Who Are You

Maidment Theatre - Musgrove Studio, Auckland

02/03/2011 - 05/03/2011

Glen Eden Playhouse, Auckland

08/03/2011 - 19/03/2011

Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland

16/03/2011 - 19/03/2011

Auckland Arts Festival 2011

Production Details

Black Grace is proud to present a new dance work by UrbanYOUTHMovement – Who Are You?
“I told these young people that my perception of their generation is that they binge drink, are impatient and want everything NOW.  They are unable to make a lasting commitment, are generally lazy and wouldn’t know what a hard days work was if it kicked them in the backside.  Then I told them to prove me wrong.”
Black Grace Artistic Director – Neil Ieremia
The result is the latest work created by Neil Ieremia and performed by UrbanYOUTHMovement called Who Are You?
From nearly every walk of life, from all over Auckland, young dancers between the ages of 16 – 21 are led through a demanding and often life changing creative process to voice their concerns, face their fears and express their hopes for their generation.
“UrbanYOUTHMovement … engaging and entertaining, but potentially transformative and ultimately uplifting.”

UrbanYOUTH MOvement 2011: Ruby Ala'i, Lucy Lynch, Briana Chapman, Skye-Leanne Hurst, Nita Latu, Chris Ofanoa, Angelica Osuji, Rodolfo Villanueva, Laura Watkin, Ashlea Williams, Kimberley Young, Xinia Alderson

Black Grace Dancers: , Abby Crowther, Zoe Watkins, Thomas Fonua, Sarah Baron, Ryan Carr

1 hour

Dynamic, fast paced performance

Review by Roxanne de Bruyn 18th Mar 2011

A dynamic, fast paced performance from the Black Grace UrbanYOUTHMovement, Who Are You? combines high energy dancing with social commentary to produce an enthralling work.
Who Are You? questions what it is to be a young person, exploring the individual’s identity and place within the teenage community. Group work is a constant theme, with dancers pulling away from the large groups into smaller groups, but not managing to escape altogether. The dancers move with abandon, but any freedom seems fleeting as they are pulled back into the crowd.
Punchy and rhythmic, there is a feeling of strength and focus in this production. The choreography is vibrant, fast and exciting to watch. Technically challenging, it gives the young dancers something to attack, which they manage to do admirably.
With chanting, drums and the repeated question of Who… Who… Who are you?, there is strong sense of the beat and a somewhat earthy, tribal feel to the performance. This is emphasised by the good timing of the dancers and this ongoing cadence moves the content along and gives structure and regularity to the work.
The focus is on teenage issues, and moves from friends, the opposite sex and fitting in, to something more sinister. As the show progresses, it examines social issues involving teenagers, quoting recent, shocking news stories of teenage violence and substance abuse in New Zealand. These are portrayed with expression and emotion, contrasting between depicting ‘normal’ teenage life and the cruelty and desperation which can be just underneath the surface.
The disturbing scenes are believable, with the young cast making the images of teens fighting and drinking really hit home. The fight scenes are fluid and well-choreographed with echoes of capoeira. There are contrasts everywhere, especially between the girls’ aggression and femininity.
A drink-driving scene is the peak of the performance, giving a powerful, unsettling vision of a possible consequence. Dark and intense, it gives a strong sense of loss and some lovely, haunting movement. The ending picks up the pieces, returns to the previous rhythm and places the scene into a context which seems all too unaffected by it.
Who Are You? is extremely well-performed by a very talented group of dancers. They give a mature performance, showing discipline and focus while displaying an emotional connection with the content.
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Full out dancing and in your face social commentary

Review by Raewyn Whyte 03rd Mar 2011

NEIL Ieremia’s latest production in collaboration with Black Grace UrbanYOUTHMovement opened Auckland Festival’s 2011 dance programme last night in fine style, combining exuberant, disciplined high energy, technically demanding full-out dancing with in-your-face social commentary.

Who … Who … Who Are You ? is the refrain that threads through the work. No direct answers appear to be given.

Words aside, on the basis of the performance delivered with individual flair by the youthful ensemble… [more]


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