Five Fast Facts: Black Grace

Oct 16, 2019

Black Grace will make its Northrop debut on Thu, Nov 7. Here are Five Fast Facts about the company and the performance to know in advance.

  1. Black Grace made their North American debut at Jacob’s Pillow Festival in 2004. They were the first New Zealand dance company to ever be invited to perform at Jacob's Pillow, which is America’s oldest summer dance festival.
  2. Ieremia’s piece Crying Men was influenced heavily by conversations with a family member who worked as a lawyer and often held interviews with convicts in which they seemed afraid to cry. Ieremia choreographed Crying Men as a response to toxic masculinity and the idea that men, including Ieremia himself, feel as if they are unable to cry.
  3. The traditional Samoan dance style known as Fa'ataupati, or Samoan slap dancing, is seen throughout Black Grace’s performance. This dance form is said to have evolved from the movements of slapping mosquitos off of one’s body.
  4. Ieremia sets his choreography to a diverse variety of music- traditional Samoan indigenous music contrasts with more classical scores, such as Vivaldi in the case of As Night Falls.
  5. Though this is Black Grace’s first performance at Northrop, it is not the company’s first time in Minneapolis. Read a review of their 2015 performance at The Ordway here.
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