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Black Grace finally returns to Dunedin with As Night Falls. This is the first time Neil Ieremia has brought this piece of work to the South Island. He had previously shown it in Auckland and then toured it in the United States - it is a heartbreak that it has taken until now.
As Night Falls is every bit moving and the dancers every inch living the piece.
Taking inspiration from the state of world affairs, Ieremia has created something that amid the darkness and desperation faced by so many, offers hope that light is still possible.
The whole piece is a series of beautiful contrasts. One moment the dancers are delicate and graceful, the next they are frenetic with urgency. The timing throughout was impeccable, as was the synchronicity, and the oneness of the company was evident. I am a huge a fan of the classical silhouette and this company played it well. They may be a contemporary company, but they are also adept at the classical form.
The staging, lighting and sound for the whole piece was exceptional, always capturing the desperation, the sense of hope, and the ultimately the coming of oneness. The stage was stripped bare.
There were no wings, exposing its raw state, and a suspended lighting grid above the stage meant the dancers were entirely the focal point. Set to the enduring music of Vivaldi, As Night Falls, again presents a lovely juxtaposition of when contemporary and classical meet.
Judging from the reaction of the audience to the expressions of the dancers at the conclusion, it is safe to say both viewer and performer were immensely proud of this work. It demonstrated the power, strength and passion of each dancer and it was an absolute pleasure to be a part of it. I certainly hope it will not be too long before we see Black Grace on the Regent Theatre stage again.
-By Penny Neilson