Dance

Polynesian dance speaks to the past, present, and future. For nearly 50,000 years, dances and songs have been an expression of Pacific Islanders' origins, their journeys, their struggles-- their very existence. These are their "dance stories"--their Dances of Life. Today, Pacific Islanders are struggling to maintain their identity and traditions. Dance is central to these efforts. For centuries, dance has remained one of the most powerful vehicles for transmitting culture.

When Black Grace, a dance troupe of Pacific Islander and Maori men, first burst onto the New Zealand stage in 1995, they were a revelation. Fusing traditional Pacific and contemporary dance forms with athleticism and grace, they electrified audiences. Led by Artistic Director Neil Ieremia, Black Grace evolved from a crew of Neil's "mates" into one of New Zealand's national treasures.

From Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself), Keep Talking follows four Alaska Native women learning to teach their critically endangered language. Only 41 fluent Elders still speak Kodiak Alutiiq due to brutal assimilation policies at U.S. government run Indian boarding schools. The grit and resilience of these women helps them overcome historical trauma, politics and personal demons as they evolve into #languagewarriors.

 
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