Me and My Car: Neil Ieremia

Neil Ieremia is the choreographer of the Black Grace performance Xmas Tales, taking place at the Herald Theatre from November 27 to December 20.

Neil Ieremia with his Audi and some of the Black Grace Dancers. Photo by Ted Baghurst.
Neil Ieremia with his Audi and some of the Black Grace Dancers. Photo by Ted Baghurst.

What do you drive?

A 2002 Audi A4 3.L Quattro V6. I've always liked station wagons and I've always dreamed of owning a really nice car and I really like Audi. It's in really mint condition and I have done some work in the cabin. It's a beautiful car to drive; I've had it about five years. I was going to sell it but Hans, sort of the head mechanic at Audi, said it's a great car, I should hold on to it.

What's the main consideration when buying a car?

I spend quite a bit of time in my car with the school runs and picking up kids and stuff so it needs to be comfortable and safe. And it has to be affordable.

First car?

When I moved up here from Wellington to go to dance school when I was 19, my dad gave me his old Holden VK, two-toned, it was pretty cool. But I promptly got rid of it. I was young and dumb and wanted something else. I wish I hadn't now, it was such a mint car.

Your dream car ...?

An RS6, it is probably one of the most powerful and driveable cars Audi produces.

Favourite car colour?

I used to like blue and then I went through a tan stage and then it was any car I could afford regardless of the colour and now it's black.

Who taught you to drive?

When my older brother was learning to drive he twisted dad's arm to let him practise taking the whole family home from church on Sundays. That was quite stressful for everybody. I decided I wasn't going to ask my dad to teach me to drive after those experiences so I watched and tried to learn. I asked my brother when he got his first car and he was as bad as my dad; so a couple of friends intervened and I just sort of snuck the car out and practised myself. I haven't had an accident!

Manual or automatic?

Automatic around the city, traffic is too bad in Auckland.

Most memorable road trip?

I have been touring for about 20 years and have been fortunate to drive all over the place. But one that sticks out for me was when I was a kid back in the 1970s, from Wellington to Auckland during the school holidays. I was sitting in the front on the bench seat, there were three kids in the back, driving through the Desert Road and seeing snow for the first time. Dad pulled over, to let us touch the snow, and my sister vomited. She used to get car sick.

What irritates you most about other drivers?

People sitting in the fast lane, people not indicating, people who think they are invisible when they are in the car and pick their noses.

Do you judge people by their cars?

I used to but then I met my business manager and she's a lawyer and she's very smart and very together and she's content driving this beat-up old Ford Laser. I have obviously made some wrong assumptions about people based on their vehicles.

How often do you clean your car?

Once every four weeks and I intersperse that with Giltrap's valet service. Saves me time and effort.

What do you listen to?

If I am by myself, it's CDs, music for shows I am researching. My daughter usually has it tuned to Mai FM. If I am with my parents, it's silent.

What's a great day trip?

I drive to Hamilton to see my parents, my brother and sister and nieces and nephews. Spending time with them is worth the journey.

As told to Donna McIntyre

- NZ Herald

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