The Big Apple honours Black Grace with a season at the Joyce
Black Grace continues its incredible run in America with a five-centre tour that includes a six-night season at the prestigious The Joyce Theater in New York City from October 29, 2019. This is the first time a NZ contemporary dance company has been presented by The Joyce Theater who are world renowned for their high-quality programmes which attract audiences of 150,000+ people on an annual basis.
“We are excited to continue presenting truly excellent international dance companies with the inclusion of New Zealand’s Black Grace in our season. It is always an honor to debut a new company on our stage and we cannot wait to share their work with our audience.” – Linda Shelton, Executive Director, The Joyce Theater.
Breaking ground on getting high quality New Zealand product on the world stage, Black Grace will also tour to Boston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Maryland throughout October and November. The company will then return home to give kiwis a taste of what North America has been raving about, with One Night Only playing at the ASB Waterfront Theatre on Saturday November 23.
“It has always been one of my goals to present my work at such an iconic dance venue – The Joyce Theater. I think it’s a really important milestone for the Company as we approach our 25th Anniversary, and reflects the work we’ve put in over the last 15 years, building a loyal audience following in North America.” says Black Grace Founder and Artistic Director, Neil Ieremia
Despite its outstanding international success, the company is firmly grounded and committed to New Zealand audiences. Earlier this year, Black Grace toured to 20 national centres offering kiwis a chance to see the Company for a reduced $20 ticket price. They also conducted numerous school visits, lecture-demonstrations, workshops and post show Q&A’s ‘We believe that all of Aotearoa should have the opportunity to see our work. While it’s amazing to attend these prestigious North American engagements, we value our local communities and their right to access high quality work’ says Ieremia.
Black Grace turns 25 next year and have some big announcements in the pipeline to celebrate this milestone. It has been a momentous journey which has seen the company tour throughout North America, playing to audiences of thousands and making their mark at prestigious venues and festivals such as The Kennedy Centre in Washington DC, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts and on New York’s 42nd Street. Black Grace has also toured to Europe, Japan, Australia, New Caledonia, Guam, South Korea, Taiwan and Mexico.
Founder and Choreographer Neil Ieremia has been lauded for his exceptional work which draws inspiration from his Samoan and New Zealand roots to create innovative dance works that reach across social, cultural and generational barriers. He has taken home the Senior Pacific Artist Award from Creative New Zealand and has made the Queen’s Birthday Honours List becoming an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The company recently received increased funding levels from Creative New Zealand to continue to present their powerful brand of contemporary dance to national and international audiences.
‘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
The North American touring programme is richly diverse, featuring live music and singing. The programme draws from four iconic Black Grace works including acclaimed work Method (2000), alongside US premiere Kiona and the Little Bird Suite, which combines phrases from signature pieces (Surface, 2003, Pati Pati, 2009, E Toa, E Toa, 2018). Excerpts from recent full-length works Crying Men (2018, USA premiere) exploring masculinity from a Pacific perspective, and As Night Falls (2016) set to music by Vivaldi, are also included.