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BLACK GRACE

REPERTORY

NEW FOR 2023/2024

Fatu (premiered 2022)

Fatu Akelei Feu’u (ONZM) is a Samoan painter and sculptor who has established a reputation as the elder statesman of Pacific art in New Zealand.  

Fatu, meaning ‘heart’ in Samoan, is a new work by Neil Ieremia inspired by Feu’u’s work, performed to a mix of recorded music and live percussion.

 

O Le Olaga – Life (premiered 2022)

“As I watch my parents transform with age my appreciation for them and their journey through life grows.

O Le Olaga - Life, is a tribute to my parents and ultimately a celebration of life. Like my parents I am a survivor from a place where cultures collide and it is through this lens that I am inspired to collect and reorganise elements of beauty, rhythm and colour.

Set to Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major, the dance is made from my memories influenced by the traditional beat of my parents beloved Samoa while navigating the tidal shifts of time and space.

The beautiful explosion of colour and pattern in my mother’s dresses, the pride with which my father exposes his traditional tattoo that covers his skin from below his knees to his ribcage when he dances, the murmuring of their nightly prayers and the cracking of their combined voice as they lift their hearts in traditional hymns of praise. It is these and many other images that serve as creative inspiration.” – Neil Ieremia, ONZM

Handgame (premiered 1995)

Handgame was choreographed in 1995 as part of Relentless, one of Ieremia’s earliest full-length works which was based on child abuse.  The creative process for this work began with company members sharing stories of abuse from their childhoods.  Gesturing to parts of their bodies that were injured as children, Ieremia progressed this idea into a rhythmic piece, loosely utilizing aspects of fa’ataupati (Samoan slap dance).