Waka” – a performance by the dance group Black Grace

Direct from a sell-out tour of Germany, Black Grace returns to Aotearoa to present a compelling new work, Waka, by internationally celebrated choreographer Neil Ieremia.

“Powerfully elegant and possessed of technical finesse of almost archaic rawness.” Nahe-Zeitung, Germany 2012

Exploring the idea of a raft as a metaphor for hope, Waka is inspired in part by “The Raft,” video installation by Bill Viola, as well as a response to “The Arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand” by Louis J. Steele and Charles F. Goldie 1898, influenced by Theodore Géricault’s famous ‘The Raft of the Medusa’ depicting the terror of a shipwreck.

“Intensive dance imagery – a powerful demonstration of strength and battle readiness.” Mainpost, Schweinfurt, Germany 2012. –

Last night, this group performed at the University of Waikato.

The dancers performed for an hour and through that time, it seemed like they never stopped moving. The dances were quite intense and you could see beads of sweat dripping off the dancers. The performance told a story and made you think – there was a lot of symbolism present.

I enjoyed the performance very much. One aspect that I though was unique was the use of multimedia and data projectors. Aside from the music, the dancers used a fabric sheet as a screen for a video and they also used the human body as a screen showing video projected on the backs of dancers.



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