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 and contemporary dance in an extraordinary and dynamic form, Black Grace has become internationally renowned for its artistry, creative excellence and innovation, while also becoming the world’s leading exponent of Pacific contemporary dance.
Black Grace has toured extensively throughout New Zealand and internationally to audience and critical acclaim. In 2005, the Company celebrated its tenth anniversary and performed to sell-out seasons in Auckland, followed by an extensive tour of the US and Mexico. During this time, the Company performed a return season at the prestigious Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, debuted on New York’s 42nd Street for a four-week season, and performed at Mexico’s renowned Cervantino Festival. Black Grace also performed at Tourism New Zealand’s ‘100% Pure’ event in Sydney, at the Aichi World Expo and for the New Zealand Embassy at the Tram Theatre in Tokyo.
In 2008 Black Grace enjoyed a successful tour of North America and Canada followed by a sold out season at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea, New Caledonia. In 2009 the Guam Humanities Council invited Black Grace to lead a series of workshops and hold discussions and performances for the people of Guam. The Company then toured to Zug, Switzerland and performed to thousands throughout Germany. 2010 has seen Black Grace return to North America, performing in 11 different venues, finishing at the Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, Canada. On this recent tour the Mayor of Honolulu, Hawaii officially proclaimed February 6, 2010 “Black Grace Day” in Honolulu.
Black Grace founder and Artistic Director Neil Ieremia is in the vanguard of New Zealand’s most accomplished choreographers and, through his vision, imbues Black Grace with an explosive mix of rhythm, spirit and energy. In recognition of his considerable achievements, Neil was the recipient of the 2005 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award for outstanding creative achievement and his contribution to the Arts in New Zealand. In 2009 Neil accepted a Resolution passed by the Guam Legislator in recognition of the Company’s work in Guam. Neil is a 2009 recipient of the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship in the Arts from The Banff Centre, Canada.
Haydn Wong (Chair)
“Neil Ieremia, Black Grace’s Artistic Director, has the necessary choreographic skill to shape movement that can reflect the complexity of Bach’s polyphony. Mark Morris possesses a similar finesse with music and dance, though Ieremia was not afraid to add concept and imagery to his exploration of the score. The movement and music were compelling in their own right, yet Ieremia surpassed his peers by adding a narrative dimension.”
“The New Zealand Company Black Grace enchanted and enthralled the audience on their first European tour with exceptional choreography: a thrilling bond between ceremonial dances of Maori and immigrants from Samoa, and an athletic form of modern dance.”
Main Post, Schweinfurt, Germany, 2009
“(Neil Ieremia) has spread his artistic roots in several rich pasts and grown up and out into a sunlight of his own making.”
New York Times
“Black Grace has what it takes – energy, artistry and depth. Combine these elements with Ieremia’s vision and you have a tour de force.”
“Black Grace is the most positive, living expression of any New Zealand art…”
Sunday Star Times