New Zealand's leading contemporary dance company, which features an ensemble of dancers with Pacific Island and Maori heritage, has held a unique position on the world stage for nearly two decades. Under founding artistic director Neil Ieremia, Black Grace has toured internationally to Australia, Japan, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., earning phenomenal critical and audience acclaim for its unique fusion of Pacific Islander and contemporary dance.
The repertory for this performance will include an excerpt from Amata (2007), a groundbreaking work that explores themes of change, race, and gender politics, and Waka, a new piece inspired in part by The Raft, a video installation by Bill Viola, as well as a painting entitled The Arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand by Louis J. Steele and Charles F. Goldie 1898, which is based on Theodore Géricault's famous The Raft of the Medusa. The Arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand is one of New Zealand's best-known and most controversial historical paintings for its imagined representation of Maori immigration voyages.
Black Grace performed and was in residence at the '62 Center in 2010; it will become the first company to return to Williams since the CenterSeries began in 2005.