Behind the scenes: Black Grace
Dedicated to the rich storytelling traditions of the South Pacific, New Zealand-based Black Grace masterfully blends contemporary and Samoan dance genres, expressing them with “phenomenal strength, stamina and spirit” (The New Zealand Herald). The company has been praised as “the most positive, living expression of any New Zealand art” (Sunday Star Times). Founded by Neil Ieremia in 1995, the company masterfully blends contemporary and indigenous Samoan dance genres with a body of work “that crosses geographic and social boundaries, often with innovative flair and theatricality” (The Boston Globe). New York Times critic Brian Seibert said, “the dancers break into motion, and once they start, they barely ever stop. The distinguishing spirit of this troupe is incredible speed and stamina, an exhilarating, seemingly inexhaustible energy.” This program included O Le Olaga – Life, a tribute to Ieremia’s parents and a celebration of life set to Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major, as well as Fatu, a new work inspired by the work of Samoan painter and sculptor Fatu Akelei Feu’u and set to an original soundtrack both live and recorded. The company also reprised Minoi, a high-energy virtuosic work featured in their first Pillow performance. Video by Nel Shelby Productions.