Black Grace


“Why does it often take a disaster or life threatening events for humans to demonstrate humanity?” – Neil Ieremia

Exploring the idea of a raft as a metaphor for hope, Vaka (canoe) 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 Gericault’s famous The Raft of the Medusa depicting the terror of a shipwreck.

Vaka has gone on to be developed through the following questions, which form the basis of the work;

  1. If a vaka is a vehicle for survival that carries our hope for life, then what is your definition of a vaka in today’s society?
  2. Who or what are the contents of your vaka and what lengths will you go to in order to protect them?
  3. If the contents of your vaka link the past and future and can be shared or transferred, who will you share them with and why?

“Black Grace have clinical accuracy and jaw-dropping physicality.  Their finely-honed bodies exude an inspirational energy and move seemingly without the usual human constraints of time and gravity.  When you can experience dance like this, you feel there really is hope for the future.”

Otago Daily Times, 2013


Powerfully elegant and possessed of technical finesse of almost archaic rawness.



Date Show City Venue Country
4 Mar Lagi Minden Stadttheatre Germany
6 Mar Lagi Pulheim Stadt Pulheim Germany
7 Mar Lagi Landau Jugendstil-Festhalle Germany
8 Mar Lagi Esch-Sur-Alzette Stadttheater Germany
9 Mar Lagi Siegen Apollo Theater Germany
11 Mar Lagi Offenburg Oberrheinhalle Germany
13 Mar Lagi Friedrichshafen Gaf-Zeppelin-Haus Germany
14 Mar Lagi Ehingen Lindenhalle Germany
15–17 Mar Lagi Furth Stadttheater Germany
18 Mar Lagi Schweinfurt Theater der Stadt Germany
19 Mar Lagi Idar-Oberstein Stadttheater Germany
21 Mar Lagi Wolfsburg Theater der Stadt Germany
1 Jun Amata Excerpt Busan Busan International Dance Festival South Korea
1 Jun Vaka Excerpt Busan Busan International Dance Festival South Korea
24–25 Jun Vaka Nelson Theatre Royal New Zealand
27–31 Jul Vaka Wellington Te Whaea New Zealand
4 Aug Vaka Whangarei Forum North New Zealand
8–11 Aug Vaka Hamilton Playhouse Theatre, Gallagher Performing Arts Centre New Zealand
25–29 Aug Vaka Auckland Maidment Theatre New Zealand
2 Oct 1984 Auckland Arts Foundation Awards, The Cloud New Zealand