the grill

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS -

Neil Ieremia is a man prac­tised in forg­ing beauty from pain. The founder and artis­tic di­rec­tor of Black Grace, New Zealand’s fore­most con­tem­po­rary dance com­pany, traded a career in bank­ing for life on the stage more than 22 years ago. Child­hood rheumatic fever left him un­able to play sports. Danc­ing, though, was some­thing he could do.

In years to come, Porirua-raised Ieremia gained in­ter­na­tional ac­claim for his unique union of in­dige­nous and mod­ern dance set to sound­tracks of Samoan, clas­si­cal and hip-hop mu­sic, with chore­og­ra­phy in­spired by strug­gles wit­nessed, and sur­vived. Ieremia’s show, An­other Let­ter From Earth, had its in­cep­tion on an op­er­at­ing ta­ble, where he lay await­ing heart surgery. His lat­est masterpiece is about “beauty from ashes”.

The 47-year-old was moved to cre­ate As Night Falls when the dark­ness of daily news – war, refugees, in­equal­ity, in­tol­er­ance – threat­ened to over­shadow his hope for hu­man­ity.

Set to the works of Vi­valdi, As Night Falls will grace stages dur­ing a na­tional tour of the coun­try be­gin­ning this month. The show, he says, is bold and bright like the colour­ful dresses his mother wore. We sub­mit­ted Ieremia to a Sun­day Grill.

On­stage Backstage Home­body So­cial but­ter­fly Bal­let Opera Dance Chore­o­graph Read Write Din­ner Dessert Read a book Watch a movie Kiwi (bird) Kiwi(fruit) Talk Lis­ten John Key John Camp­bell Com­edy Drama Climb a moun­tain Ex­plore a val­ley Clas­si­cal mu­sic Pop mu­sic Dawn Dusk Beer Wine Black White Salted caramel Salt & vine­gar Sum­mer Win­ter Black tie Smart ca­sual Whit­taker’s Cad­bury Trop­i­cal is­land Wood­land glade

Black Grace per­forms As Night Falls in Nel­son, Christchurch, Dunedin, Blen­heim, Gis­borne and Tau­ranga. The tour con­cludes on July 6. For more see black­

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