- Member for
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Bio: Jack Gray
Born in Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland, New Zealand, Gray's Maori lineages connect him to Te Rarawa, Ngapuhi and Ngati Porou tribes.
A graduate of Unitec's Performing and Screen Arts Bachelor's Degree (1998) and Natcoll's Diploma of Computer Graphic Design (2004), Gray has developed a unique choreographic practice over two decades, combining interdisciplinary research interests in dance writing, video and sound collaboration, indigenous ceremonial activation and interactive facilitation.
In 2000, Gray initiated Atamira Dance Collective as a platform for Maori contemporary dance artists to make new work in Auckland. Gray curated and choreographed two early works in a group show "Freshly Minted", the first Atamira performance at the 2nd Auckland Dance Festival. After a two year journey to Europe as a DanceWeb Scholar at Impulstanz Festival Wien (2001) and participant at Montepellier Dance Festival's Atelier Du Monde/Workshop of the World (2002), Gray choreographed works for Contact Dance Company in Malta and Spiral-E in Austria and toured a solo work to Modern Dance Night, Serbia and Prague Fringe Festival (2002). Gray choreographed "Hail" for Atamira's "Sub-urban Legends" (2002) and "Hail" (In your wake") for "Atamira" (2003). Jack Gray Dance was awarded Te Whakahaungia Maori Choreographic Commission by Te Waka Toi (2005) attended Asia-Pacific Young Choreographers Project in Taiwan (2005), Generation Project (2007) and Dance Platform (2006) performing at Tempo (2003/2006) and The Body Festival (2006). As a dancer, Gray's extensive involvement in the development of Maori contemporary dance saw him perform in works by Merenia Gray, Tanemahuta Gray, Bipeds Productions, Human Garden, Tru Paraha, Indigenous Choreographic Laboratory, Te Whare Tapere, Louise Potiki Bryant, Dolina Wehipeihana, Maaka Pepene, Moss Patterson, Kelly Nash, Nancy Wijohn, Wendy Preston, Moana Nepia, Terri Crawford and more.
Gray travelled with Atamira to the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Australia, the U.S (Hawaii, San Francisco, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival) and throughout New Zealand in "Ngai Tahu 32", "Memoirs of Active Service", "Whakairo", "Taonga", "Kaha" and "Te Houhi". Jack won an A.M.P Scholarship (2011) and worked on a series of international projects: as a guest artist/dramaturge with Dancing Earth, New Mexico (2012), guest choreographer at the Bishop Museum, Hawaii (2013) as a guest choreographer/professor at the University of California, Berkeley (2014), assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside (2014), guest facilitator at New York University (2015), performer with Catalyst Theater, New York (2015) workshop facilitator at the International Interdisciplinary Artists Consortium,?Earthdance (2016), facilitator at California Institute of Integral Studies (2015), guest masterclass teacher at University of Hawaii, Manoa (2012-2016), guest artist with Bandelion Theater, San Francisco (2014), guest workshop tutor at Kaha:wi Dance Theater, Canada (2015), choreographic consultant with Matao New Performance Project, Guåhan (2016), guest cultural consultant for Te Whare Hukahuka, World Indigenous Business Conference, Canada (2016), guest cultural consultant and choreographer at Illinois State University, Creative Lab leader at First Nations Colloquium at Vrystaat University, South Africa (2016) and guest workshop at the University of Arts, Philadelphia (2016).
Gray forges a unique pathway establishing Indigenous performance gatherings world wide including; Atamira Open Space/Noho and Tika Talks, Cultural Informance Lab (San Francisco), Lenapehoking Transformance Lab (New York), Bay Area Transformance Lab (San Francisco), Indigenous Dance Forum (New York), Wānanga: #TranscribingSpaces (Atamira), Tongva: #Transcribing Spaces (U.C.L.A), Ruatepupuke: #Transcribing Spaces (The Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois), Ora: #TranscribingSpaces (Ora Gallery, New York City). Gray was the 2016 Spring Artist in Residence and is currently a 2016/17 Research Scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University advocating for indigenous performing and visual arts across the world. His most recent Atamira choreographic contributions were Mitimiti (Tempo Dance Festival), Mitimiti (Kaha), Mitimiti (Tohu). Gray's writing and articles are published in Biography, Te Kaharoa, Theatreview, Danz Magazine, Tumai, Dance Research Journal, Threaded, Explore Dance and more.
Jack Gray broke the Aotearoa arts internet over the weekend - he sets the record straight.
Māori performer and choreographer Jack Gray has a very good reason for having such a strong view - his personal experience is one worth listening to.