The Art Of Black Grace 1/5: dance, but not as we know it

The Art Of Black Grace 1/5 is a curious, creative, ingenious thing. A six-meter-high cylinder of screens fifteen meters across, it’s an art installation in itself, but also a way of showcasing Black Grace, Neil Ieremia’s acclaimed contemporary dance company.

And for the next two weeks, it’s presenting the The Art Of Black Grace 1/5 in accessible, half-hour bites at Karanga Plaza in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter. It’s an immersive virtual, digital experience, a dance performance as well as a deeply personal reflection on Ieremia’s experiences as a Pacific person in Aotearoa. The wrap-around format allows Ieremia and his dancers to play with the audience’s experience, placing the audience in the centre of the action as their images on the screens appear to move around the space.

The Art Of Black Grace

It’s a challenging, confronting experience, as images of some of the more unsettling chapters of New Zealand’s recent history appear around the walls of the installation. These are followed by a series of surreal images that bewilder, baffle and delight in turn. And Ieremia makes the most of the flexibility the format grants him—images of live-action dancers mix with animations, performers fill huge spaces and tower over the audience, the lines between animation and live action blur.

It’s only a half-hour long, so it’s an accessible format that will draw in both lovers of contemporary dance, and also the curious who want to find out more. It’s a highly creative approach to dance, and to performance, that Ieremia hopes will eventually play at multiple installations around the world simultaneously—something made possible only with an installation that features no live dancers. What was originally conceived as a way to keep the company going during a pandemic has become an innovative performance in its own right.

Karanga Plaza, Wynyard Quarter – Sunday, November 20 – Saturday, December 10
Black Grace membership pre-sale from Thursday, October 27
Ticketmaster membership pre-sale from Friday, October 28
General tickets on sale Monday, October 31
**Tickets $20.00 – booking fee will apply

Session times every half hour;
Sunday, November 20 – 11am – 5pm
Mondays – Tuesdays 6pm – 8.30pm
Wednesdays – Thursdays 6pm – 9.30pm
Fridays – 6pm – 11.30pm
Saturdays – 11am – 11.30pm
Sunday, Nov 27 & Dec 4 – 11am – 8:30pm

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