Black Grace

Neil Ieremia, Artistic Director


Sponsored by: Marc Walters, Gary Nelson & Minh Tran
Media Sponsor: The Oregonian


Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 7:30pm


“A thrilling bond between ceremonial dances of Maori and athletic modern dance.”
-Main Post (German)


Purchase tickets here!


PROGRAM (Running time 115 minutes, with intermission):
Pati Pati-- This work is a mixture of excerpts from older repertoire that utilise body percussion influenced by traditional Samoan Sasa (seated dance) and Fa’ataupati (slap dance).
Amata Act 3 – “o le amataga fou” (a new beginning)-- This is an excerpt from a full-length work entitled Amata. 
The compositional structure and floor patterns are based on Samoan fine mats know as “ie toga”.  Its linear nature and weave pattern can also be found in the movement vocabulary, which is composed of various versions of a basic language phrase derived from letters, spoken conversations, arguments and apologies.

Vaka--inspired by The Raft video installation by Bill Viola and the controversial portrayal of Maori explorers in the infamous painting The Arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand by Louis J. Steele and Charles F. Goldie 1898. 
Neil Ieremia says, "“During this creative process we have realised that we are our own vaka (canoe) carrying our values and belief systems, experiences and memories good and bad, and a hope that when we leave this planet we leave it in a better shape than when we found it."


Black Grace is New Zealand’s leading contemporary dance company and has held a unique position on the world stage for over 17 years. Fusing Pacific Island and contemporary dance, Black Grace has become renowned for its artistry, creative excellence, and innovation. Making their Portland debut, the company’s powerful ensemble of Samoan and Maori dancers will perform a program of explosive athleticism and lyrical beauty.