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Black Grace----dance troupe from NZ

Went to see this group dance last night in Portland. Impressive, for sure. The dancers are ethnically exotic to me---Maori and Samoan people, dark skinned and beautiful. The dances were athletic in the extreme, parts of it reminding me of a crossfit workout, on steroids. One of the dance moves they did was to fall to the ground, and then bound back up to standing, nay leaping up into the air, and back to the ground and back up again, so fast that one could scarcely comprehend that once person could do that. The leaps and lifts were smooth and controlled. There was play around failing, around falling, but no one was ever at risk. In fact I think the play around falling and failing was part of what made them so good---because they had no fear of falling, they had practiced it so many times. Anyway, last night was their debut in Portland but they will be back. The choreographer is Neil Ieremia, and I believe he is also one of the indigenous people of New Zealand. The themes of the dances were modern--child abuse and such---and there was a fair bit of social commentary. Basically Neil is trying to induce us to communicate in an honest and respectful way across racial and national boundaries, by way of his dancers. I appreciated his message. When you fall down, get right back up again.

There were four women in the mostly male troupe. They were likewise swift and strong.

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