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Paradise Rumour Supporting 1
Mar1
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Theatre & Performing Arts

Paradise Rumour Black Grace


Black Grace, New Zealand’s leading contemporary dance company, will make their Chicago debut at the Harris Theater with their captivating new work, Paradise Rumour.

Founded by Neil Ieremia, ONZM, Black Grace performs works that draw from Ieremia’s Samoan and New Zealand roots, reaching across social, cultural, and generational barriers. Rich in the storytelling traditions of the South Pacific, the works are highly physical and expressed with raw finesse, unique beauty, and power.

Paradise Rumour, commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation, debuted in March 2023 in response to the Sharjah Biennial 15’s theme, Thinking Historically in the Present. In this work, Ieremia examines and confronts prejudice and xenophobia in Aotearoa.

Paradise Rumour bounces back and forth through time and space, starting with the arrival of the missionaries to the Pacific, and collecting memories, visions, experiences both personal and collective. Weaving together four separate parts of the same experience within the one person, the first dancer represents hope + resistance, the second sorrow + acceptance, the third control + release, and the fourth faith + crisis.

Black Grace features some of New Zealand’s finest dancers. The company has toured internationally to Europe, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Australia, and New Caledonia. In 2004, Black Grace made its debut in the United States, performing a sold-out season at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, with a subsequent return in 2005. Since then, the company has performed regularly throughout North America, earning audience and critical acclaim.

Black Grace’s week-long engagement in Chicago will include conversations, workshops, and a performance suitable for all ages in the Harris Theater’s Family Series.


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