Black Grace

Black Grace is touted as New Zealand’s leading contemporary dance group and they certainly live up to this title. This production of the same name is a collection of highly physical dance performances created over two decades using a blend of Samoan dance traditions and contemporary dance.

A visually stunning display of strength, agility and grace that will thoroughly amaze and leave you breathless.

Artistic Director Neil Ieremia makes appearances in between performances to give us an insight into the inspiration and motivations behind his works. We learn that his choreography is heavily based on the Fa’ataupati, a traditional Samoan slap dance. It involves executing precise, synchronised slaps of the palm to create sound and rhythm and the opening piece Minoi in particular is the perfect embodiment of this technique.

From a delightful interpretation of the social interaction between men and women in human language to an energetic piece devised in response to an article about the negative impact of Pacific Island immigration, Black Grace is a remarkable showcase in physical expression. Ieremia’s ability to harness his thoughts and emotions and transform them into dynamic choreography is truly impressive.

Each piece is masterfully crafted and flawlessly executed with a meaningful story or powerful message attached to it. The dance troupe are exceptionally talented performers - their skilled grasp of the choreography, unwavering stamina and physical prowess is truly staggering. Individually each performer commands the stage and routines with confidence and finesse, and as a group they are a well-oiled machine, seamlessly coming together as a singular unit.

Back Grace is an extremely riveting piece of physical theatre that takes the audience on a cultural and emotional journey. It is a visually stunning display of strength, agility and grace that will thoroughly amaze and leave you breathless.

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The Blurb

Black Grace presents a collection of dance works by acclaimed choreographer Neil Ieremia. Drawing from his Samoan and New Zealand roots, Neil creates innovative dance works that reach across social, cultural and generational barriers. The work itself is highly physical, rich in the storytelling traditions of the South Pacific and expressed with raw finesse, unique beauty and power. ‘Ieremia has created a unique, captivating and dynamic style ... an exhilarating and extraordinary evening’ (Die Rheinpfalz, Germany, 2012). ‘Mandatory viewing for every dance enthusiast, as well as total dance novices’ (, New Zealand, 2013).

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