Tatao the sacred rite of passage for Samoan males was the very personal subject of Neil Ieremia, central dance works of Black Grace onstage at the Kimmel Center. Neil came out an joked with the crowd about what the ritual means in his culture and as an émigré New Zealander, why he didn’t have one. Males are tattooed from below the knee along the flank of their bodies to the armpits. “I have another tattoo, but I’m not going to show it to you. Well maybe later.” he told the crowd. Meanwhile, his dancers just mesmerized the half-empty house which made up for it with their lusty applause. Neil folds in traditional Samoan movement language into an explosive modern lexicon. Hypnotic group matrixes interlocking with poetic fluidity. Catapulting leap sequences and communal body tides at mach speed, were just some of the unforgettable stage images. Movement meditations and bodyscapes in floated pools of light enthralled.

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