & Tobago’s Rhythm & Motion Festival 2012, Tobago Bele Festival 2012, Martinique Bele Festival 2013, Barbados Universal Dance Expressions Festival 2013, Grenada’s biannual international dance festival 2004, World youth festival in Portugal 1998 and World Youth Festival in Venezuela 2005, Carifesta in Trinidad 2006, Guyana 2008, Suriname 2013 and Haiti 2015.

The Silver Shadow Performing Arts Academy under the tutelage of Mr Barry George has produced a number of award winning productions namely Caged in 2006/2007, Dance of the Villages in 2008, Break Out in 2009, Drum Song in 2011,Dance Mirage in 2012 and Poetry in Motion 2015 which all formed part of the Nobel Laureate Week celebrations annually as Barry George’s contribution to excellence. Barry George also worked with the Hon. Derek Walcott as his main choreographer for the screen shots for the Ti-Jean and His Brothers movie project which spanned from 2008- 2010.

Barry George has continued his work in excellence through Silver Shadow and is known for his award winning dances having participated in the Saint Lucia Arts Festival with Digital Technology in 2005 and Caged in 2006. In that year, 2006, Barry George received the following nominations and national awards at the national arts festival: Nomination for the outstanding performance at the junior dance festival; Second Place in Dance and Dance Choreography and First Place in the Traditional Dances. In 2008 Barry George won the M&C Fine Arts Individual Award for the Performing Arts. In 2012 Barry George’s choreographed dance pieces performed by the Silver Shadow Performing arts Academy received at the National arts festival 2012, Best Performing Solo, Best Youth Performance and Best Dance Production for ‘Dance Mirage. In the 2014 National Arts Festival he received the People’s Choice Award in the youth dance category and the senior Dance category.

In the area of Dance, Barry George has served for many years as a dance resource person for the then Ministry of Education Department of Culture under the supervision of the late Vergie Alexander, the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) and the Department of Youth and Sports. He plays a major role in bringing dance to the schools for festivals such as independence youth rally’s, primary and secondary school theatre and dance festivals, La Marguerite and schools Christmas concerts. He played a major role as choreographer in a number of local theatre productions including the Ministry of Education SPAC program where he was also the Dance Director for many years and helped train and develop the dance and performance skills of its members in collaboration with the late Miss Petronilla Deterville in productions such as ‘the Merchant of Venice, Tinday, Man Better Man and Sing de Chorus’.

Barry George’s artistic expression is featured in a number of St. Lucian events and festivals such as Independence celebrations, National Sports Awards, St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival including the Gwa Movement traditional street parade, the Carnival events, Jounen Kweyol, Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and high profile functions where foreign dignitaries get to sample a taste of St. Lucian culture and also weekly at the Sandals Grande Hotel, showcasing St. Lucia’s culture while contributing to St. Lucia’s Hotel and Tourism industry.

Barry joined the Saint Lucia National Youth Council (NYC) in1995 as the main youth leader representing Castries East. He has been actively involved in the youth clubs of his community which led him to first serve on the NYC Executive as Assistant Secretary in 1998. He was later elected 1st Vice President of the council in 2005 and became its President in 2006 until 2007. In his capacity as NYC President Mr. George represented the organization in numerous capacities on UNSECO, the National Independence Committee, Carnival Organizing Committee, National Day Organizing Committee, National Youth Month Committee and the National Crime Commission.

Barry George has served his country in many spheres. As a Cultural Activist he has been deeply involved with working with several schools on the island in helping to prepare students for participation in cultural shows and assisting them with enhancing their skills in drama and theatre. Barry George taught Theatre Arts at the Girls Vocational School (GVS) for 4 years, during that time his drama class participated in the Annual Secondary School Drama Festival where the school’s drama group won the national prestigious title 2007 for secondary schools drama and his class also represented the island at the Caribbean Drama School Festival which was held in Saint Lucia. The GVS Drama group won, Best Production, Best Director and Best Stage Management with plays written and directed by Barry George namely Reflection in 2006, the Fund Raiser in 2007 (Winner of the drama festival) and Prank 2008 which received many awards in the areas of best sound effects, best costume, best set design, stage management and outstanding individual performances. He also acted in the play Serafina in 2004.

