Monday, March 9, 2009

Young, graceful and black

I was lucky enough last week to be present at the opening night of the latest performance by New Zealand contemporary dance saviours Black Grace, the mesmerising and powerful Gathering Clouds. Gathering Clouds is once again choreographed by Black Grace founder and internationally acclaimed choreographer Neil Ieremia, who has proved himself as one of New Zealand’s greatest living talents. Beautiful in its fury, Gathering Clouds responds to controversial claims made by economist Greg Clydesdale in which he warns that Polynesians display “significant and enduring under achievement” - a problem that he believes immigration is making worse. The piece fights back at his controversial call with a voice that is strong and proud, and the segment depicting the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s (when the homes of many Polynesian families in New Zealand were brutally raided in search of alleged “overstayers”, spawning the movement known as the The Polynesian Panthers) is particularly powerful. The production will be touring the North Island for the rest of March and into April so try and grab a performance if you can – I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.