Black Grace


With their distinctive dynamism sparked by Pacific Island and Maori heritage, the Black Grace dancers take possession of the stage and own the audience from the first moment. 

Eloquent yet elemental, athletic yet spiritual, they are ready in all respects for the physical and artistic rigors of artistic director Neil Ieremia's choreography. Under Ieremia's direction for two decades, this unique fusion of contemporary and Pacific Island dance has earned phenomenal critical and audience acclaim in Australia, Japan, Europe, Mexico, Canada and the U.S.


October 21 - November 23, 2019




This work is a mixture of excerpts from older repertory that utilizes body percussion influenced by traditional Samoan Sasa (seated dance) and Fa’ataupati (slap dance).


Boyhood memories of backyard rugby games and wrestling provided the inspiration for improvisational exercise from which the movement vocabulary was derived.  The combination of these images and the music of J.S. Bach offer an interesting juxtaposition between the raw and the refined.


Deep Far is based on the cyclic nature of weather patterns and was inspired by the New Zealand droughts of 1998.  This work was originally commissioned and performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet


Through dance, Crying Men traces the journey of three generations of Pacific men living in New Zealand and the impact of the loss of a matriarch who brought balance to the traditional expectations of masculinity with compassion, tolerance and strength. 

A richly textured work, Crying Men utilizes gesture, elements of traditional Pacific storytelling through song and dance.

Neil Ieremia says, “In Crying Men, I am exploring masculinity through a Pacific lens and am informed by my own personal experiences as well as those of my dancers, friends and family.  Masculine stereotyping in the Pacific, gender roles and the inter-generational influences as a result of colonization are also significant points of interest for this new work.”