He has worked in many communities in lecturing and conducting workshops and seminars for upcoming dance companies. He has worked with community choirs and organizations in developing the artistic and performance abilities of their membership.

He has been involved with the Haynes Smith Miss Caribbean Teen Pageant for over 17 years as a franchise holder. He is responsible for selecting young St. Lucian talent to participate in this annual pageant and give them the opportunity to showcase their talent and represent their country in the Haynes Smith Miss Caribbean Teen Pageant. Under Barry’s leadership Saint Lucian contestants have placed in the top three of the pageant many times and eventually won the pageant for the first time after 21 years of participation in 2008. He was honoured by the Haynes Smith Miss Caribbean Teen Pageant in 2009 for his outstanding contribution to the development of teen pageant in Saint Kitts. Barry has served as one of the organizers in collaboration with Mr Gregory Lorde for the Miss Independence Pageant for many years and also served on the National Carnival Queen Pageant Committee between 2010 and 2012 and is very instrumental in assisting the communities in their pageantry such as the Choiseul carnival Queen show Committee, Vieux fort Carnival Queen Committee, Micoud Carnival Queen Committee and the Gros Islet Carnival Queen committee. He is also one of the leading pageant trainers on the island with an impeccable record of producing a number of queens throughout the years.

He is not only involved in the performing arts but plays a major role in St. Lucian Carnival on an annual basis. He has been part of the St. Lucia Carnival band Association for the past 15 years and has worked with a number of carnival bands such as New Dimensions, the originals, Rituals Carnival band, Royalites Extreme and Generation X. He is a costume builder, costume designer and has carried King of the Bands for a number of years. Presently, he has been actively involved in the 12 year old Just US Kids Junior Carnival Band which won the Junior Carnival Band title in 2008, and six consecutive years (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). The band has also won numerous awards in the Individual of the Year and King and Queen of the Bands category. He serves as the representative on the National Carnival Bands Association responsible for the development of Junior Carnival in St. Lucia. Recently, he has brought to the Carnival a traditional Jouvert Band which features Moko-Jumbie stilt walkers which has given a different perspective to our St. Lucian Carnival Jouvert celebrations.

Barry George plays a pivotal role in the promotion of St. Lucia’s traditional art forms by preserving the traditional masquerade through his dance academy the Silver Shadow Performing Arts Academy, lecturing at primary and secondary schools on island and conducting workshops in that area. He has collaborated many times with the Piaye dancers in promoting and preserving St. Lucia’s ethnic African dances such as the Bele, Kutumba, Deux Bott and Solo both locally and regionally as well as Stilt walking Moko-jumbies through the newly formed Moko-Flixs Entertainment Stilt walking group from Laborie of which he is the Cultural advisor.

Barry George is associated with the Soca-lypso Review Calypso Tent with the responsibility of training calypsonians as an image consultant as well as performance training for stage. He also serves as the Stage Manager during the tents calypso season. Mr George has also been involved in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Industry National Performance program as a tutor and coordinator of the Jete Dance Program. Mr. George currently works as a freelance entertainment consultant while managing his dance academy the Silver Shadow Performing Arts Academy and served as a director representing performing arts on the Board of Directors of the Cultural Development Foundation.

In 2015 Mr. George received one of St. Lucia’s most prestigious national awards in the form of the ‘St. Lucia Medal of Merit -Silver’ for his outstanding contribution in the performing arts. Mr. Barry George is definitely a son of the soil and one who has the youth of St. Lucia at heart and has dedicated his life to helping and developing their talents and skills in a positive direction within the performing arts.

Image of Barry George
Barry George