Monday, November 11, 2019 at 7:30pm
Bovard Auditorium (ADM)
3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089
A Visions and Voices Signature Event
Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Monday, October 7, at 9 a.m.
Artistic Director Neil Ieremia founded Black Grace in 1995, drawing from his Samoan and New Zealand roots to create innovative dance works that reach across social, cultural, and generational barriers. The choreography is highly physical, rich in the storytelling traditions of the South Pacific, and expressed with raw finesse, unique beauty, and power.
Don’t miss this rare and intimate Los Angeles appearance by Black Grace, who will perform a selection of works choreographed by Ieremia, including signature favorites as well as excerpts from his latest full-length works: As Night Falls (2016), inspired by news stories from around the world, and Crying Men (2018), a powerful new piece exploring masculinity through a Pacific lens.
“[Neil Ieremia] has spread his artistic roots in several rich pasts and grown up and out into a sunlight of his own making.”—The New York Times
“Black Grace is an aesthetic delight; it is even more so an elemental experience of the magic of rhythm.”—Badische Zeitung (Germany)
“Companies like Black Grace communicate that our similarities run deeper than our differences.”—Ballet-Dance Magazine
Black Grace features some of New Zealand’s finest dancers and has toured internationally to Europe, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Australia, and New Caledonia. Black Grace made its U.S. debut in 2004, performing a sold-out season at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, with a subsequent return to the festival in 2005. Since then the company has performed regularly throughout North America, earning audience acclaim.
Neil Ieremia, founding artistic director of Black Grace, is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished choreographers, a creative entrepreneur, and an inspirational leader. Born in Wellington and of Samoan heritage, Ieremia was raised in a tough, working-class neighborhood in a country focused more on sporting prowess and agriculture than on creative expression. At the age of nineteen and with no formal training, he resigned from his banking job, left home, enrolled in a full-time dance program, and broke his parents’ hearts. In his final year of training, he was invited to join the prestigious Douglas Wright Dance Company, where he worked until 1996. Motivated to provide a different perspective and a fresh voice in the dance scene, Ieremia founded Black Grace in 1995, with ten male dancers of Pacific, Maori, and New Zealand heritage. Since then, he has changed the face of contemporary dance in New Zealand, and Black Grace has become one of the most recognizable and iconic cultural brands in the country.
Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Co-sponsored by the USC Kaufman School of Dance and Asian Pacific American Student Services.
Photo: John McDermott