Performances of the New Zealand company Black Grace, founded, directed, and choreographed by Neil Ieremia, a charismatic New Zealander of Samoan heritage, are as rich as multilingual conversations. Almost instantaneously upon being introduced to Ieremia’s egalitarian and boundless movement language, embodied by eleven sturdy, versatile dancers, many of whom are of Samoan or Maori descent, one-dimensional ideations of “culture” are rendered passé and ridiculous. The work draws from—and transcends—contemporary dance, ballet, dances of the Pacific islands, and Ieremia’s personal reflections. He and the dancers are fluent in all of it, all at once.
Black Grace performing “Mother Mother.” Photograph by Simon Wilson
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading