Hi! I’m Geri. I am a choreographer, yoga teacher, songwriter, and real estate agent in Philadelphia, PA. Most of the projects I work on are focused around bringing people together, working through trauma, and personal and communal growth. I formed Setu Tribe in 2011 with the hopes of creating a visual counterpart to the empowering community I was experiencing at the time and still am. Setu Tribe is the project that is most dear to my heart. I am both humbled and honored by the growth of our sisterhood and the support of our community. I am a native Philadelphian and I love finding creative ways to help preserve and evolve our great city! Here’s a little background on me:
Born and raised in Southwest Philly, Geri Vanore / Omni was the seventh of eight Vanore kids. Then affectionately called “Piss Eyes #2" (“Piss Eyes #1" was Geri’s sister Dawn, who is the 1st of eight Vanore kids) or “Straggelum Strands”, or “Sugar Plum”, little Geri was an empathetic creature with messy hair who loved to dance and write poems. In essence, she hasn’t changed much.
Recognizing her passion for movement and choreography, a friend’s mother suggested Geri be enrolled in dance class but with eight plus mouths to feed, that was a tall order for Geri’s parents. The friend’s mother decided she would pay for Geri’s first year of dance classes and at age 11 Geri fell deep in love with dance. The following year and every year after she would work several jobs to support her love of this artform.
Fast forward to High School. Geri began teaching and choreographing as she trained at the HS Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) where she was voted most likely to succeed in her field and was awarded several achievements including The Humanitarian Award. During and after HighSchool, Geri attended Philadanco and The University of the Arts on scholarship and trained with Milton Myers, Pat Thomas, Ruth Andrian, Manfred Fishbeck, Deloras Brown, Joan Myers-Brown, Wayne St. David, Roni Koresh, Molly Misgalla, Kim Bears, Hope Boykin and many other inspirational professionals in the field. She was invited into DANCO 2 and worked with Donald Lundsford and Philadanco Company members. In 2001 Geri was awarded a full year scholarship to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater training program in NYC. It was then that an injury brought Geri’s dance career to a screeching hault. She moved home, rested, and thought about what to do with her life and her identity.
Geri started turning her poems into songs and raps and of course she went back to teaching and choreography, and for the next two years Geri formed and directed Identity Dance Company - a dance troupe whose focus was on helping teens and young adults examine their identity through movement. In 2005 Geri joined Archedream for Humankind where for six years she studied mask acting and archetypal movement. She was able to travel across the US, and to Taiwan as well as Europe and Central America and fell in love with travel and culture. She also began studying Yoga and Meditation and in 2010 Geri became a Certified Yoga teacher. Continuing music on the side as Lady Omni mc, Geri, along with collaborators Plum Dragoness and Alexa Gold formed The Femme-mynistiques, a mystical feminist trio whose music touches on the social caveats for women and men as well as celebrates the feminine energy rising in our society.
And that brings us to 2011. This is the year Setu Tribe was formed as well as Geri’s thirtieth trip around the sun. SInce then, Geri has been nurturing Setu Tribe and has been fiercely supported, and challenged by her Setu Sisters in all of the most beautiful ways. The Femme-Mynistiques have disbanded but did release an EP which can be found on i-Tunes or Spotify. Geri released a song entitled More Love, a collaboration with Cee Know The Doodlebug of Digable Planets, Vice President, and Indian singer, Harini Purushothaman. She is also currently working on an EP in collaboration with Philly Hip Hop Artist, Kuf Knotz as well as her first solo Single.
Geri’s latest project is one called The Warm Up, a monthly live music event at Front St. Cafe that features both established artists and open mic adventurists, bringing together Philly’s seasoned musical masters as well as our courageous novices for a night of musical healing, networking, and inspiration.
With the mission to empower women through movements created from personal experiences and inspired by cultures and traditions from around the world, Setu Tribe feels like the culmination of Geri’s great lifetime loves. She feels called to continue and evolve this work throughout her life.