Love, War, and Recycling was a dance performance that was filled with expression against rubbish and violence while advocating for love and forgiveness. After the performance, I came out smiling wide eager to interview some of the performers.

For my first interview, I sat down with Julice who played the role of the mother. She spent a lot of time on stage so the only time she wasn’t smiling was when she was taking a breather because of how hard she worked.

When I asked her favourite part of the play understandably she said: “I really enjoyed the Beyonce Girls routine.”

This is when actresses in the play got together and took formation against the villain. It was a flashy, violent, and empowering in-step dance.

“It was tough doing all that dancing but worth it.” She said.

When asked what the main theme of the play was, Julice replied by saying, “Two families can come together.”

That’s the truth! Anyone can come together despite conflict especially when the dance circles are so welcoming and vivacious.

Next, I approached the twins in the performance who were actually two good friends off the stage as well.

They agreed to an interview and remarkably were still buzzing with energy. When asked about the performance they said: “The hardest part was changing clothes in-between scenes,”

The young people performing in this play have been dancing for years so the dancing came easily and flawless but since the action was paced so fiercely, getting from one outfit to another was definitely a hassle for them.

With a bit of twang, spunk, and whatever else energy a talented 9-year-old possesses one of the twins said, “Yeah the dances look very complicated but with a bit of practice it’s really nothing.

“I just got with the older group; I have been doing this since I was six years old,” She told me.

Her Mum looked at her friend and her friend made an inquiring face. She looked confused and cracked a grin. I asked her what she thought the play was about.

“This was about everyone coming together and loving and everything,” her twin chipped in, “And war and recycling!”

I was also given the chance to talk to a lot of the young men who performed. This included the main protagonist who was in love and the villain with the knife. They were just celebrating a job well done after putting so much into the play.

These were young men who had been dancing for years like the twins & Julice. They started around the age of seven and have consistently had Paddington Arts as a place to make friends and channel any violence into artistic form.

They were glad to witness how excited I was about seeing the performance. For me, it was similar to seeing trapeze artists jump over alligators when watching the fight scenes and everything else fell wonderfully into place.

The fight scene was one of my favourites and actually ended up being one of the toughest for the performers to produce.

There were some disagreements about who made what moves in the fight scene and “a real fight over the fight scene.” I could see why it wasn’t an easy performance as it kept the same speed as the previous dances but incorporated the swinging of fists.

Unfortunately, through the labor of love and tough practice, one of the performers told me how he basically tore his knee while practicing. It was all for good reason!

I explained again to the guys how happy I was with the play being a success and the excited faces of family members going to greet their children was confirmation of how well they did.

The play was performed beyond my expectations. In the department of dance, everyone was well calculated and fostered a really good time.

I asked the collective of them all huddled in a squad what the plot to Love, War, and Recycling meant to them. They looked at each other all knowing the answer to themselves but not knowing who wanted to speak first.

One of them spoke and said, “This was just emotion coming through.”

The play was always filled with violence or war or love and the guys laid out the emotions through dance. Violent or joyful, they spoke without words the entire time.

What they were trying to say is they didn’t need violence in the streets of London but rather a need for understanding. They made it through art, working with their friends and then performing while holding nothing back.

The play took about two and a half months total to organise but they performed with an energy like it only took them a minute and were refined enough that it looked like they practiced for a year.

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